El Modena football uses late TD and some trickery to beat Aliso Niguel

ORANGE — The El Modena football team is no stranger to closely-contested games.

The Vanguards found themselves in another tight one Friday night, but they prevailed with Sam Astor’s 22-yard, go-ahead touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to defeat Aliso Niguel 20-15 at El Modena High.

Astor was held without a catch in the first half so El Modena coach Matt Mitchell made it a point to get Astor more involved in the second half.

“We talked at halftime, we gotta get the ball to Sam (Astor),” Mitchell said, “and we figured a thing or two out with Sam and got the ball to him and got him going.”

Three of El Modena’s four games have been been decided by one score. The Vanguards (3-1) had a 19-14 win over Santa Ana and a 17-15 loss to Sunny Hills before their five-point win over the Wolverines (3-2).

El Modena QB Jack Keays is hyped after the win over Aliso Niguel. Keays (1 pass TD, 1 rush TD) gave praise to his teammates until the end of the interview. @ocvarsity @elmodenafb @KeaysJackson @elmorowdyrooter pic.twitter.com/7D2Ke6LNoX

— David Delgado🇪🇨 (@DavidDelgado_OC) September 18, 2021

Vanguards quarterback Jack Keays threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score, and their special teams also played a crucial role in the outcome.

Alex Luna scored the first touchdown on a fake field goal.

Mitchell said the play is designed to have the holder, Luna, throw a pass downfield, but Luna didn’t find an open receiver or any room at all going to his left, so he quickly reversed field and went to his right. He made his way all the way across the field, picking up nice blocks along the way, for a 19-yard touchdown run.

“I didn’t think we would score on our special teams, a touchdown on a scramble play, and then they block a kick for a touchdown,” Mitchell said. “It’s high school football at its best you know, and you try to coach every aspect it.”

The blocked kick Mitchell referred to was a 25-yard field goal attempt that was swatted away by the Wolverines and then scooped up by Jaden Beisel for a 70-yard return that made the game 7-6 at halftime.

Instead of a 10-0 advantage for the Vanguards at the break, they found themselves clinging to a slim lead in the second half.

In the third, Keegan Shone’s field goal gave Aliso Niguel a 9-7 lead then Keays scored on a 10-yard run on El Modena’s next drive for a 14-9 advantage.

The Wolverines responded when Shaun McCaghren found Christian Aaberg for a 36-yard TD pass with 8:19 left in the fourth to go up 15-14. Aliso Niguel was stopped on the 2-point attempt.

The Vanguards’ next possession ended in a punt but the defense made a big play to get that ball back as Zac Brehm forced a fumble and recovered it as well, his second recovery of the game.

That set up Keays for the eventual game-winning pass. He hit Astor on a slant, the receiver found a seam in the Aliso Niguel defense and raced across the goal line.

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Saddleback football continues hot start with win over Bolsa Grande

SANTA ANA — Before Thursday night’s game, Bolsa Grande said it was going to force Saddleback to pass the ball by blitzing.

That may have been a mistake.

Wide receiver Isaias Ramirez caught three touchdown passes and ran for a score to lead Saddleback to a 41-14 nonleague victory over the Matadors at Segerstrom High.

It’s the first time since 2015 that Saddleback has started a season t 3-1.

“I think it’s more about the kids knowing that they have a staff that believes in them,” Saddleback coach Glenn Campbell said. “We love these kids like our own kids. I think when you get into any situation like that, that’s when the coaches have your back. Even though we hold them accountable, we actually make sure they know what they’re doing before doing it.”

Postgame interview with Saddleback coach Glenn Campbell as his Roadrunners are 3-1 for the first time since 2015!@ocvarsity @SaddlebackHS pic.twitter.com/riW3LvVRQh

— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) September 17, 2021

The Roadrunners scored the first touchdown within the first 40 seconds of the game thanks to a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Albert Marquez to Ramirez.

Ramirez would end the night with six catches for 145 yards to go along with his three touchdown catches.

The three touchdown catches give Ramirez 10 receiving touchdowns this season.

“I know he is always going to be open,” Marquez said of Ramirez. “I just know that. He’s always my go-to guy.”

Postgame interview with Albert Marquez of Saddleback. 207 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes for Marquez as the Roadrunners are 3-1!@ocvarsity @SaddlebackHS pic.twitter.com/vWb6N8bPoP

— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) September 17, 2021

Marquez was 9 of 16 passing for 207 yards with the three touchdowns and had five carries for 40 yards.

