Next up for La Habra: Ground-oriented Tustin

When La Habra defeated Trbuco Hills, 27-22, last week, the Highlanders
accomplished it despite a 200-yard effort by Mustangs RB Shane DeCillo. A
5-foot-9, 193-pound junior, he carried on 24 of their 27 rushing plays.

Trying to contain him may have been a good workout in preparation for
this week when the Highlanders meet Tustin in the CIF-SS, Southwest
Division championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Anaheim Stadium.
Tustin will challenge with an explosive double wing attack featuring
Anthony Wilkerson and Ameer Webb.

Wilkerson (jr., 6-0, 210) is the main threat, bigger and reportedly
faster than DeCillo. Wilkerson rushed for 170 yards in the 63-28 rout of
Anaheim Canyon in last Friday’s semifinal, and now has nearly 2,100
yards and 31 touchdowns, averaging 9 yards a carry.

Webb (sr., 6-0, 175) also is a 1,000-yard rusher, totaling 1,095 yards
and averaging 8.5 yards per trip. He has 15 touchdowns.

The Tillers don’t pass much. As team they have rushed for 4,881 yards
and 71 touchdowns. They’ve thrown only 49 times, completing 22 (45
percent) for 536 yards and four touchdowns. They’ve been intercepted

Quarterback Taylor Richardson (sr., 6-0, 190) is 20 for 41 for 516
yards and four TDs. He also has rushed 97 times for 598 yards, giving
the Tillers another legitimate weapon on the ground.

Tustin began the season with losses to La Palma Kennedy (31-28),
Foothill (21-6) and Orange Lutheran 10-0. They then ran off a six-game
win streak and have won nine of their last 10, including the last three
in a row.

They have outscored their opponents, 553-269, and as the No. 7 seed
in the Southwest Division, they have outscored their three playoff
opponents, 188-75, including victories over Magnolia (76-26) and Garden
Grove Pacifica (49-21).

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Trabuco Hills vs. La Habra

Southwest Division semifinal tonight. La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta says size really does matter, and the visiting Mustangs’ advantage in that category up front is a concern. The Highlanders have played bigger teams before. Talking to some of the players they appear to be genuinely unfazed by the size differential.They acknowledge it, but worried about it, doubtful.

The Highlanders seem to be well prepared to compete, but that’s nothing new. It’s not just an image for this game, but every game. Mazzotta says the team is healthy, no key players missing.

The stage is set. Should be a good one.
The pick: … … … (no drum roll necessary) … La Habra.

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Winter sports are on the scene

The area still has a football program alive in the CIF playoffs, but the winter sports – boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, girls water polo and wrestling – are starting and deserve some acknowledgment.

This doesn’t mean football is ending on this blog, but there’s room for everyone here. It’s doubtful the other sports can/will match football’s intensity, but the opportunity for posting thoughts and opinions clearly is encouraged.

La Habra’s versatile Jordan Sachs opened the season with a 47-point performance in the Highlanders’ first game. Has anyone seen anybody top that?

La Mirada’s 6-8 center/forward Derrick Williams, who recently signed with USC, will be in action Friday night when the Matadores travel to play St. John Bosco. Game time 7.

The Forum is open. Have at it.

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