By Adam Stites/Garden Grove Journal
Pacifica picked up its first win of the season and retained its title as the city’s top high school football program by defeating Garden Grove 19-7 at the Argo stadium on Friday.
The Mariners are in their sixth season in the Empire League after leaving the Garden Grove League; however, the crosstown rivalry between the two schools remains.
“For the kids, this is a huge deal,” said head coach Marcelo Giuliano. “It’s not something you can ever take for granted in football, that you’re just going to show up and win so we’re really proud of them.”
Both teams entered the game without some of their biggest contributors due to injuries. Grove’s leading rusher and starting linebacker Alejandro Perez sat out after breaking his hand while Pacifica’s 6’3, 195 pound wide receiver and linebacker Trent Langham sat out due to a knee injury.
Despite the loss of Langham, the Mariners found themselves on the scoreboard first when quarterback Kyle Edwards lobbed a pass to the corner of the endzone from seven yards that was hauled in by Ryan Trader.
The touchdown connection was the first of two and was one of 12 receptions by Trader who accumulated 140 receiving yards for Pacifica.
With Langham out for an extended period of time, Trader’s role within the offense will likely be increased as was evident against the Argonauts. “I feel like I can really step up and help the team out,” said Trader.
The Argonauts rallied from their 7-0 halftime deficit by intercepting a pass from Edwards early in the third quarter in Pacifica territory. Garden Grove quarterback Angel Martinez wasted no time taking advantage, completing a 24 yard pass to Gabriel Carillo to put the Argonauts on the one yard line. Mark Umanzor punched it in for Grove and a successful extra point attempt tied the game at seven.
Just two and a half minutes later, though, Garden Grove found themselves behind again when Edwards found Travis Chamberlain up the middle of the field for a 29 yard touchdown. A botched snap by the Mariners on the extra point attempt kept the lead at six as they entered the fourth quarter.
Pacifica managed to seal the deal with an 11 yard touchdown pass from Edwards to Trader to extend the lead to 12 with just 5:15 to play. The Argonauts were unable to find the endzone again before the time on the scoreboard ran out with the score still at 19-7.
Next week will be the first of six Empire League games for Pacifica (0-0, 1-2), when they play the undefeated Yorba Linda (0-0, 4-0) at Bolsa Grande on Friday, Sept. 30. The Argos (1-2) still have a couple of more nonleague games to find their rhythm and will see their next action at Glover Stadium on Thursday (tonight) against Katella (2-1).