These aren’t your older brother’s Argonauts, but they might be just as good.
Garden Grove (9-2) opened up the CIF Southewrn Division playoffs last Friday with a 35-0 win over Beckman (3-8). A second-round win over high-powered Segerstrom (9-2) this Friday would go a long way in putting the 2012 Argonauts in conversation with the 2009 and 2010 Argonaut teams.
“We’ll be ready,” Garden Grove Head Coach Willy Puga said. “I feel bad for anybody that has to play us.”
The 2009 squad went 10-0 in the regular season before losing in the championship game. The 2010 team gave Garden Grove High School its first CIF championship in football and was named the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area’s all-time team by the Journal.
This year’s team has a lot in common with those earlier units. It dominated the Garden Grove League, going 5-0 and outscoring opponents 283-27.
But this year’s team has looked a little more pedestrian than its predecessors, at least early on. The Argonauts lost a close game in week two to Woodbridge, who barely made the playoffs, and were blown out in week five by El Toro, who went 10-0 but lost in the first round.
The Argonauts should be favored against Segerstrom. It’s a home game for Garden Grove, and Segerstrom finished second in the Golden West League to Westminster, who lost to the Argonauts to open the season.
On the other hand, the Jaguars have an identical overall record as the Argonauts, score 42 points per game and already beat Woodbridge, who knocked Westminster out of the playoffs last week.
Segerstrom is a run-first team. Led by David Perkins (1657 yards) and Sonny Roa (991 yards), The Jaguars run for 350 yards per game.
Garden Grove is defense first. The Argonauts have four shutouts so far and held another five opponents to less than 15 points, including three teams—Katella, Los Amigos and Rancho Alamitos—who score more than 30 a game.
“Our defense is unstoppable,” said Sione Masoe, Argonaut running back..
On offense, the Argonauts practice balance, running for over 150 yards and throwing for 140 yards per game. They score almost 39 points per game.
“It starts with the offensive line,” said Garden Grove quarterback Angel Martinez. “When they’re going good it transfers to the whole team.”
Against Beckman, the Argonauts stayed true to form with a dominant defense and a balanced offense. Garden Grove ran for over 200 yards and threw for more than 150. Four different players scored.
Sione Masoe ran it in from 15 yards out early in the first quarter. Five minutes later, Martinez threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel Cabrillo. In the second quarter Maze Masoe scored on a one-yard plunge.
CJ Del Real’s 26-yard run late in the third made it 28-0. Del Real led all players with 96 rushing yards. Sione Masoe added a 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Argonauts were tested in non-league games and have been dominant ever since. But aside from El Toro, they haven’t faced an offense quite like Segerstrom’s. If they can stop it, the Argonauts will be just a win away from the championship and some interesting conversation.