Bolsa Grande (2-2) grabbed its only lead in the game with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Samer Alqam to Phu Nguyen that followed Saddleback’s opening score.

Alqam ran for the 2-point conversion to give the Matadors an 8-7 lead, but it was all Saddleback after that.

Bolsa Grande entered the game averaging 30 points per game.

“Oh wow, I didn’t know that,” Ramirez said. “I’m shocked. Our defense really balled out. It takes 11 (players on defense) and everyone did their part and did their job after bouncing back from last week. We wanted it more.”

Postgame interview with Isaias Ramirez of Saddleback. 6 catches for 145 yards and 3 TD catches as the Roadrunners are 3-1!@ocvarsity @SaddlebackHS pic.twitter.com/7JXgcVHZnv

— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) September 17, 2021

Alqam went 14 of 24 passing for 137 yards and two touchdowns, while Ethan Nguyen rushed for 65 yards on 13 carries. Phu Nguyen caught three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Carlos Carro rushed for 49 yards on six carries with a touchdown for Saddleback, and Rodrigo Nieves rushed for 38 yards with a score on eight carries to go with a team leading eight tackles. Donovan Castellanos caught two passes for 61 yards for the Roadrunners.

Saddleback is back at Segerstrom High to take on Riverside La Sierra on Friday, Sept. 24. Bolsa Grande will host Godinez on Thursday, Sept. 23.

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Cristian Arango scores twice, LAFC beats Real Salt Lake

Entering the last third of the season, the Los Angeles Football Club needs points any way they can find them.

Sunday night at Banc of California Stadium during the last Major League Soccer clash of the weekend LAFC did exactly that, holding onto a 3-2 lead they were gifted to nail down a crucial Western Conference showdown against Real Salt Lake.

Two goals from Cristian Arango plus an own-goal lifted LAFC (8-9-6, 30 points) into dead heat with RSL for the last MLS Cup postseason spot.

RSL (8-8-6, 30 points) continues to sit in the seventh position due to a two goal advantage over LAFC via the goal differential tiebreaker.

“Tonight we have a great reward worthy of our great effort,” Arango said. “We suffer together and celebrate together.”

The fastest goal in LAFC history — the eighth quickest in MLS competition — delivered the Black & Gold an advantage 20 seconds after the opening whistle.

The sequence started near midfield when LAFC’s Colombian captain Eduard Atuesta picked up the ball and dribbled into RSL territory.

Atuesta picked out midfielder Bryce Duke running to his right, which opened a window to feed Danny Musovski in the box. Duke’s delivery, his second assist in as many matches, was redirected and fell to Arango, whose clean touch allowed him to beat RSL goalkeeper David Ochao.

The two sides tussled over the opening half hour until RSL’s Damir Kreilach again made an impact on the series.

The midfielder’s curling one-timer from outside the box leveled the score at one apiece and set in motion a frantic give and take — and give — 90 minutes.

“Wild game,” Bradley said. “Sometimes as you get into the latter part of the season and you’re playing these six point games they can become fast and furious. There’s mistakes on both sides.”

After Kreilach’s equalizer, LAFC wasted no time regaining the lead.

Arango, 26, secured his brace two minutes later when Atuesta lofted a chipped pass at his countryman’s head.

The redirected pass produced Arango’s fourth goal in LAFC’s last three contests.

“He wanted to be here and from the beginning you could tell he’s got a strong character and a great mentality,” Bradley said regarding the Colombian forward. “That part rubs off in a good way on everybody.

“He’s a guy you can count on. He plays for the team. He puts himself in really good positions in the box. He showed he can play an important role for us.”

RSL leveled the contest in the 48th minute when a rare miscue by Duke created a breakaway that gave forward Anderson Julio an opportunity to pick out the near post and beat Tomas Romero.

Then, as the hour mark approached, RSL gave away the game winner and a season sweep for LAFC.

After breaking up an attack in front of The 3252 supporters in the north end of the stadium, RSL defender Toni Datkovic did not hear Ochao try to wave him off as the ball trundled into the box.

Instead Datkovic gently nudged the ball back toward his goal, and Ochao could not reroute himself to make a save.

