Archive | September, 2016

La Habra controls home court in rivalry match

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La Habra controls home court in rivalry match

Posted on 27 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

After jumping out to an early lead only to watch it slip away in the opening set, the Lady Highlanders volleyball team bounced back to win three straight and pull off the four-set upset victory over Sonora Monday night at home.

Lady Highlanders celebrate after a score on their way to a home win against Sonora Monday.

Lady Highlanders celebrate after a score on their way to a home win against Sonora Monday.

La Habra jumped out to an early lead in front of the home crowd, outscoring the Raiders 8-2 to begin the match. After trailing 16-8 in the first, Sonora stormed back to tie it at 20, then outscored the Lady Highlanders 5-1 down the stretch to close out the set.

Coming into the game, Sonora (11-7) sported the better record and the momentum appeared to be shifting after the team’s slow start.

“I’m proud of them for not giving up after that first game,” said Adrianne Spear, La Habra head coach. “To have that 8-point lead and give it away in a matter of minutes, we knew we had to focus and eliminate the mistakes, and we did.”LHJ Guadalupe Park

However, La Habra (7-8) bounced right back to take early leads in the second and third sets and never relinquished the position.

The fourth set was back-and-forth all the way through a 12-12 tie, before La Habra pulled away with a 13-3 run to close out the match.

Sisters Victoria and Haley Rollins teamed up to dominate the net for La Habra. Victoria finished with nine kills and 11 blocks. The younger Rollins, Haley pitched in seven kills and eight blocks.

Taylor Richter, La Habra’s leading scorer this season, missed on several scoring opportunities in the first two sets, but finished strong. Richter notched five of her six kills in the third and fourth, and gave her team a boost with four aces as well.

Sophomore Ariana Gonzalez had an efficient game at the net for SLHJ Guadalupe Parkonora, finishing with eight kills and 12 blocks. Sonora Head Coach Andrew Johnson admitted afterwards that his team needs to do a better job of getting Gonzalez more scoring opportunities.

Spear was impressed with her team’s resilience and said competing against talented teams over the weekend in La Jolla without one of their top scorers, Marina Pilkington, helped boost their confidence.

“When we lost Marina, it forced us to really work together as a team,” Spear said. “I think having to figure that out this weekend really helped us a lot tonight.”

Both teams play again Wednesday night. La Habra will be at Buena Park (2-5), while Sonora will be at home taking on Sunny Hills (6-6).

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Highlanders stand tall against Titans in OT

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Highlanders stand tall against Titans in OT

Posted on 24 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

Several times throughout the game it appeared the La Habra football team might be headed towards its fourth consecutive loss and second at home, but the Highlanders fought back to push it into overtime, and eventually came away with the 42-36 victory over a talented Colony team Friday night.

Photo By Miguel Pola Senior Madison Wheeler zig-zags his way into end zone from 11 yds out to give La Habra the 42-36 OT victory

Senior Madison Wheeler zig-zags his way into end zone from 11 yds out to give La Habra the 42-36 OT victory — Photo by Miguel Pola

It was a seesaw battle all night long, with the lead changing hands by the quarter as both teams key players made big-time plays and traded their best shots.

Titan’s 6-foot-4 receiver Michael Ezeike got the better of the Highlander defense for the majority of the second half, despite blanket coverage from Derrick Corso.

“Honestly you have to shake that play off and go to the next play,” Corso said. “You just gotta keep fighting, it really came down to who wanted it more.”

And it was the 5-foot-8 Corso who stood tall late in the game, coming up with a pair of interceptions on passes intended for Ezeike down the stretch, including one in overtime.

“That’s what you are supposed to do, fight, that’s what life’s about, you aren’t always going to have an advantage, sometimes you are going to have a disadvantage but you just have to battle and fight.” Mazzotta said. “And playing DB, you have to get over it and move on to the next play.”

Corso also shined on offense, taking an option from quarterback Zach Fogel into the end zone from 72 yards out for his touchdown this season.

