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El Modena too much for Kennedy
ORANGE – El Modena football coach Ed Drzanek humbly described his cast of players as “solid” Thursday night before the Vanguards played host to Kennedy.
After El Modena excelled in all three phases to defeat the Fighting Irish, 38-14, Drzanek now has license to talk up his team a bit more because the Vanguards are 2-0 for the first time his 2007.
“The kids deserve all the credit,” said Drzanek, the sixth-year coach whose team plays at Western next Thursday. “It’s just a total team effort. We’re really excited about where we’re at. We’re excited for the El Modena community.”
Running back Kenneth Lamb and quarterback Garrett Gramm paced El Modena’s offense, which racked up 379 yards.
Lamb rushed for 18 times for 138 yards, including touchdowns of 40 and 11 yards. The senior had a nifty 43-yard TD run in the fourth nullified by a penalty.
Gramm played the best game of his career, completing 14 of 20 passes for 181 yards, including a 34-yard TD strike to fellow junior Frankie Islas. Gramm also rushed for a 17-yard TD in the third quarter.
El Modena, ranked fourth in the Southern Division, punctuated its offensive night by marching on two 80-yard scoring drives to open the second half.
“We played pretty well,” Lamb said. “We started pretty slow but you can always play better. … That wasn’t our best playing and I think we can do better.”
El Modena’s defense limited Kennedy (1-2) to a pair of leaping TD catches by 6-foot-4 wide receiver Derrick Deese from quarterback Jordan Jackson. Vanguards defensive back Robert Laviguer returned a 50-yard interception for a TD just before halftime.
El Modena’s special teams also contributed. Raymond Sanchez recovered a muffed punt – skied by Clint Wodark – that led to a 29-yard field goal in the fourth by Jordy Cruz.
El Modena erupted for three touchdowns in the second quarter, including two in the final 2:05, to take a 21-7 lead at halftime.
Lamb used a slick cutback on a run up the middle to break a 40-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the second quarter.
After Kennedy forced a fumble at its 18 with 5:16 left in the opening half, El Modena’s defense forced a quick punt. The Vanguards capitalized with a well-placed 34-yard touchdown pass from Gramm to Islas on a post pattern coming out of a timeout.
El Modena closed the half with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown by Laviguer with 55 seconds left. Laviguer’s second interception in as many games made amends for his near interception in the first quarter.
"El Mo deserves this," Gramm said of the Vanguards' 2-0 start. "It hasn't been like this in a long time and I think we're the class to bring it back."
Deese made a spectacular 25-yard touchdown reception from Jackson to open the scoring 50 seconds into the second period. The senior out-leaped his defender at the 4 and stretched around the player to hold the ball out and break the plane of the end zone.
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