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Hold the Testimonials, Birmingham Prolongs Epstein's Career


RESEDA — Better postpone Chick Epstein's retirement party for another few days.

After announcing earlier in the week that he will step down at the end of the season, Birmingham High's 17-year head coach saw the campaign extended Friday night when the Braves upset Reseda, 22-6.

The Regents (7-4), ranked No. 1 in the 3-A playoffs, were stifled on offense and could only score on an 89-yard kickoff return by Michael Oxx late in the first half.

Meanwhile, Birmingham's Courtney Blunt shredded Reseda for 190 yards in 36 carries and Marvin Powell scored on a 32-yard run out of punt formation to lead the Braves (5-5-1).

"It was our game plan to run the ball and if they stopped us, well we'd pass too," said Epstein, who was involved in an angry exchange of words with Reseda coach Joel Schaeffer after the game over Epstein's comments about the game earlier in the week.

Epstein placed his faith in Blunt and the senior tailback touched the ball on 22 of Birmingham's 31 plays from scrimmage in the first half.

Blunt scored on one-yard plunges midway through the first and second quarters and Salguero Lewis added a 26-yard field goal with 36 seconds to play in the half to put the Braves up, 15-0.

Oxx, who did not start due to a knee injury, lost three fumbles and had only 38 yards in 11 carries.

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