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PAUL RODRIGUEZ, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
La Habra's Prince Ross stretches to catch the ball on a deep pass in Camarillo territory late in the fourth quarter of Friday's CIF State Division II-AA regional championship game in Camarillo.

La Habra can't keep up with Camarillo's offensive show

STAFF WRITER

CAMARILLO – La Habra ran out of miracles Friday night in Ventura County but not out of fight.

Unfortunately for the Highlanders, a heavy dose of grit wasn’t enough to derail an undefeated Camarillo playing at home in the CIF State Division II-AA Regional Championships.

Quarterback Jake Constantine threw seven touchdowns to lead Camarillo past La Habra and quarterback Eric Barriere, 63-49, to improve to 15-0 and advance to next Friday’s state championship game in Sacramento.

Camarillo will play Del Oro, a 28-24 winner against Liberty of Bakersfield.

La Habra (13-2) never led but certainly never was too far out of it behind Barriere. The senior, who tossed a game-winning Hail Mary last week in the Southwest Division final against San Clemente, played most of the game with an ugly cut on his throwing hand but still tossed four touchdowns and ran for another.

“The kids played their hearts out,” said La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta, whose squad was supported by more than 2,000 fans who made the trip from Orange County.

Constantine and Barriere also put in a show with their scrambling ability but the difference ended up being turnovers.

Camarillo forced the only two turnovers – one early and one in the second half – and converted the plays into 14 points that seemed to decide the wild offensive game. The outburst felt somewhat like last week’s Pac-5 final between Centennial of Corona and St. John Bosco.

“Two turnovers in our own area were the difference in the game,” Mazzotta said. “You can’t do that playing great teams.”

Camarillo forced a fumble on La Habra’s opening drive, leading to Constantine’s first touchdown pass. And early in the third, Camarillo linebacker Brett Triebold deflected a pass to himself for an interception, setting up another TD pass.

Constantine passed for 360 yards, but La Habra still had a chance late.

Barriere’s 33-yard TD pass to Prince Ross with 3:59 left in the fourth trimmed the Camarillo lead to 56-49. But Camarillo recovered an onside kick and added a late touchdown run to cap the scoring.

“They’re a great team,” Barriere said of Camarillo. “We didn’t really execute tonight, but I give them all the credit. ... It was a good game.”

Barriere finished with 414 yards passing and threw two touchdowns to Ross, who caught the Hail Mary last week. Ross had nine catches for 256 yards.

Barriere also rushed for a 4-yard TD on a fourth-down play, featuring a second effort to cross the goal line.

La Habra scored with five seconds left in the first half to trim Camarillo’s lead to 28-21 at intermission.

Barriere tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Cortlin Taylor on third-and-goal with five seconds left in the first half . Taylor also rushed for two short touchdowns in the first half.

“We had a great season,” Barriere said. “We won a championship. That was our goal.”

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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