High school sports

M’s bounce back to rout Irish

DARIEN COWENS (0) got a block from Alijah Sadler (5) and then raced 48 yards for a touchdown and an early lead for Pacifica Friday night against Kennedy (Orange County Tribune photos by Jim Tortolano)

By Christopher Abdelmalek

Shaking off the cobwebs from a long layoff is inevitable for anyone. The Mariners of Pacifica High School were no exception as they dropped their opener last week to Fullerton, 31-8.

This week was redemption week for them as they took on the Fighting Irish of Kennedy High School Friday night at Bolsa Grande Stadium in Garden Grove. The Mariners, led by quarterback Darius Cowens’ four-touchdown performance, routed the Fighting Irish (0-1) 42-20 to even their record at 1-1.

PACIFICA’S defense was stout most of the night against Kennedy; five Mariners made the stop on the Fighting Irish’s Nathaniel Woods (9) in this play.

This game was back and forth from the start, after a quick three-and-out from the green and gold, the home team struck first with a 48-yard scramble from Cowens. The Pacifica would miss the two-point attempt shortly after. Kennedy would later score from inside the 10-yard line with a strike from quarterback Alex Herrera to wideout Keith De’Jean to make it a quick 6-7 game. It would be the first of three touchdown tosses from Herrera on the night.

Seconds later on the next drive, Cowens strikes again this time on a beautifully placed deep ball to wideout Alijah Sadler for 63 yards and the score. The Mariners took the lead 14-7 after a successful 2-pt conversion. This would not be the last deep ball of the night for Cowens.

Just moments later in the start of the second quarter, Cowens found wideout Jamaal Fisher for a 60-yard strike down the sideline. Both deep balls to Fisher and Sadler travelled at least 30 yards in the air if not more before falling into the hands of the receiver. Pacifica led 22-7 after another two-point conversion scored by the Mariners.

The Fighting Irish however would fight back as their name’s sake would have it. Just after the halfway point of the second quarter, Herrera would toss his second touchdown pass this time to Hunter Benton to make it a 22-14 game. However, just before the half was over Cowens finds Fisher again, this time for a 48-yard pass and catch touchdown. They would miss the 2-pt conversion yet again to make it 28-14.

The game slowed down a bit in the second half but then Sadler wanted to put his stamp on the game with a nifty little rushing touchdown midway through the third quarter to make it 36-14. Herrera and the Irish would have one more score in them shortly after with a second td toss to Benton, closing the gap to 36-20. Kennedy missed their extra point attempt as well.

Sadler added one more rushing touchdown on the night to push the score to 42-20. Herrera and the Irish did all they could but too many dropped passes on the outside and crossing routes hurt them tremendously.

Cowens said about his performance and getting the first victory of the season after the game, “I had to make up for it” referencing his performance from last week. His performance this week speaks for itself with a first half stat line that includes four touchdowns.

Coach Vinnie Lopez commented on Cowens and the team’s performance as well. “He saves us a lot, he is a super sophomore. We improved this week, but there is still a lot we need to clean up,” he said. Lopez will look to have those things cleaned up by next week when Pacifica (1-1) faces off against Tustin High School on the road at 7 p.m. Kennedy (0-1) is scheduled to head to Valencia High School next week with a 7 p.m. kickoff as well.

KEITH DE’JEAN (20) gets – barely – into the end zone for a score for Kennedy that briefly gave the visiting Fighting Irish a lead in the Empire League game at Bolsa Stadium Friday night.

Here are Friday night high school football results for the area of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster. Scores and results will be posted as they are received.


Pacifica 42, Kennedy 20


Bolsa Grande 21, Los Amigos 20


Huntington Beach 35, Fountain Valley 16


San Dimas 49, Garden Grove 7.




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