THURSDAY COUNTDOWN: St. Francis’ slide continues; Monrovia wins; Marshall no match for Sierra Canyon

DOWN AND OUT: Serra ran over St. Francis Thursday night, scoring a 42-6 victory.
Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – St. Francis High School began the week with slim hopes of qualifying for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
That chance might now be nonexistent.
Malik Roberson rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Jalen Greene threw for 206 yards and a score and visiting Serra posted a 42-6 victory over the Golden Knights on Thursday in a Mission League game at Friedman Field.
St. Francis, getting two 48-yard field goals from Mark Verso, dropped to 3-5 overall and 0-3 in league. The Golden Knights’ shot at a third-place finish and the last playoff spot from the league is gone, and most likely any at-large hopes.
St. Francis quarterback Jared Lebowitz, who had thrown for nearly 2,000 yards during the first seven weeks, was limited to just 146. He was sacked five times and re-injured a shoulder in the third quarter and did not return.
Serra, whose only league loss was a 28-20 setback to Chaminade on Oct. 5, improved to 6-2 and 2-1.
The Cavaliers, leading just 14-6 at halftime, put it away early in the third quarter. Roberson, who had 22-yard touchdown run in first quarter, made it 21-6 with a 12-yard run at 8:39. Defensive lineman Inoke Raikadroka then intercepted a Lebowitz pass a few seconds later and returned it 53 yards for a 28-6 lead.
Greene, who also had a 1-yard touchdown run, made it 35-6 with a 29-yard pass to Roberson with 2:29 left in the quarter.
“We were playing with them,” St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “It was 14-6, we’re making some stops in the first half and then they come out and score (to open the third quarter). We give them points on offense (with the interception) and that just deflated us.”
Early on , Serra looked like it might run away, scoring on its first two possessions.
The Cavaliers, after Verso gave St. Francis a 3-0 lead with the first of his field goals, needed just nine plays to take a 7-3 advantage on a 22-yard run by Roberson at 5:27 of the first quarter.
Serra put together a second 80-yard drive on its next possession. Roberson had runs of 14 and 13 yards before Greene completed three passes for 51 yards before scoring from the 1 with 11:23 left in the half.
St. Francis, which had 159 yards in the first half, could only manage the two field goals by Verso, leaving the score 14-6 at intermission.
“They’re tough to block,” Bonds said. “They’re an athletic crew over there. We knew had our hands full coming into this.”
By Keith Lair, SGVN
Monrovia High School’s offense touched the ball one time during a 23-minute, 53-second stretch in Thursday’s Rio Hondo League football game at Blair at Muir High.
The Wildcats scored six touchdowns during that time in an 84-0 victory.
“One thing we can control is effort and we did that,” said junior free safety Deshawn Potts, who started at quarterback. “It was a matter of getting on the field and having fun.”
Potts threw a short sideline pass to Jacob Bueno, who went 45 yards to give the Wildcats a 35-0 lead with 9:18 left in the first half.
Monrovia then scored five consecutive times without its offense touching the ball. Anthony Marquez intercepted a Terance Douglas pass and returned it 33 yards for a score, sophomore Darian Huff returned a punt 49 yards for a touchdown, Andrew Gallegos picked up a fumble and went 22 yards, Anthony Craft returned the second-half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and Crayvon Gillespie returned a punt 45 yards for a score.
Monrovia finally ran an offensive play with one minute to go in the third quarter and Fernando Rosas scored on a 45-yard run.
That was fun seeing our teammates having fun out there,” Potts said. “It was exciting to come back to the sidelines and everyone is really happy for those guys.”
Potts, whose last start at quarterback was last year against Blair, and Rosas each scored twice.
“We weren’t trying to run the score up at all,” Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox said. “Our starters were out in the first quarter.
“(Blair) coach (Johnny) Lopez is trying to rebuild and get things going.”
Monrovia (6-2, 3-0) won its 25th consecutive league game. Blair (0-8, 0-4) lost its 17th consecutive game overall and 18th consecutive league game.
Monrovia ran 13 offensive plays in the game and scored on seven of them.
The Vikings’ biggest play was when Juan Sanchez recovered a muffed Monrovia punt return in the first quarter.
“They scored less than San Marino,” Lopez said. “We held them to two points less. Nobody sat down and they’re all here. Still. Nobody’s hurt. I’m cool. We made it through the night.”
By Guillermo Tovar
PASADENA – The Marshall Eagles were hoping their annual homecoming would be a game to remember.
Unfortunately, the game was one Marshall (3-6, 0-4) would just as soon forget as it was routed by Sierra Canyon 51-0 in an Alpha League game Thursday.
Sierra Canyon (8-0, 4-0) scored 41 seconds into the game when Xavier Menifield took a handoff and ran 32 yards for a 7-0 lead.
The Trailblazers made it 14-0 with 8:19 left in the first quarter when Menifield scored his second touchdown of the game on a 9-yard run.
With 4:41 left on the first quarter, quarterback Andre Nunez connected with Preston White on a 7-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-0.
Nunez threw his second touchdown pass early in the second quarter. With a second and goal at the Eagles’ 7, Nunez threw a shovel pass to Blake Brady that made it 28-0.
Still in the second quarter, Brady took the handoff and ran 5 yards for a score. With 2:06 left before halftime, Menifield score his third touchdown, this one a 52-yard run that made it 42-0 at halftime.
Menifield did not play in the second half. He ended the night with 103 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Marshall plays its last game of the season Oct. 26 against Viewpoint at Calabasas High.

