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For Los Altos, All's Well That's Harwell

He leads onslaught that erases halftime deficit and gives Conquerors a 42-13 victory over South Hills.

October 25, 2003|Eric Sondheimer | Times Staff Writer

Defensive end-tight end Brigham Harwell of Hacienda Heights Los Altos is so quick that the blink of an eye risks missing one of his many dazzling moves.

"He's as good as there is," Los Altos Coach Greg Gano said after Harwell recorded two sacks, recovered a fumble, forced a fumble, caught a touchdown pass and ran for a touchdown in a 42-13 nonleague victory over West Covina South Hills Friday night.

Los Altos (7-0), ranked No. 1 in the Southern Section Division VI coaches' poll, trailed South Hills (6-1), ranked No. 1 in Division VII, 13-7 at halftime. Then came the Harwell onslaught.

A preseason All-American who's committed to UCLA, Harwell recovered a fumbled snap by quarterback Philip Guerrero on the second play of the third quarter.

That ignited a 35-point second-half outburst by the Conquerors that featured four touchdown passes by senior quarterback Jason Estrada, including a school-record 98-yard reception by Travis Brown.

Estrada, a left-hander who plays one half of each game in a platoon system with junior quarterback Daniel Sandello, completed five of nine passes for 202 yards. Neither quarterback likes splitting time, but it's working to perfection for the Conquerors.

Los Altos' passing success came against a team that has two of the best cornerbacks in Southern California in the Payton twins, Bryan and Jeremy. But the Paytons were overwhelmed in the face of an aggressive, relentless Los Altos second-half effort.

Estrada guided Los Altos to touchdowns on its first four possessions of the second half. There was an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brown, a seven-yard touchdown pass to Harwell, an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tau Alo and finally the 98-yard pass to Brown.

Los Altos recovered two fumbles and came up with three interceptions in the second half, two by Alo.

Guerrero frustrated Los Altos defenders in the first half by releasing quick passes and rolling out to avoid a furious pass rush. He completed 10 of 14 passes for 158 yards. In the second half, however, he was three of 10 for 48 yards with three interceptions.

He connected with Bryan Payton for a 30-yard touchdown pass on South Hills' opening possession and gave the Huskies a 13-0 lead with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Robertson late in the second quarter.

Harwell's two sacks give him 12 this season and 59 in his career, 10 short of tying the school record held by Shaun Cody, now at USC.

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