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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

Gaining Speed, Buena Park Cruises Past Troy Into Postseason

November 10, 2000|PETER YOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

For Buena Park and Troy, it was all about position.

Most importantly, position in the Freeway League football standings.

Buena Park got it, claiming third place and the league's final automatic berth in the Southern Section Division IX playoffs with a 43-20 romp over the Warriors Thursday night at Buena Park.

The Warriors (6-4, 2-3) finish in fourth place and now must hope for a wild-card spot when the selection committee meets Sunday.

Buena Park (6-4, 3-2) took control of the game with another kind of position, field position. The Coyotes started each of their first four drives at or inside midfield and scored each time to take a 22-7 lead midway through the second quarter, then cruised to their third consecutive victory.

After being hobbled by injuries in league losses to La Habra and Fullerton, the Coyotes are on a roll at the right time.

"We were really pumped up for this game," Buena Park Coach Frank Saiz said. "We had a tough start in league but if we're going to be peaking, this is the best time for it."

Troy, which led, 7-0, after scoring on its opening possession, suffered a setback when quarterback Jordan Oliver left the game with a separated shoulder midway through the second quarter. He did not return and Troy managed just four first downs the rest of the game.

Buena Park had four running backs rush for at least 45 yards, including Evan Lopez, who had 112 yards and a touchdown in 15 carries.

The Coyotes had the ball for 18 of 24 minutes in the second half.

"We're starting to get healthy," Saiz said. "We've got a lot of weapons when we are at full speed."

This is the first year at the helm for Saiz. He took over a program that was 4-6 last year and did not make the playoffs. He said the victory, and making the playoffs, was important for the team and the school.

"It's big for everyone," he said. "It's real important to get the program back on the winning track."

Buena Park quarterback Oscar Rojas completed five of eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a touchdown.

Running backs Paul Evenson and Jordan McCarthy led Troy with 66 and 60 yards, respectively.

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