CHINO >> Two years ago, Laguna Beach ended Chino’s season in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 9 football playoffs.
Thursday, the teams met again with another playoff atmosphere. Except it was the first game of the season.
Jackson Kollock’s pass on a 2-point conversion fell incomplete and Chino defeated Laguna Beach 27-26 in overtime at Chino High School.
The Cowboys won despite squandering a 17-point halftime lead and could have lost on either of two Breakers conversion attempts at the end of the game.
“You’re always happy to win the game, but we only scored a field goal in the second half,” Chino coach Joey LaRosa said. “But you have to learn how to finish games.”
Chino led 17-0 at halftime before Laguna Beach’s offense finally got going in the second half.
The defending Division 9 champions finally got on the board when Kollock scored on a 2-yard run with 2:12 left in the third quarter to make it 17-7.
Brody Quizon’s second field goal of the game, a 28-yarder with 8:28 to play, gave Chino a 20-7 lead but it was not enough as Kollock threw a 67-yard touchdown pass on the next play from scrimmage to suddenly make it 20-14.
Chino’s next drive gave the Cowboys a chance to put the game away. But on fourth down, Laguna Beach called a timeout, designed a play and Quizon’s 24-yard field goal was blocked. The Breakers got the ball back at their own 32 with 3:25 left.
Kollock, who was victimized by dropped passes earlier in the game, engineered an 11-play scoring drive, converting two fourth downs. With four seconds left at the Chino 11, Kollock rolled right, threw a pass that was tipped by Chino’s Diego Ogata before falling into the hands of Brock Donaldson at the back of the end zone to tie the score 20-20 as time expired.
Here’s the game tying touchdown pass from Laguna Beach as time expires. Ball is deflected by Chino player and into Laguna Beach receiver in the end zone @chchampsports @ChinoFBCowboys @PeteMarshallLaw @CIFSS pic.twitter.com/e0gKHubyJr
— Sportscenetv (@Sportscenetv) August 18, 2023
Needing only a conversion kick to win the game, the snap was bobbled and the kick was easily blocked by the Cowboys to send the game to overtime.
Chino went first and needed only three plays to score from the 25 with Nathan Blanco (130 yards rushing) scoring on a 6-yard run to make it 27-20. Kollock scored on a run from the 1 on Laguna Beach’s seventh play of overtime and coach John Shanahan didn’t hesitate to go for 2 and the win.
But the pass was incomplete and Chino could celebrate.
“That’s a good football team. They’re well coached,” Shanahan said. “We played poorly. We just did a lot of things that are uncharacteristic for us.”
Ogata scored touchdowns of 21 and 2 yards in the first half and Chino stopped Laguna Beach on four straight plays from the Chino 1 at the end of the half to preserve a 17-0 lead.
Kollock fumbled as he went into the end zone on the final play and the ball was ruled to have been out before crossing the goal line and Chino recovered in the end zone.
“I wasn’t sure if he got in or not,” LaRosa said.