“I knew it was going to come sooner or later, it felt great though,” Corso said.

La Habra's Alan Giron makes a great run in the first quarter against Colony High School.—Photo by Miguel Pola

La Habra’s Alan Giron makes a great run in the first quarter against Colony High School.—Photo by Miguel Pola

The Highlanders went into the half down 16-7, but quickly turned the tides when they scored three consecutive touchdowns during a six minute stretch in the third quarter.

Madison Wheeler sparked the Highlander offense to open the second half with his 44-yard touchdown run operating at quarterback in the pistol formation.

A few minutes later, Wheeler struck again with a 44-yard punt return that set up the next score, a 16-yard run by Prince Ross on an end around.

After Corso added his score, the Highlanders seemed to have a comfortable 28-16 lead nearing the end of the third quarter.

But Colony quarterback Joseph Tesimale started to get into a rhythm throwing the ball to Ezeike. The Titans roared back to take the lead thanks to Ezeike’s six catches and two touchdowns the next three drives. He also set up a third score with a 25-yard grab on a fourth-and-long play.

Nathan Tilford who came into the game already possessing a 300-yard rushing game this season, scored from nine yards out to put the Titans ahead 30-28. The Highlander defense made Tilford earn all 102 yards and two touchdowns that he finished with.

Linebacker Marcus Carrasco shadowed Tilford in pass coverage and prevented him from getting around the corner on most plays.

Carrasco also came up with a big sack late in the fourth quarter that forced the Titans to punt from their own 7-yard-line, insuring the Highlanders a chance to win it in overtime.

Despite the wealth of playmakers on both teams, perhaps none were more explosive than Fogel’s go to receiver, Ross.

Ross hauled in two catches on the night, which he turned into a pair of 60-yard touchdowns. His second touchdown catch pushed the game into overtime. Ross finished with 148 yards of total offense and three touchdowns on just five touches.

La Habra Freshman Jacobah Fuamatu ends the first half with a 30-yard run. —Photo by Miguel Pola

La Habra Freshman Jacobah Fuamatu ends the first half with a 30-yard run. —Photo by Miguel Pola

Ross said afterwards that he really worked on his hands in the offseason so that he could take advantage of every chance he got this year.

In overtime, both teams turned the ball over. After a muffed handoff gave the Titans the ball with an opportunity to win with any score, Corso picked off Tesimale in the end zone to give the Highlanders new life.

Tesimale led the Titan offense inside the 10, but Isaiah Alcocer stepped in front of another Tesimale pass in the end zone to turn the table. On first-and-ten from the 11, head coach Frank Mazzotta went back to Wheeler and the pistol.

Wheeler followed his blockers, zigging and zagging his way into the end zone for the game winning score.

“He [Wheeler] looked at me and said ‘coach I got this’, so I put him in there at the end,” Mazzotta said.

Fogel finished the game 8-18 for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

For the Titans, Tesimale threw for 224 yards and three scores, but also had three picks, 154 yards and two touchdowns went to Ezeike.

The Highlanders (2-3) begin league against Troy (3-1) on Friday October 7 at home.

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Highlanders undone by Griffins’ big plays

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Highlanders undone by Griffins’ big plays

Posted on 16 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

La Habra uncharacteristically gave up a handful of long touchdown runs early and dropped its third consecutive game at the hands of an explosive Los Alamitos offense Friday night.

La Habra running back Eli Anderson looks to run past Los Alamitos defenders Friday night at La Habra. Photo by Miguel Pola

La Habra running back Eli Anderson looks to run past Los Alamitos defenders Friday night at La Habra. Photo by Miguel Pola

Los Alamitos came into the contest motivated by the lingering image of La Habra’s last-second hail mary touchdown victory over them a season ago.

The Highlanders once again scored on the last play of the game. However, there was no miracle this time, just a 40-29 final score prompting the visiting Griffin fans to rush the field.

