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Postgame Talk: How Calvary Chapel topped Saddleback
Final Score: Calvary Chapel 35, Saddleback 25
The game: The Eagles and Roadrunners almost broke the scoreboard in their 2014 encounter, collectively scoring 106 points in 48 minutes. Thursday’s first quarter had the same type of feel, until Calvary Chapel’s defense locked down and did a good job limiting Saddleback’s offense from the second quarter on.
After a 14-10 opening quarter, the Eagles pulled ahead 28-10 by the break with two Sam Lak touchdown passes. The Roadrunners lone scores of the second half came on a 43-yard pick six from David Sanchez and a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Roa with just 33 seconds to play and the game way out of reach. Calvary stacked the box in the second half and dared the Roadrunners to beat them vertically, which they failed to do consistently.
Key to the game: With senior quarterback Patrick Glasgow sidelined for most of the evening with a nagging shoulder injury, the Eagles coaching staff called a very nice game for Lak in his first career start. The play calls were simple, a lot of one- and three-step drops, getting the ball out of Lak’s hands and into the arms of Calvary’s versatile skill players. Braeden Stack’s 80-yard TD catch, for instance, came on a one-step drop where Lak simply took the snap from the shotgun and fired a pass over to Stack who was lined up in a bunch formation on the outside. The senior made a few would-be tacklers miss and was off to the races. By keeping it simple, Lak was able to get into a rhythm early, throwing for 256 yards and three scores in the first half alone.
Player of the game: Stack. The Eagles senior carried the ball 15 times for 164 yards and scored on runs of 32 and 77 yards. He also caught four passes for 109 yards, including the 80-yard score. Defensively, he played sound man-to-man on the outside and made an impressive play on a Saddleback deep ball late in the game. Stack even made his presence felt on special teams, booting a 58-yard punt at the end of the third quarter that was downed at the Roadrunners 6-yard line, and again pinning Saddleback inside their own 20 on his next punt in the fourth quarter.
What it means: Calvary Chapel is in the driver’s seat in the Orange Coast League. The Eagles have already beat Estancia – last year’s champs – and on Thursday they took out 2014’s second-place finisher. At 3-0, they only have games against Laguna Beach (0-2 in league) and Costa Mesa (1-1) remaining on their schedule. Calvary should be pretty heavy favorites in both contests.
As for Saddleback, they have tough matchups with Costa Mesa and Estancia left. The Roadrunners will have to battle if they hope to qualify for the postseason in back-to-back years.