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Laguna Beach football routs Westminster in Pac 4 League opener

Laguna Beach quarterback Will Bingham sets up to pass to Ryner Swanson versus Costa Mesa in a nonleague game on Aug. 20.
Laguna Beach quarterback Will Bingham sets up to pass to Ryner Swanson versus Costa Mesa in a nonleague game on Aug. 20.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Laguna Beach High School football team came into its Pac 4 League opener looking to avenge a loss last year against Westminster.

While both teams had the same record going into the contest, it was a lopsided matchup from the beginning.

Laguna Beach defeated Westminster 54-14 Friday on the road in a statement win.

“We have a lot of offense on this team, so we can spread it all around,” Laguna Beach head coach John Shanahan said. “These guys came prepared, and we played hard for all four quarters. I couldn’t have asked for a better performance.”

Will Bingham led the Breakers with 256 passing yards and four touchdowns, while running back Tyler Fields added 177 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns to lead the team.

Roman Harris led the Lions, completing 7 of 15 passes for 78 yards. Ezekiel Cedillo rushed for 45 yards.

“Last year, we didn’t finish the way we wanted to, and we remembered that this year,” Bingham said. “We set the tone early and got the energy going and never let go of the momentum.”

Within the first four minutes of the game, Laguna Beach (7-1) had already set the tone. The Breakers scored consecutive touchdowns and recovered both of their kickoffs to get into Lions territory.

Bingham followed it up with a five-yard passing touchdown to Ryner Swanson. Fields rushed for a five-yard touchdown to put Laguna Beach up 28-0 with 6:35 left in the first quarter.

“We wanted to start fast and we started the game the best way possible,” Fields said. “We were all gas and no brakes, and it worked out for us.”

The scoring didn’t stop there. Jacob Diver caught a passing touchdown to extend the lead to 34-0.

Westminster (6-2) began to find a groove, finding holes in the Laguna Beach defense to drive down the field. Harris drove his team to the 1-yard line and took it in himself to score the only touchdown of the game for the Lions.

This didn’t phase Laguna Beach, as Bingham found Fields for a 70-yard receiving touchdown to take a 41-7 lead heading into the second half.

“Fields is a game changer for us when he is on the field,” Shanahan said. “Time after time, he makes big plays and gets the team full of energy.”

Laguna Beach kept the momentum with a strong defensive stop to start the third quarter. Bingham found Luke Degner for a 25-yard touchdown.

Both teams would score touchdowns to end the game, but Laguna Beach would get its revenge with a statement win.

“It was a good win for us knowing what happened last year,” Bingham said. “It shows the growth of our team. We are getting better every day.”

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