Dylan Laurent burned the Highlanders with three long first-half touchdowns of 51, 62 and 74 yards, and finally put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter with a 30-yard score. Laurent finished with 183 yards on the ground and four touchdowns.

“Our guys are really talented,” said Ray Fenton, Griffins head coach. “We have some big time athletes, Dylan Laurent I think is outstanding, he is a special player.”

The Griffins built a first half lead with a pair of special teams scores.

“We think special teams is an opportunity to score and we have always felt that way,” Fenton said.

Laurent’s first score came on a 51-yard punt return to make it 13-0 with a minute left in the first quarter.

La Habra Coach Framk Mazzota and the Highlander team analyze some game video during Friday's home game against Los Alamitos. Photo by Miguel Pola.

La Habra Coach Framk Mazzota and the Highlander team analyze some game video during Friday’s home game against Los Alamitos. Photo by Miguel Pola.

Early in the second quarter with the Highlanders in the red zone, Madison Wheeler ran the offense from the pistol and leaped over the pile for a 1-yard touchdown to make it a one-score game.

Keanu Norman took the ensuing kickoff back 81 yards for the touchdown.

Zach Fogel led the Highlanders back down the field and set up another Wheeler touchdown from inside the red zone.

The Griffins answered back just two plays later with a 74-yard score by Laurent leaving the Highlanders down 33-14 at the half.

The Highlander defense tightened up and nearly kept the Griffins off the scoreboard the entire second half, until Laurent put his stamp on the game with the final score.

“We just dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t get out of tonight,” said Frank Mazzotta, La Habra head coach.

Fogel got off to a lackluster start against the Griffins, but began to connect with Prince Ross in the second quarter and finished 13-24 for 179 yards with a touchdown, a fumble and one interception. Ross had his best performance of the season with 119 yards and a touchdown.

Photo by Miguel Pola

Photo by Miguel Pola

Freshman Jacobah Fuamatu saw action at running back for the Highlanders and scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Mazzotta said he has been looking for opportunities to get Fuamatu more carries because he loves his running style and feels that he will just keep getting better with more game experience.

“You got to punish the defense, you have to run into the defense and make them not want to tackle you late in the game,” Mazzotta said. “That’s what I love about Jacobah, he runs hard.”

The Highlanders will be at home again next Friday taking on Colony High School.

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LH works on final piece of OC Loop

LH works on final piece of OC Loop

Posted on 08 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The plans for the North Orange County Loop, or the 66-mile bike path that is planned to connect through the cities of Anaheim, Fullerton, Brea, La Habra and Buena Park was proposed two years ago.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal   Healthy trail: La Habra and community organizations are working to help get the city's two sections of the 66-mile OC Loop developed for greater public fitness.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Healthy trail: La Habra and community organizations are working to help get the city’s two sections of the 66-mile OC Loop developed for greater public fitness.

While much of the loop has been created, the nearly four miles in La Habra remain the largest section undeveloped. However, it’s not due to a lack of effort.
The main issue is the inability to obtain an easement from Union Pacific Railroad along the proposed trail area through the city.
The planned loop is set to connect from Brea at the rail lines and continue along the railway through the midsection of La Habra south of La Habra Boulevard and along Guadalupe Park.  The loop will come out to Beach Boulevard and then connect with the Coyote Creek Trail at Imperial Highway.
With the railway being the major part of the La Habra trail, the city has reached out to the company that operates “North America’s premier railroad franchise, covering 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States,” but was initially unable to gain much attention.  La Habra has since joined with the Orange County Transportation Authority, OC Parks and OC Supervisor Shawn Nelson to reach out to Union Pacific officials as a larger entity.
Justin E. Jacobs, director of corporate relations & media for Union Pacific’s Western Region said the company is in communication with OCTA in regard to the project, and that they have been discussing this matter with them.
What is at dispute is that the rail line in La Habra is still deemed as an active rail line.  A company on the border of Brea and La Habra continues to receive material by rail and has said that after recently upgrading the tracks that serve their company and the high cost of truck delivery, they have no interest in switching from rail delivery.

he Loop: The map above shows the northern section of the proposed OC Loop. The La Habra segments run along the tracks from Palm Street  to Beach Boulevard and then south to Imperial Highway.

