El Modena's Garrett Gramm leans in for a touchdown during Friday night's game against Woodbridge at University High.

El Modena rolls, makes great first impression vs. Woodbridge


IRVINE – El Modena made quite a first impression in its season opener Friday night against Woodbridge.

The Vanguards were in control from the start and rolled to a 27-7 nonleague victory over the Warriors at University.

El Modena scored the first 20 points, forced four Woodbridge turnovers and was stingy on defense.

Woodbridge (1-1) didn’t pick up its initial first down until about midway into the third quarter.

El Modena (1-0) was led by quarterback Garrett Gramm, who scored on touchdown runs of 12 and 11 yards in the first quarter and wound up rushing for 52 yards.

Running back Kenneth Lamb rushed for 108 yards and put the Vanguards ahead, 20-0, with a 2-yard TD run early in the second quarter.

“We thought we would see what kind of team we had because we had seen Woodbridge the week before and we (thought) we were going to get really tested,” said El Modena coach Ed Drzanek.

“We made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve got to hand it to these kids. They were resilient and they kept battling and the coaching staff did a great job of preparing them. I was just excited for the entire school and the program.”

El Modena’s defense limited Woodbridge to 101 yards passing and 27 yards rushing.

“Our defense played lights out,” Drzanek said. “They were running and they were flying to the football and they just played team defense, and that’s what we have to do.”

The defense also delivered an early knockout blow in the first quarter.

Following Gramm’s first touchdown run, El Modena got the ball right back on the Woodbridge 25-yard line following an interception by Robert Laviguer (one of three on the night by El Modena).

Two plays later, Gramm scored again to make it 13-0. It was part of a long night for Woodbridge, which opened the season last week with a 23-7 victory over Cypress.

Woodbridge’s only score came when Karstn Graves recovered a fumble and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown with 4:21 left in the second quarter. But El Modena was in control in the second half. Dillon Keefe had a 1-yard TD in the third quarter.

“I tip my hat, they were ready to play football and I don’t think we were,” said Woodbridge coach Rick Gibson. “It showed for the whole game. I don’t think we did a whole lot right.

“We all took turns at making mistakes. This was more like a first game than last week.”

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