Taylor’s record night, lifts Highlanders over Titans
By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal
Skyler Taylor’s school record seven touchdowns spurred La Habra to upend Tesoro with a decisive 45-14 victory in Friday night’s home opener.
It was an impressive showing following their lopsided loss to Upland last week.
“It’s ironic,” head coach Frank Mazzotta said of his message to the team this week. “You’re never as bad as you think you are, and you’re never as good as you think you are either.”
“I was proud of the kids, they did a pretty good job,” Mazzotta added. “Instead of getting down [and dwelling on last week], they came out and played.”
Taylor got the Highlanders on the board early and they never slowed down.
Playing in his first home game since joining the team, Taylor scored on each of the first two Highlander possessions, from six and 40 yards.
Tesoro showed signs of life late in the first, when quarterback Chase Petersen hit John Cody for a 72-yard touchdown.
The Highlander defense set the tone early as well, forcing three turnovers in the first quarter (two interceptions and a fumble).
After a Clark Phillips interception staved off the Titans drive deep into Highlander territory, Taylor burst through the line and ran 91 yards untouched to make it 19-7 with 1:15 left in the first quarter.
The Highlanders offensive line paved the way for Taylor to go into halftime with six scores and a 39-7 lead.
“We are counting on them to be something special this year,” Mazzotta said about his offensive line. “Now they have to live up to it.”
Taylor would only play one more series in the third quarter, adding a 67-yarder to his total and finished with 300 yards.
“It feels great playing behind them, I love my team man,” Taylor said. “It was all offensive line tonight, couldn’t do it without them.
For the Titans, Petersen and Cody would hookup one more time midway through the fourth for another long touchdown. The duo accounted for the Titans only two scores on the night.
Quarterback Zach Fogel connected on a pair of long pass plays down inside the 5-yard-line, one to Deavyn Woullard and one to Kelani Washington that set up two more Taylor scores.
“I saw a little improvement, but tonight was all about our o-line and Skyler, with seven touchdowns, that’s unreal,” Fogel said.
Tesoro (0-2) dropped a heartbreaker last week to No. 1 Edison 47-48, but came into the night still ranked ahead of La Habra in Division 2.
Next week will be another serious test for the Highlanders (1-1), when they host the No. 10 team in California, Mission Viejo (2-0) Friday night. The Diablos are averaging 40 points-per-game so far and just beat a tough Vista Murrietta team 41-7.
Fogel said the key is just getting back to work, you don’t get too low after a loss or too high after a win.