About Steve Ramirez

Steve Ramirez has covered prep sports for San Gabriel Valley Newspapers since 1989.

Star-News Top 10 Football Rankings: South Pasadena makes an entrance; St. Francis leads the way

Former South Hills coach Steve Bogan, now at Maranatha, is working his magic with the Minutemen. (Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star News)

Former South Hills coach Steve Bogan, now at Maranatha, is working his magic with the Minutemen.
(Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star News)

STAR-NEWS TOP 10 FOOTBALL RANKINGS
1. St. Francis (4-0) –
No hangover effect vs. Canyon
2. Monrovia (4-1) – Getting a well-deserved break
3. Maranatha (5-0) – Might be 10-0 after regular season
4. San Marino (4-1) – Two weeks to prep for Monrovia
5. La Salle (3-2) – Took out frustration on Duarte
6. Muir (1-3) – Routing Glendale had to feel good
7. Pasadena Poly (4-0) – Got gift-wrapped win over Brentwood
8. La Canada (4-1) – One heckuva nonleague campaign
9. Rio Hondo Prep (2-3) – Some tough losses on resume
10. South Pasadena (3-1) – Allowing just seven points per game

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Saturday Morning Rewind: PHS falls short; Monrovia rallies to beat Los Altos; St. Francis wins again

Burbank's Tony Toledo (28) runs for a first down against Pasadena in the first half of a prep football at Pasadena High School in Pasadena, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Burbank’s Tony Toledo (28) runs for a first down against Pasadena in the first half of a prep football at Pasadena High School in Pasadena, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


GAMES OF THE WEEK
BURBANK 34, PASADENA 14

PASADENA >> The Pasadena High football team can take it as a good sign that it was up to the challenge of playing Pacific League championship contender Burbank.
But the Bulldogs probably shouldn’t have waited until they were down by 20 points to prove that point.
In the end, Pasadena’s rally stalled (repeatedly) and Burbank pulled away late for a 34-14 win on Friday night in the league opener for both teams.
The loss dropped Pasadena to 1-3 overall, and the Bulldogs face an uphill battle as far as a league championship is concerned. Burbank, which was a Southeast Division semifinalist last season, improved to 3-1.

– Aram Tolegian
MONROVIA 27, LOS ALTOS 25
MONROVIA >> Asaph Zamora drove Monrovia 91 yards in the final minute to stun Los Altos 27-25 in a nonleague game Friday night.
On third-and-goal from the 20-yard line with 0:12 left on the clock, Zamora bought time in the pocket and found Lawrence Spencer in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
“I knew we had to punch it in,” Zamora said. “We had to win the game right there.”
On the final play of the game, Spencer made an interception at midfield as time expired.

– Robert Schmitt
TEMPLE CITY 43, SAN GABRIEL 0
SAN GABRIEL >> The Temple City Rams used a 22-point first quarter to take control of the game and beat the host San Gabriel Matadors 43-0 in a nonleague game Friday night.
Temple City (2-2) handed San Gabriel (0-5) not only its fifth straight loss, but also its fifth consecutive scoreless game.

– Guillermo Tovar
ROUNDUP: La Salle 42, Duarte 7 — Five different players scored touchdowns to help host La Salle High School to a 42-7 victory over Duarte in the final nonleague game for both teams on Friday night.
The Lancers (3-2) took advantage of six turnovers, including Chris Robinson’s fumble recovery in the end zone. La Salle picked off six Isaiah Scott passes and recovered three Falcons fumbles.

HOW THE TOP 10 FARED
1. St. Francis (4-0) def. Canyon Country Canyon, 49-32
2. Monrovia (4-1) def. Los Altos, 27-25
3. Maranatha (5-0) def. Keppel, 43-6
4. San Marino (4-1) def. Beverly Hills, 49-14
5. La Salle (3-2) def. Duarte, 42-7
6. Muir (1-3) def. Glendale, 31-0 (Thursday)
7. Pasadena Poly (3-0) at Brentwood, today
8. Rio Hondo Prep (2-3) Lost to No. 9 La Canada, 26-19 (Thursday)
9. La Canada (4-1) def. No. 8 Rio Hondo prep, 26-19 (Thursday)
10. Pasadena (1-2) lost to Burbank, 34-14
OTHER SCORES
Rosemead 35, El Monte 0
Gabrielino 54, Marshall 0
Arcadia 24, Hoover 7
Temple City 43, San Gabriel 0
South Pasadena 20, Alhambra 0

