By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
Russell Gordon, who took over the head coaching duties at La Salle High School this fall, knew the Lancers were a lot better than their previous record indicated.
La Salle has proven it the first two weeks, opening with back-to-back victories, including a 45-16 win over Glendale last week.
The Lancers were 1-19 the past two years, including 1-9 last season.
“It’s great for the kids,” said Gordon of the Lancers’ 2-0 start. “They worked hard in the offseason and in the summer. They deserve it.”
The keys for the Lancers rest with quarterback Austin Wallis and running back Israel Lacy.
Lacy, who rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown in La Salle’s 27-0 victory over Temple City two weeks ago, scored three touchdowns in the 45-16 victory over Glendale. He had a 22-yard run in the first quarter before punt returns of 93 and 92 yards during the second half.
Wallis, who threw for 115 yards and touchdown in the win over Temple City, had a 29-yard run in the first quarter last week.
“We’ve got some talented kids who fit our scheme,” Gordon said. “But we still have a lot of work to do. No way are we completely happy. It’s like I always tell the kids, you either get better or worse, you never remain the same.”
The Lancers are expected to get a big barometer test this week when they travel to Occidental College to face Village Christian of Sun Valley in a 7 p.m. nonleague game on Friday.
The Crusaders are 1-1, opening the season with a 28-7 victory over St. Monica two weeks ago before dropping a 35-17 decision to Fillmore last week.
Village Christian, which was 5-5 last season and shared third place with Maranatha in the Olympic League, is led by running back John Amodeo, who had 192 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns in the victory over St. Monica two weeks ago. The Crusaders also look to quarterback Jesse Hanckel, who threw for 120 yards in the win over St. Monica.
“Village Christian has a good football team,” Gordon said. “They’ve got some weapons.
“This will be our biggest test so far. It’s going to be a dogfight.”
DROP IN RATINGS
Monrovia, which has won the past two CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division titles and began the season ranked No. 1 in the division, took a slide following Friday’s 16-15 loss at Ayala.
The Wildcats dropped to No. 4, behind Sierra Canyon (2-0), San Dimas (2-0) and Paraclete (1-1).
The Wildcats are expected to get healthy this week against Arcadia (0-2) before playing San Dimas, South Hills (2-0) and St. Francis (1-0) in coming weeks.
St. Francis, which opened with a 49-10 victory over Arcadia, is No. 4 in the Western Division.
Other area ranked teams in this week’s polls are South Pasadena (1-0), which is No. 10 in the Mid-Valley; Rio Hondo Prep (1-1) and Pasadena Poly (1-0), which are No. 3 and No. 10 in the Northeast; La Salle, which is No. 10 in the Northwest and Arcadia and Muir (0-2), which are Nos. 8 and 9 in the Southeast.