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August 30, 1993

Los Alamitos and Esperanza dominated the Empire League last season. No one expected anything less.

They entered the season as the top two teams in Orange County and steamrolled toward an Oct. 30 showdown.

It turned out to be less than expected. The only thing epic about the game was the field, which was soaked with rain and mulched by a junior varsity game earlier that day.

Los Alamitos won, 34-14, as Tim Carey--now at Stanford--threw for 150 yards and tossed three first-half touchdown passes to George Sagen.

Esperanza gave up twice as many points in that game than it had in its previous seven games (17). Not that it slowed the Aztecs. They won their final two games, outscoring their opponents, 77-0. Esperanza fought its way through the Division II playoffs to reach the title game.

Los Alamitos also finished the season strong and reached the title game.

The rematch for the Division II championship was anti-climatic, ending in a 14-14 tie. But it gave the league three consecutive section titles. Esperanza won the Division III title in 1990 and Los Alamitos won it in 1991, beating Esperanza.

The surprise team of the season was El Dorado. The Golden Hawks had quietly been improving under Coach Rick Jones. They were 0-10 his first season, then 2-8, then 5-5 in 1991.

El Dorado went 8-2 during the regular season a year ago, losing only to Esperanza and Los Alamitos, and qualified for the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Golden Hawks lost to Servite, 14-0, in their first-round game.

Katella, led by quarterback Jaret Wright, finished fourth and missed the playoffs after losing, 17-7, to El Dorado.

Carey, who passed for 2,472 yards and 26 touchdowns during the regular season, was selected the league's most valuable player, while Sagen, who caught 54 of Carey's passes, was the pick as offensive player of the year. Travis Kirschke, the Esperanza lineman now at UCLA, was named defensive player of the year.

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