Los Amigos tops Ocean View in Romel Guess’ first game as coach
With numbers dwindling in the aftermath of the coronavirus-shortened spring season, the Los Amigos High School football program needed a shot in the arm.
The Lobos filled their head coaching vacancy from within, calling on their former offensive coordinator Romel Guess to step into that role.
It is no guessing game how the Lobos coach wants to lead. Guess fancies himself as a high-energy coach, and his team followed suit in its season opener.
Sophomore quarterback Maysen Navarro had a passing and a rushing touchdown, leading Los Amigos to a 20-0 win over visiting Ocean View on Friday at Garden Grove High School.
“He’s like a hype man,” senior wide receiver Angel Garcia said of Guess. “He hypes us up. He turns us up. He puts faith in us. He makes us believe in him.”
Los Amigos (1-0) took advantage of short fields after forcing back-to-back turnovers on downs to start the game. It took the Lobos four plays to punch the ball across the goal line on a one-yard run by Isaac Cuevas on their first drive.
The Lobos then took over at the Ocean View 30 on their next drive, one that featured a pair of fourth-down conversions.
A pass from Navarro to Garcia went for 16 yards on a fourth-and-9 play. Later in the possession, Navarro kept the ball on fourth and inches for a three-yard rushing touchdown.
“The past is the past,” Guess said. “We can’t change the past. All we control is what’s in front of us, and man, these boys are bought in, man, and we’ve seen our numbers grow.
“We were at 13 boys in the spring, and guys thought we were folding the program, and I came here and took over a program with 13 kids on the roster, but these boys believe in me, man, and I’m just so appreciative of that.”
Los Amigos is playing under its fourth head coach in the last four years. The last playoff appearance for the Lobos came in 2016.
Guess, who was an offensive coordinator under former Los Amigos head coaches Carl Agnew and Maopu Tuato, said he wants his kids to enjoy the game.
As he considered what the program has been through, he got emotional in thinking about a mentor in the late Harold McDowell.
He said he admired McDowell, who had been named the successor to Agnew as head coach in February of 2019 before his passing that April, for being a consummate players coach.
“That’s something that I got from him, man, and again, I know he’s looking down and he’s smiling,” Guess said. “He’s proud, and I’m proud for him to be a part of my life in who I am as a coach. He has a lot to do with that.”
Bao Huynh rushed for a game-high 83 yards for Los Amigos. The trio of Cuevas, Huynh and Navarro rushed for a combined 203 yards on 42 carries.
“Those running backs, we rely heavily on them,” Navarro said. “They’re good. They’re ballers, and today they showed what they can do on the field.”
Conversely, the Lobos passed the ball just eight times, the last attempt going to Cuevas for a 16-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Los Amigos also added a safety on a tackle in the end zone by Garcia.
Ocean View (1-1) was led offensively by freshman running back Haston Allen, who turned 12 carries into 73 rushing yards.
The Seahawks also had a big special-teams play in the second quarter, when Keiki Leuta blocked a field-goal attempt by Nathan Villicana to keep Ocean View within a manageable deficit of 12-0.
Through two games, Ocean View has yet to put points on the board in regulation, but the Seahawks did secure an 8-0 overtime win over Santa Ana Valley last week.
“I can’t fault them for how hard they come out and play because they give everything they have, but when you’re a young team and you’re learning how to fight and overcome adversity, you’re going to have plays and drives where one or two things go negatively, and it can stall a drive,” Ocean View coach Jimmy Welker said.
“We’re sticking to the philosophy of how we do things, and eventually when it does click, and it does click at times, but when it all clicks together, we’ll be fine and right where we want to be.”
Los Amigos 20, Ocean View 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Ocean View 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
Los Amigos 12 – 0 – 0 – 8 – 20
LA – Cuevas 1 run (Navarro run failed), 8:19.
LA – Navarro 3 run (Navarro run failed), 2:34.
LA – Cuevas 16 pass from Navarro (Huynh run failed), 7:17.
LA – Safety (Garcia tackle in end zone).
OV – Allen, 12-73.
LA – Huynh, 10-83.
OV – Armenta, 11-24-0, 37.
LA – Navarro, 5-8-0, 86, 1 TD.
OV – Crabtree, 1-16.
LA – Garcia, 3-48.
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