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Thursday Final: Muir finds the winner’s circle; Rio pushed La Canada before losing

Muir quarterback Chase Keough (3) scrambles against Glendale in the first half of a prep football at Glendale High School in Glendale, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Muir quarterback Chase Keough (3) scrambles against Glendale in the first half of a prep football at Glendale High School in Glendale, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Keith Lair
GLENDALE >> All the Muir High School football team needed was to get to Pacific League play.
The Mustangs opened league action with a resounding 30-0 victory over Glendale on Thursday night at Glendale’s Moyse Field. It was their first victory of the season.
Chase Keough threw for 209 yards and three TDs to lead Muir.

Muir coach John Hardy: “We got a victory. We have to get better from here. No disrespect to Glendale, but we expected to win this game. Getting the doughnut was good, but we have to get better and be more physical.”
Chase Keough: “It felt good. It’s the first taste that I’ve got here. It’s well deserved. We worked hard this summer.”

La Canada RB Ryan Breneman is tackled by Rio Hondo's Mikey Tsogt, left, and Domenico Chico, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, at La Canada. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)

La Canada RB Ryan Breneman is tackled by Rio Hondo’s Mikey Tsogt, left, and Domenico Chico, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, at La Canada. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)

LA CANADA 26, RIO HONDO PREP 19
For three quarters, La Canada looked out of sync on offense. Then came a wild fourth quarter.
Trailing by 10 with eight minutes left, the Spartans scored 17 points in a wild sequence to escape with a 26-19 nonleague home win against Rio Hondo Prep.
Anthony Connell scored on a 7-yard run with 6:16 left to make 19-16. After forcing Rio Hondo to punt, the Spartans quickly moved down the field and Mikey Selsor kicked a 30-yard field goal to tie the game at 19 with 1:30 left.
Ryan Breneman forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff recovered by Josh Moulin and on the next play, Breneman scored on a 26-yard run to complete the comeback.

– Evan Barnes

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Star-News Top 10: St. Francis rules the roost

Is St. Francis'  Dylan Crawford signaling that the Golden Knights are No. 1? (Photo by Libby Cline / Pasadena Star-News)

Is St. Francis’ Dylan Crawford signaling that the Golden Knights are No. 1? (Photo by Libby Cline / Pasadena Star-News)

STAR-NEWS TOP 10
1. St. Francis (3-0) – Proved area supremacy once again
2. Monrovia (3-1) – Showed quality in St. Francis loss
3. Maranatha (4-0) – The Bogan Effect
4. San Marino (3-1) – Slip up vs. Cal is troubling
5. La Salle (2-2) – Does Maranatha loss hurt business?
6. Muir (0-3) – Have to get right in a hurry
7. Pasadena Poly (3-0) – Can’t argue with the record
8. Rio Hondo Prep (2-2) – Stunned by Calvary Murrieta loss
9. La Canada (3-1) – Caught a dose of reality vs. CV
10. Pasadena (1-2) – Huge test looms in league opener

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Saturday Rewind: St. Francis rules Pasadena, beats Monrovia; Maranatha gets advantage over rival La Salle

Breaking up a tie St. Francis defeats Monrovia 35-13 during Friday night's football game at St. Francis High School in La Canada, on September 19, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Breaking up a tie St. Francis defeats Monrovia 35-13 during Friday night’s football game at St. Francis High School in La Canada, on September 19, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

St. Francis has been the school of the Pasadena area over the past decade and that didn’t change Friday as the Golden Knights beat Monrovia, 35-13, in a battle of the area’s top two teams. It’s St. Francis’ second consecutive week over the ‘Cats after Monrovia held on for a win two years ago. Maranatha got the advantage in the other rival game Fridya, beating La Salle, 33-30. In other big games, Muir was no match for Hart, losing 40-7, while San Marino’s defensive woes from last season returned Friday and bit the Titans in a 38-35 loss to California.

