(UPDATED 12:29 A.M.)
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK SATURDAY MORNING FOR TUSSLE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS!!
What an awesome vibe at the Rose Bowl.
As soon as I parked, I saw a group of Muir fans tailgating. You can sense the significance of the Turkey Tussle after walking through the tunnel and looking up at the crowd.
Muir recorded its 12th consecutive win over Pasadena with a 13-0 decision on Friday night in the season finale.
The Bulldogs (1-8, 1-6) defense was impressive, stopping the Mustangs (9-1, 7-0) three times in the red zone.
Once again, Jarron Williams proved to be a stud, leading Muir in the first quarter with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Graves. He needed only two plays and all of 21 seconds to get it done. Williams then ran a 4-yard score in the third quarter to give Muir a 13-0 lead.
The margin could have been wider but Williams was stopped at the 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal as time expired in the first half.
Muir’s victory came at a costly price. Reuben Thomas may have sprained his right knee and did not play for most of the game. Chris Dunlap, whose been battling injuries throughout the season, tweaked his left ankle and limped a couple of times off the field. Myles Campbell injured his ribs but he played the remainder of the second half. A busy night it was for Muir’s trainer.
With Thomas out, Muir’s offense lacked the punch its relied on all season. Jarron Williams carried the Mustangs in this win.
I was puzzled by Pasadena’s offensive schemes: straight snaps to J’Quan Hamilton. Pasadena threw for seven passes the entire game: three completed, three incomplete and an interception. Jeffry Davis entered the game late in the game and threw for a few completions. He’s only a sophomore from what I know and he looks like he could be a good one in two years.
After meeting Kevin Mills I must say I came away impressed with him and his players. Mills was calm, poised and respectful to me, Ken Howard and the Muir athletes.
All game long, Pasadena’s Tremaine Sanders was hearing it from the Muir sidelines.
“You know you wanna be a Stang”
Sanders kept his cool though. It was a nice gesture of him to immediately congratulate Howard after the game. This is what rivalry is all about: keep your emotions on the field because at the end of the day it’s just a game.
With three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Howard started emptying the water coolers so that he wouldn’t get a victory splash.
“I already have a cold,” he said.
Muir’s drumline was awesome and as soon as the first “boom!” came everyone turned and the Mustang crowd roared. I gotta admit, I got some goosebumps, too. There’s something about that drumline; it commands respect. They’re precise and very bravato.
Thanks to the dirty, black Ford Mustang car that let me to cut in line as I exited the Rose Bowl parking lot. I also cut off three other cars but they were cool with it after flashing my media badge. I made it just in time to the office (10:30 p.m.) to write and turn in my story by the 10:45 p.m. deadline. I also want to thank the two stat girls for Muir. They were plenty of help.
Be sure to check back Saturday morning for video highlights of the Tussle. I have to say, the vibe and energy was all it was made out to be. I’m glad I was part of covering this event.
I will be having breakfast on Sunday morning at Hoft’s Hut, just a block away from the CIF offices in Los Alamitos. After a hearty breakfast I will head to CIF and blog from there as the playoff pairings are released.
Be sure to return Sunday morning for your complete playoff pairings and analysis.
Tonight’s scores with final thoughts:
Muir 13, Pasadena 0 — As is with any rivalry, records are thrown out the window. I was impressed with the Bulldogs’ defense. For the WSGV’s sake lets hope Reuben Thomas and Chris Dunlap have a speedy recovery. Campbell felt OK after the first half. Jarron Williams is a stud.
Monrovia 41, San Marino 19 — Marquise Williams scored on a 3-yard run on the opening drive to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead at the half. Williams rushed for 293 yards and four TD’s. Williams went bazerk in the third quarter, rushing for 193 yards in that quarter alone and three TD’s. With this effort, Williams may have taken over Scott Dooley’s spot as the top rusher in the Rio Hondo League. Dooley was contained, rushing for only 90 yards on 22 carries. Ryan Maddox, coach of the year? Hmmm…
Temple City 14, La Canada 14 — Who saw this coming? Here is how the Rio Hondo League shapes out in the season-finale:
Monrovia wins out right (5-0)
Temple City (3-1-1)
San Marino (3-2)
La Canada (2-2-1)
Max Ruckle took over the second half and finished with 136 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the Rams. Ruckle rushed for 85 yards in the second half. Rocky Moore threw for two TD passes to lead the Spartans. Moore completed 9 of 16 passes for 167 yards, two TD’s and an interception. Tough break for the Spartans.
Crescenta Valley 59, Arcadia 31 — The Apaches were within striking distance as they trailed only, 24-17. But some ill-advised passes proved costly. Arcadia was riddled with injuries this season. This team will be something special in a year or two.
Rosemead 50, Arroyo 12 — Panthers clinched the league title. They should earn a No. 3 or 4 seed when playoff pairings are released Sunday.
Rio Hondo Prep 54, Flintridge Prep 7 — I’m assuming Tim Esguerra and Antonio Alaniz went buck-wild in this game. Kares were a battle-tested team and it showed. They are deserving of the Prep League title. Flintridge Prep plays in a playoff Saturday morning at Pasadena Poly at 8 a.m.
Brentwood 24, Maranatha 0 — The Minutemen ran into the best team they’ve ever faced and had no showing. Maranatha advances as the No. 2 team in the Alpha League. If they end up facing St. Margaret’s early in the playoffs, you can thank this loss for it.
Chaminade 39, St. Francis 34 — How does this happen? Dietrich Riley rushes for over 200 yards and the Golden Knights still come away empty. St. Francis misses the playoffs.
Blair 29, South Pasadena 27 — Blair wins! Blair wins! Blair wins! Steve Colliau: you still have soccer and baseball.
Marshall vs. Kilpatrick at PCC, 7 p.m. — xxxx
Bishop Montgomery 41, La Salle 35 — Carlos Morales carried the ball 27 times and rushed for 230 yards and scored two touchdowns. Morales is only a junior. Where was he all season. Despite the loss, the Lancers had a good showing and fought to the very end.
San Gabriel 57, Montebello 21 — I heard it early this morning from some SG coaches. Texts were drowning my cell but I stood my ground. In the end, I was proven wrong once again and I’m sure JFMatador takes great joy in that. Matadors are in the playoffs.
Duarte 48, La Puente 0— Falcons taking no prisoners.
El Monte 13, Gabrielino 0 — As has been the case: you never know which Eagles team will show up to play.
Alhambra 50, Keppel 6 — Nice showing but then again it came against Keppel, who will try to break that losing streak next season.
Harvard-Westlake 38, Bosco Tech 14 — There’s potential for the Tigers next season.