Jackson Kollock’s five touchdowns lead Laguna Beach football to road upset of La Quinta
A multi-hour commute awaited the Laguna Beach football team prior to its second-round game on Friday, so the Breakers did not wait around.
After catching an early bus ride to the Coachella Valley, the Breakers watched “Black Adam” at a movie theater, before their quarterback would deliver a near-supernatural performance.
Sophomore Jackson Kollock threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns, leading Laguna Beach to a resounding 41-16 upset win at top-seeded La Quinta in a CIF Southern Section Division 9 playoff game.
Kollock, who also had a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the first half, completed 17 of 21 passes for 290 yards and three scores by halftime.
Senior wide receiver Jackson Rodriguez made seven catches for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Kollock completed passes to seven different receivers, six of them managing to pick up a first down through the air.
“They’re amazing,” Kollock said of his receiving corps. “Each one of them brings something different to the table. We got Rodriguez, who just is a burner. He could beat anyone off the line, and even go up for jump balls.
“Ryner [Swanson], I love throwing to him. He’s huge, can catch anything, run over a couple of people for us. [Aidan] Mulkay, he’s shifty. Myles [Freeman] is shifty. … We got so many guys. It’s hard to keep track of them all.”
As the top seed in Division 9 last season, Laguna Beach lost 38-7 at Claremont in the second round.
“When we went to Claremont last year, it was a long drive, late afternoon,” Laguna Beach coach John Shanahan said. “We woke up as we were piling off the bus, and we never woke up, and that first quarter was disastrous.
“I think we’re 5-0 or 6-0 at home in the playoffs as a staff, and we’re 1-4 on the road, so we needed to change something. The model wasn’t working, so we decided to come out here, go see a movie and relax, and try to have a different approach when we went to the field.”
Laguna Beach (9-3) will play host to Riverside Norte Vista (9-3) in the semifinals on Friday at Guyer Field. The Braves beat Garden Grove 36-27 in their second-round game.
The Breakers are back in the semifinals for the first time since 2018, which ended with a 48-6 loss to Artesia in the Division 12 playoffs.
La Quinta (7-5) had come in averaging 306 rushing yards per game, including 590 yards gained on the ground in its playoff opener against Apple Valley Granite Hills.
The Breakers’ defensive front limited the Blackhawks to 147 rushing yards on Friday. Laguna Beach shut out La Quinta in the second half, an interception in the end zone by Oliver Rounaghi on the Blackhawks’ final drive putting the finishing touches on the defensive feat.
“We knew the run was coming,” Mulkay, who played on both sides of the ball, said. “They were averaging almost 280 yards every game rushing-wise [in the regular season], so we knew if we could stop the run, that game was ours.”
Shanahan and his players were effusive in their praise of defensive coordinator Hunter Braun.
“I just got to give all credit to our defensive coordinator Coach Braun,” Brock Donaldson, a junior defensive end for the Breakers, said. “He did a great job preparing us in practice this week. There wasn’t a single play that we saw on the field that we didn’t see in practice.”
Nick Rogers carried the ball 16 times for 107 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown late in the third quarter that extended the Breakers’ lead to 35-16.
Mulkay had four catches for 87 yards. Swanson added a tackle-busting 34-yard receiving touchdown up the left sideline in the first quarter.
Tommy Ansley threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Makaury Warren (99 receiving yards) and Isaiah Alvarado (88 receiving yards) for the scores.
CIF Southern Section Division 9 quarterfinals
Laguna Beach 41, La Quinta 16
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Laguna Beach 14 – 14 – 7 – 6 — 41
La Quinta 3 – 13 – 0 – 0 — 16
LB — Rodriguez 39 pass from Kollock (Vidaurri-Tucker), 6:01.
LQ — Ansley 26 FG, 3:34.
LB — Swanson 34 pass from Kollock (Vidaurri-Tucker), 1:26.
LQ – Alvarado 16 pass from Ansley (Ansley kick), 9:03.
LB — Kollock 3 run (Vidaurri-Tucker), 4:20.
LQ — Warren 17 pass from Ansley (Ansley kick failed), 2:57.
LB — Rodriguez 7 pass from Kollock (Vidaurri-Tucker kick), 0:14.
LB — Rogers 66 run (Vidaurri-Tucker kick), 1:35.
LB — Rodriguez 11 pass from Kollock (Vidaurri-Tucker kick failed), 2:36.
LB — Rogers, 16-107, 1 TD; Kollock, 6-21, 1 TD.
LQ — Nsubuga, 10-60; Ansley, 3-49.
LB — Kollock, 25-34-0, 368, 4 TDs.
LQ — Ansley, 11-22-1, 244, 2 TDs.
LB — Rodriguez, 7-114, 3 TDs; Mulkay, 4-87; Freeman, 4-58; Swanson, 4-54.
LQ — Warren, 4-99, 1 TD; Alvarado, 3-88, 1 TD.
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