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Los Alamitos Overcomes Cypress' Early Advantage


CERRITOS — It was easy to understand why Kerry Crabb was frazzled Thursday. Crabb and his staff were coaching their first football game with Cypress, and they had to do it against Los Alamitos, which begins the 1997 season ranked fourth in the county.

But why was Griffin Coach John Barnes so jumpy? This is his 20th season as a head coach, the last 19 at Los Alamitos.

"With first games you just never know how kids are going to react," Barnes said. "It's also hard because, since they are a new staff, we really weren't sure how to prepare for them."

By the end of Los Alamitos' 35-7 victory over Cypress in front of an estimated 2,500 at Gahr High, Barnes was looking more relaxed. And why not? The Griffins (1-0) did what they wanted to do.

After spotting Cypress (0-1) a 7-0 lead, Los Alamitos responded with 35 consecutive points. Quarterback Zack Blazek completed 15 of 26 passes to six receivers for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Tailback Josiah Doby rushed for 155 yards and collected the only two touchdowns scored in the second half.

Crabb had to be satisfied that his team was not shut out by Los Alamitos a second straight year.

But Cypress lost two of seven fumbles. Starting quarterback Jeffrey Crooks had only 72 yards passing, and running back Kelly Patterson had 44 yards rushing.

Cypress opened scoring in the first quarter. Starting on their 17, the Centurions used two big plays--a 29-yard run by Patterson and a 37-yard pass from Crooks to Tom Adame--to reach the Griffins' five. Patterson then slashed through the defensive wall to score. With the extra point, Cypress led 7-0.

Blazek, who threw for 153 yards in the half, got Los Alamitos even with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Howry. And on the next possession, Blazek saw Blair Havens slide around his defender and completed a 37-yard scoring toss.

Early in the second quarter Los Alamitos extended its lead to 21-7 when Blazek--under pressure from a blitzing defense--found Ryan Godfrey alone in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass.

Crooks passed for 69 yards in the half, but completed only three of nine attempts. He was picked off twice in the second quarter, by Trevor Hartley and Adolph Keyes.

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