STAR-NEWS RANKINGS: No changes at the top, but La Salle, Muir make move; Arcadia, TC in top 10

WELCOME BACK: Temple City, riding a four-game win streak, is back in the Star-News top 10. Staff photo By Sarah Reingewirtz

1. Monrovia (5-2) — The Wildcats continued their annual cruise through the Rio Hondo League, trumping La Canada, 49-3 last week. It should be more of the same this week before next week’s showdown against San Marino.
2. San Marino (7-0) — The Titans train just keeps on rolling. San Marino has scored at least 30 points in six of its seven victories, winning by an average margin of 46-8. They get a big test this week against improving Temple City before next week’s showdown at Monrovia.
3. Rio Hondo Prep (6-1) — It’s beginning to look like you can pencil in the Kares, after a 52-6 rout of Chadwick, as one of the top teams in the Northeast Division finals. But first they have a first-place showdown agaisnt Flintridge Prep at Occidental College on Friday.
4. La Salle (7-0) — Worst to first? That’s the destiny that the Lancers can complete Friday when they travel to Bishop Montgomery in a game that will decide the Del Rey League title.
5. St. Francis (3-4) — The Knights are freefalling after another close loss, a 41-36 setback to Harvard-Westlake. Now Serra comes to town on Thursday. Those playoff chances are dwindling with each passing week, if they still exist at all.
6. Muir (4-3) — The Mustangs have recovered nicley from a slow start to win four consecutive games, including a 21-14 victory over Burroughs last week. Now they play for first place in the Pacific League against Burbank.
7. Gabrielino (6-1) — Six was enough for the Eagles, who need to put another streak together to earn a playoff spot. Can they?
8. Arcadia (3-4) — Look whose back? The Apaches have won three of four in the Pacific League are still in the running for a league title. But first they must take care of business against Pasadena on Friday.
9. Duarte (4-3) — The Falcons, who lost to Gladstone in a first-place battle last week, are in a three-way tie for second in the Montview League. They face La Puente in a game that will likely determine one of the league’s three guaranteed playoff spots.
10. Temple City (4-3) — The Rams are one of the hottest teams in the area, riding a four-game win streak after a 42-35 victory over South Pasadena.
The Rest: 11. South Pasadena (4-3). 12. Alhambra (3-4), 13. Rosemead (3-4), 14. Flintridge Prep (4-3), 15. Pasadena (2-5), 16. Maranatha (2-5), 17. Pasadena Poly (3-2), 18. San Gabriel (1-6), 19. La Canada (1-6); 20. Bosco Tech (1-6), 21. Marshall (3-5), 22. Keppel (0-7); 23. Blair (0-7).

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Star-News Pick’em: Showdown week as La Salle and Muir face first-place battles, while Rio Hondo faces Flintridge in first-place tilt in the Prep League

CAN THEY DO IT?: La Salle looks to make its turnaround compete when it faces Bishop Monty in a Del Rey League showdown on Friday. I like the Lancers.
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 (12-6); Lair (12-6)
Season: Ramirez (91-42); Lair (92-41)
Last week: Keith and I both went 12-6, missing on a few upsets — Flintridge Prep over Pasadena Poly and Temple City over South Pasadena.
This week: It’s championship week with three games featuring league title implications. The biggest one might be La Salle, which has gone from 1-9 last year to 7-0 this fall. The Lancers face their toughest battle to date, a trip to the South Bay and Bishop Montgomery for Del Rey League supremacy. I like La Salle to prevail. I also like Muir, and its quick-strike ability to beat Burbank and a first-place showdown at home in the Pacific League. The Mustangs have just too much. The other first-place battle comes in the Prep League, where Flintridge Prep, coming off a surprise win over Pasadena Poly, hosts Rio Hondo Prep at Occidental College. I like the Kares. All three games are Friday night under the lights.

This week’s schedule and predictions:
Keith Lair will have his picks on Tuesday.

Serra at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Ramirez (Serra); Lair (TBA)
Monrovia vs. Blair at Muir HS, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Monrovia); Lair (TBA)
Sierra Canyon vs. Marshall at Pasadena HS, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Sierra Canyon); Lair (TBA)
La Salle at Bishop Montgomery, 6 p.m. — Ramirez (La Salle); Lair (TBA)
Burbank at Muir, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Muir); Lair (TBA)
Arcadia at Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Arcadia); Lair (TBA)
Gabrielino at Rosemead, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Rosemead); Lair (TBA)
Duarte at La Puente , 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Duarte); Lair (TBA)
San Marino at Temple City , 7 p.m. — Ramirez (San Marino); Lair (TBA)
Flintridge Prep vs. Rio Hondo Prep at OCC, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (RHP); Lair (TBA)
Maranatha vs. Whittier Christian at Whittier College, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (WC); Lair (TBA)
South Pasadena at La Canada, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (SPas); Lair (TBA)
Schurr vs. Alhambra at Moor Field, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Schurr); Lair (TBA)
Keppel at San Gabriel, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (SGabriel); Lair (TBA)
Bosco Tech vs. Mary Star of the Sea at Daniels Field, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Bosco Tech); Lair (TBA)
Pasadena Poly vs. Webb at Damien, 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Poly); Lair (TBA)

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FRIDAY NIGHT FINAL: Duarte loses Montview League battle royale; La Salle and San Marino stay perfect; Gabrielino goes down and Muir stays atop Pacific League after 21-14 squeaker over Burroughs


CLIPPED: Duarte quarterback Denzel Talifero accounted for more than two
touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough in a 34-18 setback to Gladstone Friday in a battle
for first place in the Montview League. Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz

Well, another Friday Night Lights has come and gone. The highlight was in the Montview League where Duarte’s shot at a league crown were dealt a blow with a 34-18 setback to host Gladstone. The night also saw San Marino and La Salle stay unbeaten, while Gabrielino dropped its first game. Muir stayed in first in the Pacific League with a closer than expected win over Burroughs.

