By Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal
La Habra ended their preseason on a high note by beating Colony, 55-48, at home Friday night.
The Highlanders lost their last two games and were looking to turn things around against the Titans (3-2) before Freeway league games start.
The Highlanders ran their way to victory with help from running back, Carlos Martin, who led the team with 31 carriers for 429 yards and five touchdowns.
“I think we’re getting better, but we still need to make some stops,” said La Habra head coach Frank Mazzotta. “I think we’re prepared for league.”
The Highlander’s defense set the tone by forcing Colony to punt on its first possession of the game.
The Highlanders (2-3) quickly capitalized on the punt return when Eric Lancaster-Garcia ran the ball back 72-yards, scoring the first touchdown of the night.
Less than a minute later, the Titans made their way down the field to gain the lead, 7-6, over the Highlanders.
La Habra scored two more times and added a two-point conversion before the end of the first quarter, but Colony wasn’t going down without a fight. With less than 30 seconds left in the first quarter, the Titan’s Zachery Fields ran the ball 82-yards for a touchdown.
La Habra led 21-14 going into the second quarter.
With a little over six minutes remaining in the first half, La Habra’s quarterback Eric Barriere threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Edrick Flores to advance their lead to 28-14.
Both teams battled not only each other but also penalties as they tried to make their way to the end zone. Colony scored with less than a minute remaining in the first half and trailed La Habra, 28-21, going into halftime.
The start of the second half brought more touchdowns for both teams. The Highlanders had possession of the ball to start the second half and on their second play, Martin ran the ball 85-yards for a touchdown to advance their lead to 35-21.
Second later, the Titans ran the ball back down the field 64-yards for a touchdown, making it a one score game.
With less than eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Highlanders scored one more time and held the Titans for the rest of the quarter. La Habra led 41-28 going into the fourth quarter.
Colony had possession of the ball to start the quarter, but was stopped by the Highlander’s defense on fourth down, allowing La Habra to takeover on downs.
The Highlanders made their way down the field, which led to Martin’s fifth touchdown run of the night. La Habra led Colony 47-28.
Colony continued to fight and scored on three straight possessions, allowing them to regain the lead over La Habra, 48-47, with less than three minutes remaining in the game.
On their last possession of the game, the Highlanders scored with less than two minutes remaining to regain the lead over Colony, 55-48.
The Titans fumbled on the kickoff return and the Highlanders recovered the ball, securing their last preseason win.
The Highlanders have a bye next week and will return to an away game against Buena Park in their first Freeway league matchup on Friday, October 10.