Jackson Kollock’s four touchdowns lead Laguna Beach past Northwood

Laguna Beach's Ryner Swanson (9) spins and steps into the end zone during a nonleague football game against Northwood.
Laguna Beach’s Ryner Swanson (9) sheds tacklers as he spins and steps into the end zone for a touchdown during a nonleague football game against Northwood on Friday at Irvine High.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach flourished behind Jackson Kollock and Ryner Swanson’s dynamic partnership, one sensational run by fellow All-CIF Southern Section standout Nick Rogers and a terrific defensive performance after the break, pulling away to an impressive victory over another reigning CIF champion.

Kollock tossed two first-half touchdown passes to Swanson and ran for two scores — the second providing an advantage seven plays into the second half — and Rogers raced 80 yards for a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter as the Breakers extended their winning streak over Northwood to four games with an often thrilling 35-21 triumph at Irvine High School.

Laguna Beach became fiercer defensively in the second half, reining in Timberwolves quarterback Edward Ma, who completed all 11 of his throws in the first quarter, was 14 of 18 for 170 yards in the first half, and threw his third touchdown pass to forge a 21-21 tie with just 17 seconds before halftime. He threw for just 103 yards after that, all three drives petering out after crossing midfield.


Laguna Beach quarterback Jackson Kollock (12) eludes a Northwood tackler as he runs for a touchdown on Friday.
Laguna Beach quarterback Jackson Kollock (12) eludes a Northwood tackler as he runs for a touchdown during a nonleague football game on Friday at Irvine High.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“The difference was coming out, being more physical on defense and setting the tone,” said Kollock, who hit on 14 of 21 passes for 255 yards and ran for another 77 yards on a dozen carries. “And our offense controlling the ball, showing what we do.”

The Breakers, who return most of their key players from last year’s Division 9 championship team, were forced to answer Ma’s precision early in the game. The Woodbridge transfer, missing his best receiver — All-CIF star Joseph Harper played only on defense with his arm in a cast — was brilliant, giving Northwood leads on its first two possessions with touchdown passes for 38 yards to Eddie Petrushin just 2:19 into the game and for 15 yards to Ryan Murphy to cap an 80-yard drive six minutes later.

Laguna Beach responded to the first immediately, going 65 yards in just over two minutes to tie the score on Kollock’s 9-yard bullet to Swanson two plays after Charlie Hunt took a short pass and raced down the left sideline for a 47-yard gain. The Breakers went 3-and-out after falling behind, 14-7, but Chase Tyron intercepted a ricocheted Ma pass two plays into the second quarter, and Swanson outran the Northwood secondary for a 49-yard touchdown after catching a short pass two plays later.

Charlie Hunt (27) of Laguna Beach eludes Northwood tacklers after a catch for a big gain on Friday at Irvine High.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The BYU-bound Swanson totaled 159 yards receiving on just seven catches and made several big defensive plays.

“[He’s] spectacular. He’s really special ...,” Laguna Beach coach John Shanahan said. “He’s as good a football player as I’ve ever been around, but he’s an even better human being. I’m honored to coach the kid and be around him. He makes me a better man and a better coach. That’s the kind of person he is.”

The Breakers took their first lead on their next drive. They marched 91 yards on 16 plays over seven minutes, with Kollock’s serpentine 18-yard run finishing it off. He connected with Swanson for 25 yards on third-and-15 and with Rogers for 12 yards on fourth-and-3 to keep the drive alive.

Laguna Beach's Chase Tyson (2) runs for a gain after breaking tackles against Northwood on Friday at Irvine High.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Northwood (1-2), which won the Division 8 title last year after capturing the Division 11 championship in 2021, needed just 50 seconds to pull even, with Cole Hidalgo making an acrobatic, one-handed catch in the end zone on Ma’s 18-yard throw.

Laguna Beach was in charge the rest of the way. Kollock hit Swanson from just inside Timberwolves territory for 14 yards, then ran for 19 yards to set up his 12-yard sprint for a 28-21 lead.

The Breakers defense then stiffened, twice halting Northwood drives into their territory — defensive star Marcus Heins suffered a potentially serious knee injury on a fourth-down stop in the third quarter — and Rogers made it 35-21 two plays into the fourth quarter, bouncing off a scrum of tacklers at the line of scrimmage, and finding open space on the left.

A host of Laguna Beach defenders bring down Northwood running back Rylan Littlejohn on Friday at Irvine High.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Any chance of a comeback was thwarted when Redmond Chesley picked off Ma deep in Laguna Beach territory, and Kollock and company ran out most of the clock after that. It was a stirring performance after a tough loss in the opener at Chino and last week’s grinding win at Dana Hills, and another run at a CIF title is in the back of the Breakers’ minds.

“The past two games, we just haven’t clicked. I don’t know why,” Swanson said. “Last year we were 0-2 and this year the first two games weren’t the best, but we’re on the rise. That’s all I can say. We’re on the rise. We’re going to do it again. I’m telling you, we’re going to do it again.”

Laguna Beach defensive lineman Casey Mullennix and Skylar Schwarm (50) run down Northwood quarterback Edward Ma.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)


Laguna Beach 35, Northwood 21


Laguna Beach 7 - 14 - 7 - 7 — 35

Northwood 14 - 7 - 0 - 0 — 21


N — Petrushin 38 pass from Ma (Hidalgo kick), 9:41.

LB — Swanson 9 pass from Kollock (Vidauri-Tucker kick), 7:21.

N — Murphy 15 pass from Ma (Hidalgo kick), 3:47.


LB — Swanson 49 pass from Kollock (Vidauri-Tucker kick), 10:06.

LB — Kollock 18 run (Vidauri-Tucker kick), 1:13.

N — Hidalgo 18 pass from Ma (Hidalgo kick), 0:17.


LB — Kollock 12 run (Vidauri-Tucker kick), 8:38.


LB — Rogers 80 run (Vidauri-Tucker kick), 11:39.


LB — Rogers, 13-123, 1 TD; Kollock, 12-77, 2 TDs.

N — Brucker, 10-56.


LB — Kollock, 14-21-0, 255, 2 TDs.

N — Ma, 24-37-2, 273, 3 TDs.


LB — Swanson, 7-159, 2 TDs.

N — Hidalgo, 9-112, 1 TD.