The562’s coverage of football in 2023-24 is sponsored in part by the MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center Foundation and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Foundation
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
With an opportunity to make an immediate impact, Wilson senior Laighton Scott wasted no time Friday night as he rushed for 128 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Bruins to a 42-7 win over visiting California High School.
Scott, a transfer from St. John Bosco who was cleared to play just hours before the Wilson home opener, provided a much-needed lift for the Bruins. The Wilson offense struggled in its first two non-league games scoring one offensive touchdown.
“There was a lot of emotions before this game,” Scott said. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to play in the first game. It was my last first home game, and stuff just kind of clicked for me. Without my line I wouldn’t have scored without them.”
Cal’s quarterback Daniel Torres and Frank Gallardo had their mojo going on their first drive as they connected for two early passes for 23 yards. But the Wilson defense came to play as they forced a punt thanks to a sack by Curtis Whiten.
On the Bruins’ opening drive, sophomore Mack Cooper got the passing game going with a pair of big gains to brothers Ian and Andrew for gains of 43 and 11, respectively.
“It all started with the run game,” Cooper said. “We really killed them with that tonight. It felt really good to show out for the school.”
Scott then handled the rest as he rushed for 19 yards on three carries and capped it with a 2-yard touchdown to give the Bruins an early lead. After a penalty on the PAT attempt Scott rumbled in for the 2-point conversion.
“When we have a run game we’re able to take a lot of pressure off our quarterback,” Wilson coach Scott Meyer said. “Laighton was able to shake a lot of rush off today, so I think he’ll just continue to get better and better.”
The California offense continued to keep the ball moving with Jonathan Castillo who used his shifty speed to make Bruins defenders miss, but Wilson bent but didn’t break as they stopped the Condors to try a field goal and it was missed.
Wilson’s defense also had a breakout night as Hudson Deeble came up with an interception and Curtis Whiten set the tone early with a big sack.
The Bruins relied on the rushing attack heavily all night, scoring six touchdowns all on the ground as Wilson combined for 246 yards including a 49-yard touchdown by Aazon Tabari.
Wilson (1-2) will open Moore League play next when they travel to Millikan to take on the Rams.