Orange Lutheran lost a promising young quarterback to injury last week, but another debuted Friday.
Robby Hobbs came off the bench and completed 10 of 13 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown, leading Orange Lutheran to a 35-6 victory over Cerritos Valley Christian in a pivotal Olympic League game at Brea Olinda High.
Hobbs, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior, was expected to be the Lancers' starting quarterback this season, but was sidelined after undergoing knee surgery before the season. When sophomore quarterback Casey Whieldon broke his collarbone late in the first half of last week's 56-26 victory over Brethren Christian, Hobbs was ready reclaim his job.
"Coach [Jim Kunau] gave me a great opportunity tonight," said Hobbs, who threw for 219 yards in the first half. "He asked me how the knee felt before the game and I said, 'Great.' "
Hobbs, who injured his knee playing basketball two summers ago, came into the game on Orange Lutheran's fourth offensive play, handing off to David Heim for a 16-yard gain on a reverse to move it to the Crusader one. On the next play, fullback Steve Newsome scored the first of his four rushing touchdowns and Orange Lutheran led, 7-0.
Hobbs tested his right arm on Orange Lutheran's next possession, completing a four-yard pass to Brent Concolino, then connecting on a 49-yarder to Heim. Hobbs then hit Jon Talmage with a 21-yard pass to the Crusader one and Newsome ran it in for a 13-0 lead.
Hobbs, who alternated with starting quarterback Jason Taylor, threw his prettiest pass of the game on the Lancers' next scoring drive, hitting Heim deep over the middle on an 80-yard touchdown pass.
Hobbs added another 39-yard pass to Talmage late in the first half, set up by Newsome's seven-yard touchdown run.
"We wanted to see how Hobbs felt after a couple plays," Kunau said. "He certainly passed the litmus test."
Valley Christian (6-1, 1-1), ranked second in Southern Section Division XI, got on the scoreboard thanks to a mental error by Orange Lutheran (5-2, 2-0), ranked eighth in Division XI.
Michael Huss' second-half kickoff bounced inside the 10-yard line, but the ball didn't roll out of bounds and the Crusaders recovered on the eight. Three plays later, Chase Twedell scored on a three-yard run, cutting the lead to 28-6.