Senior quarterback Jaden Mangini led a dynamic La Jolla County Day offense that shredded the previously unscored upon Army-Navy Academy defense in Friday night’s Coastal Conference battle won by the Torreys 35-6.
Mangini was 12-for-23 in the air for 196 yards with four touchdowns (9, 4, 16, and 81 yards) and one interception. Mangini also rushed 21 times for 98 yards.
The well-oiled LJCD air raid-style offense combined with a stingy defense was the winning combination for the host Torreys (5-1 overall, 2-0 Coastal) on their homecoming night.
“We knew they had a lot of size, but we didn’t care about it,” Mangini said of the Warriors (4-1, 1-1). “We trusted our gameplan. Our running game opened up our passing game.”
The Torreys’ Madden Craig caught two touchdowns on offense and forced a fumble and had an interception on defense. LJCD running back Jack Circuit had a 1-yard touchdown run and a 9-yard scoring catch.
“The gameplan was to bring a sledgehammer out of our toolbox, and tonight we did that,” Craig said. “Ironman Mangini — there is no one like him.”
Turnovers and costly penalties dogged Army-Navy most of the night on both sides of the ball.
“We had crucial turnovers. Three turnovers will kill you against a good team. Those are mental mistakes we have to fix,” Army-Navy coach Nehemiah Brunson said. “They (Torreys) were the most complete team we have played up to date.”
The Warriors had more size in the trenches but were unable to exploit it to their advantage. For most of LJCD’s offensive plays, Mangini had either plenty of time in the pocket or wide swaths of real estate on run-pass option plays.
“Mangini did a good job. He knows every game he is going to have a spotlight on him,” Torreys coach Tyler Hales said. “He is confident and someone who prepares. He made a lot of great decisions tonight.”
After a scoreless first quarter, LJCD took charge, winning the second quarter 21-0 before cruising in the second half for the lopsided victory.
Mangini, who will play linebacker on a football scholarship at the Naval Academy next year, was decisive on the run and sliced through the big Army-Navy defensive front on crucial plays.
“He is elusive,” Brunson said of Mangini. “They (LJCD) schemed well. It was smart coaching. They just made bigger plays than we did.”
In the Torreys’ final offensive possession of the first half, the Warriors defense had a litany of costly penalties that extended LJCD’s drive. As a result, the Torreys drove 84 yards in 2:40 to score a touchdown as time ran out in the second quarter. Mangini’s 4-yard scoring slant pass to Quentin Cesaire gave LJCD a 21-0 lead at halftime.
“That drive was a crucial turning point for us,” Brunson said. “For us, it is about bouncing back. We saw some things we can improve on.”
Coming into the game, Army-Navy had outscored its’ opponents 193-0 but against the Torreys the script was flipped as the Warriors had trouble scoring and were unable to slow down LJCD’s offense.
“Our defense has been playing really well,” Hales said. “Our front three played well. Our linebackers are aggressive, and we have defensive backs that can cover.”
Army-Navy got its’ lone score late in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard scoring run by Nehemiah Brunson Jr.
Army-Navy 0 0 0 6 – 6
LJCD 0 21 7 7 – 35
LJCD-Circuit 1 run (Sach kick)
LJCD-Circuit 9 pass from Mangini (Sach kick)
LJCD-Cesaire 4 pass from Mangini (Sach kick)
LJCD-Craig 16 pass from Mangini (Sach kick)
LJCD-Craig 81 pass from Mangini (Sach kick)
AN-Brunson 1 run (kick blocked)