NEWPORT BEACH — It was far more nerve-wracking for the Los Alamitos soccer teams than a 35-point win should be.
The Griffins were unable to break away from Corona del Mar in the first half thanks to penalties and turnovers of their own. Their USC-signed receiver Makai Lemon left the game in the first quarter with an injury, and USC-signed quarterback Malachi Nelson left the game with an injury in the third quarter.
Los Alamitos put together a strong second half to beat Corona del Mar 49-14 in a Sunset League game at Newport Harbor High on Thursday.
And it turns out Lemon’s injury was a minor ankle sprain and Nelson had a right calf cramp that is unlikely to keep him out of the Griffins’ next game.
This game takes place on Thursday, October 13 at Huntington Beach High vs. Edison. Edison went into the week 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the league and is No. 4 in Orange County’s top 25. Edison plays in No. 12 Newport Harbor on Friday (4-2, 0-1).
Los Alamitos, No. 2 in the district rankings, improved to 5-2 on aggregate and are 2-0 in the league. The Griffins had a 61-21 win over Newport Harbor last week and had 69 points in a non-league win over Santa Margarita the previous week.
Senior running back Damian Henderson had another big night for the Griffins. He slid, turned and rushed for 242 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries. Henderson ran for 303 yards and five touchdowns in the 69-49 win over Santa Margarita.
Los Alamitos senior receiver/defensive back Gavin Porch hit on a four-yard pass from Nelson and returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown.
Corona del Mar senior quarterback David Rastor tossed touchdown passes to Zach Giuliano and Cooper Hoch for the No. 11 Sea Kings (5-2, 1-1). They play Huntington Beach on October 14 at Huntington Beach High.
Los Alamitos’ first possession ended in a lost fumble. The Griffins’ next possession ended with Henderson scoring on a 31-yard run. An interception by Corona del Mar’s Kaulin Post at the Sea Kings 9-yard line ended the Griffins after an offensive run.
The Griffins made it 14-0 on Nelson’s touchdown pass to Porch. Giuliano’s 5-yard touchdown reception cut Los Alamitos’ lead to 14-7. Henderson’s second hit run with a 1-yard blast extended the lead to 21-7, which would be the halftime score.
“We couldn’t have played worse than we did in the first half,” said Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton, “and we were still up 14.”
After Los Alamitos failed to convert on a fourth down early in the fourth quarter, Rasor threw a deep pass to the very open hock for a 45-yard touchdown that made it 21-14. Then Los Alamitos and Henderson took over.
Henderson scored on a 10-yard run in the first game of the fourth quarter, Griffins defenseman Ryder Trujillo recovered from a Corona del Mar fumble and the Sea Kings 25 and four games later Henderson ran from 3 yards for a 35-14 lead .
Porch scored on his interception return, and second backup running back Anthony League notched the final touchdown of the game on a 44-yard rush late in the fourth quarter for the 49-14 result.
Nelson endured a lot of pain late in the third quarter. After being helped to the touchline, he tried to walk away from the injury, but the game was in hand and there’s that Edison game coming up.
“It’s still tight and it’s not going to go away,” Nelson said of his right calf after the game. “I tried everything I could on the sidelines.”
He ended up having one of his least productive games, throwing for 108 yards on 13 shots from 26 attempts.
“It was a bit shaky,” Nelson said. “We started slowly and we let (the Sea Kings) stay in the game for a bit. I definitely didn’t play the way I wanted to play.”
Rasor, who signed for UC Davis, completed 16 of 24 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Russell Weir had six receptions for 57 yards for Corona del Mar.
Fenton could see Thursday’s early fights coming.
“It’s Corona del Mar, a historic program with great athletes, and it was a trap game for us,” Fenton said. “Our boys trained badly on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Today’s tour was horrific.
“We’ve been confused all week. Sometimes kids have to learn the hard way. They really do.”
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/06/los-alamitos-football-finishes-strong-in-win-over-corona-del-mar/ Los Alamitos football finishes strong with a win over Corona del Mar – Orange County Register