Laguna Hills running back Branson Weems tries to fend off a would-be Northwood tackler on Friday night.

Laguna Hills earns 1st win under Maceranka


IRVINE – Laguna Hills overcame a sluggish start to defeat Northwood, 37-16, in a nonleague game Friday night at Portola.

The Hawks (1-1) trailed, 9-0, after one quarter but came back with 35 consecutive points to win their first game for new coach Mike Maceranka.

“We’re making a lot of mistakes right now,” Maceranka said. “Everything (offensively) is new. Defensively, we had another solid effort. Offensively, we got better this week and we just have to try to keep plugging away and get better every week.

“The whole system is new and it has taken a while.”

Laguna Hills was led by quarterback Kyle Paskwietz, who threw three touchdown passes and passed for 186 yards.

“When we can start throwing the ball a little bit and mix it up, it really opens up the run,” Maceranka said.

Zac Crowe rushed for 100 yards for the Hawks.

Northwood (0-3) got a solid effort from Brandon Johnson, who in his first start at quarterback passed for 181 yards, had a touchdown pass and ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The Timberwolves jumped out to a 2-0 lead when they sacked Paskwietz in the end zone for a safety early in the game.

Johnson then connected with Mike Coleman on a 55-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter to make it 9-0.

Laguna Hills got turned the game around with two touchdowns in the second quarter.

Paskwietz threw a 56-yard TD pass to Branson Weems early in the second quarter.

Logan Montgomery ran 25 yards for a score on the Hawks next possession to put Laguna Hills ahead, 14-9.

The Hawks added three scores in the third quarter, capping it with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Paskwietz to Montgomery.

“The kids came out and did exactly what we asked them to do,” Northwood Coach Phil Roh said. “They were fired up, ready to play for each other. We were telling them in the post-game (talk) part of it is just trusting the process and the journey we are on together.

“What I’m most proud of is that we played for 48 minutes. The kids could have folded but they played hard.”

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