STATE BOWL BOUND: Monrovia could find itself in a state bowl game if it keeps winning. Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz.
Monrovia is hoping to capture its third consecutive CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley championship this year.
But if the Wildcats are able to grab another crown, it may get them an invite to the CIF State bowl round.
Monrovia (7-2), after a 21-16 victory over San Marino that got it a share of the Rio Hondo League, has moved up to No. 3 in South Division III, trailing No. 1 Paraclete (8-1) and St. Augustine (7-2), of San Diego. The ‘Cats could move into the coveted top two slots with an expected win over Temple City and a loss by Paraclete to Sierra Canyon (9-0), which is No. 1 in Division IV. But Monrovia could also get there just by winning the Mid-Valley Division, because by doing so, Paraclete would have a loss, allowing Monrovia to move on up. Here’s the Division rankings:
DIVISION III SOUTH
1. (1) Paraclete (Lancaster) 8-1
2. (4) St. Augustine (San Diego) 7-2 3. (5) Monrovia 7-2
4. (6) Wasco 9-0
5. (8) Madison (San Diego) 8-1
6. (2) Nordhoff (Ojai) 8-1
7. (9) Laguna Beach 8-0-1
8. (7) Valley Center 6-3
9. (10) San Dimas 8-1
10. (3) Mission Oak (Tulare) 7-2
Senior wide receiver Lamarr McDaniels has been a key player for Muir, which is riding a six-game winning streak heading into Thursday night’s Turkey Tussle against Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. (Leo Jarzomb / Staff Photographer)
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
PASADENA – Muir High School has recovered from a slow start to become one of the top football teams in the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division.
A big key for the Mustangs, who have won six consecutive games going into Thursday’s 59th Turkey Tussle against rival Pasadena at the Rose Bowl, is wide receiver Lamarr McDaniels.
The senior, along with quarterback Joshua Muema-Washington, have been the glue that has kept Muir, ranked No. 4 in the Southeast Division, together.
“He’s (McDaniels) one of the guys that kept the drive,” said Muir coach John Hardy, whose Mustangs are 6-3 overall and 6-0 in the Pacific League. “When we were 0-3 after losing to Rancho Cucamonga, we had a team meeting and he was one of the (players) who called the team meeting.
“It was (McDaniels and Muema-Washington). They kept our kids in the right frame of mind. I think that’s why we are where we are right now.”
McDaniels’ view is that something needed to be said after Muir opened with consecutive losses to Upland (34-6), Alemany (49-12) and Rancho Cucamonga (54-14).
He had high expectations after Muir advanced to the divisional semifinals last season, and was going to make sure the players righted the ship.
“We did just put it aside,” McDaniels said. “We decided that we didn’t want to lose anymore. That’s what we are doing, we’re not going to lose anymore.” Continue reading →
TOP CAT: Monrovia, which beat San Marino last week in a battle of the top two teams in area, ranks above all heading into the CIF-SS playoffs Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz
STAR-NEWS RANKINGS 1. Monrovia (9-2) - The back-to-back defending Mid-Valley Division champions are likely to receive the No. 2 seed when playoff pairings are announced Sunday. Monrovia is also in solid position for a state bowl after receiving the No. 3 ranking in Cal-Hi Sports state bowl rankings for Division 3. If they win the Mid-Valley, beating Paraclete in the process, a 15-game season is within reach. 2. San Marino (8-1) – It’s hard to knock down the Titans after giving Monrovia more than it wanted on Friday. They are No. 5 in the Mid-Valley, so I wouldn’t be surprised with a Wildcat-Titans final. 3. Rio Hondo Prep (7-1) – The Kares have played their way into a No. 2 seed in the Norteast Division. But first they need to take care of business vs. Poly on Friday. 4. La Salle (9-0) – The surprise team of the year is the area’s only undefeated team. They’ll make some noise in the Northwest. 5. Muir (6-3) – The Mustangs have come all the way back to win the Pacific League. They’ll make a run in the playoffs, but first some unfinished business in the Turkey Tussle. 6. Gabrielino (7-2) – The Eagles play for a playoff spot when they they host Arroyo for third in the Mission Valley League on Friday. A loss could put them on the wrong side of the bubble. The 7-3 record would be impressive, but the strength of schedule is not. 7. St. Francis (3-6) – The Golden Knights, who finish with St. Paul, can apply for an at-large bid to the Western playoffs. But it’s highly unlikely they would get it. 8. Arcadia (4-5) – It’s all about the W for the Apaches, who clinch a playoff spot with a victory over Crescenta Valley on Friday. 9. Alhambra (4-5) – The Moors control their own destiny to the playoffs. Win and they’re in, lose and it gets tricky. 10. South Pasadena (6-3) – The Tigers likely get in the playoffs with a victory. But they face a monumental task against San Marino. Likely not happening. The Rest: 11. Temple City (5-4). 12. Duarte (4-5), 13. Flintridge Prep (5-4), 14. Pasadena Poly (6-2). 15. Rosemead (3-6), 16. Maranatha (3-6) 17. San Gabriel (2-7), 18. Pasadena (1-8), 19. La Canada (1-8); 20. Bosco Tech (1-8), 21. Marshall (3-7), 22. Keppel (0-9); 23. Blair (0-9).