“There’s going to be some sort of crazy wild feeling aspect to games, especially for teams that are trying to get into the playoffs,” defender Sebastien Ibeagha said following his second consecutive start on the LAFC backline. “For us, we have quality, it’s about being composed and calm and letting our football shine.

“It’s a stepping stone. We’re trying to push this streak and go into the playoffs.”

After failing to score more than two times in any of its first 20 matches, LAFC has tallied three or more goals in its last three.

The club’s 10 goals during that stretch topped its total over seven contests between July 21 to Aug. 21, before a 3-3 tie to Galaxy preceded an end to the club’s historically bad eight-match winless streak that had dropped them as low as 11th in the conference standings.

Following with a pair of wins, LAFC, now in eighth position, heads on the road for matches in Austin, Portland and San Jose.

Away from home, LAFC is 2-7-1.

Only four of LAFC’s 11 remaining games take place at Banc of California Stadium, where it has accumulated 23 of its 30 points.

“We’re on an upward bound path where all we can do is continue to gain,” Arango said. “With all these goals we hope to accumulate more.”

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Vaccine passports are an affront to liberty

One of the easiest ways to make a deadly error is to take action to address a problem without giving careful thought to whether the action you’re taking will solve the problem, or if will have dire unintended consequences without solving anything.

The latest example of the “we have to do something regardless of what it does to us” impulse is the impending mandate for vaccination passports, also known as vaccine verification. The idea is that people will be required to show proof that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter an indoor space, such as a restaurant, retail store, office or venue, and even some outdoor spaces such as sports stadiums.

Legislation was floated in Sacramento to mandate vaccine verification. Proposals are pending in Los Angeles. San Francisco and New York City have already required it, and the president of the United States is reportedly considering a national program to restrict interstate travel.

Vaccination passports are a terrible idea and we’d better recognize the risks before we go any further down the path of “verification” by government as a condition of freedom.

This began with people receiving paper cards showing the date and the type of their COVID vaccination. Paper cards can be inconvenient to carry and are easily counterfeited. They are rapidly being replaced with an app that connects to a government database, so people can show their vaccination record on their phones. Next we’ll likely see tamper-proof ID cards with a magnetic stripe, so workers checking vaccination verification can use their own phone and an app to read the stripe and connect with the government database to verify vaccination status. Permission to enter will be determined by an instant red light or green light.

The next question will be, how many vaccinations does it take to change a light bulb?

Currently, the number is two, but it may soon be three. Maybe it will be once or twice per year. Incidentally, the White House announcement of the need for a third booster has already led to two high-level resignations at the FDA, reportedly because the White House jumped ahead of the FDA approval process. It suggests that the “we have to do something” impulse is separating from the careful determination of the value of what we are doing.

If the public accepts the idea of restricted entry to public places controlled by a government database, it’s a short step for the government to add or change the particular criteria used to determine who is allowed to go where.

You want to feel safe, right? There are many dangers. There’s seasonal flu, for example. What’s to stop the government from using that card you’re carrying or that app on your phone to “remind” you that you should get a flu shot, then to require a flu shot as a condition of entry to a public place?

What’s to stop the government from expanding the use of this automated system of controlling the movement of people? There’s a need for public safety. How long before the government’s verification database scoops up geolocation data from your phone for the purpose of contact tracing? If the database shows you’ve been in “close contact” with someone not “fully” vaccinated, will the app give you the red light when you try to enter a restaurant? A grocery store? A school?

Feel safe yet?

What about other types of threats? Will law enforcement records be merged with geolocation data in health records? How about gun and ammunition purchases? There’s no end to the helpful warnings the app can offer.

Vaccine verification systems are just one form of government control. Agencies can use their licensing power to coerce behavior. Legislation or regulations can offer a liability shield that is withdrawn unless there is compliance with edicts.

These control measures can quickly become their own universe, disconnected from their original purpose. The effort to create and implement enforcement mechanisms absorbs the attention of officials who can no longer be bothered to assess the efficacy or necessity of what they are doing.

If it goes far enough, you have a society like China, which last year introduced a QR code system that categorizes people into different colors for various reasons.

Think it can’t happen in the United States? Who’s going to stop it?

Do you have a mirror handy?

The fight to defend freedom begins with an understanding that freedom is a condition that exists under a government of limited power. It’s up to us, all of us, to enforce the boundaries of that power.

