Temple City 40, La Caada 20 — What a game. Temple City soon will right the ship, and Thursday night was as good as start as ever. Max Ruckle rushed for 95 yards on 21 carries, but more importantly he went nuts and wandered into happy grass four times with scores from 9, 4, 7, and 5 yards to propel the Rams (3-2-1, 1-0) to a 40-20 win. Senior quarterback Justin Smith was just as spectacular in completing 14 of 18 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns. He threw for a 23-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Pultz and rushed for a 2-yard score. The unsung hero of the night has to go to senior wide receiver Andrew Anda. He caught 4 passes for 130 yards, and though he didn’t have a touchdown he did help set up two of the Rams’ six scores. He caught a 52-yard pass and a 56-yard pass to help set up Ruckle from 5 yards out in the fourth quarter and Pultz with 7:32 left in the fourth quarter. La Caada (2-3, 0-1) played sloppy and dug itself a hole from the beginning. It was tough already playing without stout wide receiver Josh Hanson, but to help Temple City score its first three touchdowns just wasn’t called for. The Spartans turned the ball over twice and a personal foul (late hit to Max Ruckle) kept a Rams drive alive that was eventually capped on an 8-yard run by Ruckle to give Temple City a 20-0 lead with 6:15 left in the second quarter. Spartans quarterback Rocky Moore completed 14 of 30 passes for 259 yards and one touchdown and one interception. It was Moore’s first interception of the season, courtesy of Temple City sophomore Andrew Gibson. This is also Moore’s fifth straight game in which he throws for at least 250 yards. My favorite play of the night, which had me jumping and hooting and hollering, was Ruckle’s leaping over a Spartans defender (photo below). I’ve seen that on TV and live when covering USC football a few years back, but never in person at a high school game. Someone should tell the Temple City band to play the “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” song next week when TC plays Monrovia.
Burroughs 35, Pasadena 12 — Huckster, who let you out of your cage? Relax, dude. Mike McFarland is not 100 times worse than Kevin Mills. Everybody knew Pasadena was up against a tall task facing Burroughs. I still commend McFarland and what he’s done thus far this season. Take it all in perspective. The Bulldogs are still 2-1 in the Pacific League and have a very good shot at making a playoff appearance. This loss to Burroughs will be growing pains for the young Bulldogs. Burroughs scored 21 points in the first quarter. That right there was a huge hole for the PHS defense to dig out of. “We got a wake-up call,” McFarland said. “We’ve had some success the last few weeks and we got taught a lesson on what it takes to win in this league against tough opponents.”
Photo courtesy of Carlos Mota Sr. Awesome photo!!!