Two-minute Drill

November 22, 2011

Coach Mike Bargas wanted his Estancia High team to be practicing on Thanksgiving Day.

That hasn't happened at the school in a long time.

The Eagles earned the privilege to practice Thursday by beating visiting Magnolia, 42-7, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs last Friday. The postseason victory was Estancia's first since 1980.

"It feels good," Bargas said of ending the Eagles' 11-game losing streak in the playoffs, 10 of them in playoff openers.


The Eagles (9-2) travel to play Woodbridge (6-5) in the second round at Irvine High on Friday at 7 p.m.

Estancia has never defeated Woodbridge in football and the program has never won back-to-back playoff games in its history.

*Robert Murtha can call himself Estancia's all-time leading rusher.

In just two seasons on varsity, the junior running back has totaled 3,544 yards on the ground. Murtha's 226-yard effort in the first round of the playoffs against Magnolia helped him surpass James Dawkins' mark of 3,209 yards, which Dawkins established at Estancia from 1995-97.

The Newport-Mesa career record is 4,333 yards, owned by Costa Mesa's Binh Tran (1991-93).

Murtha also broke Estancia's single-season rushing record of 1,679 yards, which he set last season. He now has 1,865 yards this season.

In the past two weeks, Murtha has turned in his biggest games of the year, recording 502 yards and five touchdowns during the stretch. He scored on runs of 82 and 55 yards last week and on an 84-yard run two weeks ago.

*Until this year, Estancia didn't have much success against teams from the Pacific Coast League.

Earlier this year, the Eagles ended a 15-game losing streak to teams from the PCL with a 43-27 home win against Northwood.

Before Estancia made a run at claiming back-to-back undefeated Orange Coast League titles, it went 1-2 against teams from the PCL. Estancia lost to Beckman and University by a combined 10 points.

Beckman is the top seed in the playoffs, while University failed to qualify for the postseason.

A team from the PCL has eliminated Estancia from the playoffs in the Eagles' last four appearances.

*One key to Corona del Mar's 43-7 win over visiting Westminster in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs, was the Sea Kings' kick return game.

Five CdM touchdowns came after returns put the offense in prime position. Three returns put the Sea Kings in the Lions' red zone and two more set the hosts up on the Westminster side of midfield.

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