Corey Brown knew his team's chances were slim heading into Sunday's CIF Southern Section football playoffs selection process.
Laguna Beach, which held out hope of earning an invite to the Southern Division playoffs, had that final hope dashed when the pairings were revealed: the Breakers learned that their season was officially over.
Brown had that thought prior to Sunday's selections.
"We kind of expected that," Brown said of his team's exclusion from the postseason field. "Our staff sat down and compared other teams in our division who were also in the running for an at-large berth. Once we compared everything, we knew we wouldn't be able to get in. We didn't have enough quality wins."
Laguna's final shot at a quality win came Nov. 8 when the Breakers played host to a Costa Mesa team that a week earlier had captured a share of the Orange Coast League title. The Mustangs, ranked eighth in the Southern Division, sewed up an outright championship by running to a 56-30 victory at Guyer Field.
The Breakers ended the season losing their final three games, after starting their OCL campaign 2-0.
They finished 5-5 overall.
Costa Mesa, meanwhile, ran its win streak to six games and concluded a 5-0 league season.
The Mustangs (7-3 overall) won the OCL title for the first time in five years.
"They definitely have been on a roll," Brown said of the Mustangs. "The league games they were winning, weren't close games. They came in and played very well against us. They have a great running back [Oronde Crenshaw] and their defense is very good.
"That's a good football team. I only wish them the best in the playoffs. I hope they do a great job and represent our league well."
Laguna never led on Senior Night. The Breakers trailed, 28-0, less than four minutes into the second quarter. Crenshaw, who rushed his way for 250 yards and five touchdowns on the night, scored the game's first three touchdowns — each coming in the first quarter.
The Breakers first got on the scoreboard on a 73-yard touchdown run by senior running back Nathan Lancaster in the second quarter.
Laguna trailed, 35-6, at the half.
Lancaster also scored on a 25-yard run, then took in a two-point conversion pass from sophomore quarterback Jack Simon, at the outset of the second half. His third touchdown of the game came on a 43-yard run, and he then tacked on a two-point run, three minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Breakers' final touchdown came on a 76-yard pass play between Simon and senior receiver Sean Hampton with 3:38 to play, then Lancaster reached the end zone one final time on another two-point run.
The Simon-to-Hampton connection tied for the 10th-longest pass play in program history.
Lancaster, the career rushing leader at Laguna, ran for 208 yards and three scores on 21 carries in his final performance. Two other seniors at running back, Keaton Martinez (six carries) and Andres DeLaRosa (eight carries), rushed for 67 and 61 yards, respectively, in their final game.
Simon threw for 95 yards and finished his first varsity season setting two new school records for a sophomore quarterback: most passing yards (996), and passing rating (117.3).
Freshman kicker Bruce Knill also had a big, rookie season. Knill hit 25 point-after kicks to move into the eighth spot for conversion kicks in a season. He had 31 kick scoring points which ties him for No. 11 in a single-season, and 14th on the all-time career list.
For the season, the Breakers produced 370 points in 10 games, the third-most points for a season in program history. Their five wins tie at No. 24 for most wins in a season.
Breakers Final Log (5-5)
24...*Godinez (at Segerstrom High)...46
(*denotes Orange Coast League game)