Here’s a brief recap of Friday night’s results and scores.

No. 1 Monrovia 49, La Canada 3 — Sparta was no challenge for the Wildcats, who mauled their second consecutive Rio Hondo League opponent.
No. 2 San Marino 86, Blair 0 —
The Titans kept pace with Monrovia, with an easy win, which saw San Marino take a 37-0 lead while running just 11 plays in the first half.
No. 3 Rio Hondo Prep 52, Chadwick 6 — The Kares might be as dominant in the Prep League as Monrovia is in the Rio Hondo and showed it for the second consecutive week.
Harvard-Westlake 41, No. 4 St. Francis 36 — The fall continues for the Knights, who are 0-2 in the Mission League and saw the their playoff hopes go from slim to nearly non-existent. And traditional power Serra comes to town Thursday.
No. 5 La Salle 47, Mary Star 6 — Another impressive win for the Lancers. Next up is a first-place showdown at Bishop Montgomery, and I live La Salle.
South El Monte 22, No. 6 Gabrielino 9 — Six was enough for Gabrielino, which should be hard-pressed with encounters against Rosemead, El Monte and Arroyo left on the docket.
No. 7 Muir 21, Burroughs 14 —
The Mustangs had to work, but they stayed on course for a Pacific League title. Next week is the battle for first when they host Burbank.
Temple City 42, No. 8 South Pasadena 35 — The rise of the Rams continues, who have going scoreless the first three weeks have yet to be stopped. The win puts Temple City on course for a playoff spot.
Gladstone 34, No. 9 Duarte 18 — The Falcons were clipped by the Gladiators. But they at worse look like the second-best team in the Montview League.
El Monte 50, Rosemead 34
Hoover 37, Pasadena 8
Arcadia 49, Glendale 7
Cantwell 8, Bosco Tech 7
Montebello 48, San Gabriel 41, OT
Alhambra 53, Keppel 20


By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

GLENDORA — Gladstone High School didn’t win a league title Friday night.
But the Gladiators took a major step.
Senior quarterback Kevin Amezquita accounted for 196 yards and scored four touchdowns and Gladstone took over first place in the Montview League with a 34-18 victory over visiting Duarte at Citrus College.
The Gladiators, also receiving 72 yards rushing and a touchdown from senior Aaron Sanchez, improved to 7-0 for the first time in school history and 4-0 in league play.
Duarte, which got 213 total yards from quarterback Denzel Talifero, slipped to 4-3 and 3-1.
“This is no different than all the other weeks,” said Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez, who is not ready to crown his team just yet. “We just take it one week at a time, and honestly, I can’t say I’ve been involved with a team like this one that battles to that.
“It’s just week to week, that’s what we go with.”
It worked Friday, although after scoring on its first drive, Gladstone had to withstand a Duarte rally in the third quarter before Amezquita, who rushed for 99 yards and passed for 97, made some big plays in the fourth quarter to seal it.
The senior, after Talifero’s 4-yard run made it 21-12 with 1:46 left in the third quarter, sparked a 55-yard march to extend the lead. He had a completion of 17 yards to the Duarte 38 before Aaron Sanchez ran 23 yards to the 20.
Amezquita then scored from the 2 for a 27-12 lead with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter.
The senior then sealed it, forcing a Duarte fumble at the Gladstone 40 and returning it 60 yards to push it to 34-12 with 4:51 left.
Duarte cut it to 34-18 on a 14-yard pass from Dyran Adams to Tylik Mason with 1:59 left. But Gladstone’s Eduardo Cortez, who had a 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter, recovered the onside kick.
Gladstone then ran out the clock.
“Things didn’t go our way,” Duarte coach Jason Martin said. “It’s hard to swallow this one, because we didn’t take advantage of some of our opportunities.
“I could say that some calls didn’t go our way and that affected us. But it’s football. We just have to move on to next week. We have La Puente and they’re another one-loss team in our league and it’s going to be a competition.”
Gladstone, which had been starting slow in recent weeks, made sure that wasn’t the case Friday.
The Gladiators scored on their first drive before following an interception with a 37-yard march for a 21-6 lead at halftime.
Sanchez made it 7-0 in the first quarter with a 17-yard run. Cortez, after Duarte cut it to 7-6, returned a kickoff 89 yards for a 15-6 lead with 4:10 left.
Amezquita then scored from the 1 for the 21-6 half-time lead.
“We made some big plays,” Albert Sanchez said. “It was a hard-fought game. Our guys played four quarters and that’s what we needed.”
Duarte, which had just two first downs for much of the first half, found it’s rhythm during the third quarter, putting together 47-yard drive to cut it to 21-12 on Talifero’s 4-yard run.
The Falcons then had a chance to trim the deficit a bit more. But George Ramirez intercepted a Talifero pass on fourth-and-4 from the Gladstone 34 and returned to his 45, setting up Amezquita’s 2-yard touchdown run that pushed it to 27-12 with about five mintues to play.
Talifero was injured after a 32-yard run to the Gladstone’ 48 late in the fourth quarter and did not return.

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