Woodbridge's Spencer Weston breaks a tackle attempt by Laguna Hills' Zac Crowe during a non-league football game at University High Friday night.

Big defensive stop saves Laguna Hills


IRVINE – Laguna Hills held on to defeat Woodbridge, 28-27, in a nonleague game at University on Friday night, but had to stop one of the top running backs in the county on a 2-point conversion in the final minute to do it.

Woodbridge came charging back in the fourth quarter when Connor McBride scored on a 3-yard TD run with 45 seconds remaining in the game

The teams had agreed not to play overtime in the event of a tie.

So Woodbridge coach Rick Gibson elected to go for two. Laguna Hills (2-1) stopped McBride for a 1-yard loss on a running play on the conversion then recovered the onside kick to seal the win.

“Woodbridge is always well coached and they’re super fast to the ball and defensively, they always give you problems,” said Laguna Hills coach Mike Maceranka. “It was just a fun game.”

Maceranka called timeout to set up his defense for the conversion, expecting McBride would get the ball.

“He’s a horse and you could see he took that game over in the second half,” Maceranka said. “I would have given him the ball, too.”

McBride also had a 21-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter which tied the score, 21-21. The senior wound up with 176 yards on 25 carries.

“I told them (his players) when we went in, we were going to go for two,” said Gibson.

After Woodbridge (1-3) tied the score in the fourth quarter, Laguna Hills moved ahead, 28-21 when quarterback Ross Leigber connected with Logan Montgomery on a 27-yard touchdown pass with 5:29 remaining.

Laguna Hills led, 14-0, at halftime.

Kyle Paskwietz, who played quarterback in the first half, connected with Branson Weems on a 27-yard TD pass in the first quarter, then hit Matthew Davisson on a 4-yard TD pass in the second quarter.

Woodbridge rallied in the third quarter. First, Chance Rainey recovered a fumble and returned it 48 yards for a score with 7:40 left in the third quarter.

Then, quarterback Spencer Weston hit Nate Ledoux on a 43-yard TD pass late in the third quarter to tie the score, 14-14.

Laguna Hills moved ahead, 21-14, when Zac Crowe scampered 52 yards for a score with 12 seconds left in the third quarter.

Woodbridge had 90 yards in penalties and turned the ball over three times.

“We regressed in the first half; I was really disappointed with the turnovers but our kids fought hard,” Gibson said.

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