Highlanders take city championship
By Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal
The La Habra football team took home the Mayor’s Cup for the 13th year in a row after beating Sonora, 56-26, at home in its last league game Friday night.
In addition to winning the City Championship, the Highlanders (7-3, 5-0) won their 41st straight league game and eighth consecutive Freeway League title.
“I was really happy with the way the guys played,” said La Habra head coach Frank Mazzotta. “They came out and played hard from the very beginning. We’re getting better. We’re a lot better than we were 8 weeks ago.”
La Habra quarterback Eric Barriere completed 12 of 19 passes and set a school record with seven touchdown passes.
“We wanted to go out and finish off league with a 5-0 record,” said Barriere. “We wanted to come out with a victory to set a statement for playoffs. We’re ready for CIF and we want to make it to Anaheim Stadium.”
After defensive stops from both teams at the beginning of the first quarter, the Highlanders were first to put points on the board after Barriere connected a 46-yard touchdown pass to Justin Sun.
With a second remaining in the first quarter the Raiders (6-4, 1-4) tied the game at seven with a 52-yard touchdown run from quarterback Cole McDonald.
The Highlanders took the lead in the second quarter with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Barriere to Prince Ross with under 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
Halfway through the second quarter, Barriere connected another touchdown pass, this time to Edrick Flores to give the Highlanders a two-touchdown lead over the Raiders.
The Highlanders advanced their score to a three-touchdown lead when Carlos Martin scored off a 57-yard run with a littler over three minutes remaining in the first half.
After a 63-yard run from Barriere into Raider territory, the junior quarterback connected another touchdown pass to Flores to end the first half, 35-7.
Sonora came back in the third quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run from captain Jacob Fimbres to advance the score to 35-13.
La Habra quickly retaliated with another touchdown pass from Barriere to Ross.
Minutes later the Highlanders recovered a Sonora fumble. La Habra regained possession in Raider territory and Barriere quickly connected a touchdown pass to Amon Fellows to advance the score to 49-13.
Late in the third quarter, Sonora sacked La Habra’s backup quarterback, Chris Brown, and the Raiders’ Christian Dimas recovered a fumble on the next play to regain possession in La Habra territory.
The Raiders capitalized on it and Fimbres scored off another touchdown run to advance the score to 49-20.
The Highlanders scored their final touchdown of the night when Barriere connected a 35-yard touchdown pass to Sun with a minute remaining in the third quarter.
The Raiders were last to score when Fimbres ran in the final touchdown of the night with over six minutes remaining in the game.
Sonora was led by Fimbres with 167 yards on 26 carries and Mc Donald who completed 10 of 25 passes and had 69 yards on nine carries.
La Habra will play its first CIF-SS playoff game next week.
“Playoffs are here and we better be ready because we don’t have a choice,” Mazzotta said. “We’re playing next Friday night so we better be ready.”