The Loop: The map above shows the northern section of the proposed OC Loop. The La Habra segments run along the tracks from Palm Street to Beach Boulevard and then south to Imperial Highway.

So with the rail line remaining in an active status, the city, OCTA and OC Parks are looking for an easement that will allow UP to continue to use the railway while walkers, bikers and others will be able to utilize the trail.
La Habra City Manager Jim Sadro explained that the city of Brea purchased the railways from UP outright, but they were deemed as “dead” or inactive rails.
According to Cindie Ryan, Communications & Marketing Manager for Brea, said the  city purchased two segments from Union Pacific. One is about 170,000 acres (0.3 miles) for $2.5 million in 2012. The other is about 565,000 acres (0.8 miles) for about $7.9 million in 2010.
She explained that the total land acquisition of over 47 acres from various owners (total trail will be over 54 acres, but the City already owned a small portion of the land).
“Redevelopment funds and a number of grants from State and Federal agencies were used to purchase the land,” Ryan said. “So far we have earned approx. $17.5 million in grants.”
She also said that the Brea City Council has also authorized the use of some Park Fund dollars (which is a restricted fund that can only be used on parks).
According to Ryan, the total project cost for Brea, including land, construction and amenities is estimated at about $29 million for the entire trail.
Marissa O’Neil, Public information officer for OC Parks, which is taking the lead on the development of the project, said that the sections of the loop within the city of La Habra are “relatively high-cost segments due to the need for traffic and/or specialty crossing signals.”ocloop-gap-fs-2015-22_crop
According to a feasibility study by OC Parks, the two segments in La Habra are estimated to cost over $33 million.
Segment A and T in the plan are in La Habra.  Segment A extends parallel along the Union Pacific Railroad right of way, west from Beach Blvd, passing into Los Angeles County and connect with the Segment T, which runs down Beach Boulevard and to the Coyote Creek Trail or connect with the trail that runs into Whittier.
Sadro, added the city of Whittier purchased the rights to easements along the rails, but La Habra is not in a position to pay the amount Union Pacific is asking and is actively seeking grants and other funding opportunities, like those with OCTA.
“La Habra and OCTA have been actively coordinating with Union Pacific to secure a permanent easement along the railroad right-of-way,” said Joel Zlotnik, Strategic Communications Manager of OCTA.. “La Habra pursued additional state funding for a bikeway along the railroad during the May application deadline, and the awards are still pending from that application for state funding.
Sadro said that city officials explored other routes for the trail through the city, but nothing posed such a clear and safe way as the path along the railway.
The city, in conjunction with the La Habra Collaborative, recently was awarded a healthy communities grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a “Wellness Corridor” along Guadalupe Park, which will help serve as part of the OC Bike Loop.  (See related story above.)
Once the section of the loop along the rails in La Habra is secure, the city will work with Caltrans on developing a dedicated bike lane along Beach Boulevard to connect with  the Coyote Creek Trail.  Officials at Caltrans said they are willing to work with the city, but will wait until the negotiations with Union Pacific have been resolved.
According to Sadro, the city is committed to working with its partners in developing this trail through La Habra and connecting with the OC Bike Loop.

