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Rancho Alamitos’ Effort Lacking, but It Has Enough to Beat Western

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Rancho Alamitos coaching staff worried all week about a letdown when its team played Western Thursday at Bolsa Grande High.

After last week’s huge victory over Division I power Esperanza, they talked about maintaining intensity and focus.

They did everything they could to make sure they wouldn’t be flat.

“It may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Coach Doug Case said.

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It may have been. Despite sixth-ranked Rancho Alamitos’ 27-0 nonleague victory over the Pioneers, it was hardly that one-sided. Going into the fourth quarter, Rancho led by only six points.

“I think we ran out of gas,” Western Coach Toby Howell said. “We’re so thin--we only have 27 guys. Rancho’s pretty physical. We played tough with them for three quarters.”

And then the roof caved in.

Alex Blanco scored on a 28-yard run, and George Gonzalez passed to Eric Camarillo for the two-point conversion to make it 14-0.

“That was the big touchdown,” said David Vickers, who rushed 14 times for 206 yards and two touchdowns, including an 84-yarder in the first quarter. “That gave us the momentum, and it was crucial for them.”

Two interceptions by Vickers (including a 49-yard return) set up two more fourth-quarter scores. Gonzalez passed 36 yards to Shawn Young, who bobbled the ball but grabbed it while landing in the end zone for a 20-0 lead, and Blanco bolted through the line for a 43-yard scoring run. Juan Medina’s kick made it, 27-0.

“We have high expectations and we’re not satisfied with the way we played,” said Blanco, who rushed 17 times for 119 yards. “We were looking past Western. They showed us we can’t be doing that. They’re a strong team and they showed they can play with us.”

For the longest time, Rancho Alamitos’ only score was Vickers’ 84-yard run. He said he was “very surprised” it was a 6-0 game going into the fourth quarter.

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“It was hard trying to get up after such an emotional high last weekend,” Vickers said. “They brought us down to earth.”

Rancho Alamitos (3-0) committed 10 penalties for 99 yards, and also had four turnovers (three interceptions).

The Vaqueros’ defense was solid, limiting Western (1-2) to 93 yards in 33 carries; they intercepted five Jason Baughman passes (including two by Shawn Young).

Western’s Trevell Jackson rushed 26 times for 106 yards.

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