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Football Lakewood

Football: Lakewood Drops Close Opener With Orange Vista

The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.

Last year the Lakewood football team opened with Orange Vista and weren’t in the game for most of the contest, falling by 22 points to a higher-division team. The Lancers eventually found their footing and went on a historic run to the CIF-SS championship game–this year they opened up against that same Orange Vista team, this time on the road.

Lakewood didn’t get the win they wanted, but they did get a chance to show how far they’ve come in a heartbreaking loss, 27-20.

The Lakewood defense was the star of the show in the first half, giving up just one touchdown while grabbing five interceptions in the first 24 minutes of the game to keep the score at 6-6 at halftime. Kade Casillas threw a touchdown early in the game to put Lakewood up 6-0.

Orange Vista went on to tie the score in the first half, then take a 20-6 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Lancers battled back as Cecil Xavier returned a kick 90 yards for a score and then Casillas hit Charlie Wright for the game-tying touchdown with eight minutes remaining. It was back and forth after that with Orange Vista ultimately using a run-heavy drive to take a 27-20 lead with two minutes remaining, and stopping the Lakewood offense to seal the win.

Ayeven Aupiu had two interceptions for Lakewood in the game, while Rovana Tufugafale, Viane Leilua, and David Voorhies each had one.

The Lancers (0-1) will visit San Dimas next Friday for game two before hosting Laguna Hills on Sep. 1 for their home opener.

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Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.