May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Player to watch: Garden Grove running back Mike Carrillo leads Argonauts into CIF Division 9 playoffs

Garden Grove’s Mike Carrillo leads the Argonauts into the CIF playoffs (Tim Burt photo)

Orange County’s leading rusher, Garden Grove’s Mike Carrillo, is hoping his squad can have a successful run in the CIF Division 9 playoffs, which begin Friday when the Argonauts hosts West Torrance at 7 p.m.

Carrillo led the Panthers with 101 yards on 29 carries, including the eventual game-winner in Garden Grove’s 21-14 victory over Segerstrom in overtime Thursday in a battle of undefeated league teams. The victory lifted Garden Grove to the Big 4 League title.

“It’s very special,” Carrillo said of the game. “It’s something that won’t happen in my life again, ever. It’s one for the books.”

Now, Garden Grove gets ready to open the CIF playoffs.

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“Every week we got to get better and improve,” he said. “Every week.”

Carrillo has rushed for 1,851 yards and 28 touchdowns and caught 15 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns but he insists he is only thinking about the team’s success.

“All I think about is next week,” he said. “I don’t care about my stats. All I care is if we keep going in the playoffs and league. So now when the playoffs come, we just got to keep moving forward.”

He also credits others for his success.

“My line, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have what I have right now,” he said.

Carrillo broke his hand last year and missed the first six games of last year.

“Once I came back, I didn’t get that many carries; I was the number two back but this year, number one, so I’m making the best of it,” he said.

GARDEN GROVE WINS BIG-4 LEAGUE SHOWDOWN WITH SEGERSTROM IN OVERTIME

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com