Orange wakes up in time to rout Laguna Beach


ORANGE – During the first half of Thursday’s nonleague game against Laguna Beach, the Orange football team might have had a bad case of the look-ahead to bye week blues.

Thursday was the Panthers’ last game before getting a break next week and the start was as sluggish and out of sorts as the team has been all season.

The team that emerged from the locker room to start the second half was one that’s been similar to the one Coach Robert Pedroza has seen this season.

Orange erupted for 28 points in the third quarter to take firm control of Thursday’s nonleague game against visiting Laguna Beach and ended up with a 48-17 victory that moved the team to the 4-0 mark.

Pedroza said no one could find out the last time that the Panthers started a season 4-0.

“We had a bad practice at the beginning of the week and we wanted to keep telling kids that you had one game and then you would get a rest,” Pedroza said. “It was hard to get that point across, but finally in the second half, I think the finally realized, let’s get it done and let’s get going.”

The Panthers opened the second half with a quick drive that ended with Nathan Howard’s 22-yard touchdown run for a 14-3 lead.

Jordan Schmidt returned a touchdown 65 yards for a touchdown and 21-3 lead and quarterback Miguel Orendain hooked up with Benjamin Rivera for a 29-yard touchdown and a 28-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

Laguna Beach (2-2) cut the score to 28-17 with 2:50 left in the third on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Chase Harrison to Sean Nolan, but Orange ended the game with three touchdown runs from Brandon Warren to send the Panthers to their rare perfect start for the program.

“They were beating us at the line of scrimmage,” Pedroza said. “We came out in the second half and started beating them up front and our kids just played hard in the second half.”

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