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Central Conference : Once Again, Saddleback Beats La Habra, 28-7

December 07, 1985|GERALD SCOTT | Times Staff Writer

The season may belong to Glenn Campbell, but Friday night's game belongs to Myron Butler.

Butler, a 5-foot 10-inch, 160-pound senior quarterback, led Saddleback into the Central Conference final Friday night against La Quinta with a 28-7 win over La Habra in a semifinal playoff game in front of 2,500 fans.

Saddleback beat La Habra, 34-0, earlier this season. The Highlanders made it closer this time around, but it is the Roadrunners who will advance to the final.

The Roadrunners rallied from a 7-0 deficit, tied the score before the half, and then went on to score three second-half touchdowns.

"Myron's done magic things for us all year long," Saddleback Coach Jerry Witte said. "Pressure doesn't bother him. His ability to scramble gives defenses trouble."

Indeed, with the La Habra defense stacking the line of scrimmage, Saddleback had to pass to take pressure off of the running game. This is where Butler responded so well.

Saddleback took advantage of Butler's speed by sending him around the end on option plays.

Against La Habra, Butler's choices were usually correct, and because of it the Roadrunners are 12-1 and a conference finalist for the first time in the school's history.

La Habra took the early lead in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by tailback Chuck Weatherspoon.

The play came on fourth down after the Saddleback defense had stopped the Highlanders three times inside the 10-yard line.

Earlier in the drive, Saddleback had stopped the Highlanders at the 17-yard line, forcing them to attempt a 35-yard field goal, which was wide, but the Roadrunners were called for roughing the kicker.

The penalty proved to be the Roadrunners' only major mistake as Butler went to work, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

After each team failed to move the ball, Butler drove the Roadrunners 75 yards in 6 plays for the tying score, which came with only 40 seconds remaining in the half.

Campbell got the touchdown on a two-yard run, but that was set up by four consecutive completions by Butler covering 12, 23, 8, and 28 yards.

The last completion came after Butler rolled right at La Habra's 32-yard line, taking most of the Highlander defense with him. He then stopped near the sideline, looked downfield, and found Danny Ontiveros over the middle, putting the ball on the four-yard line. A subsequent penalty on La Habra moved the ball to the two-yard line and Campbell took it in from there.

The second half was all Saddleback's.

This time, on the Roadrunners' first possession, Butler drove 74 yards in 6 plays, with the touchdown coming on a 33-yard pass to flanker Billy Thurmond.

Leading 14-7, Saddleback got a big turnover when Ontiveros intercepted a Matt Shackelford pass, setting up the Roadrunners' next score.

This time, Butler did the honors himself, scooting 63 yards on an option run, cutting back against the defense after taking the ball down the sideline.

Campbell scored Saddleback's last touchdown on a one-yard run with eight seconds to play.

Campbell finished with 71 yards in 10 carries while Butler ended the night with 101 yards rushing in 4 carries and 8 of 12 passing for 180 yards.

The La Habra players were crying after the game, but when a team outscores you 62-7 over two games, it's easy to see who the better team was.

When the Highlanders look back on their 10-3 season, they will rightfully be proud, but the reason their season ended a game shy of the final should be of no mystery to them.

The Butler did it.

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