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Los Alamitos falls to Narbonne in final of Edison tournament
HUNTINGTON BEACH John Barnes didn’t have time to chat after his team’s surprising runner-up finish at the Battle of the Beach 7-on-7 passing tournament Saturday at Edison.
“I never planned on being in this game,” the Los Alamitos football coach said before he departed the field on a golf cart in hopes of making a wedding.
But the Griffins and quarterback Jack Telenko forced Barnes’ quick getaway by reaching the final of the challenging, 20-team tournament. Los Alamitos fell in the championship to another familiar upstart, Narbonne of Harbor City, 30-6.
Last fall, Narbonne edged Los Alamitos, 30-26, in a nonleague game the Gauchos sealed on the final play by stopping the Griffins 1 yard shy of the end zone. The teams will play against this season at Veterans Stadium on Oct. 1.
“I’d love to play them again,” Telenko said of the L.A. City Section school, which beat St. John Bosco, 14-0, in the semifinals en route to its first Edison title.
“We performed really well today. I think we just got a little tired at the end.”
Los Alamitos stuck with Narbonne early as Telenko tossed a touchdown to Estancia transfer running back/slot receiver Dylan Laurent to tie the score, 6-6. But the Gauchos rolled from there, intercepting Telenko three times on fourth down.
Linebacker Lawson Hall, a Nevada commit, had one of the interceptions while the Gauchos split time at quarterback with starter Roman Ale and sophomore-to-be Jaylen Chatman.
"We're looking to take the City section and then if we can, go further than that," Hall said of Narbonne, which has claimed four passing tournaments this offseason.
Los Alamitos had won 10 consecutive passing tournament games before falling to Narbonne. The Griffins went 5-0 to capture the inaugural Orange Coast tournament and beat Loyola of Los Angeles, 14-6, in the semifinals to extend their tournament streak to 10.
"We proved to a lot of people that we're going to be better than people think," Los Alamitos assistant Brian Barnes said.
Barnes believes Telenko, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior-to-be, is the best passer in the county. “I don’t know who is better,” he said of Telenko, who is seeking his first scholarship offer.
The Griffins’ secondary has been led by cornerback and captain Darien Cornay (5-10, 175) and safety Schuyler Whitehead, slowed in the finals by cramps. Cornay played one of his best games against touted receiver Javon McKinley of Centennial of Corona in pool play.
"Very good receiver but I think I handled him well," said Cornay, who finished the day with three interceptions and eight passes broken up.
Narbonne had an interesting run to the title. Edison defeated the Gauchos, 24-0, in group play behind two touchdown receptions by recent Yale commit Garrett White from quarterback Grant Lowary. White also had an interception.
In the quarterfinals, Narbonne rallied from a 14-point deficit to stun Air Strike tournament champion Mater Dei in overtime, 20-14. Gauchos cornerback Daniel Brown, who has offers from Nevada and San Diego State among others, had an interception at the end of regulation and in overtime.
“We couldn’t put them away,” Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson said of Narbonne.
Narbonne running back/receiver Sean Riley called the Edison tournament the Gauchos' toughest challenge of the offseason. "This is the best competition," the Arizona commit said. "We (hadn't) played all (the) private schools."
Servite transfer wide receiver Osiris St. Brown played for Mater Dei but his brother, Amon-Ra, was slowed by a rib injury, Rollinson said.
“He has that second gear, that third gear that we will need,” Rollinson said of Osiris. “I’m real pleased with our receiving corps.”
In one of the best games, Arizona commit quarterback Devon Modster threw a late touchdown and extra-point to Carter Jaenichen to lead Tesoro past Santa Margarita and Stanford commit quarterback KJ Costello, 20-19, in the consolation semifinals. Costello threw a spectacular TD to J.P. Hackett on the previous possession.
The Eagles played without receiver Dylan Crawford (foot).
Tesoro went onto capture the consolation title with a 12-6 victory against Hart of Newhall.
Costello played well despite arriving home around 2 a.m. Saturday from The Opening in Oregon.
"My arm is sore as (heck)," Costello said.