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FOOTBALL

Rehling Proves a Class Act On, Off Field

October 17, 2000|MARTIN HENDERSON

Mark Rehling may have lost his job as head coach at Marina after last season, but he didn't lose his dignity or class. Rehling, still an English teacher at Marina but now an offensive line coach at Sunset League rival Los Alamitos, on Thursday faced his former team--and some of his current students.

"It was like when you're a kid and you're playing basketball against your best friend," Rehling said. "You scrap, you really want to win, and then you walk away shaking hands."

Second-ranked Los Alamitos defeated Marina, 48-20, in a league opener.

Rehling's victory was not lost on some of his students, who weren't above chiding Marina players in class.

"They all knew I coach at Los Al, and maybe they aren't in a sport," Rehling explained. "They said, 'I heard you really whipped us last night.' They get a little cruel sometimes and tease. I said, 'Don't even go there.' "

Marina players and students weren't the only ones aware of the matchup. At the end of practice Wednesday, Los Alamitos lineman Ian Reynoso reminded his teammates, "For us, it's just the start of league, but for Coach Rehling, if we don't win, he has to go to Marina every day and be reminded."

As nice as that moment might have been, it paled to the ones on Thursday after the game.

"Beau Brown, Kenny Weber and Chris Hanvey came by and said, 'Great win for you coach,' and 'We love you,' " Rehling said. "Of course, that gave me the chance to tell them I love them back."

Rehling also teaches in the same English department as his replacement, Mike Dodd. "We talked a lot about not making the game an issue about us," Rehling said of his friend and teammate from their days at Golden West College.

The meeting between football teams also brought about something else.

"To me, it provided closure," Rehling said. "You try to package all your emotion and put it in little boxes. There were so many kids at Marina I felt so close to. Next year, there will be fewer and I'll be able to start fading away into anonymity.

"When you're not in charge anymore, you have to move on. The fewer kids I know, the more chance there is to move on."

MAKING THE MOST

Tustin not only scored the third-most points by a team in Orange County history in beating Ocean View, 81-22, Thursday, but the Tillers were also extremely economical about it.

Nine touchdown drives lasted five plays or less and three times the Tillers needed only one play to score. Two drives lasted two plays and two were three plays.

Tustin scored nine rushing touchdowns, one on a pass play and another on a kickoff return.

All this after trailing, 7-0, when Ocean View's Pat Campbell threw a 76-yard scoring pass to Phillip Smith in the first quarter.

The Tillers put the Seahawks away with a 38-point second quarter in which they scored three touchdowns and three two-point conversions in a span of 1 minute 47 seconds.

"We didn't expect it," Tustin quarterback David Miller said of being behind early. "We kind of looked past them, but when they scored first, we realized they came to play."

Tustin averaged 12.9 yards per carry and finished with 527 yards rushing.

Each team was 4-1 going into the game. Ocean View had allowed only 56 points in its first five games, but that more than doubled. The Seahawks went from allowing 9.2 points per game to 21.2.

Tustin's scoring average jumped from 18.2 per game to 28.7. The Tillers almost matched the 91 points they scored in their first five games against, among others, Servite, Santa Margarita and La Puente Bishop Amat.

FREAKY LINKS

Was it the full moon, Friday the 13th or just some freaky coincidence that all the winners in three leagues scored the same number of points?

In the Orange League, both winning teams scored 31-7 victories, Brea beating Anaheim and Valencia beating Savanna. Brea managed to pile up its points despite 19 penalties for 159 yards--12 more than Manuel Gutierrez gained in 22 carries.

In the Century League, Foothill and Villa Park scored 35 points in their victories, the Knights beating Canyon, 35-7, and Villa Park taking out El Modena, 35-13. The latter game was between the two league favorites, and the Spartans got the best of it behind the John Henry Jackson-to-Bryan Arguello passing combination, which accounted for 131 of Jackson's 286 yards passing.

In the Empire League, Loara and Katella both scored 42 points. Loara, which had scored 48 points in its first five games, beat previously undefeated Cypress, 42-12. Katella needed its big night, including 163 yards rushing from Ruben Torres to outlast Century, 42-34.

AS GOOD AS IT GETS

Los Alamitos defensive back Bob Crissman, a former running back, has spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to snag a pitch from the opposing quarterback and run the other way for a touchdown.

He found out Thursday against Marina and ran 20 yards for a score.

"I've been dreaming about that my whole life," Crissman said. "It was great."

Crissman used to take pitches from his brother, Jason Crissman, a junior, when the boys ran an option attack together at Napa Valley Napa High. They transferred to Los Alamitos before this season.

THIS LITTLE

PIGGY WENT. . . .

Huntington Beach's Russell Oschman, who is among the county's leading rushers, suffered a sprained toe--not an ankle injury--against Edison, according to Coach Tony Ciarelli.

Oschman will probably be available to play against Fountain Valley on Friday.

Staff writer Ben Bolch and correspondent Steve Kresal contributed to this report.

If you have an item or idea for the football report, fax us at (714)966-5663 or e-mail us at ben.bolch@latimes.com or martin.henderson@latimes.com

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