Early on, the Matadores seemed to be able to control the tempo of the game at one point opening up a 13-3 lead thanks to the hard running of TB JT Torres who finished his amazing night with 27 carries, 197 yards and twoTD's. The Matadores would watch, as two ten point leads would evaporate, and the second instance, would almost prove to be costly. The Hawks of Laguna Hills took possession of the ball with about six minutes left after an interception. They closed the gap to 24-17 with 2:48 left in the contest. Then, they attempted an onside kick, and it was successful. Then, they marched down and scored to tie the game up. My hats off to the La Mirada coaches who decided that going for two points was necessary when they were up 22-10. It was a true testament to how powerful the Matadores HPT is, and they proved to be an ultimate competitor.

Garden Grove 35 Norwalk 23: This one was a heartbreaker for the Lancers, as they just kept hurting themselves all night long. They, even through all of their mistakes, where leading at one point in the game 17-7 in the third quarter. This writer felt that the Lancers had it all locked up and they where heading to the finals. But, instead, for the second year in a row, they where sent home packing in the semifinals. Down 17-7, the Argonauts of Garden Grove had a few breaks go their way, as they received four penalties in their favor that aided their drive. As the pendulum of momentum swung, the Lancers committed a turnover, as a pitch to Elijhaa Penny went wide and an Argonaut picked it up and raced for a TD. This gave Garden Grove a lead that they would not relinquish. The Lancer defense that had looked so strong in its first few playoff games- was gashed for two long TD runs in the fourth quarter. JobsThe Lancers would try in vain as they fought back valiantly, but it was their Achilles heel again, that tripped them up in this game. Their lack of a QB who can accurately throw out of the double-wing, cost them the game down the stretch. It was a heartbreaker for the seniors on the team-a tough way to go out. A bright spot for the Lancers was WB Elijhaa Penny who had 27 carries for 229 yards and two scores.

Championship Preview: 

La Mirada vs. Garden Grove: This is it, there is no tomorrow. Win you're a champ, lose your second place. The finals are here, and the top two ranked teams in the Southern Division are playing for all the marbles. The Matadores look to run the ball and control the clock as they will methodically attempt to move the ball up and down the field. The Argonauts are going to try and impose their will on the Matadores. This is going to be a heavyweight slugfest, as both teams are very physical. The game will be played at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Friday @ 7pm. I look for the Matadores to be victorious, as they pull out a close game. I stick with the Suburban League champs in this one.

La Mirada 28 Garden Grove 24

Final Thoughts: This has been a great season and it will come to a close this Friday. Months of hard work will be laid on the line by both teams' sacrifices and ups and downs. Next week, I will do a summary of how I think teams finished, and a sneak-peek to next year's rosters, based on what was observed on the lower levels this season. I wish you all much success; and stay injury free.