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    Jackson Kollock throws six touchdowns to lead Laguna Beach football past Garden Grove
    • October 6, 2023

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    GARDEN GROVE — Junior quarterback Jackson Kollock flings spirals to teammates all over the field. Highly-recruited tight end Ryner Swanson dominates as much at defensive end as he does on offense. And Charlie Hunt might be the junior wide receiver to watch grow along with his team’s quarterback.

    The Laguna Beach football team continued to imprint itself in Orange County’s football consciousness Thursday as the small-school power defeated host Garden Grove 42-7 in a nonleague game.

    Kollock tossed six touchdown passes — one off his season high — as the Breakers (6-1) invoked a running clock en route to their sixth consecutive victory. It was the Breakers’ first win against Garden Grove since 1953.

    Swanson became Laguna Beach’s all-time receptions leader with his first grab, the 156th of his career. The senior, who is committed to BYU, added a fumble recovery, tackle for loss and forced an interception on defense.

    Hunt caught two touchdown passes from Kollock and nabbed an interception.

    It was a productive night for a program that has won 27 of its past 34 games, and appears headed toward a division promotion for the CIF-SS playoffs after claiming Division 9 last fall for its first section title.

    “For Laguna Beach, that’s good stuff,” said eighth-year coach John Shanahan, who shares the credit with his administration, assistant coaches, players and their families. “We have all the pieces in place. The goal is to try and hold onto this for as long as possible.”

    Kollock, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior, completed passes to 10 different teammates and finished 22 of 30 for 277 yards.

    He tossed touchdowns of 18 and 3 yards to Hunt, an 8-yarder to Swanson, a 3-yarder to freshman Wyatt Bogdan and showed off his arm with a 45-yard scoring strike to senior Charlie Tyus.

    “I just do whatever feels natural, whatever I have to do to win,” Kollock said. “If that’s getting out of the pocket (and) making a play or if that’s staying in there, delivering a throw and taking a hit, I just do what I got to do to win.”

    Laguna Beach’s offensive line gave Kollock plenty of time to throw despite playing without injured left tackle Joshua Burdiek. The group of Skyler Schwarm, Charlie Kelly, Fletcher Liao, Teddy Dworakowski and Leonardo Adjemian didn’t allow a sack.

    Garden Grove (2-5), a Division 9 quarterfinalist last season, opened with an eight-play, 66-yard drive that was capped by a 17-yard TD run by QB Branden Roth to take a 7-0 lead.

    Laguna Beach responded with 42 unanswered points and forced three turnovers.

    “If we play like this, we could go further than a CIF championship,” said the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Swanson. “We’re going to be in a higher division this year for sure. … We got to buckle up mentally and just go.”

    Added Kollock: “Last year’s regional championship (loss) sticks with us. We need to break that barrier and make it to state.”

    Next week, Laguna Beach opens defense of its Pac 4 League title by playing host to Ocean View on Oct. 13. Garden Grove opens defense of its Big 4 League championship against Marina at Westminster High on the same night.

    It will be a critical opener for Garden Grove, which hasn’t missed the playoffs under 10th-year coach Ricardo Cepeda.

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    ​ Orange County Register