Standing in the postgame drizzle of La Habra High School's 30-24 Freeway League victory over Sunny Hills at Buena Park High Friday night, La Habra quarterback Matt Shackelford was asked how he felt after rushing for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Shackelford attempted to answer, but his words were cut short by the flying choke hold of a rather excited cheerleader.
Finally, Shackelford mouthed the words, "tired . . . very tired."
Which was honest, earthy and the last thing Shackelford said to reporters before falling under the rush of a new-found entourage.
Many in the La Habra crowd were chanting, "five and oh, five and oh," in reference to the fact that, on the field, the Highlanders did not lose to a Freeway League opponent.
However, the use of an ineligible player, wiped out four victories, including two in league. So, instead of winning its fifth straight league championship, La Habra (3-7, 3-2) is tied with Fullerton and Troy for the remaining two playoffs spots.
A coin flip will determine the playoff participants.
Sunny Hills (9-1, 4-1) has already clinched the league's No. 1 berth.
However, on Friday, the Lancers couldn't seem to get a finger on Shackelford. He ran around and faked out a Sunny Hills defense that had shut out six opponents and allowed just 18 points all season.
Shackelford had scored 18 points himself by midway through the second quarter.
His first touchdown came with 7:01 left in the first quarter and capped a 36-yard drive in which in carried five times for 34 yards.
After Sunny Hills tied the score at 7-7 on a 78-yard pass play from David Chisum to John Dysart, Shackelford ran 80-yards on an option keeper for a touchdown.
When Sunny Hills was stopped short of a first down on a fake punt run, La Habra took possession on the Lancers' 43. In three plays, the ball was at the 20. From there, Shackelford ran for 13 yards and 7 yards for a touchdown that put La Habra ahead, 20-7.
Carlos Miramontes made a 36-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half to make the score 20-10.
Sunny Hills took a 24-20 lead in the third quarter on a pair of one-yard touchdowns by running back Bryan Edmunds.
The scores were set up by the exceptional passing of Chisum, who completed 11 straight through the second and third quarters. Chisum completed 14 of 20 passes for 231 yards and 1 touchdown.
La Habra regained the lead, 30-24, in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Linton Weatherspoon and a 37-yard Nelson Bergamo field goal.