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No. 2 Orange Lutheran strikes hard
No. 2 Orange Lutheran strikes hard
Hyepock leads the way in a 31-8 victory over No. 6 Los Alamitos
FULLERTON - Aaron Corp and Austin Pettis were in street clothes on Orange Lutheran’s sideline Friday night. The Lancers were still good. Make that very good.
With former stars Corp, Pettis and Michael Reardon now residing in the college ranks, the second-ranked Lancers continued to show their early-season muscle with a convincing 31-8 victory against No. 6 Los Alamitos at Cal State Fullerton.
First-year starting quarterback Blake Hyepock, Corp’s replacement, completed 15 of 19 passes for 179 yards, including two touchdowns to tight end Blake Ayles. Receiver Cody Smith, looking like a solid fill-in for Pettis, had six receptions for 93 yards.
Orange Lutheran’s defense did the rest. The unit with eight returning starters, but no Reardon, produced four sacks of Clark Evans. The junior quarterback entered the game with 303 yards rushing but finished with minus 5.
“Los Alamitos is great team, but I was surprised by the score,” said Ayles, who also had two sacks and forced a fumble. “Our defense stepped it up.”
Los Alamitos (3-1) finished with four yards rushing. The Griffins also entered the night averaging 41.6 points.
“They’re good,” Los Alamitos coach John Barnes said of the Lancers (5-0). “We played too many young kids. … They exposed it.”
Orange Lutheran scored on each of its first-quarter possessions. The Lancers opened the game with a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive that Hyepock capped with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ayles. The USC-commit lined up in the slot and made the reception in the end zone to punctuate a drive that lasted seven minutes. Ayles came up limping after his fourth touchdown reception of the season but returned to the game. He later said he landed awkward on his ankle.
Orange Lutheran’s offense struck quickly on its second possession. The Lancers went 68 yards on five plays. Running back Tyson Senecacapped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown as Orange Lutheran opened a 14-0 lead with 2:16 left in the first quarter. Ricky Pemasasparked the drive with 42 yard run to the Griffins’ 6.
Los Alamitos went to the locker room at halftime without any points, but the Griffins tried to be aggressive. Los Alamitos attempted to convert fourth downs from the Lancers’ 33 and 35 yard lines, but Orange Lutheran held each time.
The second try was a fourth-and-6 from the Lancers’ 35 but coming out of a Los Alamitos timeout, Ayles sacked Evans for a 2-yard loss. Kapono Asuega pressured Evans toward Ayles on the play.
Orange Lutheran scored late in the first half to take a 21-0 lead at halftime. After a 13-yard punt by Los Alamitos from its 27, the Lancers drove the short field for a 4-yard touchdown run by Pemasa with 25 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Lancers extended their lead to 24-0 in the third quarter on a 35-yard field goal by James Rammelsberg with 7:52 left.
Evans and Los Alamitos responded with their best drive of the night. Evans completed 7 of 7 passes to lead the Griffins on an 80-yard scoring drive. He capped the drive with a well-placed 18-yard touchdown pass to wide out Darryl Jenkinswith 4:34 left in the third. Evans ran in the two-point conversion.
But Orange Lutheran didn’t slow down. The Lancers countered with a 73-yard scoring drive that Hyepock ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Ayles, who lined up at wide receiver.
Hyepock has nine touchdown passes against only one interception this season.
“I’ve just tried to improve each week,” said Hyepock, who chatted with Corp during the game.
Orange Lutheran will carry a 14-game winning streak into its Trinity League opener at St. John Bosco on Oct. 12. Los Alamitos plays Santa Monica at Santa Monica College on Oct. 5.
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