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LHH Fire Dept rated one of state's best

LHH Fire Dept rated one of state’s best

Posted on 08 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

The La Habra Heights Fire Department was recently rated in the top 2 percent of fire departments across the country by the Insurance Services Office.LHH_Fire_3_4C-1024x795
The ISO’s Public Protection program review rates departments across the country on various categories to establish the city’s rating from 1 -10.  Departments are evaluated on 911 dispatch capability, command staff, department apparatus, staffing levels, training, mutual aid agreements, fire prevention activities, water supply levels and fire hydrant systems.
The national program review  stated that  the LHH Fire Department’s rating was moved from a Class 5 to Class 2.
According to city staff, only .4 percent scored above the department nationally and only 19 departments in California achieved a Class 1 rating.
“This means everything,” said LHH Mayor Kyle Miller.  “La Habra Heights has an inherent risk for fire. So we need our fire department to be as effective as possible.  We’re proud of  them and the residents are as well.
The rating by the ISO is used by insurance companies to evaluate community risks in underwriting decisions regarding insurance rates and coverage.
Since the previous ISO evaluation and rating, LHH Fire Chief Doug Graft worked with the city to address the areas that needed improving.  These included maintaining daily staffing levels, improved 911 dispatch, fire apparatus and command staff oversight.
“The fire department has redoubled its efforts and increased its connection to the residents,” Miller said. “They improved in every area they could, and added to their outreach effort  with the new blog and weed abatement site.”
In an effort to help keep the community informed of what the fire department is doing and on important fire prevention measures, the LHHFD developed a blog that can be found at: lhhfire.com.
“We will keep it updated with news and information regarding the Heights,” said LHH Fire Captain Ron Meyers.
In addition, the city is looking to honor the memory of six of their fallen firefighters with a memorial plaque installed by the flagpole in front of city hall.
The firefighters were killed in 1955 fighting a serious fire in the hills of what would become La Habra Heights. According to city staff, the memory of the firemen’s sacrifice faded through the decades, but was brought to light by resident Scott Jones.
Graft searched an appropriate tribute to honor  and memorialize the sacrifice of the firemen for the community and the bronze plaque idea was developed.
Graft is hoping the plaque will be able to be unveiled at the fire department’s open house set for October 8.

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LH receives grant to help build healthy community

LH receives grant to help build healthy community

Posted on 08 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

In an effort to continue its Move More Eat Healthy initiative, the city of La Habra was recently one of the only cities awarded a grant geared toward civic health.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal Happy trails: This is a section of the trail at Guadalupe Park, which thanks to a grant, will be enhanced to become part of what will be a Wellness Corridor that will encourage residents to walk, ride and play.

Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Happy trails: This is a section of the trail at Guadalupe Park, which thanks to a grant, will be enhanced to become part of what will be a Wellness Corridor that will encourage residents to walk, ride and play.

The grant awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was presented to 50 cities across the country to help fund projects that better the health of the community
“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to eliminate barriers to healthy choices, and help communities create or expand upon the types of systems,” according to its website.
The La Habra project consisted of the creation of the “Wellness Corridor” along Guadalupe Park.
The corridor will include a walking and bike trail (that will be part of the OC Loop project, see more on Page 1), some activity equipment for people to use.
It is also part of the Safe Routes to School program, and the city has authority to develop areas under that program.
Safe Routes to School Programs are intended to help with kids’ safety and to reverse the trend of childhood obesity by developing projects that improve safety and efforts that promote walking and bicycling within a collaborative community framework.
The aim of the Wellness Corridor is to help create health resources across the middle of the city to encourage residents to get out and  move more.
One of the things that the foundation liked about the La Habra wellness corridor was that it was a community effort proposed by the city, the La Habra Collaborative, businesses and the city’s faith-based organizations.
“The community will be an active partner in all aspects of this,” said David DeLeon, recreation manager for La Habra. ” We are looking to meet with the community, and we will have public meetings to hear from them about what is needed.”
The $60,000 grant is seen as a start in developing the Wellness Corridor.  The city also received a smaller state grant that will help with Guadalupe Park and add to the route.
DeLeon said the grants help create and build a network for more funding opportunities.
He added that he is excited to get this project started and that the Wellness Corridor will truly be a community project. Look for more information from the city soon.