Keith Lair and I will go head-to-head in the Star-News Pick’em. Here is this week’s predictions along with how we did last week.
Last Week: Ramirez (14-3); Lair (13-4) Season: Ramirez (117-49); Lair (119-47)
Last week: I got the edge on Keith, getting him with picks of El Monte beating Gabrielino and Arroyo over Rosemead. He got me with Bell Gardens win over San Gabriel.
This week: The game of the week is the annual Turkey Tussle between Muir and Pasadena. There are no playoff implications, but the Turkey Tussle is never a — and forgive me Jim Mora — a useless game. I like the Mustangs, who are riding a six game winning streak after locking up the Pacific League title with a 38-0 victory over Arcadia. Pasadena has puncher’s chance. The Bulldogs last win in the series was a 14-7 victory in 1995. There are other games with playoff implications, including Rio Hondo Prep vs. Pasadena Poly; Alhambra vs. San Gabriel and Maranatha vs. Village Christian. I like the Kares, Moors and Minutemen.
Here’s this week’s schedule and predictions:
Muir vs. Pasadena at Rose Bowl, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Muir); Lair (Muir)
Rosemead at Mountain View, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Rosemead); Lair (Rosemead) FRIDAY
San Gabriel at Alhambra, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Alhambra); Lair (Alhambra)
South Pasadena at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (San Marino); Lair (San Marino)
Maranatha vs. Village Chr. at Occidental, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Mrntha); Lair (Mrntha)
Pasadena Poly at Rio Hondo Prep, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (RHP); Lair (RHP)
Bosco Tech at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (La Salle); Lair (La Salle)
Temple City at Monrovia, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Monrovia); Lair (Monrovia)
Arroyo at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Gabrielino); Lair (Arroyo)
St. Paul at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Ramirez (St. Francis); Lair (St. Francis)
Bassett at Duarte, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Duarte); Lair (Duarte)
La Canada vs. Blair at Muir HS, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (La Canada); Lair (La Canada)
Contrary to what is published on the maxpreps and calpreps websites, the annual Turkey Tussle between Muir and Pasadena high schools is scheduled for Thursday at the Rose Bowl. Game time is 7 p.m.
Muir is 6-3 overall and 6-0 in the Pacific League. The Mustangs clinched at least a share of the league title with a 38-0 victory over Arcadia last week. Muir, by virtue of its 24-17 win over Burbank two weeks ago, will be the league’s No. 1 representative for the upcoming CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.
Pasadena is 1-8 and 1-5. The Bulldogs lost 31-21 to Burroughs last week.
