Two days before the Laguna Beach High football team was to launch its 2010 Orange Coast League schedule, record-setting receiver Chris Paul felt the Breakers would have a target on their backs by being the defending league champion. An undefeated league champion, at that.
Paul was right, and there will be no undefeated league run this year for the Breakers.
Estancia saw to it that last Friday in Costa Mesa that Laguna wouldn't march through league undefeated as it did last year. The Eagles hit a bull's eye and surprised the visiting Breakers on the first play from scrimmage and led from start to finish in a surprising 36-10 victory.
Now, Calvary Chapel comes to town. Those Eagles are the 55th homecoming game opponent for the Breakers. Kickoff is 7 p.m. today at Guyer Field.
Estancia was able to record its first win over Laguna since the OCL was formed behind a powerful run game. A big reason the Eagles, who snapped a four-game losing streak in the process, were able to pull off the win was due to the legs of sophomore Robert Murtha who rushed for a career-high 229 yards and scored three touchdowns.
The Eagles had scored just 26 total points in their last four games.
"We just got run over," Laguna Coach Jonathan Todd said. "Estancia played great. They beat us at the line of scrimmage on both sides."
Austin Paxson kicked a 27-yard field goal and threw a 17-yard scoring pass to Derek Reigel to account for Laguna's scoring. The senior finished 11 of 19 for 105 yards. Norty Penney was Laguna's top rusher with 53 yards on 12 carries.
For the third straight week, Paxson went into the school record books in defeat. He tied the career completion record (278) which Danny Lane set between 1985-87. He now has four career field goals which ties him for sixth all-time, 27 career extra points which is seventh all-time and his 52 career kick scoring points is fifth all-time.
The Breakers were without starting linemen Ben Hanson (back) and Ricki Delatorre (groin) for the Estancia game due to injury. Todd said that Hanson will be back in the line-up today but that Delatorre is "probably out for the season." Replacing Delatorre, he said, is freshman Steven Harrison whom he called a "tough, tough kid."
Laguna also got a boost this week when running back Michael Hyden returned to practice. A broken leg has kept Hyden out of action for the first six weeks of the season. Todd said that the senior will "get some reps" against Calvary Chapel.
The Breakers take on a Calvary Chapel team today that is 5-1 overall and opened league play last week with a 20-3 win over Saddleback. The Eagles are led by quarterback J.T. McLuckey (783 yards, seven touchdowns), running back Brandon Perez (694 yards, 13 touchdowns) and receiver Daniel Fierro.
"On film, Calvary looks really good," Todd said. "They've got some weapons and are very disciplined. This is probably the best Calvary team I've seen since I've been coaching."
Both teams have a common opponent in Ocean View and both lost to the Seahawks in consecutive weeks in early-September.