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LH Chamber offers variety for local businesses and community

LH Chamber offers variety for local businesses and community

Posted on 08 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

With National Chamber of Commerce Week approaching on September, 19-23, many people either have a misconception of chambers or don’t know exactly what it is that they do.

Photo courtesy Mark Sturdevant Business sense: Members of the La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce listen  to a presentation by Living Justly discussing aquaponics. The Chamber works to provide opportunities for local owners to share information.

Photo courtesy Mark Sturdevant
Business sense: Members of the La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce listen to a presentation by Living Justly discussing aquaponics. The Chamber works to provide opportunities for local owners to share information.

Like all chambers, the La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce is a form of a business network organization whose goal is to further the interests of businesses.
The La Habra Chamber has been doing that for the local business community for 102 years.
Mark Sturdevant, president of the La Habra Chamber, explained that the chamber is a membership group that exists to help the local business community.
From networking to local government advocacy, the chamber works to provide options and opportunities to businesses according to Sturdevant.
“We create platforms for businesses,” Sturdevant said. “The business can choose what it is that they want.”
The platforms that Sturdevant mentioned are what the chamber offers its members.  He explained it can be customized to passive or aggressive, depending on what the business owner feels he or she needs.
Members are listed in the Life in La Habra magazine, which is mailed out to every resident in La Habra. They are also on the website as a member.
Sturdevant explained this is the more passive approach.  However, business owners  can become more active and aggressive in the chamber as they see fit.
They take part in networking mixers.  The weekly Connect Up at Corner Bakery on Thursday mornings, the occasional lunch mobs, where members go out to lunch at one of the member restaurants.
They can take part in training or presentations at the Chamber’s Enterprise group.  Members or business trainers come and give presentations each week. According to Sturdevant, this is a way to let others really understand your business.
“It comes down to one thing….sales,” Sturdevant said “If you don’t get sales, you won’t be in business.  If it’s profitable is up to you.”
He added that the chamber understands this and works to provide opportunities to businesses that could, in turn, help sales.
The La Habra Chamber is one  of the founding members of the Chamber Business Alliance, which is a group of six chambers.  The CBA is an example of the trend in understanding that sales don’t stop at city borders. Customers can come from anywhere and it is in the best interest of chambers to find ways to collaborate.
The current members of the CBA are  LH, Brea, Yorba Linda, Placenta, La Mirada and Artesia, with the possibility of more chambers joining.
The CBA allows networking opportunities with businesses in outer cities.
“You might not make a sale right there,” Sturdevant said. “But it could provide benefits long term.”
As a non-governmental institution, a chamber of commerce has no direct role in the writing and passage of laws and regulations that affect businesses.
The La Habra Chamber has built a collaborative relationship with the city government, one that is built on mutual respect, according to Sturdevant.
“We aren’t looking for combat,” he said. “We’re looking to get things done.”
Another area that the Chamber works is with the community.  Sturdevant understands the importance of children in building and fostering relationships in a community.
He started a junior ambassadors program at the  Chamber, where high school students can work with the chamber and join the Goodwill Ambassadors to go out and meet with businesses and become advocates for the local business industry.
He also worked with La Habra High School and its MBA program where students are able to learn from and shadow local business professionals on how to run businesses and the secrets to their success.
The Chamber also works to help foster young entrepreneurs and will hear their proposals in a “Shark Tank” like forum, all for the purpose of training the local youth on the importance of business.
The chamber also provides scholarships to each of the three high schools in the city.  This is to help recognize those students who show promise in business.
Another way the Chamber helps promote community is by putting on the annual Citrus Fair in La Habra.  The event has grown into a large spring event, encompassing not just business, but education and fun as well.
Sturdevant also pointed out that the chamber focuses on the Shop La Habra campaigns, twice a year.  Everyone is encouraged to bring their receipts from La Habra businesses to the chamber and trade them in for raffle tickets.
He added that there have been more than $1.5 million in total receipts turned in. He looks to keep encouraging people to spend money at La Habra businesses.
Since there is a Chamber of Commerce week, it’s good to understand what exactly a chamber does for the local communities and why there is a week of recognition.
“We make introductions to people,” Sturdevant explained. “We try to learn about the businesses, what they do, what do they want. And in the end, we all want what’s best for businesses and the community.”