Another Friday Night Lights has come and gone, leaving one week left in the regular season. Friday night’s story was all about Monrovia and San Marino, and the Titans, who some some thought were no match for the ‘Cats, answered some critics, staying with Monrovia before losing, 21-16 in this battle of the top two teams in the area. The ‘Cats clinched at least a share of its sixth consecutive league title and will be the Rio Hondo’s No. 1 playoff representative. Elsewhere, Muir easily locked up the Pacific League with a 38-0 victory Arcadia. Next up for the Mustangs is the annual Turkey Tussle with rival Pasadena. La Salle clinched the Del Rey League and Maranatha inched closer to a playoff spot with an easy win over Valley Christian. Gabrielino dropped a 38-14 setback to El Monte, now must beat Arroyo to earn a playoff spot.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Monrovia 21, San Marino 16
MONROVIA – San Marino High School provided a challenge Friday but fell short of winning a title. Instead, that still goes to host Monrovia, which again reigned supreme in the Rio Hondo League, scoring a 21-16 victory over San Marino to clinch at least a share of its sixth consecutive league title. Blake Heyworth threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns and Darione Jones rushed for 85 and a touchdown for the Wildcats, who improved to 7-2 overall and 4-0 in the Rio Hondo League. San Marino, which had 161 passing yards and a touchdown from Matt Wofford, slipped to 8-1 and 3-1. Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox: “(San Marino is) a very good football team. My hat’s off to them. Our kids played hard. It was a defensive game. We did what we needed to get the (win).” San Marino coach Mike Hobbie: “We didn’t execute on offense the way we should have. They made it tough on us. They didn’t run the defense they had been running. Our guys had a tough time adjusting. But they have good players. It’s hard to stop them (the entire) game.” Here is Friday’s recaps: No. 1 Monrovia 21, No. 2 San Marino 16 — The ‘Cats are still ‘The One’ in the area and in the Rio Hondo League. But San Marino answered some critics by keeping it close. Expect both to players in the upcoming CIF-SS playoffs. No. 4 La Salle 61, Cantwell 30 — The Lancers, getting 123 yards passing and two TDs from Austin Wallis, clinched the Del Rey League title. La Salle will likely beat Bosco Tech next week and finish 10-0 and be the No. 2 seed in the Nortwest Division. No. 5 Muir 38, No. 8 Arcadia 0 — The Mustangs, getting 235 yards passing and four TDs from Joshua Muema-Washington, locked down the Pacific League title. The Apaches dropped to second and now must beat Crescenta Valley next week to clinch a playoff spot. El Monte 38, No. 6 Gabrielino 14 — The Eagles are now in a must win situation, needing to beat Arroyo next week to lock down the Mission Valley League’s final playoff spot. Chaminade 42, No. 7 St. Francis 14 — The Golden Knights, getting 200 yards passing from Jared Lebowitz and 139 yards rushing from Daniel Kawamura, saw their playoff hopes all but vanish. St. Francis, which hosts St. Paul next week, can still apply for an at-large bid. Montebello 10, No. 9 Alhambra 9 — The Moors gave up a late TD and now must beat San Gabriel next week to clinch a playoff spot. Sierra Vista 20, No. 10 Duarte 14 — The Falcons, getting a TD pass from Denzel Talifero to Samuel Edwards, were eliminated from receiving an automatic playoff spot. Duarte can still apply for an at-large bid. Arroyo 21, Rosemead 10 — The Panthers were eliminated from receiving the league’s top three playoff spots. Rosemead can still apply for an at-large bid. Maranatha 42, Valley Chr. 21 — Eli Snyder and Omar Younger combined for five touchdowns and the Minutemen stayed in the playoff hunt. Maranatha can get a postseason spot with a win over Village Christian next week at Occidental College. Bell Gardens 26, San Gabriel 19 — The Matadors are still alive for a playoff spot, but it involves a win over Alhambra next week, a Montebello win over Schurr and then winning a coin flip. Viewpoint 52, Marshall 12 — The Eagles conclude the season, finishing 3-7. Burroughs 31, Pasadena 21 — All that matters now for the Bulldogs is the Turkey Tussle. Temple City 44, La Canada 26 — Sophomore Nick Starling and junior Nick Kaneko rushed for 137 and 120 yards, respectively, and the Rams inched toward a playoff spot with the victory. Temple City plays for first against Monrovia next week. The Rams can still make the playoffs with a loss next week, but need San Marino to beat South Pasadena. South Pasadena 41, Blair 0 — The Tigers stayed alive for a playoff spot, but the chances are slim since it involves beating San Marino next week.
MONTEBELLO - Schurr High School turned in a dominating performance Thursday, defeating Keppel 55-7 in an Almont League game.
The host Spartans kept their postseason chances alive with the victory, improving 3-6 overall and 2-2 in league.
Eric Perez led the Spartans on offense, rushing for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Schurr quickly took control and took a 34-0 halftime lead.