Even in a crisis, do not accept “we have to do something” as justification for initiating policies that are burdensome but useless. Demand to see evidence that the policies actually work. Demand an end to emergency powers when conditions no longer meet the legal definition of an emergency. Demand accountability for reckless and grievous policy errors that cause irreversible damage.

It’s insanity on steroids to say something like “Screw your freedom” and allow the government to mandate and enforce the use of an app, card and database to monitor and control the actions and movements of every person living within its jurisdiction. It’s even more insane to think that a system like that will keep us safe.

Write Susan Shelley: Susan@SusanShelley.com and follow her on Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.

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California housing plans need an overhaul

For more than a half-century, California has been trying to nudge county and city governments into generating enough new housing to handle an ever-increasing demand.

The state’s chief tool has been a legal requirement that local government “general plans” include an adequate “housing element.” Every eight years, the state Department of Housing and Community Development issues regional quotas of housing needs which then are divvied up into specific city-by-city goals for zoning enough land to meet projected needs.

The allocations are very controversial, especially in suburban communities, because they run counter to the not-in-my-backyard sentiments of local residents. As housing production falls chronically short of the state’s goals, the cyclic quotas steadily increase and in recent years the state has added penalties for failure.

Obviously, the quota system hasn’t been working very well and researchers at UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies have concluded that it has a “fundamental flaw” because vacant land being zoned for housing to meet the quotas is only rarely used for housing. Rather, the housing being built — which is still too little — tends to go on other property, including some previously being used for other purposes.

The study focused on what has happened in the San Francisco Bay Area vis-à-vis the housing quotas issued in the last decade for the eight-year period that will end next year.

“The median Bay Area city is on track to approve housing projects on less than 10% of the sites listed in its housing plan,” the study found. “On average, however, cities are achieving a substantial portion of their (too low) housing targets — nearly 60% for the median city — just not on the sites they had selected and presented to the state as likely or apt for development. Across the Bay Area as whole, nearly 70% of housing built during this period was on sites not listed in housing plans.”

While cities zone specific sites to meet quotas, “housing development occurs in a way that is hard to anticipate. In spite of planners’ efforts to select imminently viable sites, they do not.”

The solution, they say, is to create a more realistic set of requirements that identifies all potential sites for housing, a “change (that) may require cities to include many more sites in their housing plan.”

While a more realistic inventory might require more work — and possibly increase local angst — the UCLA team also proposes that “cities receive preemptive credit for housing they expect to be built on sites not listed in their plan.

“The credit would be tied to production on non-inventory sites during the previous period, giving cities an incentive to accommodate much-needed development when it is proposed, even if they can’t anticipate exactly where or what developers will want to build.”

“The Legislature should stop proliferating ever more detailed requirements for a site to be included in the inventory, and instead require cities to consider every parcel on which residential use is allowed,” the UCLA team suggests. “Since cities aren’t very good at picking the sites where developers want to build, the focus should shift to estimating how much housing is likely to be built during the planning period on the entire stock of residentially zoned land in a city.

This is wonky stuff, but important because of the state’s worsening housing shortage. The proposals would shift the housing quotas from an exercise in paper-shuffling into something more likely to produce real results. But implementing it would require an official admission that the current system isn’t working and a willingness to correct its “fundamental flaw.”

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary

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Saddleback football rallies, defeats La Quinta with late field goal

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GARDEN GROVE – If Saddleback is trying to give football coach Glenn Campbell a panic attack, it’s off to a good start.

The Roadrunners took Thursday’s night nonleague game to the final seconds before Gio Quiroz kicked a game-winning, 21-yard field goal to defeat La Quinta 30-27 at Garden Grove High.

The victory followed a one-point victory by Saddleback last week, putting them at 2-0 to start the season.

“We had to do what we do,” Campbell said. “We didn’t want to change too much of our offense. We had a short week to prepare. Their offense was really crazy, based on the wing-T and what they do off the misdirections. We had to break down on the defense this week because of their misdirections. I’m happy with our win.”

Postgame interview with Saddleback coach Glenn Campbell as the Roadrunners come away with another close victory! 2-0!@ocvarsity @SaddlebackHS pic.twitter.com/kbzXoNrOEB

— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) September 3, 2021

La Quinta (0-2) leaned on its ground game against the Roadrunners. AJ Vasquez led all rushers with 101 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown while Erick Gonzalez ran for 77 yards on seven carries and also added a 37-yard score.

