CORSAIR FIELD — Things could have gone better for the Mariners.
Though they kept their gusto through the final play, St. Monica’s varsity football team was unable to keep a handle on Laguna Beach in Saturday night’s contest, falling 42-21 to the Breakers.
Laguna Beach got out ahead early with a touchdown pass from juniuor quarterback Austin Paxson, caught by junior wide receiver Chris Paul.
Though the Mariners answered two minutes later with a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Kyle Farber, the Breakers would go on to score three more unanswered touchdowns, bringing the score to 29-7 by the end of the second half.
From there on, it was the Breakers’ game.
Although St. Monica would push back, scoring twice more before game’s end on major efforts from junior quarterback Matthew Partyka and wide receivers Daniel White, Jamal Young and Farber, their efforts would be trumped by big plays from Laguna’s Alec Jaffe, Paxson and Paul.
In large part, the Breakers’ success moving the ball can be credited to their fly-motion offense which frequently utilized a three-back set and two or more receivers.
With one man always in motion, Laguna’s offense almost always sent two or more rushers to the line, creating the illusion of multiple points of attack and forcing the St. Monica secondary to plug holes rather than sending linebackers into coverage for the short pass. This, in turn, yielded much success on later screen-pass plays and the like.
“We were able to do enough of what we needed to do. They stacked up our fly but we were able to go up the middle on them a bunch, and then we were able to pass on them pretty well, too,” said Laguna Beach offensive coordinator Jace Musselman.
The game’s turnout, while upsetting to the Mariners, was a great triumph for the Breakers who had yet to seal a win before Saturday night.
“I was glad to get a victory,” said Breakers coach Jonathan Todd, “The run was working and so was the pass, so it was good for us.”
After the game in the locker room, St. Monica players credited the loss to, among other things, a breakdown in the team’s mentality.
“We just got too psyched up for this one,” said Mariners captain and senior lineman Jack Porter “They came off a big loss last week and we thought we would have them beat.”