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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL | ON THE SIDELINES

You Can Never Score Enough

November 11, 2000

Soon after Esperanza tailback Temitope Sonuyi punched in the winning score from four yards out with seven seconds remaining, it was bedlam Thursday night at Huntington Beach High.

While Aztec fans stormed the field in celebration of their team's first Sunset League title since 1997, Edison wide receiver Marcus McCutcheon collapsed at the 40-yard line and wept openly.

It was a crushing defeat for a Charger team that couldn't hold leads of 24-21, 31-28 and 43-42 in the fourth quarter.

"I thought 43 points would be enough to beat them," Edison Coach Dave White said. "We just couldn't stop them at the end."

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According to Kiki Mendoza, Bellflower St. John Bosco's football coach, the last time the Braves beat Mater Dei was in 1984. It was Mendoza's senior year, and he was a running back and free safety on the team that beat the Monarchs, 13-10, in overtime in the first round of the Southern Section playoffs.

That victory, Mendoza said, was the last time Bosco beat Mater Dei on any level "until yesterday [Thursday]. Our freshmen beat their freshmen, 50-7. You can put that in the newspaper all you want."

Final score of the varsity game? Don't ask Mendoza. Mater Dei won, 41-7.

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A bright spot in what has been an otherwise disappointing season for Huntington Beach was the play of senior running back Russell Oschman, who broke the school's single-season rushing record Thursday night against Los Alamitos.

Oschman, who needed only 44 yards to eclipse the 1,501-yard mark set by Danny Thompson in 1983, ran for 76 yards to finish the season with 1,534 yards in 281 carries.

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Larry Arason, a football official for more than 50 years, was honored during a pregame ceremony before 800 fans Thursday night at Trabuco Hills High.

Arason, 70, who was working his final game assignment before retirement, was presented a game ball by Trabuco Hills Coach Bill Crow and Athletic Director Rainer Wulf while P.A. announcer Tom Irey read a tribute, detailing Arason's career.

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Loara recorded a dismal 1-4 record in nonleague play, but that record is misleading.

The Saxons' losses: 14-7 to Western, ranked No. 1 in Division IX; 31-6 to Mater Dei, ranked No. 4 in Division I; 26-14 to Villa Park, ranked No. 3 in Division VI, and 24-0 to Irvine, ranked No. 3 in Division VI. The combined record of those four opponents going into the final week of the season was 33-3--with Mater Dei accounting for two of the losses.

"We kept telling them to keep plugging and don't give up on yourselves," Loara Coach John deFries said. "It worked out that the kids gained a little more confidence every week."

Loara's lone nonleague victory was 21-13 over El Modena, ranked No. 8 in Division VI. The Saxons opened Empire League play with a 42-12 victory over previously undefeated Cypress.

"Having the great start against Cypress gave our kids a boost."

Loara renewed its contract with Mater Dei for next season and will play the Monarchs in Week 5. Irvine, however, won't be on the schedule next season; Loara is replacing the Vaqueros with an old rival, Anaheim.

"That rivalry goes back to Clare Van Hoorebeke's days," deFries said.

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Western linebacker Hochan Chung picked a good time Friday night to get his first interception as a varsity player.

Chung, who has dislocated his elbow three times this season, intercepted a pass from Brea Olinda's Steve Stagnaro early in the fourth quarter with the Pioneers clinging to a six-point lead.

One play later, Western scored on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Mike Hicks to David Gober, giving the Pioneers, who won, 35-28, a little cushion.

"I had an interception when I was on junior varsity," Chung said. "But that was a long time ago."

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