Down 17-14 in the final quarter, Saddleback took its first lead of the game with a 2-yard run by Carlos Carro, but the Aztecs struck back with a 39-yard touchdown run from Martin Dinh.

Saddleback took back the lead with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Albert Marquez to Isaias Ramirez.

La Quinta tied the game at 27 with Dinh’s second field goal of the contest, this time from 19 yards.

57.9 seconds left in the game

Saddleback 27
La Quinta 27

Martin Dinh with a 19 yard field goal for La Quinta as we are tied!@ocvarsity @TheRealLQHS @SaddlebackHS pic.twitter.com/Cos5Sf6NXM

— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) September 3, 2021

There was still time on the clock for the Roadrunners.

They drove down the field, with help from a 15-yard penalty and a 27-yard pass from Marquez to Ramirez. That set up the game-winning field goal by Quiroz.

“I was kind of off in the last game,” Quiroz said. “I put in extra work this week at practice. Shoutout to my coaches to stay after practice with me. It worked. All that extra hard work I put in worked.”

Postgame interview with Gio Quiroz of Saddleback as his 21 yard field goal puts the Roadrunners at 2-0!@ocvarsity @SaddlebackHS pic.twitter.com/uWmlsQiCdU

— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) September 3, 2021

La Quinta had one more chance with seconds left, but fumbled the ball. The Aztecs recovered and ran out the rest of the time.

Michael Arbes led La Quinta with two sacks while Dinh had a team-high seven tackles.

Marquez rushed for 45 yards on six carries and two touchdowns and was 10 of 16 passing for 126 yards.  Ramirez caught eight passes for 112 yards and a score.

Cale Breslin rushed for 84 yards on 10 carries for Saddleback.

La Quinta travels to Costa Mesa on Friday, Sept. 10, while Saddleback will take on Los Amigos on the same night.


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Brea plastic surgeon charged with sexually assaulting 2 patients; attorney calls allegations false and outrageous

FULLERTON — A plastic surgeon with offices in Brea and Beverly Hills pleaded not guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting two of his patients.

Frederic Corbin, 77, of Villa Park, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in the North Justice Center in Fullerton to one felony count each of sexual battery involving an unconscious person and sexual exploitation by a physician, and two misdemeanor counts each of sexual battery and battery, according to court records.

Corbin’s attorney, Courtney Pilchman, issued a statement saying her client “vehemently and categorically denies these outrageous and false allegations.”

“He has practiced for over 50 years, without any complaint by a female patient regarding inappropriate behavior,” the defense attorney said. “There are thousands of patients, colleagues and friends who support Dr. Corbin and know these allegations are untrue. This case is about two disgruntled patients who made allegations that we will prove are false.”

Corbin is accused of molesting one of his patients while he prepared her for a surgical procedure on Sept. 17 of last year, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The doctor is accused of molesting another patient on May 14, during an examination when she came in to his Brea office for a post-surgery treatment.

“Patients entrust their very lives to the doctors who treat them,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “No one seeking medical treatment should have to worry about being sexually assaulted while under a doctor’s care. These women were in very vulnerable situations and their doctor capitalized on those vulnerabilities for his own sexual gratification.”

Corbin, who is free on $50,000 bail, was ordered to return to court Sept. 14 for a pretrial hearing.

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Chargers QB Chase Daniel deals with hand injury, sloppy offense in Seattle

Chase Daniel stood on the sideline checking on his jammed finger while Easton Stick took snaps under center during the second drive of Saturday’s preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field.

Daniel wasn’t supposed to be pulled by the Chargers until the second half, but the 13th-year quarterback got hit on the seventh play.

Daniel likely could have called it a night and banked on his experience and familiarity with the Chargers’ coaching staff, but his competitive side got him to return to the game.

Stick and Daniel are battling to be Justin Herbert’s backup and possibly for a roster spot if the Chargers decide to only keep two quarterbacks come Tuesday’s 1 p.m. deadline to trim the roster to 53 players.

But Daniel didn’t help himself much by returning to a first half filled with missed blocks, tackles and field goals for the Chargers. Stick replaced Daniel for a second time with the Chargers down 17-0 with three minus left in the first half. The Chargers lost 27-0.

Daniel versus Stick, however, wasn’t the only positional battle that got off to a rocky start. Tristan Vizcaino missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter to allow Michael Badgley back in the race to be the Chargers’ kicker.

