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La Habra's Keeling, Sanchez Team Up


Mike Keeling threw three touchdowns passes, two to Antonio Sanchez, to lead defending Freeway League champion La Habra to a 35-14 victory over Buena Park in the league opener Friday night at Buena Park.

Keeling's first touchdown pass, a seven-yarder to Sanchez, came with 14 seconds left in the second quarter to break a 7-7 tie and put the Highlanders ahead for good.

La Habra (5-1, 1-0) took possession on the Buena Park 32-yard line following a short punt with 59 seconds left in the half and no timeouts remaining. Keeling connected on an eight-yard pass to Jeremy Koontz and then a 17-yard pass to Pascual Alvarez to set up the go-ahead score.

Keeling completed 13 of 22 passes for 140 yards.

Evan Lopez carried the ball three consecutive times, the final a seven-yard touchdown run, to give Buena Park (3-3, 0-1) an early 7-0 lead.

La Habra bounced back with an 11-play, 78-yard drive culminating on a three-yard touchdown run by Brent West with 8:13 left in the second quarter.

Jeremy Koontz made the tying extra point, but the conversion play was devastating for Buena Park. Ernie Lopez broke his right leg on the play and was taken to La Palma Hospital.

La Habra scored three times in the fourth quarter on touchdown passes from Keeling to Sanchez (21 yards) and Jonathan Tapia (26) and a five-yard run by Servando Espino.

Buena Park added a touchdown with 1:53 left in the game on a 43-yard pass from Oscar Rojas to Joey Alatorre.

Buena Park started their opening drive with a trick play. Tight end Lopez got the ball on an end-around run and then threw to Alatorre for a 37-yard completion, but the drive stalled.

La Habra had drives stopped because of fumble recoveries by Gonzalo Mesa and Travis Heathington.

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