YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections



GARDEN GROVE — Rancho Alamitos Coach Doug Case was upset his team had to face top-seeded Culver City in the second round. But Case won't have to worry about that now.

The Vaqueros, rocked by off-field distractions and injuries, were upset Friday night by an inspired Pomona Ganesha team, 12-6, at Bolsa Grande High in front of about 600 fans.

Playing without three starting defensive players and one reserve, Case was forced to start freshman David Vickers and sophomore Mike Hanley at linebacker and receiver Kevin Allen at cornerback.

Three Rancho Alamitos players, two of them starters, were arrested Thursday in connection with the murder of a 15-year-old Garden Grove High student. Starting receiver/cornerback Jeff Turbarg did not play because of a concussion he suffered last week.

"All the faces weren't there," Case said. "It's tough when you go 12 weeks with the same guys, and then you don't have them there when you need them."

Surprisingly, the defense held together fairly well. Vickers, who played on the freshman team, recovered a fumble in the first quarter and made several big hits. Two other freshmen, Nu Atuatasi and Gerald Laird, also played on defense.

"I was real nervous," said Vickers, whose brother Leon was an All-County player at Rancho Alamitos two years ago. "It was hard with three freshmen playing. Sometimes we were lost out there."

But the offense seemed even more lost. Rancho Alamitos' vaunted running game was stuffed for much of the game by Ganesha's eight-man line. Quarterback John Frank completed only three of 14 passes for 30 yards.

"We didn't execute," Case said. "We couldn't run against their line and then every time we passed, it was the wrong route or a bad pass."

Frank said he missed Turbarg, whom Allen replaced, the most.

"Kevin is a great receiver, but we haven't had time to jell," Frank said. "We weren't on the same page."

Rancho Alamitos (7-3-1) scored with five minutes left in the first quarter on a two-yard run by Leo Kosi that was set up by Chris Young's 26-yard run. But the closest the Vaqueros got after that was the Ganesha three-yard line.

Ganesha (6-4) scored with six minutes left in the first half, and then scored the winning touchdown on a four-yard touchdown pass from Kyyahn Lundy to Anthony Collins with 3:10 left in the game.

The Vaqueros, who reached the Division VII finals the last two years, got the ball back two more times, but never crossed the Ganesha 40.

"In the fourth quarter, I was trying my best to get the team pumped up, but it just wasn't there," Frank said.

Los Angeles Times Articles