Cerritos Valley Chr.-Paraclete in Mid Valley Division final?

Fred J. Robledo

The top two-ranked teams in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division might feel more like underdogs in the second round on Friday. Top-seeded Monrovia (11-0) is at defending champion Paraclete (7-4) a week after the Spirits dismantled La Puente in the first round, 45-0. Olympic League champion Cerritos Valley Christian (8-3), which beat Paraclete in the league finale, whipped La Ca ada 45-0 and will be at No. 2 San Dimas (10-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. With Whittier Christian’s 27-24 win over Mission Valley League champion Arroyo, the Olympic League went 3-0 in the first round.

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Your (un)official checklist if you’re driving to Palmdale


Above: Nick Bueno when he was 5 … Just kidding.

I’m no weather expert, but if you’re making plans to make Friday night’s game in the Palmdale area here’s some word of advice: bundle up! We here in Los Angeles are ridiculously spoiled with picturesque weather, where a cold day can mean turning on the fire place when it dips into the 60’s. That being said, you’re going to want to brace yourselves for low to mid 30’s when Monrovia and Paraclete clash at 7 p.m. at Knight High in the second round of the Mid Valley Division playoffs. St. Francis visits Palmdale at 7:30 p.m. in the Western Division. Since a year ago I went to Palmdale to cover the Mid Valley Division finals pitting Rosemead vs. Paraclete, I have a few tips that might be of benefit:

1. Bring munchies — It’s almost a two-hour ride up to Palmdale, and it can feel longer when you’re driving through the winding roads and reception on your radio cuts off, unless you have XM Satellite Radio, then you’re OK. Eating chips or whatnot can help fill awkward silence, depending on who you’re driving up with.

2. Bundle up! — You’re gonna want to over do it, trust me. That way at least you’re not like me who didn’t have any gloves or a beanie to keep my hands and bald head warm. The hottest item at the concession stand last year were hand warmers.

3. Lights, action! — Driving to Knight High can be surreal. It reminds me of the movie “Field of Dreams”. When you get off the freeway you’ll go through some residential streets before you go through the lonely roads. It’ll be dark, so you’re gonna want to keep those lights bright. You’ll get to see the field from a distance, and the closer you get the bigger the lights will seem. Knight High sits in the middle of nowhere.

4. Drink up! — Hot chocolate is the second hottest item in the concession stand, literally and figuratively. I’ll take mine with six mini marshmallows.

5. Portable heaters — You know it’s cold when even Paraclete fans have portable heaters in the stands. Both teams will probably have heaters in the sidelines, but you’re on your own.

“For most of the kids playing in the game it’s not so much an issue but the kids in the sidelines and the ones standing will be a lot colder,” said Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox regarding the cold weather. Monrovia will practice tonight and Wednesday at 7 p.m. in an effort to get acclimated to the weather, though it’ll be warmer here than what the Wildcats should expect Friday. But in the bigger picture, Maddox opted for night practices rather than in the morning because of the obvious. “Morning practices are rough just because not everybody in the program is an early riser,” Maddox said. “You’re not always going to get the most out of the kids in the morning. They tend to be much livelier in the evening, which is good and makes for a better evening.”

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Star Picks: And then there were six ……

Melendez last week (overall): 8-4 (126-66-1)

Last week: Muir, San Gabriel, Pasadena Poly and La Caada proved me wrong. To be fair, the Mustangs had one of their most unbelievable games in taking Charter Oak to the brink of elimination in the opener of the Southeast Division opener. The hot question I’ve posed coaches and our staff at the office is this: If you’re Ken Howard, do you make the decision to go for the two-point conversion or go for the PAT. I would have gone for the PAT. You already have Charter Oak on the ropes and you’ve done near the impossible in making it such a nail biter; momentum is on your side and you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I polled some coaches about the scenario later that night and through the weekend: Some said they’d take the PAT but surprisingly the majority said they would go for it. …. To be fair, La Caada drew a tough Cerritos Valley Christian team. Is the Olympic League the most competitive league in the Mid Valley Division? The can make argument after all three teams advanced to Friday’s second round. … Pasadena Poly had an amazing game at St. Genevieve, posting 47-28 lead before hanging on, 52-42.

