Griffins clinch share of Sunset League championship

Photo by Marja Bene Los Alamitos players celebrate with wide receiver Ja’Myron Baker (13) after a touchdown against Huntington Beach on Friday.

The 6-2 Los Alamitos Griffins faced off against the 4-4 Huntington Beach Oilers at Veteran’s Stadium in Long Beach. The Griffins limped into week 9 of the season with injuries to starters on both sides of the ball. On offense, they were missing three senior wide receivers, their starting running back, and their starting left tackle. The defense wasn’t much better off, missing multiple defensive backs.

As if the pressure of clinching the Sunset League championship wasn’t enough, USC Head Football Coach Lincoln Riley was in attendance to watch the game.

The Griffins started out strong, scoring on their opening drive with a passing touchdown from Malachi Nelson to senior wide receiver Gavin Porch. That was followed by a rushing touchdown by sophomore running back Anthony League, giving the Griffins a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

The Griffin’s momentum continued early in the second quarter on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Malachi Nelson to freshman wide receiver Ja’Myron Baker. The Oilers’ next possession ended with a punt being blocked by senior defensive end Sinn Brennan, which was recovered in the endzone for a Griffins touchdown. On the Griffins’ next drive, Nelson threw a second touchdown pass to Ja’Myron Baker, this one from 17 yards away, giving the Griffins a 35-0 halftime lead.

The third quarter started out with back-to-back scoring drives, which included a 15-yard touchdown pass to Gavin Porch and a 69-yard touchdown run by Anthony League. With a commanding 48-0 lead, the Griffins replaced all the starters, and the game ended with a final score of 48-7.

The Griffins clinched a Sunset League title on a night they recognized the 2022 CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship team, which included Head Football Coach John Barnes, the winningest coach in Orange County history.

The Los Alamitos Griffins head into the last regular season game against the Fountain Valley Barons (4-5) on Thursday, October 27 at 7 PM at Veteran’s Stadium in Long Beach. The Griffins moved up in both Max Preps polls to #4 in the state and #45 in the nation.