Rancho Alamitos' Culbert throws 5 TD passes after slow start vs. Anaheim


ANAHEIM – Inaccuracy might never faze Blake Culbert again.

Twenty-two percent was the completion rate for Rancho Alamitos’ junior quarterback during the opening 18 minutes of Friday’s 39-27 win over host Anaheim at Glover Stadium – no hint whatsoever about the onslaught he would soon create.

It started with four straight completions and ballooned with touchdown passes of 47, 35, 12, 35 and 39 yards. Culbert’s final line was 14 of 26 for 314 yards, rallying the Vaqueros (2-1) to double the point total of their first two games.

“Crazy,” he said afterward, shaking his head. “Coach always says out of a bad (start) you’ve got to make a good thing.”

After going for 2 for 9 against the sturdy defense being played by Anaheim (1-2), Culbert never threw two straight incomplete passes again. Culbert lofted pretty throws time and again to Joe Navar, who ended up with 183 yards receiving on seven catches, including the longest touchdown of the game that disrupted Anaheim’s early 8-0 lead 3:58 before halftime.

“This was a learning experience, definitely,” Culbert said. “I tend to get frustrated easily, and moreso because of how we lost last week.”

Culbert’s turnaround was aided by Cristian Villareal’s six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns and Victor Lopez, who had a 27-yard scoring reception in the third quarter to put the Vaqueros ahead, 26-15.

Like Culbert, Anaheim quarterback Brandon Lopez was heavily involved with 120 passing yards, 73 rushing yards on nine attempts, a 34-yard kickoff return and a spiraling 37-yard punt.

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