HUNTINGTON BEACH — For the first time in three games, the Brethren Christian High football team took an early lead on an opponent. But, just as they had in the past three weeks, the Warriors had to play from behind most of the way.

Brethren Christian, a team beset by injuries, took a 6-0 lead on Heritage Christian only to succumb to a big third quarter by the visitors from North Hills, and dropped a 44-35 nonleague game at Ocean View High.

BC, which dropped its second straight game to fall to 3-2 overall, rallied to tie the score at 20-20 going into halftime, but Heritage Christian (4-2) scored 10 unanswered points in the third quarter to establish control.

"We missed too many tackles tonight, and let their quarterback get free on several occasions," BC Coach Pat McInally said. "We gave them two big scores that allowed them to get the lead, but I thought our guys still played hard. We have a lot of guys banged up."

Quarterback Jack McInally played with a sprained thumb on his non-throwing hand. BC's leading receiver, sophomore Guy Demazeliere, didn't practice during the week due to a sprained ankle, but did see some action Friday. Both McInally and Demazeliere sustained their injuries in last week's loss at St. Anthony.

Also out of action was starting tackle Matt Ingles, and defensive end Brennan Lund also is injured.

The Warriors had scoring drives of 72, 60, and 65 yards in the opening half. They took the opening kickoff and marched right down field for the game's first score. Jack McInally did the scoring honors, reaching the end zone on a one-yard keeper midway through the first quarter. His extra point attempt was blocked.

Two-way starter Michael Tirado scored all the touchdowns for Heritage Christian in the first half. His first came on a 14-yard run, four plays after BC fumbled the ball way. One play after the ensuing kickoff, Tirado intercepted McInally and scored on a 40-yard return. His third score came on a nine-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Noe which gave Heritage Christian a 20-13 lead with 1:34 left in the half.

BC had tied the score, 13-13, on a five-yard run by Jake Roque. On its final possession of the half, BC went eight plays in 94 seconds, to score the tying touchdown. Anthony Moore ran in from two yards out with 15 seconds before the half, and the teams headed to the locker room knotted at 20-20.

Heritage Christian opened up a 10-point lead six minutes into the second half. The Warriors went 75 yards with the second half kickoff and broke the tie when Tanner Marcoe took an inside handoff for a 20-yard touchdown run. After recovering a pooch kick at the BC 34 on the ensuing kickoff, the Warriors took a 30-20 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Jacob Phillips with 6:14 left in the third quarter.

BC answered with a seven-play, 60-yard scoring drive. McInally scored on another one-yard keeper on a fourth-and-goal play that brought the score to 30-27.

Heritage Christian used a 10-yard scoring pass from Noe to Andy Hoeks, and an 18-yard TD run by Marcoe, to run its lead to 44-27 with 6:29 left in the game. BC got its final score on a 45-yard scoring pass from McInally to Brandon Bryson with 1:41 left.

BC returns to action next Friday when it plays host to Fairmont Prep in a 7 p.m. homecoming game at Ocean View High.

Friday scoreboard

Edison 31, San Clemente 3: The Chargers, ranked eighth in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division poll, bounced back from last week's loss to Mater Dei to complete nonleague play with a rout of the host Tritons (4-2).

Edison (4-1) starts Sunset League play at 7 p.m. next Thursday against Newport Harbor at Huntington Beach High.