LAGUNA BEACH 26, DUARTE 21
DUARTE - Laguna Beach running back Bruce Knill scored three times, including the go-ahead TD with 27.8 seconds remaining, to lead the Breakers to a 26-21 win over Duarte on Friday night in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 13 playoffs.
Awaiting Laguna Beach (7-4) next week is Boron, which defeated El Monte. The second round game will be at Laguna Beach.
With 2:25 left to play, Duarte (7-4) took a 21-20 lead on Devon Hemsley’s 29-yard touchdown pass, his third of the game, followed by Hemsley’s two-point keeper on a fake PAT.
After a good kickoff return advanced the ball into Duarte territory, the Breakers needed only six plays to go 49 yards for a victory in their first playoff appearance since 2012.
Key to the drive was a pass interference penalty against Duarte, and, just before Knill’s score on a 2-yard run, a 17-yard screen pass from Curtis Harrison to Ryan Blaser.
On the Falcons’ final possession, they couldn’t advance beyond their own 32.
Laguna Beach took a 14-6 lead into halftime on Knill’s tipped 48-yard catch off Harrison’s Hail Mary pass.
Knill opened the scoring with a 19-yard run early in the second quarter.
Duarte was in the postseason for the first time since 2013.