Daniel jammed his finger after Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton blitzed through the middle of the Chargers’ offensive line to record a strip sack and allow safety Marquise Blair to scoop the ball for a touchdown return and a 7-0 advantage for Seattle with 12:30 in the first quarter.

Daniel played with the injured hand and struggled to get the offense going in the first half. He finished the game 9 of 12 with 70 yards.

“Watching reps is huge, especially going into the film room after the game with Chase and Easton, watching the film and going over the practices,” Herbert told the TV broadcast.

The Chargers will need to decide if their quarterback room will get smaller for film sessions with Herbert come cutdown day.

Many of the Chargers’ top players didn’t participate in the three preseason games, including Herbert, edge rusher Joey Bosa, safety Derwin James, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

The Chargers were thin at wide receiver with only Josh Palmer, Tyron Johnson, John Hurst and Michael Bandy available to play. Wide receivers K.J. Hill, Jason Moore, Joe Reed and Jalen Guyton were out with injuries. Johnson had four receptions for 41 yards midway through the third quarter.

Hill and Reed, two wideouts drafted by the Chargers last season, are likely on the roster bubble with Allen, Williams, Palmer, Johnson and Guyton probably ahead of them on the depth chart.

But Hill might not have to worry because he started the first two preseason games as the Chargers’ kickoff and punt returner. Reed hasn’t practiced in nearly two weeks because of an ankle injury.

The Chargers could decide to bet on Reed’s upside as a versatile playmaker who can contribute in the backfield and as a kick returner. But Reed had a quiet rookie season and has struggled to impress the new coaching staff this summer.

If the Chargers decide to keep less than seven wide receivers, that could create an opportunity for camp standouts and defensive tackles Breiden Fehoko and Forrest Merrill.

But the Chargers could be set on the interior of the defensive line with Justin Jones, Jerry Tillery, Christian Covington and Cortez Broughton.

The Chargers might be set with their second offensive line, but offensive tackles Trey Pipkins and Storm Norton delivered another shaky preseason performance versus the Seahawks. If the Chargers decide Pipkins and Norton aren’t the answers to back up offensive tackles Rashawn Slater and Bryan Bulaga, that could create opportunities for others.

The Chargers are two and a half days away from deciding on their roster battles.


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Dodgers walk all over Rockies in victory

LOS ANGELES ― Sometimes a little patience goes a long way.

The Dodgers lead the National League in walks. In Friday night’s loss to the Colorado Rockies, however, they failed to draw a walk for only the fifth time this season.

On Saturday they drew eight – including two during an eighth-inning rally that fueled their 5-2 victory before an announced crowd of 42,479 at Dodger Stadium.

After recently deposed Rockies closer Daniel Bard issued back-to-back walks to load the bases, Will Smith hit a two-run single to break a 2-2 tie. AJ Pollock tacked on an insurance run with an RBI single of his own. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the win and record his 29th save of the season.

Smith, who also drew two walks in the game, described the Dodgers’ newfound patience Saturday as a return to form.

“I don’t remember us sitting down and having a conversation about it,” he said. “It was more (Friday) we were probably too aggressive, too antsy to make something happen. Today we let the game come to us.”

“This,” Manager Dave Roberts said, “was more in the style of how our offense should go.”

Trea Turner went 3 for 3 and Chris Taylor hit his 19th home run for the Dodgers (82-48), who remain 2½ games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

Left-hander David Price pitched 3⅔ innings in relief of opener Corey Knebel, allowing two runs. Blake Treinen (4-5) was credited with the victory after pitching a scoreless eighth inning.

Max Muncy returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Wednesday. Apparently recovered from a bad back, Muncy reached base three times in four plate appearances.

Muncy was stranded at the plate when Turner was picked off first base to end the seventh inning, but he began the eighth with a line-drive single to the opposite field. The next batter, Mookie Betts, drew a walk. Bard then walked Justin Turner to load the bases.

Smith got ahead in the count 3-and-1 before punching a single into left field. His 32 runs batted in since the All-Star break lead the team.

“I feel pretty confident in those situations,” Smith said. “I’ve had a lot of success. I feel like I’m not afraid to fail in that moment. I feel like it’s going to happen. I’m able to stick to my approach, swing at the right pitches, not expand out of the zone, put a good swing on the ball, and good things will happen.”

One day after the Dodgers and Rockies combined to score all of their runs via home runs, Colorado opened the scoring the old-fashioned way.

