The West San Gabriel Valley’s football season came to a bitter end with all seven remaining teams suffering season-ending losses.
I want to thank everyone for a strong showing on the blog during the football season. It’s been a blast. Please continue to visit during basketball, soccer, baseball, softball and all of the other seasons.
Galetti 2-5, Final Total 133-55-2; Calpreps 6-1, Final Total 133-54-2
Second Round Matchups
Canyon Springs 21, Pasadena 20 – The Bulldogs fall shot on two-point conversion in loss.
Santa Clara 64, La Salle 28 – Lancers out of this one from the opening kickoff.
Bishop Diego 45, Temple City 0 – Rams outmatched by Cardinals.
Cerritos Valley Christian 34, Blair 24 – A bitter end of the line for Vikings
Paraclete 23, Monrovia 20 – Wildcats take the No. 1 seed to the limit.
St. Margaret’s 49, Maranatha 7 – Home cooking not enough for Minutemen.
La Habra 59, San Gabriel 14 – Clock strikes midnight for Matadors.
La Salle can’t stop Santa Clara in 64-28 defeat
By Scott Galetti Staff Writer
OXNARD — Maybe it was the long drive from Pasadena up the 101 freeway.
Perhaps it was a post-Thanksgiving hangover.
Whatever was the case, La Salle High School literally looked helpless against No. 2-seeded Santa Clara in Friday’s second round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs at Channel Islands High School.
Santa Clara running back Cierre Wood also played a slight role.
The highly recruited junior rushed for 268 yards and four touchdowns in the first half to lead the Saints to a 64-28 victory.
He didn’t get another carry the rest of the way.
Woods collected scoring runs of 38, 26, 72 and 97 yards while Donald Espinosa added three scoring runs as Santa Clara (9-1-1) amassed 466 yards rushing.
In all, the Saints outgained the Lancers (6-6) in total offense 451-129 in the first half and 546-262 in the contest.
While Wood and Espinosa were running wild, La Salle had trouble with numerous dropped passes.
Both teams were caught with their share of penalties.
La Salle was flagged seven times for 86 yards, while Santa Clara had eight penalties for 84 yards.
Lancers quarterback Chase Rettig was 16-of-33 for 200 yards and three touchdowns.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t play our best football tonight,” La Salle coach Ealar Gallagher said. “We were a little banged up, but you can’t take anything away from Santa Clara. They’re a great team.”
Santa Clara used Wood as a decoy on its first drive and mixed up the playbook en route to a six-play, 64-yard drive that was capped on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Randi Vines to Mike Keith less than two minutes into the contest.
An early mistake came back to haunt the Lancers when a bad snap on a punt attempt was returned to the Lancers’ 17-yard line.
Espinosa carried it in from 17 yards on the next play to give the Saints a 13-0 advantage.
He had 95 yards on eight attempts.
After a La Salle punt, Wood broke off a 38-yard scoring run to make it 20-0.
Santa Clara blocked Sean Kelly’s next point to get the ball at the Lancers’ 26.
Wood scored easily on the next play to put the Lancers’ backs against the wall, 26-0.
Michael Palffy returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown to get La Salle (6-6) on the board, but Vines scored from four yards out on Santa Clara ‘s next possession to increase the Saints’ cushion to 36-7.
Santa Clara’s defense stopped La Salle on fourth-and-goal at the Saints’ 2-yard late in the first half when Ryan Doeppel was stopped for a 1-yard loss to turn the ball over to the Saints on downs.
Wood delivered the knockout blow when he broke free down the sideline for a 97-yard touchdown to give Santa Clara an insurmountable 57-14 halftime advantage.
After beginning the season 0-4, the Lancers’ comeback season came to an end.
“I was proud of the way our team battled all season long,” Gallagher said.