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Fryer on football: Players shared great moment
Just a game. That was the message at the Santa Margarita-Servite game.
Servite won in overtime, 43-42, this past Friday in what might be the best game of the year.
The decision of the game was Servite coach Troy Thomas' gutsy call to go for two points and the victory in overtime, and the play of the game was Friars quarterback Cody Pittman patiently waiting for an open receiver before throwing to Ainslie Johnson in the end zone for the two points and the victory.
The event of the game was just as memorable – the teams gathering at midfield to pray together for Servite senior Sean DeRosa when DeRosa, a contribute-any-way-I-can guy for three varsity seasons, was being attended to by trainers and team physicians after DeRosa got knocked out during the game-opening kickoff return. (DeRosa, taken by gurney to an ambulance and then to a hospital, suffered a concussion and likely won't play during the playoffs.)
While Thomas stayed with DeRosa and the DeRosa family on the field, a few yards away Santa Margarita coach Harry Welch addressed the gathered players before Servite linebacker Butch Pauu led them in prayer. It was the greatest moment of a great game.
OUT OF IT
Los Alamitos is not in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Mater Dei is not in for the first time since 1986. The last time both teams missed the playoffs in the same year – 1980.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Tesoro vs. Edison, Friday at 7 p.m., Orange Coast College. Tesoro finished third in the South Coast League. Edison is Sunset League champion. It will be the first varsity football game between the two schools. Edison has been in the county top 10 all season, and Tesoro has been in and out of the county top 10.
One could legitimately say that most of the Pac-5 teams got a tough draw, of course. But outside of that division, among county teams Laguna Hills got the most-challenging first-round assignment.
The Hawks are 7-2, and have been in the CIF-Southern Section's Southwest Division top 10 all season, and they have to play an away game at fourth-seeded Cypress, 8-2 and an Empire League co-champion.
Two other Southwest top 10 teams got first-round away games: No. 4 Tustin, 7-3 and an Empire League co-champ, is at Aliso Niguel; and No. 5 Foothill, which is 6-4 and finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Century League, is at Buena Park.
WORST RECORD OF A PLAYOFF TEAM
Capistrano Valley, at 3-7, has the worst record among county playoff teams. Thanks to the coin flips required to separate the three-way tie for second place in the Sea View League, Capistrano Valley is the league's No. 3 team. Aliso Niguel is the league's No. 2, and Laguna Hills is No. 4 and got in as at-large team.
A longer look at Capo reveals that the Cougars improved a great deal in recent weeks. They lost to Aliso Niguel by one point three weeks ago, because of a tremendous Aliso fourth-quarter comeback, lost in four overtimes to Sea View champion and Southwest No. 3-seeded El Toro, then blew out San Juan Hills.
Capo plays in the Southwest first round Friday at Brea Olinda (8-2), and don't be shocked if the 3-7 team beats the 8-2 team.