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HS Football: Rancho Christian Eagles earn hard fought win over Laguna Beach 24-17

 

Last updated 11/18/2017 at Noon

Carter Treadway leads Rancho Christian to a 24-17 victory over Laguna Beach to open the CIF SS Division 12 playoffs. David Canales photo.

Defending a State title is no easy task. It takes the desire to win, but more so it takes the effort to prepare and the will to fight when things get tough.

The Rancho Christian Eagles passed its first test Friday, Nov.10 with a hard fought 24-17 win over the Laguna Beach Breakers. The outcome of the game went down to the last minute of the fourth quarter, with the likelihood of overtime looming large, but the Eagles offense sustained a five minute drive and ran out the clock for the win.

Laguna Beach opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 32-yard field goal by Noah Mandel, which came after Rancho failed to capitalize on big plays like a 50 yard strike from Carter Treadway to Joseph Schuman, but penalties and untimely fumbles kept Rancho off the scoreboard.

Late in the first quarter Jaden Schieberl broke loose for 68 yards and scored his first of 3 TDs on the night. Emma Baker made the kick and Rancho led, 7-3.

Laguna Beach came right back marching down the field on the strong arm and quick feet of quarter back Curtis Harrison. But a promising drive came to a screeching halt on a Jo Jo Saatzer interception, his first of 2 very timely takeaways.

Following the interception Jaden Schieberl broke loose on a twisting dash up the middle and scored from 22 yards out. Following the Emma Baker PAT, Rancho was up 14-3 and seemed to be in a comfortable position.

Both teams spent much of the second quarter marching up and down the field gaining yards but not scoring. Penalties and fumbles and bad execution at the wrong time, often in the red zone, kept the score 14-3 until late in the second quarter when Laguna Beach‘s Curtis Harrison rushed in from the 12 yard line to close the gap to 14-10.

Rancho went right to work quickly covering 65 yards, 49 of them coming on a Carter Treadway to Jo Jo Saatzer completion down to the 2 yard line. A 15 yard penalty and a 2 loss on a run gave Emma Baker a field goal attempt from the 19.The Kick went wide right and the half ended 14- 10 .

The third quarter looked a lot like the second with a lot of offense on both sides but little to show for it. Rancho was able to get a field goal on the board on a no-doubter by Emma Baker from 36 yards out, making the score 17-10 midway through the third. Late in that same quarter Laguna Beach put together a 65 yard drive-with scrambling runs by Curtis Harrison and hard driving by Victor Castillo. Sean Nolan had 2 receptions including a 24-yard grab to keep the drive alive. Harrison ran it in from 8 yards to tie the score at 17-17.

Jaden Schieberl races 32 yards for an Eagle score during Rancho Christian’s first round playoff game. David Canales photo.

Rancho Senior Leadership and championship mettle showed itself immediately when team captain and QB Carter Treadway went to work and hit Paul Nichols on a 52-yard bomb. Jaden Schieberl took it the rest of the way, scampering in from 13 yards out. Emma Bakers kick was true and Rancho now led 24-17.

That was how it ended but not without some drama. Laguna Beach put together what looked like a drive to tie the score. But a big play interception again by “Mr. Everywhere” Jo Jo Saatzer gave the ball back to Rancho and they held on to seal the victory. Hardnosed playoff football by two well coached teams from high character programs gave the fans a great show and gave Rancho another week of continuing their quest. With the victory Rancho ran its season record to 8 wins and 3 losses. Laguna Beach closed out its 2017 season at 5-6.

 

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