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Position by position: Estancia looks to three-peat

Eagles have gone undefeated in back-to-back Orange Coast League title runs.

August 16, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Scott Smeltzer…)

You cannot blame the Estancia High football team for thinking three-peat.

Sure, the program has never won three straight league championships, but the Eagles are primed to defend the Orange Coast League title for the third year in a row.

They might accomplish the feat by going 5-0 in league again.

No team has been able to beat Estancia in the last 11 league contests. The last one to knock off the Eagles is Laguna Beach, back in 2009.

The Breakers are the one program that can end the Eagles' league winning streak. They, just like Estancia, made the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs last year.

It took six seasons for an Orange Coast League team to advance to the division semifinals. The league had two make it that far, but each failed to get to the title game, losing to Pacific Coast League teams, Estancia to Beckman and Laguna Beach to Corona del Mar.

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"They're the top dogs," Estancia Coach Mike Bargas said of the programs from the Pacific Coast League, which has had four teams play for the Southern Division title since the division's inception six years ago.

The Eagles made huge strides last year in the division, winning their first playoff game since 1980. They ended a 10-game losing streak in playoff openers by routing Magnolia, 42-7.

The Eagles then met Woodbridge, a Pacific Coast League team, in the quarterfinals, and pulled off a 10-7 win. The triumph marked the first time Estancia won back-to-back games in the same postseason.

What prepared Estancia for the matchup with Woodbridge were three nonleague games against Pacific Coast League teams. The Eagles beat just one of the three, Northwood, 43-27. The win stopped a 15-game losing streak against opponents from the Pacific Coast League.

"That's the only way you're going to get credibility," Bargas said of scheduling games against Pacific Coast League programs.

While the Eagles went perfect in Orange Coast League play last year, they finished 10-3 overall. All three setbacks came against Pacific Coast League teams.

Before Estancia opens its league title defense at home against rival Costa Mesa on Oct. 5, two of the Eagles' final three nonleague opponents are from the Pacific Coast League.

The teams from that league are Irvine and University. The last time the Eagles beat Irvine was 32 years ago. Their last victory against University was 15 years ago.

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