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Telenko stars for No. 8 Los Alamitos
LONG BEACH – Los Alamitos played host to a trio of former Orange County players Thursday, but the Griffins weren’t in the mood for pleasantries at Veterans Stadium.
The county’s eighth-ranked team was still upset about how its 2014 season ended on this very field.
Los Alamitos greeted Paramount with 21 points in the first nine minutes and sprinted to a 49-12, season-opening victory behind quarterback Jack Telenko.
“We had a little bit of a bad taste in our mouth from the end of last season,” said Telenko, referring to the Griffins’ first-round playoff loss against El Toro. “We trained a whole offseason for this game. We were completely ready.”
Telenko threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for two touchdowns, including a 37-yarder. Los Alamitos rushed for 195 yards and finished with 461 yards offense. Schuyler Whitehead paced the ground attack with 66 yards on just six carries.
The Griffins’ defense racked up six sacks against Paramount (1-1), including two apiece by Issaiah Johnson and Will Armstrong and one by Drew Platt, who also recovered a fumble and deflected a pass.
Telenko sparked the fast start, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the first quarter. The senior set up his touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage with a 31-yard completion to Jacob Gasser to the Paramount 19.
Dylan Laurent returned the opening kickoff to 45 yards to the 50.
Telenko threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Gasser on the Griffins’ next possession and then added the 37-yard touchdown run with 2:54 left in the first as Los Alamitos opened a 21-0 lead.
Paramount, ranked sixth in the Southeast Division, found its success in the second quarter. Former JSerra freshman standout Al Fisher scored on a 6-yard touchdown run, and his brother, former first-team All-County running back Edward Vander of JSerra, made a 33-yard reception on a finger-tip grab that led to a 20-yard TD catch by promising sophomore Eric Fuller.
Vander played wide receiver while former Mater Dei running back Nick Hutson ran the ball.
“They were good,” Vander said of Los Alamitos.
Los Alamitos' execution certainly was good at the end of the first half and with some trick plays in the second half.
The Griffins, ranked eighth in the West Valley Division, drove 74 yards for a 3-yard TD pass from Telenko to Platt on fourth-and-3 with 56 seconds left in the opening half. The play-action attack, coming out of a timeout, extended Los Alamitos' lead to 35-12.
In the second half, Los Alamitos extended a pair of scoring drives by throwing passes on fake punts with Telenko, the Griffins' regular punter. The first trick play led to a 3-yard TD run by Armstrong in the third quarter and the second set up Telenko's 43-yard TD strike to Holden Edmondson (five catches, 95 yards) on the second play of the fourth quarter.
"It's a huge confidence booster," Telenko said of the victory. "Our offense played great."
The Griffins play Lakewood (0-2) this coming Thursday at Veterans Stadium before beginning a difficult stretch of games against La Habra, San Juan Hills and Narbonne.
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