After forcing an Aztecs three-and-out, the Spartans scored on their possession, which was capped by Perez’s 10-yard scoring run with 7:52 left in the first quarter. Perez set up the score by opening the drive with a 66-yard run that moved the Spartans to Keppel’s 15-yard line.
The Spartans scored on all four of their first-half possessions.
Max Velez increased the Spartans’ lead to 14-0 when he scored on a 1-yard run. Abel Troncoza delivered the big play on the Spartans’ drive with a 47-yard run that put the ball at the Aztecs’ 2.
The Spartans put the game out of reach by outscoring the Aztecs 20-0 in the second quarter.
Spartans quarterback Ricardo Fonseca opened the second quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Fonseca then used his arm to give the Spartans a 27-0 lead as the threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Handy.
Schurr made it 34-0 when when Danny Moriel returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown.
Perez ran for 86 yards in the first half.
The Spartans kept the momentum going in the third quarter, scoring on their first possession in the second half, capped by Perez’s 13-yard run.
The Aztecs (0-9, 0-4) got their only score on Alex Ramirez’s 5-yard touchdown run. Ramirez’s score capped a eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter.
It’s all about Monrovia vs. San Marino. The pick is the ‘Cats. Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz
Keith Lair and I will go head-to-head in the Star-News Pick’em. Here is this week’s predictions along with how we did last week.
Last Week: Ramirez (12-4); Lair (14-2) Season: Ramirez (103-46); Lair (106-43)
Last week: Keith picked up two on yours truly, although I didn’t have a bad week at 12-4. My mistakes was not seeing Whittier Christian beating Maranatha and Gabrielino getting by Rosemead in a defensive sturggle.
This week: It’s all about Monrovia vs. San Marino as the top two teams in both the Rio Hondo League and the area square off Friday at Monrovia. The Titans have been impressive, winning their first eight games and scoring points at an alarming rate. But I think the ‘Cats have just a little too much. Take the ‘Cats by two touchdowns. There are also big games in the Pacific and Mission Valley Leagues. In the Pacific, Muir looks to clinch first with a visit to Arcadia, which can force a tie going into the final week with a victory. Muir’s big-play potential will be too much for the Apaches, who have the ability to make it close. In the Mission Valley League, Gabrielino looks to move into a first-place tie when it hosts El Monte. B-Mart and the Lions look too offensive for the defensive-minded Eagles. I’m going with El Monte.
This week’s schedule and predictions: TODAY
Keppel at Schurr, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Schurr); Lair (Schurr) FRIDAY San Marino at Monrovia, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Monrovia); Lair (Monrovia)
Cantwell at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (La Salle); Lair (La Salle)
Muir at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Muir); Lair (Muir)
El Monte at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (El Monte); Lair (Gabrielino)
Valley Christian at Maranatha, 7 p.m. – Ramirez (Maranatha); Lair (Maranatha)
Rosemead at Arroyo, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Arroyo); Lair (Rosemead)
Montebello vs. Alhambra at Moor Field, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Alh); Lair (Alh)
Chaminade at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Ramirez (Cham); Lair (Cham)
Sierra Vista at Duarte, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Duarte); Lair (Duarte)
Bell Gardens at San Gabriel, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (SG); Lair (BG)
Marshall vs. Viewpoint at Calabasas HS, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (VP); Lair (VP)
Burroughs at Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Burr); Lair (Burr)
Blair at South Pasadena, 7 pm. — Ramirez (SPas); Lair (SPas)
La Canada at Temple City — Ramirez (TC); Lair (TC) SATURDAY
Flintridge Prep at Webb, 1 p.m. — Ramirez (FlintPrep); Lair (FlintPrep)
Chadwick at Pasadena Poly, 2 p.m. — Ramirez (Poly); Lair (Poly)
NO. 1 VS. NO. 2: The top two teams in the area will square off on Friday when No. 2 San Marino calls on No. 1 Monrovia. The Wildcats won last year, 43-7. Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz
It’s game week for Game of the Year, Part 2….Part 1 was when Monrovia faced and beat St. Francis, now its Monrovia hosting San Marino in a battle of the top two teams in the area, with first place and a share of the Rio Hondo League crown at stake. Monrovia also is likely to receive the No. 2 seed in the CIF- Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs with a win. San Marino, in addition to claiming at least a piece of the Rio Hondo League title could also grab a top four seed. The Titans are currently ranked No. 5. The Wildcats are sitting at No. 3, ready to pounce.
