High School Football: Laguna Beach upends Eagles

COSTA MESA — For the second time in three weeks, Estancia High tailback Robert Murtha broke a Newport-Mesa career record.

Seeing Murtha surpass the district touchdown record of 49 didn't matter Friday to Coach Mike Bargas. The record that does is the one the Eagles now have in Orange Coast League play.

No team in three years had beaten Estancia in league, until Laguna Beach routed the defending league champion Eagles, 48-14. Gone is the Eagles' 12-game winning streak in league.

The team that last beat Estancia in league three years ago did so again on the Eagles' turf.

In a battle of the top two teams in league, the Breakers dominated and remained unbeaten. These two teams reached the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs last year.

At this stage of the season, Laguna Beach (6-0-1, 2-0-0 in league) looks like it can get back there again. The Breakers, ranked No. 3 in the Southern Division, showed off their potent offense against the No. 10 Eagles (4-3, 1-1), who played without three key senior starters.

The Breakers went into the game averaging almost 52 points per game. And they came close to cracking 50 for the fourth time this year, scoring a late touchdown with 11 seconds left. The running play, coming with the game out of reach, bothered Bargas.

"They're a good football team, but I don't know if they needed to score that last touchdown," Bargas said after his Eagles suffered their worst league loss during his six years in charge. "I'm not surprised one bit, actually, that they [scored late]. But we'll get our chance another day."

On Friday, the Breakers owned the much bigger Eagles. They produced seven touchdowns, all in a hurry. None of their scoring drives lasted longer than 3 minutes, 30 seconds.

Laguna Beach can score in practically every way, rushing, passing, and returning punts, kickoffs, interceptions and fumbles for touchdowns. By halftime, Laguna Beach went the traditional routes to the end zone, three times on the ground and once through the air.

The Eagles' lone score in the first half was produced by Murtha. His four-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal tied the Newport-Mesa career touchdown mark held by Costa Mesa's Keola Asuega.

While the Breakers made Murtha work for his 134 yards on 28 carries in the first half, Laguna Beach's top back almost totaled as many yards in 20 less touches. Drake Martinez had his way against the Eagles, finishing with 133 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries.

The senior, who has upcoming recruiting trips to Tennessee and Nebraska, is not even being recruited to play offense on the next level. Yet, Martinez has 50 career touchdowns, just as many as Murtha.

Murtha added his record-breaking 50th touchdown with 84 seconds left in the third quarter. Once again, the senior found the end zone on a fourth-and-goal run. Murtha was on his way to rushing a career-high 50 times, which resulted in 224 yards.

"Nothing," Bargas said what the career touchdown milestone meant. "That's great for [Murtha], but I think he's probably right up there with me. We lost, so now we've got to go out and we've got to regroup this [upcoming] week.

"We'll honor all that [record] stuff and be excited at the end of the season, but right now we've got to play football. We didn't play a very good game of football tonight."

Giving the Breakers great field position hurt the Eagles and not having quarterback Brad Wilson (groin), defensive lineman Kevin Peters (knee) and Adahir Aguilera (knee), an offensive lineman and linebacker, available.

Twice in the first half Laguna Beach started near the Eagles' 20-yard line because of long punt returns and personal foul penalties on Estancia tacked at the end. Each drive ended with touchdowns.

Bargas said his team was undisciplined. Even if he had his three injured starters healthy, Bargas said the Breakers "might have still beaten us."

The Breakers ruined the Eagles' longest winning streak in league and their running back's record-breaking day.


Twitter: @DCPenaloza


Orange Coast League

Laguna Beach 48, Estancia 14


Laguna Beach 14 – 14 – 7 – 6 – 48

Estancia 0 – 7 – 7 – 0 – 14


LB – Lancaster 10 pass from Stewart (McInerny kick), 4:21.

LB – Martinez 66 run (McInerny kick), 1:46.


E – Murtha 4 run (Cabrera kick), 4:51.

LB – Martinez 7 run (McInerny kick), 3:21.

LB – Lancaster 9 run (McInerny kick), :19.


LB – Lancaster 12 run (McInerny kick), 8:00.

E – Murtha 6 run (Cabrera kick), 1:24.


LB – Martinez 15 pass from Stewart (McInerny kick), 10:06.

LB – Lancaster 19 run (kick failed), :11.


LB – Martinez, 12-133, 2 TDs.

E – Murtha, 50-224, 2 TDs.


LB – Stewart, 3-6-1, 68, 2 TDs.

E – Stillman, 3-9-2, 18.


LB – Clemons, 1-43.

E – Beck, 2-15.

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