By Christopher Abdelmalek
With a shorter football season, every game matters more in the long run. When two of the top teams in the Sunset League met up Friday night, it was very much like a playoff atmosphere.
The Edison Chargers went on the road to face off against the Los Alamitos Griffins for a battle of the top spot in the league. The Griffins (now 3-0) defeated the Chargers (2-1) in a 27-20 nailbiter, handing the Chargers their first loss of the season.
The Chargers started off the game strong with an opening drive interception by two-way star Nico Brown on Griffins quarterback Malachi Nelson. Nelson would throw two interceptions in the game in total, both to Brown. This set up the Chargers in a good position to get an early lead in the game, which they would.
On the ensuing drive, quarterback Braeden Boyles found Brown for the first of three touchdown passes to Brown. The extra point would be blocked after.
The Griffins would answer back immediately however as Nelson found the home team’s own two-way star Makai Lemon for an 80-yard touchdown to take the lead 6-7. This was the start of an explosion of offense for both teams. Moments later, Boyles would find Brown again for a 50-yard dime to take the lead 13-7.
The Griffins would again reply, however this time with a bit more methodical drive, taking some time off the clock and eventually scoring on a two-yard pass from Nelson to Lemon again making it 14-13.
Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton commented on Boyles stellar play. “They have so many weapons, their quarterback (Boyles) is extremely hard to contain.”
After a few traded possessions, the Griffins again scored for the third time in the first half with a two-yard rush by running back Gavin Porch to make it a 20-13 game, the extra point would be blocked by the Chargers.
The game was getting a bit chippy near the end of the half as the two teams broke out in a scuffle on the Los Alamitos sideline and the players had to be separated quickly. Both sides knew the importance of the game and did not want to give an edge.
The start of the second half was greatly anticipated, however both teams came out with defense in mind. A completely scoreless third quarter made the one possession game even that more intense heading into the final frame. Both teams were fighting as if it was the last game on the season.
About half way through the fourth quarter, the Chargers would find a bit of hope as Boyles again found Brown for a nice throw up the middle inside the red zone to tie the game up at 20-20. However, with under four minutes left, the home team mounted a drive once again led by their quarterback and wide receiver duo in Nelson and Lemon, this time with an 8-yard touchdown toss to put them up for good 27-20.
Fenton said, “It was a slug fest, two really good football teams going out, they just ran out of time.” Chargers head coach Jeff Grady also commented on the tough loss, saying, “Our defense played awesome tonight, especially in the second half, proud of the way our guys competed.”
Edison will look to bounce back next week as they take on Fountain Valley High School on the road. Los Alamitos will look to stay undefeated next week as they head to Huntington Beach High School to take on the Oilers in another league matchup for them. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. start times.
Here are Friday’s matchups for football teams for high schools serving the cities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster.
Results and updates will be posted be posted as they are received.
- Los Alamitos 27, Edison 20 (final)
- Tustin 49, Pacifica 6 (final)
- Orange 59, Estancia 6 (final)
- Corona del Mar 49, Huntington Beach 6 (final)
- Santiago 38, Los Amigos 14 (final)
- Western 41, Savanna 0 (final)
- Garden Grove 42, Westminster 12 (final)
- Katella 18, Ocean View 0 (final)
• La Quinta 31, Bolsa Grande 6 (final)
Categories: High school sports