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Lopez ends up starring as Anaheim turns back Magnolia

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ANAHEIM – - Anaheim quarterback Brandon Lopez experienced the high and lows of football Thursday in an Orange League contest at Western High.

Lopez muffed two punts in the first half but scored two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass to lead the Colonists to a 24-7 victory over Magnolia.

Anaheim (2-0, 4-3) put together a 17-play, 87-yard drive to take a 10-0 lead.

Lopez kept the drive alive with a 23-yard screen pass to Kevin Montoya for a first down at the Sentinels 17 yard line. Four plays later, Lopez capped the scoring march with a 1-yard scoring run.

Lopez then mishandled a punt by Magnolia (0-2, 2-5) at the Colonists 45.

Quarterback Raymond Perez quickly completed two passes to Damien Rosales to reach the 8, and Filipo Pangia scored on an 8-yard run that made it 10-7 with 13 seconds to play in the half.

Lopez returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, giving the Colonists 17-7 lead at intermission.

“I didn’t want them to kick the ball to me, and then when I tried to pick it up I dropped it,” said Lopez, who also completed eight passes for 117 yards a touchdown. “It felt really good to redeem myself.”

Lopez added a 25-yard scoring pass to Jorge Diaz in the third quarter.

The Colonists sacked Perez five times and held the Sentinels scoreless in the second half.

It is the fourth consecutive defeat for Magnolia.

The Sentinels forced three Anaheim turnovers in Colonists territory, but Magnolia was only able to convert one of the miscues into points.

Perez completed 10 passes for 100 yards to lead Magnolia.

“You never want to see a kid (Lopez) make mistakes like that (fumbling two punts), but his kickoff return for a touchdown was a game-changer,” said Anaheim coach Lanny Booher. “It gave us a 10-point lead instead of a 3-point lead at halftime. It changed the mode of the game.”

Magnolia was hampered by the loss of a key offensive and defensive player. Montez De Marrco did not play due to a violation of team rules. De Marrco has scored five touchdowns this season.

Magnolia WR Junior Siravantha was transported to local hospital after suffering a shoulder injury in the first half.


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