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EMPIRE LEAGUE FOOTBALL

Loara Quickly Turns Showdown With Cypress Into Blowout

November 15, 1996|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — Nothing typified Thursday night's game more than when Cypress punted from the Loara 48-yard line in the third quarter.

With his team trailing by 39 points, Cypress punter Aaron Doss pushed the Saxons back to their 17-yard line.

But Cypress was called for blocking downfield below the knees and Loara's John Filson blocked Doss' next punt attempt. Danny Diersing grabbed the ball at the Loara 26 and ran to the Cypress two-yard line. Loara's Greg deFries scored on the next play.

It was all Loara in this Empire League showdown, a 53-0 rout that never came close to being the battle for second place it was billed to be.

Loara quarterback Archie Lappin picked apart the Centurion secondary for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Nathan Robbins caught five passes--including some spectacular one-handed grabs--for 131 yards and one touchdown. Loara (7-3, 4-1) scored the first five times it had the ball.

Cypress, which turned the ball over five times, including three interceptions--one midway through the second quarter that defensive back Jim Weber returned 64-yards for a touchdown.

Three Cypress quarterbacks were sacked five times, and the Saxons held the Centurions to 91 yards on the ground, most of that during a last-minute drive against the reserves.

And that too, ended in disaster for Cypress when third-string quarterback Jeff Crooks, who had daylight into the Loara end zone from the Saxon four-yard line, suddenly pulled up and fired a pass that was intercepted by Loara's Alexander Tran.

"We expected to play a game," said Filson, a defensive tackle. "We saw some film on them and they have been beating up on teams. We came out and just played at the same level we have been playing at."

If there was one consolation for Cypress (4-6, 3-2), perhaps it was that the Centurions didn't show a lot to Servite scouts, who came to watch what might be their first-round opponent in the Southern Section Division V playoffs.

About the only highlight was the 78 yards in kick returns by running back Kelly Patterson. He also rushed for 47 yards, but had to work for every one of them.

"Our guys are playing at a pretty good rate right now," Loara Coach John deFries said. "It's just too bad we didn't play all five league games the way we have been playing lately."

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