Opener will present challenge

The waiting is finally over.

The Laguna Beach High football team will tee it up for the first time in the 2010 season at 7 tonight when the Breakers square off against visiting Northwood at Guyer Field.

The game is also the season opener for the Timberwolves, who are somewhat of a mystery to Laguna Beach Coach Jonathan Todd.

"From what I've seen of them on film, Northwood looks good to me," he said. "They have a pretty good running game and a quarterback who can throw the ball.

"We're really excited to get the season underway. We can't wait to play."

Northwood has 12 starters back, six on each side of the ball, from a team that last year went 3-7 and dropped all five games in its final season in the Sea View League. Junior Ricky Bautista is tonight's projected starter at quarterback. The running game is spearheaded by senior halfback Reed Gubernick and junior tailback Shane Boukorras. Two-way lineman Kyle Johnson was an all-league selection last year as a junior and is the key on both lines.

The Breakers open the season without senior running back Michael Hyden, who is sidelined with a broken leg. Todd said the running game will feature a rotation of sophomore Drake Martinez, junior Norton Penney Jr. and sophomore Robert Clemons.

Laguna scrimmaged University on Sept. 3 and although no score was kept, the Breakers scored four touchdowns — each through the air — to the Trojans' one.

"After we scrimmaged, we realized we needed to get back to working on fundamentals," Todd said. "The impression I got was that our offensive line and defensive line came out too high, way too pumped. Our inside run game wasn't as strong as we would like, and that's something we've worked on all week.

"On the good side, I thought we did pretty well with our outside run game, our passing game was strong and on defense, the kids really were swarming and flying to the ball."

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