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MICHAEL FERNANDEZ, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Westminster's Jacob McGookin runs over an Orange defender on his way to scoring a touchdown in a Golden West League game at El Modena High's Fred Kelly Stadium.

McGookin's 5 TDs power Westminster past Orange

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ORANGE – Josh Avila carried the ball 22 times for 164 yards and teammate Jacob McGookin rushed for five touchdowns as Westminster ran past Orange, 35-27, in a Golden West League game Saturday night at El Modena High.

Westminster (4-4, 2-1) lost its first three games this season, but has bounced back to win four of five. Orange, meanwhile, began the season 6-0, then forfeited its league-opening win against Segerstrom for using an ineligible player and has dropped two straight on the field.

McGookin, a 6-1, 220-pound junior running back, scored his fifth touchdown with 10:14 left to give the Lions a 35-20 lead. After the Panthers pulled within eight points on a 15-yard touchdown run by Jojo Martinez, Westminster was able to run out the clock with the help of a 41-yard run by Avila.

Jordan Schmidt caught two long touchdown passes to help keep Orange close in the first half. He made a nice over-the-shoulder grab and then outraced a Westminster defender to complete the 84-yard touchdown and tie the score at 7-7.

The Lions continued to control the line of scrimmage and marched down the field, mainly behind keepers from quarterback Noah Melbon, and took a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard run by McGookin with 4:32 left in the first half.

The Panthers missed a 33-yard field goal wide right on their next possession, and again the Lions had little trouble marching down the field. They went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 2 and McGookin found the end zone for a 21-7 lead with 31 seconds left in the half.

A 20-yard run by Martinez moved the ball across midfield and quarterback Miguel Orendain took aim at Schmidt, who used his body to box out the defender and make the 40-yard touchdown reception with nine seconds remaining before half.


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