GAMES OF THE WEEK
ST. FRANCIS 35, MONROVIA 13

LA CANADA — When things got hairy on Friday, the St. Francis High School football team got defensive.
The Golden Knights got a clutch interception in the end zone by cornerback Mason Williams to halt a late Monrovia scoring threat and later defensive lineman Nick Horner returned a deflected pass 40 yards for a touchdown as St. Francis pulled away for a 35-13 win.
“Our defense is playing good football,” Knights coach Jim Bonds said. “You’ve got to give credit to Monrovia, they came to play. I don’t know if the score is really indicative of how well they played.
“The environment here tonight was awesome. We’ll tell our guys to savor this victory and remember it through the weekend.”
St. Francis, the top-ranked team in the Southeast Division improved to 3-0. Monrovia, which was ranked No. 1 in the Central Division, fell to 3-1.

– Aram Tolegian
CALIFORNIA 38, SAN MARINO 35
SAN MARINO — It was an all-out air assault Friday night at San Marino High School, as the host Titans and California High combined for 617 passing yards.
But Caifornia came out victorious when senior running back Nathan Lowden scored on a 14-yard run with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter as the Condors held on for the 38-35 nonleague victory to send the Titans to their first defeat of the season.
It was the first-ever meeting between the schools.
Lowden ran for 133 yards on 29 carries and also threw a 71-yard halfback option pass to senior wide receiver Jake Mata (three receptions for 114 yards) for a score.
Senior quarterback Adam Satti threw for 240 yards and a touchdown for the Condors (2-2), completing 26 of 31 passes.

– John Sherrard
ROUNDUP: MARANATHA 33, LA SALLE 30
Placekicker Grant Schober booted his fourth field goal of the game, a 35-yarder with 2:01 to play, for the winning points as host Maranatha defeated crosstown rival La Salle 33-30 in a nonleague game on Friday night.
Schober’s kick gave the undefeated Minutemen (4-0) a 33-22 lead, but the Lancers (2-2) came back to score with 41 seconds to play, as quarterback Will Pyburn connected with Robbie Hillier for an 8-yard TD pass. The Lancers converted the two-point PAT, but could not get the ball back.

FRIDAY’S SCORES
St. Francis 35, Monrovia 13
Maranatha 33, La Salle 30
California 38, San Marino 30
Azusa 20, Arcadia 12
Bassett 49, Bosco Tech 16
Duarte 38, Mountain View 21
Flintridge Prep 29, Sierra Vista 14
San Dimas 42, Rosemead 6
Beverly Hills 35, San Gabriel 0
South Pasadena 23, Glendale 7
Hart 40, Muir 7
Crescenta Valey 35, La Canada 0
Calvary Chapel/Murrieta 19, Rio Hondo Prep 13
Alhambra 15, L.A. Wilson 13
Eagle Rock 59, Temple City 30
Mar Vista 28, Gabrielino 18
Webb 49, Marshall 0

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Thursday Final: Blair romps to easy win over Sherman Indian


By Keith Lair
PASADENA >> The Blair High School football team cam be on Cloud Nine for the time being.
The Vikings defeated Sherman Indian of Riverside, 54-6, on Thursday night at Muir High. The second half was played with running clock.
Why not be on Cloud Nine? The Vikings just happen to have the best record of all Pasadena Unified schools. They ended a 30-game losing streak by beating Marshall earlier this season and they are 2-2, the first time they have won two games in a season since 2010.
Blair’s point total was the most it has scored since 2007 when the Vikings defeated Malibu, 56-0.
“It feels really good,” junior quarterback Terence Douglas said. “Having our team together; like a family and not giving up. The camaraderie around here is great.”
Everything went nearly perfectly for the Vikings on Thursday. They scored on every series. They blocked a punt. They rushed for 414 yards. But this was Sherman Indian (0-2). It was not San Marino or Monrovia, the likely favorites to win the Rio Hondo League.

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Saturday Morning Quarterback: St. Francis, Monrovia win big…setting up area battle for No. 1;

This is supposed to be a look back to Friday, but after the results, I can’t wait for next week as all eyes will be on La Canada Flintridge. St. Francis and Monrovia both won big Friday, setting up a battle for No. 1 between the top-ranked Golden Knights and the No. 2 ‘Cats. Both looked very impressive, with St. Francis routing Moorpark, which was a good road win for the Golden Knights, and Monrovia overwhelming Arcadia.

