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Laguna Beach football tops Ocean View, clinches share of Pac 4 League title

Tyler Fields of Laguna Beach runs  into the end zone for a touchdown during a  game against Ocean View on Friday.
Tyler Fields of Laguna Beach runs through a gap and into the end zone for a touchdown during a Pac 4 League football game against Ocean View on Friday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach High football coach John Shanahan turned 50 years old on Thursday, a day before the Breakers were set to host Ocean View in a Pac 4 League showdown.

If someone told Shanahan prior to the game that his team would almost score a point for every year he’s been alive, he probably would have taken it.

Laguna Beach rolled to a 48-14 win in its homecoming game at Guyer Field, clinching at least a share of the league title. The Breakers (8-1, 2-0 in league), winners of seven straight games, can secure the outright crown with a victory over Godinez next week.

It would be Laguna Beach’s first outright league title since 2012, and the first in Shanahan’s six-year tenure. The Breakers did share a three-way league title with Ocean View and Western in 2018.

Senior running back Tyler Fields, in his second game back from a dislocated left elbow, had 170 yards rushing and five touchdowns — on just seven carries — in Friday’s win.

Jacob Diver of Laguna Beach shakes tackles toward the end zone for a touchdown against Ocean View on Friday.
Jacob Diver of Laguna Beach shakes tackles toward the end zone for a touchdown against Ocean View on Friday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“Our senior class is the closest, in my opinion, any senior class has ever been,” Fields said.

“We hang out with each other outside of school and outside of football, and we all love each other. Ever since freshman year, this is exactly what we’ve been working toward. I’m so proud of everyone here. We’re finally doing what we’ve dreamed of.”

Senior quarterback Will Bingham was efficient for the Breakers, completing 19 of 23 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns.

On the second touchdown pass, which went for 72 yards, senior receiver Luke Degner broke several tackles on his way to the end zone.

Fields credited the Breakers’ offensive line of sophomore left tackle Teddy Dworakowski, senior left guard Duke Wollam, senior center Kale Lehmann, senior right guard Brandon Lindsay and senior right tackle Rowen Johnson, who did not allow a quarterback sack in the game.

They also opened up running room for Fields, who scored on touchdown runs of two, 20, 85, one and 54 yards.

“I’m surprised myself,” Fields said of his big night.

“Normally, I would feel a little overwhelmed with five touchdowns, but I missed a huge portion of maybe my last chance to play football ever. I’m definitely super-happy to get my stats up and score some touchdowns, and celebrate with my teammates.”

Ocean View's Anthony Ramirez runs down the sideline for a big gain during Friday's game at Laguna Beach.
Ocean View’s Anthony Ramirez runs down the sideline for a big gain during Friday’s game at Laguna Beach.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Breakers kept trying to put up points in the second half against Ocean View (3-6, 1-1). Shanahan didn’t want a repeat of last spring, when Laguna Beach blew a 21-0 halftime lead and lost to the league champion Seahawks 28-21.

“We knew that we were going to have to score a lot of points to win,” Shanahan said. “We weren’t going to take our foot off the gas pedal.”

The game started well for Ocean View. Three plays after a 54-yard kickoff return by Anthony “Chino” Ramirez, sophomore quarterback Frankie Armenta found senior tight end Luke Crabtree on a 14-yard touchdown pass.

The conversion pass was also good, and the visitors had an early 8-0 lead.

It lasted all of 10 seconds. An onside kick attempt went out of bounds. On the next play, Bingham connected with sophomore receiver Jacob Diver on a 45-yard touchdown pass.

Luke Degner of Laguna Beach slips tackles and almost breaks free during Friday's game.
Luke Degner of Laguna Beach slips tackles and almost breaks free during Friday’s game.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Ocean View had two drives late in the first half that got into the red zone but was unable to score on either, and Laguna Beach took a 28-8 halftime lead.

“We weren’t technically sound, and they made some plays and let their athletes be athletes,” Ocean View coach Jimmy Welker said.

“We didn’t string enough plays consistently together. When you’re going up against a team as good as they are, you have to play nearly perfect. If you don’t, you’re going to be continuously behind the eight ball.”

Sam Garwal and Shia Castillo each had interceptions to lead the defensive effort for Laguna Beach.

Ocean View now needs to beat Westminster at home on Friday night to clinch second place in league and the postseason berth that would go with it.

“It’s a huge week,” Welker said. “It’s a rivalry week, then you throw on the fact that it’s our senior night, then you throw on the fact that it’s a ‘win and you’re in’ game. It’s going to be a really exciting Friday night … It’s going to be a dogfight.”

Ocean View's Anthony Ramirez makes an over-the-shoulder catch for a big gain.
Ocean View’s Anthony Ramirez makes an over-the-shoulder catch for a big gain.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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Pac 4 League

Laguna Beach 48, Ocean View 14

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Ocean View 8 - 0 - 0 - 6 — 14

Laguna Beach 21 - 7 - 20 - 0 — 48

FIRST QUARTER

OV – Crabtree 14 pass from Armenta (Churchwell pass from Armenta), 11:30.

LB – Diver 55 pass from Bingham (Molteni kick), 11:20.

LB – Fields 2 run (Molteni kick), 5:41.

LB – Fields 20 run (Molteni kick), 2:50.

SECOND QUARTER

LB – Fields 85 run (Molteni kick), 3:25.

THIRD QUARTER

LB – Fields 1 run (kick blocked), 9:32.

LB – Fields 54 run (Molteni kick), 2:55.

LB – Degner 72 pass from Bingham (Molteni kick), 0:11.

FOURTH QUARTER

OV – Allen 7 pass from Churchwell (run failed), 8:28.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING

OV – Ramirez, 14-69.

LB – Fields, 7-170, 5 TDs.

INDIVIDUAL PASSING

OV – Armenta, 11-24-2, 106, 1 TD.

LB – Bingham, 19-23-0, 327, 2 TDs.

INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING

OV – Allen, 3-57, 1 TD.

LB – Degner, 8-145, 1 TD.

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