So much for the notion that Los Alamitos is a finesse team. The Griffins began defense of their Southern Section Division I championship Friday in decidedly smash-mouth fashion.
There were no trick plays and not a lot of running outside the tackles. Instead, there was a lot of Joshua Jones running right up the middle. Jones rushed 30 times for 190 yards and the Griffins beat Santa Margarita, 20-10, before 4,000 at Long Beach Wilson High.
Jones did most of the work, but quarterback Jimmy Barnes scored both touchdowns for Los Alamitos (10-1) -- on one-yard sneaks. The Griffins also had two field goals by Brooks Rossmore as they advanced to a quarterfinal matchup against Long Beach Wilson.
"After we lost to Fountain Valley, coaches said that our personnel was not that of a finesse team," said Jones, who switched from linebacker to running back after five games. "It's a take-it-to-their-face team."
The Griffins rushed for 231 yards and passed for 117. The defense, led by back Daniel Dykes, had a goal-line stand, and linebacker Chris Rados recovered a fumble that led to their first score.
"They watched Mater Dei and Loyola, saw where we struggled defensively, and wore us down," Santa Margarita Coach Mike Jacot said.
Russell Hoeflich rushed 11 times for 81 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown, for Santa Margarita (7-4).
Long Beach Poly 33, Bellflower St. John Bosco 22 -- The top-seeded Jackrabbits (9-2) used a quick-strike offense and a breakout performance by junior receiver Desean Jackson to hold off the Braves (7-4) at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.
Jackson, often lost in the shadow of fellow receiver Derrick Jones, caught six passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns as Poly advanced to a quarterfinal matchup with Huntington Beach Edison. Jones, a highly touted senior, had two catches for 38 yards.
Poly ran only 36 plays compared to 75 for St. John Bosco. Jackson's touchdown receptions were for 54, 27 and 60 yards, and they capped possessions of two, three and two plays.
The Jackrabbits' other touchdowns were on drives of one and three plays. Both were runs by Anthony Torrell Baker -- of one and four yards.
"Coach [Raul Lara] was harping on us that if we get out early they would get intimidated," Jackson said. "We just stuck to our plan."
The Jackrabbits led, 27-0, at halftime and extended their lead to 33-7 early in the fourth quarter. The Braves, who had problems passing most of the game, scored all of their points in the fourth quarter, mostly against Poly's reserves.
St. John Bosco quarterback Patrick Cowan completed 16 of 36 passes for 146 yards.
-- Peter Yoon