Earlier in the week, Ocean View football Coach Harold Eggers was leery of the Laguna Beach offense which, he said, could score quickly.
He and his Seahawks found that to be true Friday at Ocean View.
Laguna struck fast — and fairly easily — for scores on its first two possessions. But then Ocean View made some defensive adjustments, rode the running of Timmy Robinson and two big plays by Blake Walker, and took advantage of an injury to Laguna quarterback Austin Paxson, to finish fast for a 36-14 nonleague victory.
Paxson, who threw for 138 yards in the opening quarter, suffered an injury to his throwing hand when it hit a helmet at the conclusion of his throwing motion early in the second quarter. He exited after his only interception of the game was returned 30 yards for a touchdown by Ocean View strong safety Travis Sparks-Jackson that tied the score at 14-14 with 8:58 left in quarter. The senior did return for one more series in the half but didn’t play in the second half.
He was replaced by sophomore Larry Stewart.
“He hurt his hand when he hit that helmet,” Laguna Beach Coach Jonathan Todd said. “We’ll have to find out just how bad the injury is.”
“We were thin to begin with,” Todd continued, motioning to injured players, offensive lineman/linebacker Taylor Preston and running back/linebacker Nort Penney, both of whom were in street clothes and their game jerseys on the Laguna sideline. “We started a freshman (Steven Harrison) and sophomore (Drake Martinez) at inside linebacker, and both did a great job. I thought they played like men out there tonight. I also thought Chris (Paul) did an unbelievable job at free safety.”
Laguna, which fell to 0-2, took the opening kickoff and marched right down field. From the Ocean View 22, Paxson lofted a pass to the end zone for junior receiver Derek Reigel who out-jumped Ocean View defensive back Andrew Medrano to make a nifty scoring reception. The point after was blocked by Blake Walker, but the Breakers had a 6-0 lead at the midway point of the first quarter.
That lead grew to 14-0 nearly four minutes later, after the Laguna defense forced Ocean View into three-and -out on the Seahawks’ first possession of the night and its offense went on a 73-yard drive to score again. Paxson this time lofted a pass to the end zone for Chris Paul and the 6-foot-2 receiver went high over Walker and Medrano to make the grab on a 19-yard pass play. Paxson and Paul then teamed up on a two-point pass with 2:55 left in the quarter.
“We got off to a great start,” Todd said. “We were playing a base defense and contained them (Ocean View) pretty well at the start of the game, but then we had trouble stopping their run game.”
That “run” game for Ocean View was spearheaded by Robinson. The junior scored his first touchdown on a modest four-yard run and a two-point pass play from quarterback Nolan Tippy, to make it a 14-8 game with 10:22 left in the second quarter. Robinson finished the half with 77 yards on 11 carries. The Seahawks tied the score four plays later on Sparks-Jackson’s interception return.
Ocean View took the lead for good with 1:07 remaining in the half when Tippy hit a streaking Walker down the right sideline for a 50-yard scoring play. Brian Hernandez’s point after gave the Seahawks a 21-14 halftime lead. Hernandez connected on a 36-yard field goal to cap the opening drive of the second half to up Ocean View’s advantage to 24-14. The Seahawks’ drive ate up the first 6:23 of the third-quarter clock.
Robinson, who was bullish up the middle all night, rushed for a game-high 161 yards on 26 carries. Six of those yards came on his second touchdown run late in the third quarter. Walker intercepted Stewart and scored on a 30-yard return with 7:11 left in the game to complete the scoring.
Paxson was 12 of 18 for 212 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in less than one half of play. Stewart threw for 86 yards with two interceptions. Paul had six receptions for 124 yards and Travis Clawson five receptions for 61 yards.
The Breakers had minus-12 yards rushing.
Laguna hits the road next week to face Bishop Montgomery at 6 p.m. Friday.