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Edison Powers Past Esperanza

November 03, 2001|Dan Arritt

As dreadful as this season has become for Anaheim Esperanza, it can get worse.

The Aztecs, winners of just one of their last six games, lost to Huntington Beach Edison, 35-14, in a Sunset League game Friday night at Placentia Valencia High and are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1988.

A loss next week to Los Alamitos would also give Esperanza (4-4-1, 1-2-1 in league) its first losing record in 16 years. The Aztecs won the Sunset League title last season and reached the Southern Section Division I semifinals, but lost 15 of 22 starters to graduation.

The Aztecs matched Edison's first two scoring drives, but fell behind, 21-14, on a 26-yard touchdown reception by Edison wide receiver Denny Flanagan with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.

Edison (7-0-1, 3-0-1), No. 5 in The Times' rankings, ran only four plays in the third quarter, compared to 20 for Esperanza, but still added to its lead on a 40-yard touchdown run by A.J. Martinez.

The Aztecs followed with an 18-play, nine-minute drive, but were stopped on downs at the Edison seven-yard line. Martinez then followed with runs of seven and 31 yards, before breaking loose on a 29-yard touchdown run. Martinez rushed for 107 of his 140 yards in the second half.

It was Edison's second victory in seven games against Esperanza and put the Chargers in position for at least a share of the league title, should they defeat Fountain Valley next week.

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