Fryer on football: El Dorado enjoyed taste of success
El Dorado had watched other teams do it. Over and over, week after week.
Finally, it was El Dorado’s turn to celebrate a win. The Golden Hawks did all of the usual stuff, like dumping the sports-drink barrel’s contents on the coach’s head.
No player on the El Dorado football roster had experienced a varsity win until Friday when the Golden Hawks beat Estancia, 43-13. The last time El Dorado won a game on the field was the 2013 season. The Golden Hawks were 0-10 in 2014 and were looking at another 0-10 finish in ’15 until they picked up a forfeit win over Canyon.
This year’s seniors were freshmen in ’13, when no freshmen were on the varsity team.
When Friday’s win at El Dorado ended, the players and the El Dorado student section went nuts.
“All of the players were hugging each other,” El Dorado senior linebacker Cole Hansen said. “The student section rushed the field. We were all super-excited.”
El Dorado second-year coach Zack La Monda was the target of the icy-cold drink shower. He liked it, more than just a little.
“It was awesome,” said La Monda who had been an assistant coach at a couple of schools, including Servite where he had been an All-Orange County lineman. “These kids finally got to see their hard work pay off.”
Hansen said this year’s team, which plays Placentia city rival Valencia this week, is different. No longer is the team divided into cliques.
“Everybody is equally motivated,” Hanen said. “We’ve become a lot closer and we’ve become a family.”
It was a family celebration Friday. As overdue and satisfying as that celebration was, it did not last long.
“After that game,” Hansen said, “we put our minds straight to Valencia.”
There was a lot of movement by quarterbacks between the end of last season and the start of this season. The offseason now might be called transfer season.
So far, so good for many of them.
Matt McDonald transferred from Mater Dei to Mission Viejo. Mater Dei’s opening-game starter last year, McDonald got injured in the 2015’s first game, freshman JT Daniels stepped in and started what looks to be a remarkable career. McDonald is doing great at Mission Viejo. His 785 yards passing is the fourth-highest total in O.C. Daniels is No. 1 for yards passing.
Chase Petersen left Mission Viejo and went to Tesoro where he has played well, especially in the Titans’ overtime win over La Habra.
Orange Lutheran quarterback Ryan Hilinksi was at JSerra last year. Hilinski has fared well for a sophomore playing against the tough teams, like Centennial of Corona, on Lutheran’s schedule.
Doug Jackson transferred from San Clemente, where top recruit Jack Sears was not going to be supplanted, to San Juan Hills and he is starting on a 3-0 team.
Santa Ana is No. 1 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 13 poll. The Saints will have the talented twins Jonathan and Jorge Briseno in uniform together for the first time this season when they play Marina on Friday at Westminster High.
Like in many football programs in Southern California’s more urbanized areas, Santa Ana has many players who never played football until they got to high school.
“For a lot of our guys,” said Santa Ana coach Charlie TeGantvoort, “the first time ever playing football is their freshman year. When we first met them (the Brisenos), we had to teach them that there are four downs and now we’re running read-option plays.”
GARBERS TO LE
Corona del Mar quarterback Chase Garbers knows that if he gets the ball anywhere close to receiver Tae Le, the 6-foot-4 Le probably is going to catch it.
Le caught three of Garbers’ four touchdown passes Friday in the Sea Kings’ 42-13 win over El Toro. Included was a bubble screen that Le turned into an 88-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
“Tae’s a big kid,” Garbers said, “he’s fast and he has hands like no other. He took that 3-yard pass and turned it into 88 yards? That was pretty interesting.”
Garbers also ran for two touchdowns, including a 15-yard run on which he executed a tuck-and-roll high jump over El Toro players at the goal line. He even made one of the game’s better blocks when he got downfield to help Jaydin Moses complete a 19-yard run.
JSerra, which lost to Bishop Amat of La Puente last week, gets a tougher test Thursday when the Lions play host to state top 10-ranked Vista Murrieta at Saddleback College. JSerra is playing what is by far its most challenging nonleague schedule.
On Friday, Villa Park plays host to Servite at El Modena. Servite either will still be in a fog over that final-minute loss to state No. 1 De La Salle, or the Friars will be hot and ready to take it out on the next opponent. For Villa Park, it’s a chance to make a statement.
Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor play their “Battle of the Bay” game at Orange Coast College on Friday. Corona del Mar has won three in a row in the series for the first time since the 1980s.
Tesoro is at El Toro. El Toro is the best 0-3 team in O.C. Tesoro is better than most of us thought, coming into this season, after the graduation of All-County quarterback Devon Modster.
Edison plays at San Juan Hills. San Juan Hills is like Tesoro – the Stallions lost a fine quarterback, Patrick O’Brien, to graduation but continue to win. Edison is not big, but the Chargers are quick and smart, and even in football quick and smart can be better than being big.
Mater Dei plays Upland at Santa Ana Stadium where the Monarchs hope to fix their offense. Having scored 63 points in each of their first two wins, the Monarchs slumped to a 48-0 win over La Mirada last week. Seven trips to the red zone produced only six touchdowns for the slackers.
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