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SAM GANGWER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Los Alamitos running back Kendall Brownlow breaks away to score the first touchdown against Foothill during Friday's CIF-SS Southwest Division playoff opener at Tustin High. Los Alamitos won, 42-0.

Los Al crushes Foothill

OCVARSITY.COM

TUSTIN – The Los Alamitos football team went into the playoffs on a loss in the final game of the regular season.

The Griffins opened the CIF-SS Southwest Division playoffs Friday night with a performance that might keep them around for a while.

Los Alamitos' Kendall Brownlow had three touchdowns (one rushing and two receiving), Mike Hayden had two rushing touchdowns and the defense limited Foothill's Bobby Okereke to two touches in a 42-0 victory at Tustin High.

The Knights, who were the Century League co-champions, finish8-3. They advanced to the semifinals last season.

The Griffins (9-2) will visit Fullerton in the second round Friday. Fullerton defeated Valencia, 29-21.

“We played a complete game,” Los Alamitos coach John Barnes said.

“I'm shocked. I knew they were very physical. I didn't think we were going to be able to run the ball a lick; we kind of did that. Nick (Wendell) was great and our defense was great.”

This was the first victory for the Griffins in the first round of the playoffs since 2004.

Wendell, the Griffins' quarterback, struggled early, completing just three of his first 10 passes. He rebounded, completing nine of his last 10 passes, and finished with 262 passing yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“Coach Barnes told us to play with no regrets,” Wendell said. “That's what did.”

The Griffins punted on their first possession. They didn't punt again until the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

Wendell opened the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brownlow on the second possession of the game.

He also found Brownlow for a 36-yard pass that led to a 1-yard touchdown by Hayden. To open the third quarter, Wendell found Brownlow again, this time for a 75-yard touchdown for a 28-0 lead.

“They were playing cover two, so the middle was wide open,” Wendell said.

The speedy Brownlow finished with 129 receiving yards.

“He played great,” Barnes said of Brownlow.

“He's kind of been off and on this season. We found the things for him to do … he's a great receiver.”

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@ocregister.com


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