This week: You don’t have to ask: Monrovia vs. Paraclete at Knight High is the Game of the Week. I’m bringing the wool coat, putting chains on the tires and strapping on some gloves, because I don’t care what anybody says it gets cold up there. We’re expected to battle a balmy 34 degrees on Friday night. The record low in Palmdale is 18 degrees, set in 1978. Bundle up and get ready for what is easily the most anticipated matchup in the Mid Valley Division. This is the championship game in my books. Nevertheless, I would like to see an All-Area final on Dec. 12. …. San Marino was definitely a lot of fun to watch last week. They’re old school with Benny Hung rushing down the middle and unpredictable with Stevie Yortsos and Joe Forgatch as the driving force on offense. Ben Harwich compliments Hung’s running game, and he’s just as dangerous when he breaks off tackles. St. Francis (9-2) visits a tough Palmdale (9-2) team, led by QB Joshua Shaw’s 1,586 yards and 12 touchdowns. But after enduring the air assault by Gahr’s Casey Nielsen (400+ passing), the Golden Knights’ secondary should have an easier time. Or not. Shaw’s also the team’s second-leading rusher with 637 yards and nine touchdowns. Maranatha and Rio Hondo Prep should advance to the semifinals in their respective divisions, but I’m not so sure about Pasadena Poly, which draws No. 2 seed Linfield Christian. On the bright side, the Panthers are the only area team playing at home while we’re all on the road.

THIS WEEK’S GAMES — WITH PREDICTIONS

Monrovia vs. Paraclete at Knight High in Palmdale, 7 p.m. — Monrovia
Linfield Christian vs. Pasadena Poly at South Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Linfield Christian
St. Francis at Palmdale, 7:30 p.m. — St. Francis
San Marino vs. Azusa at Citrus, 7 p.m. — San Marino
Maranatha at Ontario Christian, 7 p.m. — Maranatha

SATURDAY’S GAME
Rio Hondo Prep vs. Saddleback Valley Christian at St. Margaret’s High, 7 p.m. — Rio Hondo Prep

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Friday Night Aftermath: San Marino rolls over Rosemead; Charter Oak clings to win over Muir; Pasadena Poly comes home with a victory; Monrovia, St. Francis, Rio Hondo Prep and Maranatha take care of business.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF FRIDAY’S ROSEMEAD-SAN MARINO GAME

TONIGHT’S GAMES

San Marino 42, Monrovia Rosemead 20 — Benny Hung rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Joe Forgatch completed 12 of 19 passes for 188 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Titans in the dominating victory. Rosemead’s Matt Fregoso rushed for 190 yards on 26 carries and quarterback Matt Macias completed 12 of 22 passes with one interception and three touchdowns to lead the Panthers. Rosemead had no answer for Hung, who scored on runs of 17 and 13 yards. Forgatch connected on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Stevie Yortsos and a 53-yard dart to Ben Harwich. Forgatch also scored on runs of 1 and 10 yards. It looked like the game was going to be a slug fest, but San Marino put that theory to rest when it scored 21 unanswered points to end the first half. Hung was just tough as nails down the middle, smash-mouth football at its best. Yortsos is fun to watch. He returned an interception 32 yards from the end zone, tippy-toeing at the goal line and letting one then two defenders fly by to miss the tackle. Forgatch is much much improved from last year and provides a dual threat for the Titans. He’s tough and is not afraid to get the extra yards. San Marino went all out, going 3 for 3 on fourth-down conversions. This team will be dangerous and were definitely fun to watch from the Titans sidelines.

Monrovia 40, South El Monte 7 — You knew it would be Monrovia’s day when on its opening drive Dejawn Jones recovered Ellis McCarthy’s in the end zone for the opening score. Nick Bueno’s first run was for a touchdown and his last two throws also were for scores. No starters played in the second half, which had a running clock the rest of the way. See you all in Lancaster, err, Palmdale.

Burbank 21, Alhambra 14 — Tipping my hat here for Gil Ruedaflores who after 21 seasons steps down as the Moors coach. Alhambra had a 14-0 lead with two touchdown passes from quarterback Darrian Cazarin. But Alhambra’s offense was limited to 27 yards in the second half and Burbank’s 21 unanswered points sealed the deal.

Cerritos Valley Christian 45, La Caada 0 — The visiting Spartans (5-5) trailed 31-0 at the half in the first-round loss of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
Valley Christian (8-3) is the Olympic League champion that knocked off Paraclete, the defending divisional champion, in the season finale. Cerritos Valley Christian will play the San Dimas-Workman winner in the quarterfinals. La Caada won a Rio Hondo League playoff against Temple City last week to earn a playoff berth as the league’s third-place team, and made a playoff appearance after a long absence.

