The start to the 2011 prep football season has been nothing short of incredible for Laguna Beach, which this week has a chance to do something that no Laguna team has done in 11 seasons: win five straight games.
The Breakers get that chance Friday when they travel to Fontana to take on Jurupa Hills. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Last week, Laguna ran its record to 4-0 by overpowering Mary Star of the Sea, 55-26, in San Pedro. As has been their trademark all season, the Breakers did the majority of their damage on the ground. They rushed 480 yards and added 55 more through the air in scoring 55 points or more for the third time this season. Two Breakers went over the 100-yard plateau, with Drake Martinez rolling for 178 yards on 11 carries and Norton Penney for 140 on eight rushes. Both scored three times.
The run game also included 83 yards and a score on three carries from Robert Clemons and Nathan Lancaster banged out 52 yards and a touchdown on just two touches. Laguna Coach Mike Churchill said that offensive guards Blake Hester and Spencer Anderson were named the team's offensive players of the week for their "outstanding" play up front.
The Breakers never trailed against the Stars. They took a 14-0 lead and were up, 34-14, at the half. They went into the fourth quarter in complete command with a 55-20 advantage.
Laguna only got off six offensive plays in the fourth quarter after Mary Star (0-4) requested a running clock for the final 12 minutes.
"The kids did real well," Churchill said. "We got better coming off the Bishop Montgomery game, where we had several players real sick. We're getting healthy and back on speed."
"We did a good job of taking control early. Our (running) backs played real well. But we're not playing as well on defense right now, as I think we will be by the end of the year. But we're improving and getting better."
Awaiting Laguna on Friday is a Jurupa Hills team that is 1-3. The Spartans haven't played since Sept. 23, when they lost, 42-34, to Desert Hot Springs and are giving up an average of 24 points per game. Freshman quarterback Damion Wright has thrown for 512 yards and six touchdowns and is averaging 128 yards through air per game. The Spartans have rushed for just 385 total yards and their run game is led by junior backs Jordan Booker and Wayman Cooley.
"They are real fast," Churchill said of the Spartans. "I think we're really fast but they are fast, too. It will be interesting to see if we can out-run them. This will be a real test for us."
The Breakers head into the game still somewhat beleaguered by illness. Penney and two-way lineman Ricky Delatorre both are ill and Churchill said both are "questionable" for Friday. Delatorre didn't play last week at Mary Star. Fullback Ricky Coury has been out sick and won't play Friday, Churchill said.
"The kids' attitude has been great this year," Churchill said. "I told them, as I do each week, that this is the most important game we'll play. It's the only game we have this week, and that's what makes it the most important. We don't look ahead down the road."
Laguna, which climbed from No. 8 to No. 5 in this week's CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll, begins its Orange Coast League schedule next week. After traveling in consecutive weeks to San Pedro and Fontana, the Breakers return home to host Estancia in their Oct. 14 homecoming game.