Eagles, Mustangs honored in league

Estancia High sophomore running back Robert Murtha was named the Orange Coast League Offensive Player of the Year after helping the Eagles claim their first outright league football championship in 21 years.

Estancia senior offensive tackle Zack Bateman earned a share of the Lineman of the Year award with Costa Mesa senior offensive tackle Andrew Albers, while Estancia senior Matt Carlyle was the Special Teams Player of the Year.

Murtha rushed for 1,679 yards, setting a single-season school record at Estancia in his first year on varsity. Against Saddleback, he came within five yards of breaking the Eagles' single-game rushing mark of 324.

Murtha totaled 19 touchdowns on the ground.

Much of Murtha's success was due to running to the left, behind the blocking of Bateman.

Bateman and the rest of the offensive line paved the way to the Eagles' 5-0 league record, their first undefeated league season since 1989. Estancia, which went 6-5 overall, returned to the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs for a second straight year and also beat Costa Mesa, 35-6, in the Battle for the Bell rivalry game.

Carlyle returned two kickoffs 92 yards for touchdowns and a punt 83 yards for a touchdown in the Eagles' final four league contests. Carlyle averaged 31 yards per punt return in league. As a safety, he made 61 tackles, recovered three fumbles and intercepted a pass.

Albers recorded 23 pancake blocks, and for his Costa Mesa career, only allowed five sacks in 441 pass attempts. Albers is a repeat first-team selection.

Making the first team from Estancia were senior middle linebacker Eduardo Lopez, senior right guard Tony Toledo, senior tight end Omar Gutierrez, junior defensive end Alipa Peters, senior quarterback/kicker Jonathan Diego and senior cornerback Brandon Barron.

Gutierrez was a first-team pick as a defensive end in his sophomore and junior year.

Costa Mesa (3-7, 2-3 in league) had junior quarterback Nathan Alvis, senior all-purpose threat DaSean Grayson and senior running back Tyler Sheffner on the first team.

Alvis passed for 1,567 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 508 yards and 11 touchdowns. The 23-touchdown total was the most by any quarterback in the area.

Grayson returned three kickoffs for touchdowns. As a cornerback, he finished with 75 tackles.

Grayson rushed for 340 yards and three touchdowns.

Sheffner combined for 680 rushing and receiving yards and totaled seven touchdowns.

Brandon Perez of Calvary Chapel was named the Orange Coast League MVP.

— From staff reports

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