Charter Oak 20, Muir 19 — Muir missed a two-point conversion in the final play of the game to let this one slip away. Trailing by seven late in the fourth quarter, Mustangs quarterback Jarron Williams connected with Ormoni Duncan for a dramatic 30-yard touchdown on fourth and 18 with four seconds remaining and cut Charter Oak’s lead to one. Perhaps pulling a play from Bill Belichick’s book, Muir coach Ken Howard opted to go for two points for the win, but Williams’ quarterback draw was stuffed at the line of scrimmage by Chargers standout linebacker Keith Smith.

West Covina 40, San Gabriel 7 — West Covina was led by sophomore Chris Soloman who rushed for a career-high 192 yards on just 15 carries.

Maranatha 59, Frazier 13 — The Minutemen’s Erik Johnson did much of the damage, accounting for 145 yards of total offense, 60 on the ground and 85 through the air in the first half. The second-quarter scoring barrage was a balanced attack. The Minutemen’s offense scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 4 yards, and quarterback Cody Keith threw two passes for touchdowns from 7 and 44 yards.

St. Francis 55, Ghar 34 — St. Francis scored 21 points in the fourth quarter with nine minutes left. Justin Posthumas rushed for 102 yards and passed for 145 yards with two touchdowns. Ghar’s Casey Nielsen passed for 405 yards in the losing effort.

Rio Hondo Prep 34, Desert Christian 0 – Rio Hondo Prep’s Charles Quintero was lights out for the Kares, returning a 109-yard interception for a touchdown and a 60-yard punt return for a score to lead the defending Northeast Division champions. Quarterback Chris Llamas ran for one touchdown and caught one, too. Yes, caught one, too. He caught 4-yard touchdown pass from J.T. Parker on the trick play in the second quarter.

Pasadena Poly 54, St. Genevieve 42 — Pasadena Poly quarterback Hunter Marryman connected on a 68-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Capehart with 22 seconds left to cap a dramatic 54-42 win over St. Genevieve in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division playoffs Friday night at L.A. Poly. Pasadena Poly (7-4) will play the Linfield Christian-CSDR winner next week at South Pasadena High. The Panthers withstood the Valiants’ frantic effort in the waning minutes. St. Genevieve (9-2) had the ball at Pasadena Poly’s 3-yard line but fumbled at the 1. The ball rolled for five seconds before the Panthers’ Zach Murphy recovered with under a minute left in the game. Pasadena Poly’s Blake Edwards had 295 yards on 25 carries and five touchdowns, helping the Panthers take a 47-28 lead at the half. “It was a track meet,” Pasadena Poly coach Brenden McGrail said. “We got off to a good start offensively, but then we couldn’t stop them and it was back and forth. In the end we were hanging on and we were fortunate to move ahead.” Merryman completed 10 of 19 for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Crazy, indeed.

St. Joseph 55, La Salle 0 — St. Joseph took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and extended it to 48-0 at the half to overwhelm the visiting Lancers in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division playoffs. The Lancers (5-6) trailed 48-0 at the half.

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Football: Dannhausen carries on through loss of father


Above: La Salle’s Mark Dannhausen holding a photo of his dad John “Jack” Dannhausen and Mark when he was 2. Mark Dannhausen dad past away from Alzheimers disease before the Lancers game against Cantwell two weeks ago. (Staff Photo by Walt Mancini)

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

It was an early Friday morning when La Salle High School’s Mark Dannhausen was getting ready for school and preparing for what was supposed to be a big day for him and the Lancers football team.

Dannhausen instead carried on with a heavy heart.

Two weeks ago, La Salle was in a must-win situation and desperately needed a win over Cantwell Sacred Heart to keep its CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division playoff hopes alive.

Even then, the game was a distant afterthought.

Not far across town, Mark’s mother, Lynn, had just arrived at Regency Park, an assisted living home in Pasadena where she was visiting Mark’s father, John “Jack” Dannhausen. He had been living there since 2005, four years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

John’s condition worsened as of late, to the point where Lynn, Mark and his older sisters Leigh and Michele spent the entire day beside him and preparing for the worst.

“We were informed it would be a lot slower before he’d be gone,” Lynn recalled.

Only 10 minutes had passed since Lynn arrived to visit her husband of 30 years when she saw John – the man she met the summer of 1978 and married a year later – take his final breath.

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