The penalties kept piling up but when Rosemead High School’s 21-7 victory over San Marino was complete, Panthers football coach Matt Koffler showed no frustration.
“I don’t really get upset at trying penalties,” Koffler said after learning Rosemead (2-1) was flagged 11 times. “They try hard and they’re getting hard after (plays). It’s just part of the game. We’ll take it and keep our hands inside a little bit (next time).”
Matt Macias’ 33-yard touchdown pass to Christian Garcia with 5:58 left in the second quarter was brought back after the Panthers were called for a false start. The Panthers twice were relegated to field goal attempts in the fourth quarter after penalties stalled drives.
Rosemead was in good position, starting at its 48 with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Two holding penalties negated first-down conversions and the Panthers had to try a 47-yard field goal, which was wide. A 51-yard field goal attempt was short with 3:28 left in the fourth quarter. That drive went 10 plays starting at the Panthers 43 with 6:51 on the clock.
Making the call
Koffler decided to go for it on fourth-and-6 at the San Marino 39 with just more than seven minutes left in the second quarter. Rosemead running back Matt Fregoso took the snap and ran it near the Titans 33. San Marino players and coaches celebrated what appeared to be a stop and takeover on downs. But when the measuring sticks came out, Fregoso had converted the first down by millimeters, much to the dismay of the San Marino coaching staff that thought the spot was rather generous.
Nevertheless, Koffler’s call paid dividends.
“It was something we just needed,” he said. “A little spark. We just needed to score points.”
Fregoso scored six plays later when he broke away from tacklers for a 21-yard touchdown with 4:26 left in the half.