Homecoming brought plenty of proud Laguna Beach High alumni back to campus Oct. 18, and the school’s current football team put on a record-breaking performance for current and past Breakers and Artists alike.
Laguna maintained a share of first place in the Orange Coast League standings by running past an old nemesis, Estancia, at Guyer Field. And run, the Breakers did, rushing for a team season-high 515 yards and eight touchdowns, in taking a 59-14 win from the Eagles.
Laguna, which also won last year’s homecoming game, has won consecutive homecoming games for the first time since the 1984-85 seasons.
“Overall, it was a great homecoming game for everyone,” Laguna Coach Corey Brown said. “I think everybody got to play and it was great to see our guys put on a good showing for our students and alumni.
“I was happy with our offense and happy with the way we played on defense. We made adjustments to their run game as the game went on.”
At 2-0 in league and 5-2 overall, the one-sided victory set up a Thursday showdown for the Breakers, ranked ninth in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division, against eighth-ranked Calvary Chapel (6-1, 2-0). The score from the game, which would leave one team at no worse than tied for the league lead heading into the final two weeks of the season, wasn’t available at press time.
Costa Mesa is the third team starting the week 2-0. The Mustangs don’t play until Saturday when they travel to face 0-2 Saddleback.
Laguna took a step toward repeating as league champion by rolling past Estancia. The Breakers never trailed and once the score was tied at 7-7, they ripped off the next 49 points to win going away.
Senior running backs Nathan Lancaster and Andres DeLaRosa combined to score six of the seven touchdowns and rush for nearly 400 yards.
Lancaster scored the first TD of the night on a four-yard run less than one minute into the game. Later in the first quarter, after Estancia had pulled even, the Breakers responded with a 66-yard scoring drive that took just two plays. The final play was a big one, as Lancaster took a pitch from quarterback Jack Simon around left end at the Estancia 42, shot upfield, then broke away from the grasp of defensive back Dalton O’Daly at the 22, and went in for his second score.
Lancaster also scored on a 13-yard run during a second quarter that ended with Simon scoring on a one-yard keeper, and Laguna had a 28-7 halftime advantage.
Lancaster wasn’t finished. He added a 12-yard TD run early in the second quarter.
Against Saddleback, Lancaster rushed for 335 yards and against Estancia, he nearly reached that total again. In his follow-up performance, he ran for 298 yards on 20 carries and didn’t play the fourth quarter. He would have toppled the 300-yard mark for a second-straight week had a 29-yard run in the third quarter not been negated by a holding penalty against the Breakers.
Lancaster’s 298 yards and four-touchdown game is the fifth-best single-game performance in school history.
“To me, that was a quiet 300 yards,” Brown said. “Nathan just does that. He gets the job done. He had another monstrous game.”
It also was a big night for DeLaRosa who at halftime, was named Laguna’s homecoming king. He came out of the locker room after his coronation, to score on four- and seven-yard runs late in the third quarter to take the score to 49-7.
DeLaRosa finished with 95 yards on 12 touches.
“Andres is as steady as he can be,” Brown said. “We have really good seniors and these guys have really committed to the program.”
Like the Breakers had done over the game’s first 36 minutes, the game went to a running clock for the fourth quarter where the Breakers substituted freely. Junior running back Jake Smith scored on a 44-yard run 24 seconds into the quarter, and kicker Bruce Knill finished the scoring by booting a 30-yard field goal with 3:02 remaining.
It also was a record-setting night for Knill who tied school records for kick scoring (11 points) and point-after kicks (eight), in a game.
Setting up the kicking game for Knill were Jake Smith (snapper) and Cole Paxson (holder).
The 515 yards rushing, and 584 total yards by Laguna, are both third-best single-game totals in school history. The 59 points scored, which were the most-ever scored in a homecoming game, tie for sixth on the all-time list.
Laguna has another Thursday road game next week. They go to Segerstrom High to face Godinez in a 7 p.m. league matchup.
Breakers Schedule (5-2)
Thursday: vs. *Calvary Chapel (score not available)
Oct. 31: vs. *Godinez (at Segerstrom High), 7 p.m.
Nov. 8: *Costa Mesa (Senior Night), 7 p.m.
(*denotes Orange Coast League game)