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Los Al's defense sets tone

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH – The defensive philosophy for the Los Alamitos football team, according to Coach Ray Fenton, isn’t just to hold the opposing team to as few points as possible. It’s to score points of its own.

And for the second week in a row, it did exactly that, which might explain how, despite running just five plays for 13 yards on their first possession, the Griffins had built up a quick 14-point lead over Huntington Beach on Friday night.

On the Oilers’ opening drive, Nathan Hartman took an interception back 70 yards for a touchdown. Three plays later, Trevion Ballard picked off another, returning it 48 yards to the end zone, staking the Griffins to a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on their way to a 38-0 victory.

“I thought they did some really good things,” Fenton said. “We’ll look at the film. It’s not always as good in the morning as it feels right now, but they played well.”

Though Ballard’s interception would mark the last of the points scored by the Griffins (6-3, 3-1) on that end, it would portend an overall memorable night for the defense. Not once did Huntington Beach (4-5, 2-2) enter the red zone, punting nine times and throwing one more interception, allowing the Griffin offense to operate under little pressure.

Los Alamitos running back Keanu Norman took plenty advantage, running for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

“He’s one of those special kids who only comes around every now and then,” Fenton said. “Great runner, great vision.”

The win puts Los Alamitos in control of its CIF fate. Win next week against Newport Harbor and it locks up a playoff berth. Lose, and, though unlikely, there remains an off chance it misses out on an at-large bid.

Huntington, meanwhile, needs a win against Edison to keep its at-large playoff hopes alive.


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