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Irvine Vaqueros too much for Eagles

High School Football

Estancia tailback Laurent carries heavy load, but host Vaqueros play the heavy in nonleague clash Friday.

September 21, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

IRVINE — Shifty, slippery and determined, Estancia High tailback Christian Laurent consistently made the first tackler miss Friday night. The problem was that initial Irvine High defender usually brought company.

The result was a solid performance for Laurent, a junior transfer from Edison, and a 40-6 nonleague triumph for Irvine at Irvine High.

Laurent carried eight times and caught one flat pass in the Eagles' lone scoring drive, a 13-play, 85-yard procession that used nearly six minutes of the second quarter. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound Laurent, who had 222 rushing yards in last week's win over Ocean View, earned 53 rushing yards on the scoring drive and added two more on his only reception of the game. At one point in the march, he fielded either a handoff, pitch or pass on nine of 10 Estancia plays.

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Laurent, who had 80 rushing yards on 17 carries in the first half, finished with 99 yards on 31 rushing attempts to up his season rushing total to 467 yards. He nearly reached triple figures, despite only two carries of more than six yards. He was swarmed in the backfield four times for losses and once more for no gain. One of those losses resulted in a safety as Irvine (3-0) asserted its strength in the trenches and also proved opportunistic.

Estancia (1-2), playing for the second game without senior two-way starter Jackson Letterman, who is also the team's long snapper, was twice victimized by errant punt snaps deep in its own territory.

Irvine turned the first snap over the punter's head into a one-play, 15-yard touchdown drive. The Vaqueros recovered the other high punt snap in the end zone for a touchdown.

The hosts went 40 yards on four plays with a second-quarter interception and scored on seven of their first nine possessions to leave Estancia Coach Mike Bargas wondering if he'd have been better off staying at home.

"We're young and it really showed tonight," Bargas said. "We're usually pretty physical but Irvine was more physical than we were. I'm not sure if we got a little bit better this week."

Estancia sophomore quarterback Connor Brown completed nine of 20 pass attempts for 74 yards, including a 12-yard scoring fade to Devon Jackson that pulled the Eagles within 21-6 with 3:14 left in the first half.

Jackson, despite having to fill in at cornerback when the usual starter couldn't answer the bell, had five receptions for 54 yards.

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