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Monrovia 43, La Caada 7 — The Nick Bueno Show officially kicked into third gear Friday night. That much was evident after Bueno rushed for 208 yards on the ground and scored on runs of 17, 81 and 23 yards. He also completed 10 of 14 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns (who said the kid can’t throw?). Bueno almost single-handedly shredded the Spartans defense, completing two 40-yard touchdown passes to Grant Haggard and Jordan Trujillo. “We knew (Bueno) could throw,” Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox said, “and to be quite honest, our receivers finally stepped up and caught some balls. There’s no question in Nick’s ability to throw.” La Caada (4-4, 2-2) hurt itself with penalties and turnovers, and it didn’t help that quarterback Rocky Moore established little, if any, rhythm. He was intercepted by Monrovia’s Derrin Jenkins and Evan Sanchez. Moore also couldn’t withstand the constant pressure in the pocket — Monrovia’s Haggard, Ellis McCarthy, John Adams and Josh Lowden each recorded a sack; McCarthy, a sophomore, now has seven this season. The victory, however, didn’t come without some level of concern. Monrovia sophomore De’Shawn Ramirez left early in the first quarter with a slight left ankle sprain. He iced it and retaped it in the second quarter but never returned. On that drive, running back Derrick Johnson capped a 10-play, 52-yard effort with a 3-yard run with 7:00 left in the first quarter to put the Wildcats on the scoreboard. Bueno ran for the 2-point conversion to give Monrovia an 8-0 lead. Later, Justin De La Nuez, a senior running back, left midway through the second quarter with an ankle sprain. He was taken to the hospital for X-rays. Now, here’s the million dollar question — with St. Francis losing and Monrovia winning big, are yall expecting a swap come Wednesday in the latest PSN rankings? I know they mean nothing, but hey, I gotta do ‘em. Shout out to our boys from the desert. The Paraclete coaching staff sat in the La Caada side, and I had a nice chat with ‘Clete coach Norm Dhalia at halftime. Gotta love the in-game updates from Desert Rat.
Alhambra 14, Bell Gardens 7 — Brandon Wilson led Alhambra on both sides of the ball — two key sacks and two long receptions and a second-effort rushing touchdown. Alhambra led 7-0 at the half. With the win, the Moors keep their playoff hopes alive and can clinch a spot against Keppel next week at Moor Field. Alhambra’s Vailele Peko was hurt in the second half and carried off the field. He was carried off the field.
Schurr 38, San Gabriel 30 — While the Montebello and Mark Keppel high school football teams hired new head coaches and Bell Gardens, San Gabriel and Alhambra welcomed back seasoned quarterbacks, Schurr made no such noise in the offseason. As the old axiom goes, though, sometimes it’s the quiet ones who are most dangerous. Schurr proved that again Friday night by claiming a share of its seventh consecutive Almont League title in defeating San Gabriel.
La Salle 45, Cantwell 35 — Mike Alexander exploded in a good way, scoring four touchdowns and 387 all-purpose yards. The Lancers keep their playoff hopes alive with the win. They’ll close out the season next week at Bosco Tech. I have the Lancers playing at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon. If that’s wrong, someone please e-mail yours truly. Our thoughts and prayers go out La Salle senior Mark Danhausen, who’s father passed away Friday morning. Danhausen converted a 35-yard field goal, converted six PAT’s and no kickoffs were returned.
Arcadia 42, Hoover 28 – Facing a third-and-24 at their own 32-yard line with a 34-28 lead — full momentum for Hoover — Arcadia’s David Maldonado got a screen pass and ran it back 68 yards for the dagger with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter. Arcadia’s Garret Tuck and Taylor Lagace connected on touchdown passes of 23, 48 and 19 yards.
Temple City 35, South Pasadena 12 — Temple City’s David Spratt was the man. He scored three touchdowns to lead the Rams — two on the air and one punt return. Next week’s game is huge. A Temple City win, the Rams clinch a spot in the playoffs. A Temple City loss, oh boy, someone get me a Tylenol.
Muir 34, Glendale 7 — The Mustangs defense had three interceptions and two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. Defensive ends Trayveion Yates and Michael White had a great game for Muir, holding Glendale to 180 yards on the ground. With the win, Muir keeps its playoff hopes alive and must beat Pasadena at next week’s Turkey Tussle. I’m going on the record — PHS wins.
Alemany 13, St. Francis 7 — One year after transferring from St. Francis to Alemany, defensive back Deron Smith faced his former teammates Friday and came through with the performance of a lifetime. The sophomore intercepted two passes and broke up another key fourth-down pass, all in the second half, to help Alemany to the win and at least a share of the Mission League championship with one game remaining.
Workman 23, Duarte 0 — Workman High School held winless Duarte to 110 total yards in cruising to a Montview League win on Friday. The Lobos (6-3, 3-2) were led by senior quarterback Richard Cabreros, who completed 4 of his 7 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Workman jumped out to a 6-0 lead when Michael Silva scored from a yard out. The score capped off a nine-play, 38-yard drive. After a Duarte turnover on downs, the Lobos drove 50 yards and scored on a quarterback sneak from Cabreros. The score pushed the lead to 13-0 early in the second quarter.
Rosemead 52, El Monte 20 — The Rosemead duo of Matt Macias and Matt Fregoso put on a show in the Panthers’ easy win. The Panthers (4-5, 3-1) used 35 second-quarter points to pull away from the Lions (0-9, 0-4) and take a 42-14 halftime lead. Fregoso finished the game with touchdown runs of 10, 51, 64, and 32. He also had a 78-yard punt return in the second quarter to give Rosemead a comfortable 28-7 lead.
Maranatha 49, Marshall 0 — Maranatha quarterback Cody Keith threw for 175 yards and running back Erik Johnson rushed for 200 to lead the Minutemen in Alpha League action Friday night at Pasadena High School. Maranatha (7-2, 6-0) will play for an outright league championship next week when it hosts Campbell Hall. The Minutemen last season finished in second place and have not won an outright league title in 23 years. Maranatha shared the league title in 2006. Maranatha’s Ben Young led the defense with two interceptions. Minutemen coach Joel Murphy has been pleased with his team’s balanced attack. “What’s nice is the last month or so we’ve been incredibly balanced,” Murphy said, whose team is on a seven-game winning streak. “We’re not just proficient but we can excel at it, too.”
San Marino 51, Blair 0 — Stevie Yortsos lined up in the backfield at tailback and proved to be just as effective as he is at receiving by scoring three touchdowns on the ground to lead San Marino High School to a 51-0 win over winless Blair (0-9, 0-4) in Friday’s Rio Hondo League game. The Titans (7-2, 2-2) led, 35-0, at the half. The game was played with a running clock in the second half. Everyone got a piece of the action for San Marino, including linebacker Trent Converse, who returned a fumble for a score. The win helped the Titans keep their playoff hopes alive as they head into next week’s must-win game against visiting Temple City. But as far as San Marino coach D.R. Moreland is concerned, the postseason already began. “The playoffs started Friday night,” Moreland said. “That’s the position we find ourselves in and starting tomorrow we have to prepare for Temple City.” San Marino will have to deal with an explosive offense led by Rams running back Max Ruckle and quarterback Justin Smith. “Temple City’s both sides of the ball will be a challenge for us,” Moreland said. “We’re going to have to play one of our better games next week, that’s for sure.”