May 23, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Sunny Hills rolls to third straight victory, defeating city rival Troy 62-7

Noah Brown (No. 24),. T.J. Vaipae (43) and David Mahmood (3) combined for four touchdowns in Sunny Hills 62-7 victory over Troy Friday night. (Photo courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone)

Shortly after he arrived at Sunny Hills High School as an assistant, current head coach Pete Karavedas saw an article about Fullerton and Troy playing for the “City Championship” in football.

That was news to Karavedas.

“We hadn’t beaten Troy in, I think, eight years and Fullerton in, like, 11 years,” Karavedas recalls, “but we hadn’t even played one of the teams yet, but we’re in Fullerton, too!”

And just like that, the “City Championship” became a priority for the Lancers. They’ve swept the city series, on all three levels the past two seasons and took their first step toward a three-peat Friday by dominating Troy 62-7 in a Freeway League game at Fullerton High School.

“We’re a local program, we’re about coaching the neighborhood,” Karavedas said, explaining why the city series is important. “We want to be the best football program inb this neighborhood.”

Friday’s game – the first in the city round robin – had a brief moment of drama for the Troy side in the first quarter when the Warriors drove 65 yards on their behind the efforts of 5-9, 155-pound workhorse running back Lukas Macino. The march came after Sunny Hills had opened the scoring on a 4-yard Vince Silva run and the 10-play effort hinted at a strong effort from the Warriors.

The euphoria of that moment lasted 12 seconds.

Sunny Hills sophomore David Mahood took the Troy kickoff on his own 20 and rocketed  up the south sideline 80 yards for his first TD as a Lancer. A deep back on the Lancer kickoff team since the season began, Mahood touched the ball for the first time in three games Friday night, returning one kickoff 30 yards before his home run sprint.

“Our other return man, Brandon Roberts, is the guy,” Mahood said, “and I felt like they’d kick to me instead of Brandon, and I was ready for it. The blocking was perfect, a wide-open hole … it was beautiful.”

Mahood thought that play changed the tone of the game. “We knew Troy would come out and after that kickoff, our defense locked down and we just did what we had to do,” he said.

It was one-sided after that with David Harris scoring on a 5-yard run, Roberts on a 13-yarder, T.J. Vaipae scoring twice on a pair of 15-yard runs, Silva running 63 yards for another and Noah Brown scoring from 17 yards out.

On defense Bryan Echavarria had an interception that set up Vaipae’s first score.

Friday, April 2, Sunny Hills is at Sonora, which is coached by Kevin Oberlander, who was the Lancers’ offensive coordinator on the 2019 CIF championship team. The same night Troy and Fullerton collide in Round 2 of the City Championship at Fullerton High and then round 3 features Fullerton High vs. Sunny Hills at Buena Park High on April 9.

—Courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone