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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA | SOUTHERN
SECTION DIVISION VI PLAYOFFS

Woodbridge Gets It Rolling in 2nd Half, Beats Saddleback

November 21, 1998|STEVE KRESAL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It took Woodbridge's offense a half to get going, but the defense was dominating from the start as the top-seeded Warriors beat Saddleback, 37-0, in a Southern Section Division VI first-round game Friday at Irvine High.

Woodbridge (10-0-1) had eight sacks and three interceptions and never allowed Saddleback any closer than the Warrior 40-yard line.

Woodbridge led, 9-0, at the half but scored four touchdowns in the third quarter, including one on a 94-yard run by junior Shane Harris.

Saddleback's Jamie Gomez punted 36 yards to the Woodbridge six but the advantage was lost when Harris went up the middle then cut left and easily won the race to the end zone for a 23-0 lead.

"I just got the ball and looked straight ahead," said Harris, who finished with 115 yards in seven carries. "There was a five-yard hole."

Harris had also scored on a 28-yard run in the first quarter but his favorite play of the game came on the first series of the second half.

Woodbridge Coach Rick Gibson told the offense at halftime that the plan was to run the ball right at Saddleback to start the second half.

Eight rushes by three different backs gained 52 yards, then Warrior quarterback Scott Barlow (10 of 16 for 123 yards) pitched to Harris who started around right end but pulled up and tossed a 15-yard scoring pass to a wide open Jeff Hammond for a 16-0 lead.

"I thought it was a good call," Harris said. "I was excited because I got to throw a touchdown pass. . . . The first half was kind of frustrating but we knew we had a good half in us. We've been a second-half team all season."

Brandon Runk, who rushed for 69 yards in the second half and 84 in the game, added a 15-yard scoring run that was set up when linebacker Dave Grijalva intercepted a pass and returned it eight yards to the Saddleback 15.

The final touchdown came off a reverse when Oren Masserman threw 17 yards to Nick O'Neal with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.

"We run that a lot in practice," Gibson said. "We weren't trying to run up the score but you have to try to show different things."

That touchdown was set up when defensive end Mike Bennett intercepted a pass along the sideline and the Warriors took over at the Saddleback 20.

Woodbridge, the Sea View League co-champion, got to the end zone twice before the reverse pass but both plays were called back for clipping.

"Some of it was us but a lot of it was them [early]," Gibson said. "We had some sloppy hands on some of the holding calls but we have to work on that and we will."

Eric Jensen had the other interception for Woodbridge, which advances to play Katella in the second round.

Saddleback finishes 4-6-1.

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