Thursday Night Recap: Matadors, ouch!

Above: Isaac Valdez threw four touchdown passes in the first half and completed 9 of 15 passes for 224 yards to lead the Matadors over South Pas, 55-14, on Thursday night.

So yeah, San Gabriel routed South Pasadena. But the Matadors had one too many mistakes.

As our very own Keith Lair reported, the Matadors committed 13 penalties for 145 yards. There is NO WAY San Gabriel is going to win like that when they face a much more experienced and disciplined Serra team next week.

It might be a long season for Ed Smith and the Tigers. They trailed 33-0 midway through the second quarter, but give them credit for fighting like the game was scoreless.

Despite trailing 40-0, the Tigers took the second-half kickoff and marched 61 yards in 14 plays. They were stranded on the San Gabriel 11. Sophomore quarterback Conor Bednarsky completed 14 of 28 passes for 148 yards. Not bad for the newbie.

San Gabriel needed just 15 plays to take a 19-0 lead, something they were nowhere near doing against Cathedral in last week’s season-opening loss.

Coach Keith Jones told Lair:

“What happened was that we were doing well from the 20 to 20, but we were just not converting,” Jones said of last week’s game. “We needed to convert inside the 20 and we did that.”

Yeah, the Matadors did that but clearly South Pas is not on San Gabriels’ level and certainly don’t compare to Cathedral.

Serra is a team that can capitalize on San Gabriel’s miscues. Thirteen penalties? Serra will pounce on that.

On the bright side, the Matadors showed they can put points on the board. Arthur Brown ran for a 52-yard score, Marcos Villalobos caught four passes for 86 yards and returned an interception 65 yards for the score.

This will be a rebuilding season for the Tigers but some bright spots should be noted.

After Villalobos’ interception return to make it 47-0, the Tigers ran off 13 plays in a 77-yard drive, Bednarski scoring on a sneak.

Enter backup quarterback Howard Serrian who later completed a 17-yard pass to Nicholas Owens to set up a rollout run for a 3-yard score with 2 seconds to play.

The following is why I say South Pasadena coach Ed Smith is a players’ coach.

“I was encouraged by the second half,” Smith said. “I know we got blitzed in the first half, but we scored a couple of touchdowns and that was a victory for the boys.”

Hats off to you, Coach.

La Caada lost its season-opener at the hands of Crescenta Valley, 39-7.

Crescenta Valley had too much on defense. They stopped the 10 Spartans rushing attempts for negative yards. My oh my.

The Spartans scored on the final play of the game to deny the Falcons the shutout

La Caada used three quarterbacks who went a combined 3-for-9 for 52 yards.

“It’s a game we can build on, that’s all we can say,” La Caada coach Rich Wheeler told Star-News correspondent Nathan Cambridge.

Karsen Reedy made his first start at quarterback for the Falcons and finished 12 of 25 for 240 yards. Mike Bako led all receivers with 154 yards on eight catches. Harrison Pessy had 11 carries for 83 yards.

To La Caada’s defense, Crescenta Valley is loaded this season and will be a big surprise in the Pacific League. Good enough to beat Arcadia and challenge Muir?


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