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, MICHAEL FERNANDEZ, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Laguna Hills' versatile Logan Montgomery tries to fend off a would-be tackler for Garden Grove on Friday night.

Fryer on football: Montgomery shows versatility

STAFF COLUMNIST

LAGUNA HILLS – Logan Montgomery already had scored touchdowns this season via a running play, a pass reception, a kickoff return and an interception for Laguna Hills.

Add a fumble recovery to Montgomery’s scoring smorgasbord. Technically it goes as a fumble recovery in the scoring summary. It was more like pick-pocketing.

Late in the second quarter, Garden Grove, with a 7-3 lead, had the ball on a first down at the Laguna Hills 4-yard line. Garden Grove’s Anthony Herrera took a handoff, was hit in the backfield and spun his way into the line of scrimmage.

When Herrera got back to the line of scrimmage he did not have the ball. Montgomery was running the other direction with it.

Montgomery had pulled the ball out of Herrera’s grasp and sprinted unopposed for a touchdown and a 10-7 lead for the Hawks.

If that provided a spark, it was soon extinguished. Garden Grove won, 20-13.

Garden Grove coach Ricardo Cepeda knew all about Montgomery. The Argonauts’ defensive game plan had Montgomery’s name on it, in bold-faced capitals. Cepeda knew that Laguna Hills would try to get the ball to Montgomery however it could.

“I’d work him, like the way we worked Jordan last year,” said Cepeda, referring to Jordan Antunez, Garden Grove’s running back last year when he carried the ball 242 times and was Garden Grove League player of the year.

The Argonauts watched Montgomery as intently as a cat watching the contents of a fish tank. Montgomery was limited to 52 rushing yards on 10 carries and had two receptions for 15 yards.

So Montgomery, who lined up offensively in the backfield and at X receiver and wide receiver and played safety on many defensive downs, had to create his big plays for himself, making that steal and blocking a kick.

If he had to specialize, Montgomery would prefer playing receiver, split wide.

“When I get one-on-one coverage,” he said, “I feel like I can always beat that other guy.”

Montgomery has not scored by every possible method. He has not scored on a punt return or on a recovered blocked kick. Five regular-season games remain, so get on it, kid.

Elsewhere under the lights …

• This was not a great week for matchups. Most teams that played Week 0 games took a bye week. Teams in six-team leagues, which are the most plentiful leagues in Orange County football, had five nonleague games completed and five league games coming so this is the perfect bye week for them.

• Many leagues start next week, and there are some terrific matchups. The Trinity League will grab attention with these three Friday: Santa Margarita-Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium; JSerra-Orange Lutheran at Orange Coast College; and St. John Bosco-Servite at Cerritos College.

• Other beauties next week: Santa Ana and Orange, both undefeated, play their Golden West League opener Thursday at Santa Ana Stadium; Tustin and Cypress, perhaps the two best teams in the Empire League, play a league opener at Western High on Thursday; and Mission Viejo is at Tesoro on Friday (Mission-Tesoro is more attractive if Tesoro quarterback Chase Petersen’s Friday injury is not serious).

• Orange was averaging 45 points a game coming into this week. Godinez had been allowing 31 points a game. Final: Orange 3, Godinez 0 in overtime, further proof that you never know what’s going to happen in high school football.

• Cepeda spent much of Friday night figuring out who would inherit the offensive leadership role that became available when running back Joseph Camarillo withdrew from Garden Grove last week. It looks like that role could be filled by junior running back Dominik Sanchez, who rushed for 108 yards on six carries, all in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Ruben Mendoza rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass.

• El Modena is going to move up in the O.C. top 25 after the Vanguards beat Yorba Linda. That, coupled with Brea Olinda’s 28-9 loss to Canyon, also makes El Modena the favorite in the North Hills League, which, like the other Century Conference league, the Crestview League, doesn’t play league games for another three weeks.

• Two standout small-schools quarterbacks faced off in the Whittier Christian-St. Margaret’s game, Whittier Christian’s Quinn Commans and the Tartans’ George Krantz. Plenty of points expected, plenty of points delivered: St. Margaret’s 70, Whittier Christian 49.

• Watching the #ocvupdates on Twitter … when it was Mission Viejo 14, El Toro 7 early the reaction was “wow.” When suddenly it was Mission Viejo 42, El Toro 7 the reaction was “figures.”

• La Quinta, a 34-13 winner over Century, is 4-1 for the first time since 1998. Some of this year’s Aztecs were not yet born. Perhaps an era of La Quinta football success is being born this year.

Contact the writer: sfryer@scng.com


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