Photo by Larry Goren
Well, another Friday Night Lights is in the books and the area enjoyed a trifecta in the Pacific League, with routs by Muir and Pasadena and a shutout by Arcadia over Burroughs. Also, Gabrielino and La Salle continued their big turnarounds, improving to 5-0 with wins.
Here’s a brief look at Friday’s games:
No. 2 St. Francis 38, West Ranch 30 – The Knights rode the Golden arm of quarterback Jared Lebowitz, who threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns, St. Francis, which will move up to No. 1 in the area rankings, now preps for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 against Monrovia next week. Who do you like?
No. 3 San Marino 45, Beverly Hills 0 – The Titans continue to look like a boulder rolling down a hill, rushing for 318 yards in a rout. Ryan Wood had 179 and two TDs for San Marino, which improved to 4-0.
No. 5. La Salle 47, Westchester 30 – The Lancers just keep on winning, improving to 5-0 with an easy win. La Salle takes a respite before opening Del Rey League play, and you got to like their chances.
No. 6 Gabrielino 33, Roybal 0 – The Eagles, getting touchdown passes of 3 and 60 yards from Elijah Peters to Mark Winchell are 5-0 since going 8-3 nearly a decade ago. Next up, Mission Valley League play.
No. 7 South Pasadena 24, Alhambra 10 – David Madrid passed for 193 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers, who look solid going into Rio Hondo League play.
No. 8 Muir 36, Crescenta Valley 0 – Muir was back in its comfort zone, getting 204 yards passing from Joshua Muema and 162 total yards from Andreece Brown, to show it’s ready to dominate the Pacific League. I liked Muir before Friday, and I love their chances to run the table in the league now.
Rosemead 16, No. 10 San Gabriel 6 – The Panthers, who started 0-2, are starting to pick up steam with a solid win over San Gabriel. You have to throw them into the ring of what should be a balanced Mission Valley League.
Pasadena 35, Glendale 0 – Who needs Brandon Cox? The Bulldogs, getting 125 yards rushing from Torus Stepney, they can get by without their start with an easy win on the road. Pasadena gets Crescenta Valley next week, likely without Cox, but after what Muir did to the Falcons, it might not matter. Are we headed to a possible Turkey Tussle showdown for the Pac crown?
Arcadia 18, Burroughs 8 — This might be the surprise of the night. The Apaches, who looked lost in losses to Rio Hondo Prep, St. Francis and Monrovia, are tied for first in the Pacific with an impressive win. I thought Burroughs might challenge Muir for the league title. Not anymore.
South El Monte 28, Maranatha 14 — A valiant effort by the Minutemen, who lost quarterback Andrew Elffers for the season last week.
Eagle Rock 25, La Canada 7 — Andy Paynter rushed for 109 yards for Sparta, which used several underclassmen against The Rock.
Malibu 40, Flintridge Prep 34, OT – The Rebels dropped another overtime setback. Stefan Smith scored four times for Flintridge Prep.
Paraclete 63, Marshall 7 — The Eagles were no match for Paraclete, which is a solid contender for the Mid-Valley title.
MUIR SHOWS ITS METTLE
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
PASADENA - Muir High School was in its comfort zone Friday night.
The Mustangs, after a brutal nonleague schedule that featured arguably three of the better football programs in the CIF-Southern Section, looked right at home in their Pacific League opener against visiting Crescenta Valley.
Joshua Muema threw for 204 yards and Andreece Brown had 154 yards in two scoring plays and Muir rolled to a 36-0 victory over the visiting Falcons.
The Mustangs, getting 105 yards rushing from Brown, improved to 1-3. Crescenta
Valley, which beat Muir last season, slipped to 2-2. Muir held the Falcons to 157 yards.
“Our team never lost confidence,” Muir coach John Hardy said. “We looked forward to this game. We had it circled all year – CV. They beat us last year, and we were looking forward to the rematch.”
It wasn’t much of a match. Muir, which traditionally is known for its big-play capabilities, used that trait for a 14-0 lead at the half before putting it away in the third quarter.
The Mustangs, who gained just 17 yards with an interception on their first three possessions, broke free on their fourth.
Brown made the most of his only reception of the half by turning a short swing pass from Muema into a 57-yard catch and run for a 7-0 lead with 11:27 left in the second quarter.
Tony Claxton then set up a second score with a 34-yard punt return to the Crescenta Valley 18. Taeon Mason ran it in from there to push the lead to 14-0 with 6:49 left in the half.
“We came into this game not really sure,” Muema said. “But now we got it. We’re going to keep moving on and we don’t plan on (losing a game in) league, going to the playoffs and keep working hard.”
Muema extended the lead to 22-0 in the third quarter on a 20-yard pass to Lamarr McDaniels before Brown followed a Crescenta Valley turnover with a 97-yard run up the middle for a 29-0 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
Tyshawn Goodman had a 19-yard run to make it 36-0 with just under three minutes to play.
Crescenta Valley, after an interception and a short punt, had two chances to take the lead during the first quarter. But Ben Rees was sacked at the Muir 37 to force a punt and Travis Palazzolo missed a 31-yard field goal.
“We’re going to live and die off our defense,” Hardy said. “That’s how it was last year, and that’s how we’ll roll this year.
“Our defense’s job is to keep us in every ballgame until our offense gets it together. We’re a little behind, offensively, still. But each week you will see the offense get better.”