Laguna Beach stays alive in race for Orange Coast title


COSTA MESA – In the preseason Orange Coast League poll, a majority of coaches picked Laguna Beach to finish dead last, but not Laguna Beach coach John Shanahan.

He picked his Breakers to win the league championship. They’re not there yet, but Shanahan’s vote of confidence isn’t looking bad.

Laguna Beach scored three touchdowns in the final four minutes of the first half to pull away in a 42-21 win over Estancia in an Orange Coast League game at Estancia High.

The win keeps Laguna Beach (5-4, 3-1) alive in the league title race and on the precipice of a playoff berth.

“I’m unbelievably proud of them,” Shanahan said. “We’ve faced a ton of adversity. We’ve put ourselves in a position to have that opportunity.”

After trading first-quarter touchdowns, Laguna Beach held a one-point lead over Estancia (2-7, 1-3) late into the second quarter of the Eagles’ homecoming game.

Curtis Harrison connected with Adam Armstrong on a 35-yard pass and followed with a 26-yard touchdown pass for a 14-6 lead with less than four minutes left in the quarter.

Armstrong finished with five receptions for 112 yards.

Then Harrison hooked up with Ryan Blaser on a 23-yard pass, and Matt Hayes cashed in with a 9-yard touchdown run. Harrison finished 17-of-24 passing for 254 yards and two TDs.

Blaser intercepted on Estancia’s next offensive play, and Bruce Knill scored on a 2-yard pass play for a 28-6 halftime lead.

Harrison ran for a 20-yard TD on Laguna Beach’s first series of the second half. Estancia’s next play was a fumble picked up by the Breakers, and Jesse French scored on for a 42-6 lead.

The Breakers end the regular season next week against Calvary Chapel (2-1 in league). Godinez (3-0), which beat Laguna Beach on Oct. 7, is in first place with league games remaining against Costa Mesa and Estancia.  

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