ANAHEIM — As playoff games go, this one wasn't pretty. In fact, it was downright disappointing.
And just about everyone on both sides of the field Friday night at Western High knew it.
But teams that find a way to go undefeated throughout the regular season usually find a way to overcome off-nights. And that's exactly what Western High did in its lackluster 17-7 victory over Canyon in the first round of the Southern Section Division V playoffs.
How disappointing was the game?
"Downright ugly," Western Coach Jim Howell said. "You don't need to be Einstein to figure that out."
Western (11-0), the Orange League champion, committed three fumbles, lost two, and turned the ball over twice on interceptions.
Canyon (6-4-1) had a punt blocked, another hurried, committed two poorly executed field-goal attempts, was intercepted once and fumbled twice, losing one. The Commanches got inside Western's 15-yard line twice--once on a first-and-goal at the six--and went away empty both times.
"I can't tell you why we fumbled like we did," Western running back Mike Mueller said. "It was wet out there. Maybe that's why."