Randy Estes, an All-American defensive back and coveted recruit, was suspended by Los Alamitos High administrators Thursday and did not play in a 28-3 victory over Anaheim Esperanza in a Sunset League game Thursday night at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.
The 6-foot-2, 192-pound senior is a hard-hitting free safety listed as high as the No. 2 overall recruit in the nation by one scouting service.
Estes, who also plays running back, has scored touchdowns this season on interception returns and a kickoff return as well as rushing.
Estes was replaced in the lineup by Chad Dunn, who played cornerback, while Jeff Minter moved to free safety from cornerback.
"The administration told me he had been suspended, and we'll leave it at that," said Coach John Barnes. "No one person makes the team."
Los Alamitos (8-1, 3-1 in the league) began this season as The Times' No. 1 team in the Southland and was ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports.
Two weeks ago, the Griffins lost their first game, 21-16 to Fountain Valley, and dropped to No. 7 in The Times' rankings. Thursday, Los Alamitos got touchdown runs by quarterback Jimmy Barnes and Joshua Jones, and two touchdown passes from Barnes to Jeremy Childs.
School officials would not discuss Estes' situation, deferring questions to the Los Alamitos Unified School District's public information office.
"I'm under orders to not comment tonight on any issues of student discipline," said Principal Dan Brooks.
School officials weren't the only ones not talking about the situation.
"We're not discussing any incident about my son," Randy Estes Sr. said.
Minter said the team was in the dark too.
"Coach announced to the team we'd be playing without him, and we realized we had to step it up," said Minter, who said he expects Estes to rejoin the team. "He is still a big part of the team."
-- Martin Henderson
Junior quarterback Bo Napoleon completed only 5 of 17 passes for 62 yards, but he found tight end Antwan Mahaley for the go-ahead touchdown with a 10-yard pass in a hard-fought 21-10 victory over Wilmington Banning before a festive crowd of 7,190 in the first football game played at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
Robert Miller, who finished with 161 yards in 18 carries, added a late score to give Carson (6-3, 4-0)at least a share of its fifth consecutive league title.
Banning (2-7, 0-4) came into the game on a six-game losing streak and didn't have star tailback Patrick Perry, who sat out the game with a sprained ankle.
The Pilots put up a stellar effort throughout and took a 10-7 lead on a two-yard run by Mark Tafoya (92 yards in 19 carries). Banning drove to the Colts' four-yard line after Carson retook the lead but the Pilots were stopped on a fourth-and-two play.
-- Eric Stephens