WORST TO FIRST: Marcus Tappan makes a takcle against
Bishop Montgomery. The senior had two sacks and an interception
to help the Lancers take over first in the Del Rey League with a
29-10 victory over the Knights. Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz
Another Friday Night Lights is in the books, and we got a lot of answers this week. The big story was La Salle stretching its winning streak to eight games, with a 29-10 victory over Bishop Montgomery. The win pushes the Lancers to within one game of the Del Rey League title. But championship week was also big for Muir and Rio Hondo Prep and not so good for Maranatha and Flintridge Prep. Muir continued its Pacific League streak, holding off Burbank, 24-17, to take over the Pacific. The Mustangs can wrap up a share of first by beating Arcadia next week. The Apaches have just one league loss after defeating Pasadena, 21-7. Rio Hondo Prep took control of the Prep League by beating Flintridge Prep, 48-12. The Kares could still be caught by Pasadena Poly, which beat Webb, 42-10. Poly faces Prep in Week 10. Maranatha, which needs to win the Olympic League title or finish second to get into the playoffs, fell short, losing 24-14 to Whittier Christian. San Marino routed Temple City, 58-0, which sets up a Rio Hondo League showdown at No. 1 Monrovia next week. Gabrielino stayed in the hunt with a 13-7 win over Rosemead. The Eagles trail El Monte by one game.
TORRANCE - A year ago, the thought of La Salle High School winning a league football title seemed like an impossible dream.
It may soon be a reality.
Austin Wallis threw for 126 yards and a touchdown, the Lancers held host Bishop Montgomery to 86 yards and La Salle took a major step toward a Del Rey League championship Friday with a 29-10 victory over the Knights in a battle of the league’s top two teams.
The Lancers, getting two sacks and an interception from Marcus Tappan, improved to
La Salle’s Isreal Lacy (11) heads for the second touchdown of the game as they play Bishop Montgomery during the first half of Friday night’s game at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, October 19, 2012. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)
8-0 overall and 4-0 in the Del Rey League. La Salle, which was 1-19 the previous two seasons, can clinch a share of the league title with a victory over Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary next week.
Bishop Montgomery, which got a 12-yard touchdown run from Michael Turner in the first quarter, slipped to 6-2 and 3-1.
“I can’t describe it,” Wallis said. “You know what it’s been like the last couple of seasons. It’s been really hard on us. To rebound like this, not only where we have a winning record, but hopefully go on to win league. It’s special, really, really special.”
The difference Friday was La Salle’s defense, which gave up just seven first downs and 16 yards rushing. The biggest play by the Knights was a 72-yard kickoff return that set up Turner’s 12-yard touchdown run.
Tappan got the Lancers going in the first quarter, getting an interception inside Bishop Montgomery’s 25 to set up La Salle at the 18. It took the Lancers two plays to take the lead.
Bobby LaSalle, who had 52 yards rushing, followed the turnover with a 6-yard run before Amir Evans swept in from the 13 for a 7-0 lead with 6:12 left in the quarter.
Isreal Lacy, who rushed for 66 yards, then pushed it to 14-0 with a 46-yard punt return two minutes later.
La Salle, after Turner’s 12-yard run to cut it to 14-7, pushed it to 18-7 by the third quarter following two safeties. The first came after an intentional grounding call in the end zone on Knights quarterback Louie Soto late in the second quarter before a third-down snap out of the end zone forced another two-pointer in the third.
“Our defense was lights out tonight,” said La Salle coach Russell Gordon, whose Lancers began the week ranked No. 3 in the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division and No. 4 in the area. “Our offense didn’t play as well as we wanted to. But they got it done.
“Our offensive line in the third and fourth quarters took the game over.”
Wallis sealed it in the fourth quarter with a 5-yard toss to Jared Atkins for a 26-7 lead with 11:55 remaining. Wallis passed to Tappan on the conversion out of kicking formation.
The teams traded field goals in the fourth to account for the 29-10 final.
La Salle closes the season with home games against Cantwell and Bosco Tech.
“This means a lot,” Gordon said. “We came in here against a team that is well-coached and is a great team and found a way to win. It was very, very impressive.”