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NO. 25 HUNTINGTON BEACH 39, MARINA 21
WESTMINSTER – Arick McLawyer needed most of the first half to find his footing in his first start at quarterback for Huntington Beach, but he was nearly unstoppable once he did.
The sophomore, who replaced the injured Nick Welch (broken hand), passed for 70 yards and a touchdown, ran for 49 and another score, and returned the second-half kickoff 98 yards to give the Oilers the lead en route to a 39-21 Sunset League triumph over Marina on Friday night at Westminster High.
Derek Thomas ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, most of it as Huntington Beach (4-3 overall, 2-0 Sunset) found the end zone five times in the third quarter to turn a seven-point deficit, with just seconds left in the first half, into a 39-7 lead in a span of 10½ minutes.
Marina (3-4, 0-2) fumbled the ball away four times, one on its first play after McLawyer’s kickoff return to set up Thomas’ 8-yard sprint for a 19-7 Oilers lead just 84 seconds into the second half and another that was returned 32 yards for a touchdown by Jonah Apelu for their final score.
Ian Green threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns, both on fourth down, for the Vikings, hitting Noah Holmes in the end zone with a 6-yard pass for a first-quarter lead and Brandon Savea for 25 yards with 5 minutes to play.
Marina executed two red-zone defensive stands in the first half, stopping McLawyer at the 8 after the first fumble, then forcing him to throw an incomplete pass at the 7 after a bad snap on a punt gave the Oilers great field position.
The Vikings struggled to move the ball – most of their 78 rushing yards came on Cooper Malerstein’s 69-yard TD at the end of the third quarter – and they couldn’t slow Huntington Beach’s third-quarter onslaught.
The Oilers put them away in the last five minutes of the quarter, with Thomas capping a quick drive with a 27-yard touchdown run and McLawyer scoring from the 2 for a 32-7 edge after they’d collected the pooch kick on the kickoff.