Orange Lutheran's quarterback Lj Northington runs in for the touchdown early in the first quarter against Crespi during Friday's nonleague game in Encino.

Orange Lutheran dazzling as it crushes Crespi


ENCINO – It was supposed to be an old school, punch-you-in-the-mouth type of a game.

Both Orange Lutheran and Crespi of Encino were ranked in this week’s CIF-SS Pac-5 Division top 10 poll, and each feature the type of run-based option attacks that promote physicality and smash-mouth football.

Not only did the fourth-ranked Lancers prove to out-execute the highly regarded Celts on Friday night, but they manhandled their opposition for three quarters and dazzled in the process.

Junior tailback Dominik Austin rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns as Orange Lutheran went on the road and pummeled Crespi, 43-28, in a nonleague game at Crespi High.

“I thought the effort was tremendous,” Lancers coach Chuck Petersen said. “We knew it was going to be a battle. Anytime you play a Troy Thomas team, you’re going to get a physical, tough ball game, and I was really happy with the way our kids physically came out and played.”

The Lancers (2-0) ran for 294 yards and four touchdowns as a team, and tallied 400 yards of total offense when including senior quarterback Lj Northington’s 106 yards through the air.

“I think it’s a big win to come in here and get this one because I know we’re going to be playing on the road a lot,” Northington explained. “It’s good to travel and show up, and this will help us down the road.”

The journey gets no easier for the Lancers who play reigning Pac-5 champ Centennial next week before a date with the nation’s top-ranked team, Concord De La Salle, in two weeks.

“We just got to keep grinding as a team,” Austin added.

After recovering a fumble deep in Crespi (1-1) territory on the second play of the game, Northington gave Orange Lutheran an early 7-0 lead with a 14-yard touchdown scamper.

A safety, and a pair of touchdown strikes from the Harvard-bound southpaw to Brandon McKinney and Austin Liles silenced the Celts crowd as the Lancers jumped out to a 23-0 lead with nine minutes to go in the second quarter. The teams would trade scores before the half , allowing Orange Lutheran to take a 29-7 edge into the intermission.

The theme of Crespi’s night would be the penalties, as the Celts saw 20 flags thrown on them. With fourteen of those flags coming on illegal-procedure penalties, the Celts’ offense that threw just two passes in Week 0 and nine this week effectively hampered itself.

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