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Wildcats prove to be too much for Raiders

Wildcats prove to be too much for Raiders

Posted on 08 September 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

The Sonora football team went into halftime of its week two contest down just one score, but Brea-Olinda exploded out of the break with three long touchdowns to pull away for a 38-12 win over the Raiders Friday night

Photos By Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal Going for it: Sonora's Alex Valdez lays a hit on Brea's Dominic Garcia Friday night. The impact was heard in the parking lot. Despite the hard hitting, the Raiders fell 38-12 to Brea Friday at La Habra.

Photo By Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Going for it: Sonora’s Alex Valdez lays a hit on Brea’s Dominic Garcia Friday night. The impact was heard in the parking lot. Despite the hard hitting, the Raiders fell 38-12 to Brea Friday at La Habra.

in La Habra.
Noah Rivera burned the Raiders for three long scores. The returning All-CIF all-purpose back scored Brea’s first touchdown of the season midway through the second quarter on a breakaway 60-yard run.
“When that kid [Rivera] has got the rock in his hand, he can go at anytime,” said Brea Head Coach Robb Perrance.
With the Wildcats leading 13-6 early in the third, Rivera showed off his hands when he hauled in a picture perfect over the shoulder catch on a seam route from quarterback Dylan Flenniken, and outran the defense for a 63-yard score.
Two minutes later, Rivera completed the trifecta when he returned a punt 54 yards into the endzone.
Sonora Head Coach Daniel Morales said he was really proud of the way his team fought all game long, but admitted that they wore thin with many of the players going both ways.
“In the second half [Brea] had three-to-four really big plays…  they timed it out, called really good plays, and caught our guys when they were tired,” Morales said. “You have to just say good job to [Brea’s] coaches for that.”
Flenniken, who was making his first start at quarterback, looked shaky in the first half. He completed just one pass nearly the entire first half.
The Raider defense applied consistent pressure early and appeared to have Flenniken rattled. In one s

Photo by Jay Seidel Breaking away: Sonora receiver Josh Gonzales attempts to break away from two Brea defenders Friday night. The Raiders lost to the Wildcats 38-12. They will face Mayfair at home this Friday.

Photo by Jay Seidel/La Habra Journal
Breaking away: Sonora receiver Josh Gonzales attempts to break away from two Brea defenders Friday night. The Raiders lost to the Wildcats 38-12. They will face Mayfair at home this Friday.

eries Flenniken muffed three consecutive snaps while on the cusp of the red zone, eventually giving the ball back to Sonora.
Flenniken connected on his second completion with Michael Salazar for a 6-yard touchdown with just over a minute to play in the half. He opened the second half with a pair of touchdown throws–a 52-yard strike to David Traylor and the play to Rivera.
Sonora got on the scoreboard first with a 9-yard run up the middle by Ethan Cook . The Raiders had success going to Cook early, but playing from behind in the second half limited his touches down the stretch.
After a promising start to the game, the Raiders offense went completely cold in the second half. Sonora moved the ball well early, using Cook inside and spreading the ball out wide to receiver Chigozie Anusiem.
Anusiem collected seven catches for 62 yards, all of which came in the first half, highlighted by a 35-yard grab down the home sideline to set up Cook’s touchdown run.
Perrance said he was happy with how Brea responded in its first game of the season.
“We didn’t start out on the best course, but we overcame adversity, which is always a positive,” Perrance said. “I thought the kids played very passionately all night.”
The Raiders (0-2) will look to get in the win column next Friday when they host Mayfair (0-2).
“It’s tough your first year, you got to coach them up a lot, but I believe in our system and we are going to keep doing it,” Morales said. “The goal is to get ready by league and I think we are on

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