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MICHAEL GOULDING, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Orange Lutheran quarterback Luke Langdon looks for a place to land after being upended in the second quarter at Orange Coast College on Friday night.

Orange Lutheran shut down by St. John Bosco

OCVARSITY.COM

COSTA MESA - St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro said his team had a "rough" week.

He wasn't alluding to the fact the Braves had to forfeit its first four victories of the season last week, but rather the Braves' travel turnaround. They played Jordan of Sandy, Utah, this past weekend and returned home Sunday.

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A Trinity League opener on the road isn't exactly the remedy to recovery. But it was for the Braves.

St. John Bosco put forth a dominating defensive effort to beat Orange Lutheran, 21-6, Friday at Orange Coast College.

"This is exciting," Negro said. "We didn't give up any big plays. I think that was the biggest key. To try to stop that funky offense that they run is difficult."

But stop it they did. Orange Lutheran was shut out in the second half, advancing past midfield just once. In the third quarter, the Lancers had a chance to take the lead and faced a fourth-and-2 at the Bosco 3-yard line. First, they unsuccessfully tried to draw the Braves offside, then missed a field goal.

The game took a dramatic turn thereafter, as Braves' sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen drove his team down the field. Running back Darren Walker put the finishing touches on the drive with a 3-yard touchdown to give Bosco a 14-6 lead.

Rosen connected with senior receiver A.J. Holman on a 19-yard touchdown in the fourth to seal the victory.

No. 7 Orange Lutheran will return to Orange Coast College next week to play Servite. St. John Bosco (2-4, 1-0), ranked No. 7 in the Pac-5 Division, will play host to JSerra.

Lancers quarterback Luke Langdon had more rushing attempts (14) than passes thrown (seven). He led the Lancers' run-heavy offense with 76 yards. Fullback Tavi Jimmerson had 54 yards.

"I don't ever look back," said Orange Lutheran coach Chuck Petersen, when asked about the fourth down decision. "We're going forward. We'll evaluate it and go from there. It was a heck of a game. They're certainly as good as advertised."

Holman, who transferred from Orange Lutheran this past summer, finished with a game-high six receptions for 57 yards. Rosen passed for 140 yards and ran for 70.

"He's a sophomore but he's got a lot of moxie and a lot of calm under pressure," Negro said.

Orange Lutheran's lone score was largely the product of its defense. Bosco was attempting a punt when a fumbled snap led to Lancers linebacker Kyle Steckler stripping the punter, the ball trickling away to the Braves' 3-yard line. Langdon ran it in from a yard two plays later to give the Lancers a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Bosco moved the ball 74 yards on its following possession, capped off by a six-yard touchdown run by Walker.

That was all the offense they wrote in the first half. Orange Lutheran held down what has been a high-scoring Braves' offense, forcing two punts and stopping them on a fourth-and-1 near midfield. Bosco's defense was even better, holding the Lancers to 106 yards in the half.

"I was proud of both sides in terms of the effort," Petersen said.

There was an air of curiosity coming into this league opener. Neither team had been beaten on the field, though questions remained about Orange Lutheran's strength of schedule. Their opponents had a combined record of 8-17, with only 0-5 Long Beach Wilson hailing from the Pac-5 Division.

"Football is football," Petersen said. "It's a good league with great athletes and great coaches. We got good players and good coaches too, so we'll battle back."

Bosco had outscored its first four opponents, 217-22, only to forfeit those victories because it had used an ineligible player. The Braves finished second in the Trinity League last season, earning their first playoff appearance since the league's inception in 2006.

The Lancers have missed the playoffs the past two seasons.


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