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    La Serna football takes control early, rolls to win over Trabuco Hills in CIF-SS quarterfinals
    • November 11, 2023

    MISSION VIEJO — Trabuco Hills’ football team was simply overmatched in its CIF-SS Division 4 quarterfinal against La Serna on Friday at Trabuco Hills High School.

    La Serna built a three-touchdown lead by early in the second quarter, extended that lead in the third quarter and went on to a 50-14 victory.

    The Lancers (9-3) will take on Culver City in the semifinals Friday, Nov. 17, at Culver City.

    The Centaurs defeated Capistrano Valley, 44-16, in another quarterfinal Friday.

    La Serna scored six rushing touchdowns, including two each by Adrian Castro and Owen Long.

    Jacen Alcarez contributed with a 67-yard touchdown run at the start of the third quarter which made the score 36-7 and essentially put the game away.

    “I think the most important thing for us was we wanted to come out and play fast from the start,” Long said. “We got a punt (from the Mustangs) right away and then immediately, we said let’s go down and score.”

    La Serna quarterback C.J. Ceron, who was making his first start this season, completed his first 12 passes and finished with 191 yards and a touchdown, all in the first half.

    “The key to our success is balance on offense and just an attacking, swarming, physical defense,” La Serna coach Andy George said. “And I think we displayed that tonight. From the start, we played hard. And hats off to Trabuco Hills. They are a class organization. But it just feels like we’re getting better each week at the right time.”

    Trabuco Hills (8-4) was held to three-and-out on its first two possessions while the Lancers scored touchdowns on their first three possessions.

    Castro, who stands 6-feet and weighs 230 pounds, plowed into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown for the Lancers’ first score.

    Owen’s 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter capped a 66-yard drive, putting the Lancers ahead 14-0.

    La Serna recovered a Trabuco Hills fumble on the ensuing kickoff return and scored on the next play when Ceron hit Jayden Northrup for 29-yard touchdown.

    The first of the Mustangs’ two offensive highlights came on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Perry to Ryan Luce.

    Perry then connected with Alex Kiernan for a 20-yard touchdown with under three minutes remaining in the game.

    The entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

    “They play really physical defense and really physical run game with their wing T,” Mustangs coach Mark Nolan said. “They do a really nice job, a well-coached, well-oiled machine.”

    Nolan said one of his team’s most significant victories this season were the 31-14 victory over San Juan Hills in the second of three league games and then the 24-21 victory over Newport Harbor in the first round of the playoffs.

    “That win last week over Newport Harbor was really sweet,” the coach said.

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    ​ Orange County Register