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Omar Younger ages well for Maranatha

OMAR TO THE RESCUE: Maranatha’s Omar Younger has been a big key — on and off the field — for the Minutemen, who have rebounded from an 0-5 start to win their past two games.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

PASADENA – There was a time this season when it would have seemed understandable if the Maranatha High School football team gave in to adversity.
There’s just so much an individual can take, especially for a football team that drops its first five games and loses key starters, including arguably the area’s best quarterback.
But running back Omar Younger wouldn’t allow despair to settle in.
The senior is the glue that kept the Minutemen together and, after winning the past two games, has helped put them in position to compete for an Olympic League title.
“He stepped up a ton in the absence of Drew (Elffers),” Maranatha coach Peter Karavedas said. “He’s one of our captains. He’s not always going to be a guy that’s vocal, but he leads by example.
“He runs hard, not just in the games but in practice. The guys really respect him and he’s really stepped up.”
Younger, with Elffers out, has been the focal point of Maranatha’s offense in rushing for 589 yards and three touchdowns. But the senior’s value goes a bit farther than his 5.66 yards a carry.
“I don’t feel any pressure,” Younger said. “(The defense) always tried to stop (Elffers) or me. Either way, they know we can run or pass. I feel we can still pass, so it’s kind of the same situation.
“Andrew talks to me every now and then and gives me some advice. He notices when we’re down as a team and tells me that we have to step up our intensity. I feel like it’s hard sometimes, and it’s definitely different.”
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Temple City shakes off slow start

RESURGENT RAMS: Temple City has found itself after going scoreless in the Rams first three games. Staff photo by Sarah Sarah Reingewirtz

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

It would have been easy for the Temple City High School football team to pout a bit after going scoreless during the first three games of the season.

Instead, the Rams just went back to work, and now they are reaping the rewards.

Temple City, after being outscored, 71-0, to begin the season, has responded with four consecutive victories and finds itself in the Rio Hondo League race.
The Rams host San Marino Friday at 7 p.m. Temple City begins the week ranked No. 10 in the area.
“First off, we just have a bunch of kids who refused to quit,” Temple City coach Mike McFarland said. “They didn’t let a little adversity stop them from working to get better.
“Second, we made a few changes and put kids in a better position. It gave us a little confidence.”
The turnaround started slowly for the Rams. They eked out a 15-14 victory over Hoover, of Glendale, for the first victory on Sept. 13. Temple City, getting solid efforts from running back Nick Starling and quarterback Anthony Valencia, followed it up with wins over Rosemead (20-10), Blair (48-0) and South Pasadena (42-35).
The latter win provided the Rams with a big boost coming into the final three games, and gives them the inside path to a CIF-Southern Section playoff spot.
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Alhambra football coach Joe Kanach resigned after the School District launched an investigation and placed him on leave

“The school had been doing some research on Mr. Kanach and so we did have him go on leave so that we could do more research and that’s all that I can share with you. When there are concerns we do our fact-finding process at the school site and that is a requirement.” — Alhambra Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jenny Cheng said.

By Lauren Gold, SGVN

ALHAMBRA – Alhambra High School football coach Joe Kanach resigned as a coach and science teacher at the school, district officials said Tuesday.

Kanach had not been in the classroom or on the football field since Oct.5, Alhambra Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jenny Cheng said.

She said AHS and the district had been looking into Kanach for a number of weeks before placing him on leave, but could not say what sparked the investigation. Cheng said the “research” was not due to a complaint by a student. Kanach resigned late Monday.

“The school had been doing some research on Mr. Kanach and so we did have him go on leave so that we could do more research and that’s all that I can share with you,” Cheng said. “When there are concerns we do our fact-finding process at the school site and that is a requirement.”

Cheng said the district was not aware of Kanach’s history at other schools, including a reproval for misconduct he received on his teaching credential in July 2010.

“We do a thorough research on our teachers, but we didn’t hire him in 2010, we hired him in August of this year, and so we wouldn’t have noted the July 2010 information,” Cheng said.

According to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Kanach was issued a warning for “conduct (that was) not appropriate for a credential holder.” The warning did not result in the revocation of Kanach’s credential.

Kanach coached two seasons at Hawthorne High School, and also previously coached for a few weeks at Springfield High School in Oregon. Kanach resigned from Hawthorne at the end of last season for “personal reasons.”

Bob Cox, assistant superintendent of human resources at Centinela Valley Union High School District where Hawthorne is located, said the 2010 warning was not on Kanach’s record when the district reviewed Kanach during the hiring process.

“We have never received anything from the commission,” he said.

Cox said he could not comment on why Kanach left Hawthorne, but said “a number of (probationary) employees” were not hired as permanent teachers on March 15, the deadline for districts to evaluate current teachers.

He added that in cases where teachers are put on leave, the district is usually conducting a serious investigation.

“You can’t really read an end result of the investigation into that but you can know the district took it seriously enough that they felt the employee couldn’t be working while being investigated,” Cox said.

Kanach did not return repeated calls for comment., 626-578-6300, ext. 4586

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