Laguna sends a message in dominating victory against Estancia

The showdown turned into a beat down.

With a portion of the Orange Coast League lead riding on the outcome of the Oct. 12 game between Laguna Beach and Estancia, it was the Breakers who dominated the action and posted a 48-14 victory on the defending champions' home turf.

It was the first loss in 13 league games for the Eagles, whose last setback came three years ago on the same field to Laguna.

The Estancia win is now in the past for Laguna, Coach Mike Churchill said. What presents itself to the Breakers on Friday is another league challenge, this one coming from Calvary Chapel. The teams meet a 7 p.m. at Guyer Field in Laguna's homecoming game.

Laguna, ranked third in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division entering the Estancia game, moved into the No. 2 slot on Monday.

"Our guys really rose to the occasion," Churchill said. "We played some really good football in the (CIF) playoffs last year, but last week, we really played well in all areas of our game. If I were an outsider looking in, I'd say that Laguna is the real deal."

The Breakers set the tone early and never trailed against the 10th-ranked Eagles. They also survived 50 rushing attempts, 222 yards and two touchdowns by Estancia running back Robert Murtha, who last year was the league's Offensive Player of the Year.

A 50-yard punt return in the first quarter by Robert Clemons set up the game's first score, which came on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Larry Stewart to Nathan Lancaster. The Breakers put up more numbers on the scoreboard before the quarter was up. A 66-yard touchdown run by Drake Martinez increased the lead to 14-0 and made Martinez the program's career rushing leader.

Martinez rushed for 130 yards on 12 carries and now has 2,637 career yards. He broke the previous career rushing mark of 2,606 set between 2000-02 by Donelle Darling.

"Our success really came down to a little bit of everything," Churchill said. "Our defense played its best game of the year and our offense just seemed to click all game. Also, we clicked in our kicking game. It was an all-around great effort by everyone."

Calvary Chapel is 0-2 in league play and 3-4 overall, having lost four of its last five games. The Eagles' two league losses came against Godinez (36-18) and Saddleback (29-28). Last week's loss to Saddleback came in the final minute.

Godinez shares the league lead with Laguna at 2-0.

Billy Weaver rushed for a touchdown and scored on a kickoff return, and quarterback Colin Kearon threw for 168 yards and a score against Saddleback.

"They've lost two games in a row, right there at the end," Churchill said. "They have a really good quarterback (Kearon) who has thrown for more yards than anyone in our league. They really spread the field. It'll be a challenge for us."

Dating to 1982, the homecoming game has been anything but a celebratory occasion for Laguna. Since that time, Laguna has won just five of those games, Churchill said.

"This is a very important game for us," Churchill said. "Godinez is right there with us. It's important that we come out Friday and play well from the start."

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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