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    Los Alamitos football gets early spark, rolls to victory over Newport Harbor
    • October 7, 2023

    WESTMINSTER — If there was an early sign of how Friday’s Sunset League game between Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos would turn out, it came on the second play from scrimmage.

    On that play, the Griffins’ Isaiah Rubin had an interception return for a 30-yard touchdown.

    And the Griffins just kept rolling from there and ended up with a 62-14 victory at Westminster High School.

    With three games remaining, the Griffins (5-2, 2-0), who are ranked No. 7 in Orange County, remain in a first-place tie with Edison. The Chargers defeated Huntington Beach 47-20 on Friday.

    The No. 14 Sailors (3-4, 1-1) are in a tie for second with Corona del Mar, which defeated Fountain Valley 41-7 on Friday.

    There is a strong possibility the Griffins and Chargers will play for the Sunset League championship when they square off in the final game of the regular season on Oct. 27.

    Los Alamitos junior running back Anthony, who had missed two games with an injury and played mostly on defense in the Griffins’ 49-10 victory over Fountain Valley last week, played both ways for most of the game Friday.

    League carried 13 times for 146 yards with touchdown runs of 38 and 25 yards.

    “It felt great,” League said. “It felt great to contribute with the team. I feel like I’m needed on both sides of the ball.”

    The Griffins’ victory overshadowed the performance of Sailors quarterback Jaden O’Neal, who threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

    O’Neal’s favorite receiver was Jordan Anderson, who had six receptions for 153 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown catch.

    After Rubin’s touchdown, it appeared as through Newport Harbor might keep it close when quarterback O’Neal led the Sailors on a 78-yard scoring drive, hitting Cade Fegel for a 5-yard touchdown to make the score 7-7.

    But the Griffins answered with two quick touchdowns, the first coming on a 47-yard run from Lenny Ibarra and the second on Alonzo Esparza’s 47-yard scoring pass to Carson Clark to make the score 21-7 going into the second quarter.

    Los Alamitos added three more touchdowns in the second quarter and were close to having the game put away by halftime with a 42-14 lead.

    One of the Griffins’ second-quarter touchdowns came on a 1-yard burst into the end zone by 310-pound Manoah Faupusa, who plays offensive tackle but came in at running back for that one play.

    Esparza completed 12 of 16 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns and ran for an 8-yard touchdown to make the score 56-14 late in the third quarter.

    “I was impacted by (Rubin’s interception return),” Esparza said. “I really was, just because when we start off like that, everyone’s locked in. So we’re definitely improving as the weeks go by. We’re piecing it together. My chemistry has gotten a whole lot better with my receivers over this league period.”

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    ​ Orange County Register