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BILL ALKOFER, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
La Habra's Cortlin Taylor, who rushed for 155 yards, looks for extra yardage as he tries to get past Sonora's Miguel Lopez during Friday night's Freeway League opener at La Habra.

La Habra thumps Sonora behind Taylor's 4 TD runs

STAFF WRITER

LA HABRA – The city once again belongs to La Habra, and all Cortlin Taylor wants to do now is eat.

What began as the rivalry’s most anticipated game in recent memory ended as a rout, Taylor’s four touchdown runs what happens when an offensive line as hefty as his has its way at the point of attack.

Taylor finished with 155 rushing yards, and La Habra beat Sonora, 35-7, Friday at La Habra High.

“I love every one of those guys,” Taylor said of a quintet that regularly pushed the line of scrimmage downfield. “I practice with those guys, and we just want to be better tomorrow than we were the day before.

“We were the better team tonight. We wanted to show (Sonora) who the city champs were.”

Taylor’s productivity came at a cost; La Habra (5-1, 1-0) couldn’t get anything going in the air.

La Habra quarterback Eric Barriere completed 5 of his 21 pass attempts. Highlanders coach Frank Mazzotta could not be consoled after the game, even as his players passed around the trophy awarded each year to the victor.

“I’m disappointed,” Mazzotta said. “That really didn’t look like us tonight.”

Barriere had plenty of time to throw, too, his offensive line habitually maintaining clean pockets. Barriere often had several seconds to survey his options.

But too often, and for too many reasons, passes fell incomplete.

“I know these guys can make plays for me,” said Barriere, who passed for 79 yards and rushed for 50. “Playing with these guys the past two years, some of them the past three, I trust them. I know that if I buy time, they’ll get open.”

Taylor scored on runs of 19, 3, 30 and 10 yards. He gained yards before, through and after contact. The senior watches tons of tape, and said he goes into every game with the same goal: Take care of business, go home and eat.

“Tonight was the same as any other,” he said.

Sonora quarterback Cole McDonald rushed for 105 yards, but he too couldn’t get much going vertically. Three times he was intercepted, and Sonora (5-1, 0-1) twice turned the ball over on downs.

Raiders running back Jacob Fimbres offered 87 yards on his 22 touches, but was held in check most of the night. He scored on a 9-yard run in the third quarter.

“Cole McDonald is their best player,” Mazzotta said. “He’s big, physical. I thought their best bet to beat us tonight was to give him the ball.”

Contact the writer: bwhitehead@ocregister.com


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