Energized Orange Lutheran pulls away from Norco


NORCO – By his own admission, Orange Lutheran coach Chuck Petersen isn’t “a Vince Lombardi guy,” meaning you’re not going to get that proverbial halftime speech that will make players run through walls for him.

Now, running through the Norco High defense? Different story.

Nursing a seven-point lead at halftime, the Lancers (2-2) scored three times in 10 minutes in the third quarter, blowing open a close game and rolling to a 35-21 nonleague victory over the host Cougars (1-2) on Friday night.

The Lancers’ third quarter included a 76-yard play on a seemingly harmless-looking screen from quarterback Ryan Hilinski to Dominik Austin 89 seconds in, a 50-yard pass from Hilinski to Stan Berryhill and a 4-yard run from Austin with 27 seconds left in the quarter.

Hilinski was the poster child for the swing in fortunes. He was 3-of-8 passing for 18 yards in the first half but 4 of 5 for 183 yards in the third quarter.

“I just didn’t like our tempo. I didn’t like our energy in the first half. I thought we were very lethargic,” Petersen said. “Early in the second half, we came out and executed with an energy offensively. Scheme-wise, we didn’t do anything different. We were at a higher level than we had been in the first half.”

The first half could have gone far worse for the Lancers, who saw two of Norco’s 12 penalties wipe out two Cougars touchdowns.

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