The three seniors, Diego, Carlyle and Collins, started getting things going. They helped the Eagles beat Laguna Beach for the first time since the league was formed.
Sophomore Robert Murtha, who ran for a career-high 229 yards and three touchdowns, realized how much the game meant to the class of 2011.
"This is the first time our senior team has beaten Laguna," Murtha said. "We wanted to win this for our seniors. "This is a really special game. We feel that we can be league champs this year."
On a night when Estancia retired the No. 37 jersey of the late Brian "Bubba" Kapko, the former Eagle who was killed in a car accident in 2005, Coach Mike Bargas' Eagles looked plenty motivated.
The Eagles (2-4), who snapped a four-game losing streak, took it to the Breakers (1-5) early. Each of the first two drives culminated in touchdowns.
Diego dived in from a yard out just more than three minutes into the game, giving Estancia the lead.
Then, the Eagles made a statement on defense. Laguna Beach not only had to go three-and-out on its first possession, but senior quarterback Austin Paxson was sacked twice, first by Ozzy Magana and then by the combination of Alipa Peters and Juan Mejia.
"It was the whole defensive line, the whole defense stepping up," said Mejia, the senior end who was in on four sacks. "[Defensive backs], linebackers, everybody did a terrific job of keeping their receivers contained. It was everybody as a team."
Estancia went on a 54-yard drive that culminated on Murtha's three-yard touchdown scamper, and the Eagles were rolling. They scored again on their fourth possession, this time Murtha following a block from his senior fullback George De La Torre to score from 15 yards out.
That score gave the Eagles a 22-3 lead. They had almost matched the 26-point total from their four previous losses by halftime, and Murtha already had 148 yards at the intermission.