Taylor Motter led off the third inning with a single against Price, advanced to second base on a walk, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers answered in the bottom of the third. Trea Turner singled and Muncy drew a walk against Rockies starter Jon Gray. With Betts at bat, Gray threw a pitch and winced. The right-hander was promptly visited by an athletic trainer and Manager Bud Black.

After a brief conversation, Gray left the mound and was replaced with Tyler Kinley. Speaking to reporters after the game via Zoom, Black said Gray was removed as a precaution due to tightness in his right forearm.

Kinley walked Betts, loading the bases with no outs. Justin Turner then grounded into a double play, but Trea Turner scampered in from third base with the Dodgers’ first run.

The teams traded runs again in the fourth inning. Ryan McMahon’s RBI groundout momentarily gave Colorado a 2-1 lead. Taylor’s sky-high home run into the left field bleachers evened the score at 2.

After Price was removed, the Rockies didn’t get another baserunner against Jansen, Treinen, Phil Bickford or Justin Bruihl. The Dodgers’ patient offense took care of the rest.

“We had a lot of guys on base today,” Treinen said. “Sometimes that doesn’t go the way you want, but we had big hits today.”

The Dodgers haven’t lost consecutive games since July 21-23. Neither have they been able to gain ground on the Giants in a week.

For now that’s OK, Treinen said.

“We want to be the best team in baseball,” he said. “It’s only good for us when we’re having to run down a team that’s ahead of us.”

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Did You Know? Character dining has returned to select dining locations at the Disneyland Resort

1. Character dining has returned to select dining locations at the Disneyland Resort

TRUE. Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park, featuring an all-you-care-to-enjoy spread of morning favorites, from made-to-order omelets to Mickey waffles, has returned to Plaza Inn on Main Street, U.S.A., with more locations reopening soon!

Fans of “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” will be tapping to a new song with the debut of an animated scene based on Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.” The film’s fun, upbeat music and characters combined with the humor of Donald Duck marks the first time Disney and Pixar animators have worked on a creative endeavor where characters from both animation studios will be seen together on screen. (Disney Parks)

2. A scene from the Disney film “Moana” was added to “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” in Disney California Adventure park.

FALSE. Experience the new scene from Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” in 3D with Donald joining in on the fun during “Mickey’s PhilharMagic.”

3. Disneyland Resort cast members have access to Talkspace, a convenient, personal, and professional online messaging therapy service.

TRUE. With Talkspace, cast members can speak with a dedicated licensed therapist anytime, anywhere through the Employee Assistance Program.

4. Guests will soon get to be pampered from head-to-toe in a tranquil sanctuary at Tenaya Stone Spa.

TRUE.  Opening on Sept. 16, 2021, this upscale spa is nestled in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa near GCH Craftsman Grill. Tenaya Stone Spa will initially be for guests of the three Hotels of the Disneyland Resort, and will be open to non-hotel guests at a later date. Advanced reservations can be made today on Disneyland.com.

5. Since 2017, Disneyland Resort has provided over 50 career development sessions.

FALSE. The resort has provided more than 100 career development sessions, including 36 Speakers Bureau sessions, 61 professional workshops, and 13 Y.E.S. programs to workforce development nonprofit partners in the community.

6. Hotel guests are able to check in online and will soon be able to go straight to their room upon arrival with a digital key.

TRUE. Guests must be signed into their Disney account on the Disneyland app to access the digital key feature. Online check-in is available at all three hotels of the Disneyland Resort, and digital key will soon be available at both the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, with Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel joining later.

Plaza de la Familia at Disney California Adventure Park celebrates the spirit of Dîa de los Muertos Sept. 3-Nov. 2, 2021, plus decor and entertainment inspired by Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.” Among the activities to enjoy are “A Musical Celebration of Coco,” an entertaining street show honoring the beloved film and the everlasting bonds of family. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

7. Plaza de la Familia at Disney California Adventure park celebrates the spirit of Dia de los Muertos Sept. 3-Nov. 2, 2021, plus decor and entertainment inspired by Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.”

TRUE. Among the activities to enjoy are “A Musical Celebration of Coco,” an entertaining street show honoring the beloved film and the everlasting bonds of family.

8. For the 2020-2021 school year, Disneyland Resort paused its virtual workforce development program.

FALSE. Disneyland Resort pivoted its workforce development program and was able to provide 35 virtual sessions during the 2020-2021 school year.


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