La Habra wins Battle at the Beach

The Battle at the Beach passing tournament title was won by La Habra High.

The Highlanders on Saturday capped a 6-0 day by holding off Centennial of Corona, 25-24, to win the 12th annual tournament hosted by Edison.

La Habra quarterback Cody Clements, who committed last week to Washington State, hit receiver Mark Yackey late in the game for what turned out to be the winning points. The Highlanders secured the title only when safety Anthony Baca broke up a two-point conversion pass at the end of the game.

"They're a very good team," Edison Coach Dave White said of La Habra, after learning that the Highlanders, who have won three straight CIF Southern Section titles, defeated Mater Dei in double-overtime and South Hills of West Covina by a point before easily handling Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in morning session pool play.

La Habra defeated Oaks Christian of Westlake Village in the quarterfinals and Valencia of Valencia to reach the tournament final.

Tesoro won the Silver Division title.

Sixteen teams, divided into four four-team pools, played throughout the all-day affair before a big crowd at Edison.

"It's been a great tournament," White said. "We have some really good teams and really good players out here again."

In the morning session, Edison — paired in Pool D with Westlake, Carlsbad and Jserra — dropped its final pool play game, 38-27, to a Westlake team led by New Mexico State-bound quarterback Nick Isham, who last year was on the Cal Hi All-State Football Team, Warriors Coach Jim Benkert said.

"I thought they'd be one of the favorites before the tournament started, and they proved it this morning," White said of the Warriors, who last year went undefeated and won the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship. "They won their first two games handily and have a very good offense."

Edison junior quarterback Chase Favreau, meanwhile, played with poise in the pocket in the loss.

Favreau, a left-hander and transfer from Mater Dei, is taking over at quarterback for the graduated Matt Viles.

"I thought Chase had a good day and showed improvement from the Dana Hills Air Strike tournament," White said. "He was making his reads and making his throws on time. He just needs to work on interceptions, especially in the red zone."

White was impressed with junior receiver Troy Baljeu, who he said had an "unbelievable" three morning session games. Baljeu caught two early touchdown passes from Favreau against Westlake.

In afternoon play, Edison lost to Valencia and ended the day with a win over Oaks Christian to finish 3-2 and in sixth-place. Westlake (4-1) finished fifth after losing an afternoon game to in the quarterfinals to Centennial.

Los Alamitos and Valencia reached the semifinals where they fell to Centennial and La Habra, respectively.

Mater Dei, which won the Dana Hills Air Strike tournament June 12, lost four of five games Saturday.

"Overall, it was a good day with some good competition," said White whose team played its final passing league tournament of the summer. "There was a lot of close games and a lot of parity out there."

OC North-South All-Star Football Game

Several local football players who graduated in June will take part Friday in the 51st edition of the Orange County North-South Prep All-Star Football game at Orange Coast College. Playing for the South is quarterback Matt Viles and lineman Luke Gane of Edison, quarterback/receiver/safety Dominic Ragland, linemen Ulisese Ianu and Anthony Vega, and receiver/defensive back Ryan Steadman of Fountain Valley, and receiver/defensive back Kaller Roemer of Huntington Beach who last fall led the county in receptions. Fountain Valley Coach John Shipp heads the South's coaching staff.

Kickoff is 7:15 p.m. at LeBard Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $11.

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