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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

La Habra Wins With Second-Half Surge

September 23, 2000|BEN McMORRIES

It seemed like two different games for spectators who watched host La Habra beat Whittier California, 14-13, Friday.

California dominated early and led, 13-6, at halftime. But the game, and weather, changed with the rain that started when the teams took the field in the third quarter.

The La Habra defense stifled California's passing attack in the second half, with Condor quarterback Andy Gonzales completing only four of 11 passes with no touchdowns and one interception after halftime.

And the Highlanders finally put together a sustained drive, for the first time in the game, when it really counted.

La Habra marched 65 yards down the field for the winning score, a 13-yard run by Brent West.

The extra point try brought the home crowd to its feet as La Habra Coach Frank Mazzotta decided to go for the two-point conversion even though his team was trailing 13-12 with over nine minutes remaining.

Mazzotta looked like a genius when West plowed into the end zone to give the Highlanders the lead for good.

"We didn't want to kick it in the rain," Mazzotta said. "We thought we had a better chance if we tried to run it in."

La Habra scored in the second quarter on Mike Keeling's 30-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Sanchez, to make it, 6-6.

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