El Modena's Greg Lamb, left, gets hoisted in the air by Zack Toscas after a touchdown against Rancho Alamitos during a first round CIF-SS Southern Division playoff game on Friday.

El Modena defense stifles Rancho Alamitos


GARDEN GROVE – A stout El Modena defense led the way in the Vanguards’ 35-10 victory over Rancho Alamitos on Friday in the first round of the Southern Division playoffs.

The Vanguards defense stuffed the run, holding the Vaqueros to minus-29 rushing yards in the first half and 249 total yards for the game.

However, it was Ranchos Alamitos (8-3) that scored first. The Vaqueros marched down the field on their first drive, using a 58-yard pass from Blake Culbert to Joe Navar on the opening play to set up a 27-yard field goal by Emmanuel Cuevas.

Rancho Alamitos then forced an El Modena three and out, but on its next possession, Culbert threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Christian Lopez.

Once they got the ball back, the Vaqueros went for it on fourth down in their own territory and failed to convert, setting up El Modena’s first offensive score. The Vanguards went on an eight-play, 36-yard drive, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Lamb.

Neither team scored in the second or third, but El Modena (7-4) extended its lead on the first play of the fourth when A.J. Esperanza connected with Greg Lamb for a 22-yard touchdown pass.

The Vaqueros answered with a reverse pass by Cross Faletoi to Victor Lopez for a 52-yard touchdown.

Rancho Alamitos got the ball back trailing by 11 with more than seven minutes left. However, Lopez picked off Culbert again, this time setting up Kenneth Lamb’s second TD.

Clint Tyler Wodark returned Culbert’s third interception for a touchdown to end any hopes of a comeback with just more than two minutes remaining.

El Modena will play Segerstromin the second round Thursday at El Modena.

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