Game Preview: Anaheim Canyon at Laguna Hills

Friday Night both squads will enter the field with 4-0 records. They square off at Mission Viejo High...

Aside from the earlier matchup this season between Mission Viejo and Mater Dei, Friday's nonleague contest between Anaheim Canyon versus Laguna Hills has to be considered one of the best in Orange County this season.

Both squads will enter the field with 4-0 records and have showcased an exceptional array of individual achievements. It will be a home game for
Laguna Hills, played at Mission Viejo High.

On paper, this game is very difficult to pick.
Laguna Hills has yielded a stingy 55 points overall, with the Comanches allowing just 58. Both teams have exhibited high-octane offenses, each averaging better than 30 points-per-game.

Trying to dissect a weakness between two junior quarterbacks will do prognosticators no good. Ryan Wertentberger has already put up big numbers for Hawks' Coach Bruce Ingalls by completing 34 of 62 attempts for 514 yards, good for nine touchdowns with only one interception.

Canyon's returning starting signal-caller Jordan Thomas has one of the County's top proficiency ratings by completing 34 of 49 attempts for 600 yards, six TD's and like Wertenberger has thrown just one interception.

Canyon would have to get the advantage at the running back position, with coach Brent McKee getting what he called his "two-headed monster" healthy this season. Seniors Jordan Yocum and Mike Hull have ran behind a skilled offensive line to score eight and six touchdowns, respectively.
Hull has returned after a season-ending broken leg suffered last year.

Yocum averages 140 yards per-game. He put on a spectacular show two weeks ago by scoring the winning touchdown on fourth down in overtime, leading the Comanches 33-30 over La Palma Kennedy. Yocum finished with 220 yards, with four TD's, and returned a fumble for another score.

However, on the other sideline,
Laguna Hills will counter with two big playmakers of its own in Chris Giovinazzo and Cameron Hall, who hauled in a 95-yard scoring strike from Wertenberger in a 24-7 win over Trabuco Hills.

Hall has snared 19 catches, good for seven TD's and a total of 313 yards. At a speedy 6-3, 220 pounds, Hall can also be a presence at defensive end.

Giovinazzo averages over 100 yards rushing per-game and has proven to be an effective receiving option out of the backfield, totaling near 150 yards per-game this season.

If there is one player who literally flies under the radar in this game, it is Canyon basketball star Demetrius Cook, who just turned into a football receiver as well. Cook hasn't seen many passes his way, but at 6-4, 185 pounds can pose a match-up problem for anyone.

Thus far, Thomas has looked primarily for Chris Langstaff (15 receptions, 300 yards) or Christian Daniel, who averages 15-yards per catch. Langstaff also roams the secondary and has already logged a TD punt return for the Comanches.

The Hawks will attempt to slow Canyons ground game with all-Sea View League middle linebacker Garrett Olson and outside linebacker Alex St. Pierre.

Laguna Hills has a strong secondary in Garrett Denham, with two defensive TD's, and Peter Antone (3 INT's) and Eddie Hernandez, who picked off two passes against Trabuco Hills.

Canyon's defense is sure-handed, too, with Colton Grandbush, Jay Kishner, Daniel, Yocum, and Langstaff, each with one INT.

Both school's are more than accurately represented in the kicking department, with
Laguna Hills' Steen Sargent and Canyon's Nick Canney

This statistical wash between northeast county and southwest county might just come down to which foot can split the uprights.



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