Tustin High's football team tried to play a game of keep-away against a bigger and stronger Los Alamitos team Friday and it only seemed to make the Griffins mad.
Tustin had three drives that lasted at least 18 plays and resulted in two touchdowns and a field goal but Los Alamitos scored four touchdowns in the third quarter and went on to win, 42-16, in a nonleague game at Tustin High.
Tustin (1-2) used a 20-play drive that resulted in a touchdown and a 10-7 lead with 1 minute 29 seconds left in the first half. The drive lasted 10 minutes and 31 seconds.
But Los Alamitos, the top-ranked team in Orange County, needed only one play to tame the upset spirit of the Tillers, who reached the Division V championship game last season.
The play was a 74-yard scoring pass from quarterback Ryan Hanson to wide receiver Ryan Godfrey, who was 20 yards in the clear when he caught the ball.
Godfrey lined up on the right side in single coverage and once Hanson showed a strong pump fake, Godfrey was alone.
The score put Los Alamitos ahead, 14-10. Tustin ran 31 plays in the first half and Los Alamitos had eight.
"Never," Hanson said when asked if he's ever had a receiver that open. "I looked up and I thought 'I can't miss him. If I do, Coach [John] Barnes will fire me.' He was that wide open."
Los Alamitos' scoring assault in the third quarter started with a 20-yard pass from Hanson to wide receiver Keenan Howry.
The same pair combined for a 32-yard scoring pass on the Griffins' next series.
Howry capped the scoring in the quarter with a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown. Howry had four catches for 104 yards and scored four touchdowns, giving him 10 for the season.
The other score was a 27-yard run by running back Josiah Doby, who had 61 yards in seven carries.
Hanson finished seven of 10 for 218 yards and four touchdowns. He has nine touchdowns and no interceptions this season.
"I'm proud of our [offense]," Barnes said. "When a team controls the ball, it puts pressure on your offense to score and they came up with the big plays when it counted."
Tustin finished the game much like it started, with a long drive. The final series took 9:36 and lasted 18 plays. Only one gain was for more than eight yards.
Branden Malcom capped the drive with a one-yard drive with 3:07 left to play in the game.
David Little rushed for 113 yards in 21 carries and James Sargent added 64 yards and a touchdown in 12 carries for Tustin.
Barnes wasn't concerned that his defense was pushed up and down the field.
"That's what they do," Barnes said of Tustin. "It looks kind of funky but they set a [Southern Section] record for rushing last season. We contained them pretty well, really."