Game on: Summit, Ganesha open season in style

Summit 42, Etiwanda 35
Despite Etiwanda junior Larry Cutbirth passing for 339 yards and three TDs, Summit escaped Etiwanda Thursday night when Summit super recruit Devon Blackmon nabbed Cutbirth’s third interception at the 2-yard line as time expired. A dramatic finish included a fourth-down touchdown catch by the Eagles’ Mike Sena (9 receptions, 121 yards, 2 TDs) with 41 seconds left before Etiwanda recovered an onsides kick. Summit piled up 353 rushing yards and ran for five touchdowns. Running back Montigo Alford led a balanced effort with 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 30 carries.

Ganesha 31, Montclair 12
As evidenced by the state-record 49-game losing streak it mercifully ended in 2008, Ganesha has been on the wrong side of its share of blowouts. Thursday night the Giants were on the right side of a lopsided score as quarterback Terry Francis rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries. The explosive senior broke 54- and 59-yard scoring runs in the second quarter to give Ganesha a 21-0 lead.

“I felt good out there,” Francis said. “We believed in each other. And I knew we were going to be good because of how hard we worked this summer.”

The last time he faced Montclair, Francis broke his hand in the first quarter of a 37-14 loss in last year’s season opener. He didn’t return until the sixth week of the season and was never fully integrated into the offense. Thursday night was practically the polar opposite.

“I knew he was faster than everybody else,” Ganesha coach Dave Fleming said. “We just had to get him in the right spot. When he hits the edge he really strides.”

An all-league track performer last year, Francis showcased his speed in a big way. Running the option, he sprinted around the edge of the defense for his first two touchdowns and nobody was fast enough to angle him out of bounds. It only took Francis nine carries to eclipse 200 yards.

“First of all, we didn’t know anything they were doing,” Montclair coach Rick Ward said. “They had a great athlete and they created confusion.”

In all, Montclair compiled 352 yards on the ground, averaging over 10 yards per carry as a team.

Andy Baeza broke a 55-yard run on Ganesha’s first series that led to a Julian Reyes 1-yard run less than three minutes into the game. Carrying a 24-0 lead into the second half, the Giants put the game away early in the third quarter when Baeza found tight end Daniel Arevalo with a 23-yard halfback touchdown pass.

“And my two best athletes were standing on the sideline,” Fleming said. “We played nine guys both ways. That’s going to catch up to us but it didn’t catch up to us tonight.”