Taking on Mustangs

The Laguna Beach High School football team experienced its first bump

in the road of the 2005 season when it played host Ocean View to a

tie last week.

Tonight, the Costa Mesa Mustangs invade Guyer Field for a 7 p.m.

nonleague matchup.

The Mustangs, however, aren't galloping south -- the team is

limping after opening the season with lopsided losses to Brea, Corona

del Mar and Huntington Beach.

Last year, Laguna edged Costa Mesa, 10-9.

The Breakers bring a 2-0-1 record into tonight's meeting.

"Costa Mesa is a great rivalry," Laguna coach Jimmy Nolan said.

"Last year, it was a tough game. We expect another tough one this

year.

"Costa Mesa has great athletes, size, hitters and is used to a

beating up on Laguna beach. So their confidence will be high, and

they are looking for their first win after playing two tough

opponents.... They want some revenge for last year. I believe we will

be ready. This will be an extremely physical game. The boys are

excited."

Nolan was not excited about last week's tie with Ocean View. He

was, however, excited about the effort given by his Breakers.

"Well, I was truly happy with our effort," he said. "No one took a

play off and we played with much more fire, intensity and aggression

than we have shown the previous two games.

"I am disgusted with the tie. We turned the ball over six or seven

times and gave Ocean View that game. We also had some really bad

unsportsmanlike penalties that hurt us."

At the end of regulation, Nolan said he requested that overtime be

played, but the Ocean View coaching staff declined to continue.

"Also, I am sad that one man has the power to control whether or

not these boys on both teams get the opportunity to play overtime,"

Nolan said. "The CIF rule states that both head coaches have to agree

to play overtime in the event of a tie. Ocean View's head coach

refused and accepted the tie.

"That was really unfair for these boys of ours who deserved the

right to fight for a win."

Turnovers spoiled Laguna's effort against the Seahawks.

The Breakers fumbled the ball four times -- losing three -- and

had an interception, all in the first half of play.

Two of those fumbles came in the game's first five minutes, and

each led to short touchdown drives by Ocean View.

Turnovers also plagued them in wins over Centennial of Compton and

La Quinta.

"We will do what we've been doing in practice, and that is

practicing holding on to the football," Nolan said.

"Sometimes we fumble the ball with no one around us. It just pops

up in the air for no reason. I think sometimes I get these guys so

wound up and intense that their nervousness gets to them and they get

overly excited and lose focus. So this week I am changing my

psychology with my ball carriers, using different angles to motivate

and make these guys feel more confident."

Quarterback Charley Bowman continues to impress Nolan.

The sophomore, along with senior running back and defensive back

Jody Stevens, junior receiver and defensive back Marshall Thomas and

an improved offensive line, turned in solid performances against

Ocean View.

Down 14-0 Friday, Laguna crept back when Stevens scored on a

three-yard run in the second quarter and tied the game when Thomas

hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass from Bowman in the fourth quarter.

A 45-yard field goal attempt by Derek Le Bon as time expired was

no good.

"I want to compliment Charley Bowman on another outstanding

performance," Nolan said. "This guy carried us on his shoulders all

night long, with the great help of Jody Stevens. Marshall Thomas

caught the game-tying touchdown pass and made a great move to score.

This guy has played every snap of every game on both sides of the

ball, and we put a lot of pressure on him. He has improved each game

and will only get better, due to his admirable work ethic.

"Also, after I challenged the O [offensive] line in last Friday's

paper, I wanted to let everyone know they came out and blocked

extremely well. They are looking better everyday and are becoming

much tougher."

*--*

Laguna Beach Breakers

(2-0-1)

40 Centennial/Compton 19

34 at La Quinta 13

14 at Ocean View 14

Tonight Costa Mesa 7 p.m.

Sept. 30 Northwood 7 p.m.

Oct. 7 at Tesoro 7 p.m.

Oct. 20 vs. Corona del Mar (at Newport 7 p.m.

Harbor High)

Oct. 27 vs. Beckman (at Tustin High) 7 p.m.

Nov. 4 University 7 p.m.

Nov. 1: Calvary Chapel 7 p.m.

*--*

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