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Anaheim seals playoff berth with 35-26 win over Magnolia


ANAHEIM - The storyline was simple for Friday night’s regular season finale between Magnolia and Anaheim. The victor would clinch third place in the Orange League and with it, an automatic berth in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Josh Tafoya rushed for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and Rico Kindle added three more scores on the ground as Anaheim jumped to a three-touchdown lead en route to a 35-26 win over Magnolia at Western High.

“It’s always huge to get to advance to the playoffs,” said Anaheim coach Lanny Booher, whose squad improved to 5-5 overall and 3-2 in league play. Magnolia ends the season 3-7, 2-3 in league.

Kindle started the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run with 4:43 left in the opening quarter after the Colonists stopped Magnolia on downs.

Anaheim upped the lead to 21-0 on consecutive offensive plays in the second quarter. Tafoya capped a 92-yard drive with a 7-yard scoring run, and after Albert Herrera's 50-yard interception return on Magnolia’s next offensive play, Kindle followed with a 6-yard scoring run.

Tafoya seemingly put the game away in the fourth quarter on his 33-yard scoring run, one of six runs of over 20 yards for the junior running back.

However, Adeel Akbar kept Magnolia in the game with touchdown passes of 28 and 4 yards, the latter coming with 45 seconds to play. The extra point was missed, though, keeping the margin at two scores and sealing Magnolia’s fate.

Adeel Akbar completed 21 of 40 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns, with Larry Cooper catching eight passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

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