Talk about success in a petri dish. Heritage Christian's 11-man football experiment yielded two victories by a combined score of 122-43.
The Patriots had never played an 11-man game until three weeks ago. Veteran Coach Tom Caffrey, in his second year at Heritage Christian, hopes to make the transition from eight-man complete next season with a full 11-man freelance schedule and eventually be absorbed into a league during realignment.
After three weeks that included two 11-man victories and a mercy-rule victory in an eight-man game, Caffrey says his team is better at the bigger game than the smaller one. He's eager to move forward.
"Because I come from an 11-man background, 24 years at Whittier Christian, my thinking was to get into 11-man as soon as we can," said Caffrey, whose eight-man victory was 64-16 over L.A. Lutheran. "But I don't want to get in over my head and schedule teams that would crush us. We do real well with what we have. We don't have much depth; we can't afford injuries."
There are 85 students and 21 football players--more than half the school's male population. But Caffrey's willing to play schools in the 300-400 enrollment range to fill out next year's schedule.
Heritage Christian's 70-16 victory over Vista Tri-Cities featured two teams playing their first 11-man games; its 52-27 victory over Riverside Bethel Christian was an eye-opener; the Kings were ranked seventh in the Southern Section Division XII rankings.
The Patriots gained 574 yards. "That performance surprised us," Caffrey said. "I didn't expect us to move the ball as well as we did."
In two 11-man games running a double-wing offense, senior Jason Burns rushed 22 times for 382 yards and eight touchdowns, Jared Zielinski 25 for 342 and six touchdowns, and junior Paul Caffrey 18 for 342 and three touchdowns.
Shaun Souza, a three-year starter and captain on the El Toro water polo team, has left the team, Coach Don Stoll said.
Souza, the Chargers' leading scorer last year (70 goals), quit two days after El Toro's season-opening loss to No. 1 Foothill.
Loara scored 22 points in its 45-22 loss to Los Alamitos, but it could have had more.
Los Alamitos defensive lineman Ryan Slaney, injured at the Loara 49, was helped off the field, but the entire Griffin defensive unit followed him to the sideline. And no one called timeout.
So Loara ran a play, but quarterback Archie Lappin hurried a six-yard out pass to Eddie Williams and Williams went to his knees to catch it, thereby downing it before the Los Alamitos defenders returned to the line of scrimmage.
Westminster's Chris Brewer surely had the week's longest 22-yard punt. The ball, at the Lions' 35-yard line, was snapped over Brewer's head. He scrambled to retrieve it and from the grasp of a defender got off his 22-yard punt--from the 2. From Brewer's foot to the ball's rest, it traveled 57 yards.
On Brewer's next punt, despite another high snap, he successfully got off another punt--that netted 57 yards.
Cypress led local volleyball teams during the weekend's prestigious Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas.
Setter Laura Woiemberghe helped Cypress defeat Palos Verdes Peninsula, 13-15, 15-10, 16-14, in the seventh-place match.
Mater Dei placed ninth overall and Corona del Mar placed 11th.
The tournament champion was Bakersfield Centennial, which is ranked No. 18 in USA Today and No. 1 in the CIF state poll.
Also contributing to this report were Times staff writers Martin Beck, Paul McLeod and Wendy Witherspoon.