Top-seeded La Habra cruises past Kennedy into quarterfinals


LA HABRA – Living up to its top-seeded position in the CIF Southwest Division playoffs, La Habra easily advanced to the quarterfinals with a 49-0 victory against visiting Kennedy in the opening round Friday night.

The Highlanders (9-1) had 408 yards yards in total offense, led by senior quarterback Eric Barriere, who rushed for three touchdowns and passed for three more. La Habra scored on all but one of its eight possessions and took a 28-0 halftime lead despite holding the ball for just over eight minutes.

Next for the Highlanders will be Laguna Hills.

Kennedy (5-6) was held to 147 yards in total offense. Despite being shut out, the Fighting Irish were able to string together a pair of lengthy drives in the first half. The first lasted nearly eight minutes but resulted in a punt after a penalty. The other saw a field goal attempt blocked by La Habra’s Madison Wheeler.

The rest of the game was dominated by the Highlanders, who took a 7-0 lead three minutes into the contest when Barriere completed the first of his three scoring passes to Prince Ross from 13 yards out.

Barriere's first touchdown run almost saw him caught behind the line of scrimmage for a sack, but he eluded the Kennedy defense and raced 87 yards on the final play of the first quarter.

The Highlanders took advantage of the blocked field goal by moving 59 yards in five plays. A 14-yard reception by Ross and a 14-yard run by C.J. Taylor keyed the march, which concluded with a 6-yard scoring run by Barriere.

Just before halftime, Jacob Jones intercepted a pass from Irish quarterback Jordan Jackson to set up Barriere's 1-yard TD run with 27 seconds left in the opening half.

Barriere connected with Ross for a 51-yard scoring strike 75 seconds into the second half, and later repeated the TD connection from 7 yards away with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.

Kennedy’s Jordan Jackson completed 11 of 23 passes for 141 yards, but was sacked four times. Derrick Deese caught four passes for 85 yards.

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