STAR-NEWS HIGH SCHOOL SCOREBOARD

Arcadia's Ryan Pugh (20) attempts to take down Monrovia's Jordan Nathan (16) during Friday night's football game at Monrovia High School, on September 12, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Arcadia’s Ryan Pugh (20) attempts to take down Monrovia’s Jordan Nathan (16) during Friday night’s football game at Monrovia High School, on September 12, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

GAMES OF THE WEEK
MONROVIA 47, ARCADIA 14

MONROVIA — Led by its rushing attack and the passing of junior quarterback Asaph Zamora, Monrovia easily handled visiting Arcadia, 47-14, on Friday night in a nonleague game.
Asaph completed 9 of 14 passes for 205 yards and five touchdowns. The TD passes went to five different receivers.
“It’s great to have a group of receivers who finished third in state this year in the 4×100 relay,” Zamora said. “This was a more complete game for us and it’s good to get coach (Chris) Stevens his first home win.”
The Wildcats (3-0) totaled 455 yards of offense in the game, with 240 rushing.
Junior running back Kameron Johnson led all rushers with 104 yards on only five carries, highlighted by a 61-yard score.

– John Sherrard
ST. FRANCIS 50, MOORPARK 24
MOORPARK — There’s no doubt St. Francis is the favorite in the Angelus League.
Jeremiah Martin completed 17 of 19 passes for 299 yards and four touchdowns and added a 1-yard rushing score to lead the Golden Knights to an impressive 50-24 nonleague victory against Moorpark.
Martin did most of his damage in the first half when St. Francis scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and led 29-21 at halftime.
Martin connected with John Carroll for a 3-yard touchdown, Areg Nazarian for an 80-yard touchdown and Carroll again, on a 27-yard scoring strike.
“My whole team came through and made it easy for me to fine open guys,” Martin said. “We just kept pushing.”

– Jacob H. Pollon
BISHOP DIEGO 38, LA SALLE 11
PASADENA — The La Salle High football squad matched up Friday night against the same nonleague opponent as in game three of last season, when the Lancers went to Santa Barbara and fell to Bishop Diego. In this year’s game, even with the Lancers holding the home turf advantage at Kohorst Field, the result was similar, with the Cardinals winning 38-11.
“It was a hard and tough game,” La Salle coach Russell Gordon said. “(Bishop Diego) came up here and whooped our butt.”
The first half was very much a debacle for La Salle (2-1), which was scoreless until the final minute before the break. The Lancers were behind 17-0, facing a fourth down near midfield late in the second. La Salle ran a fake punt, with would-be kicker Brett Wheat connecting with Isiah Spencer-Lopez for a 42-yard completion to the 2-yard line. Three plays later, David La Salle punched the ball in from one yard out with 47 seconds to go. Lancer quarterback Will Pyburn threw successfully to Spencer-Lopez for the two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 17-8.

– Nathan Cambridge
ROUNDUP: San Marino routs San Gabriel
San Marino High School scored 37 first-quarter points and continue to build confidence that this may be their year after cruising to a 65-0 win over host San Gabriel on Friday night. The Titans’ performance was so dominant that officials instituted the running clock at the start of the second quarter.

HOW THE TOP 10 FARED
1. St. Francis (2-0) def. Moorpark, 50-24
2. Monrovia def. Arcadia, 47-14
3. San Marino def. San Gabriel, 65-0
4. La Salle (2-1) lost Bishop Diego, 38-11
5. Muir (0-2), idle
6. Pasadena (1-2) lost to Artesia, 35-24
7. Maranatha (3-0) def. Azusa, 35-26 (Thursday)
8. Arcadia (1-1) lost to Monrovia, 47-14
9. Rio Hondo Prep (2-1) def. Gabrielino, 20-16 (Thursday)
10. La Canada (3-0) def. Glendale, 20-0

OTHER SCORES
Workman 36, Marshall 20
Burroughs/Burbank 45, Rosemead 17
Hawthorne 51, Blair 6
Sierra Vista 30, Keppel 22
La Quinta 41, Bosco Tech 22
Pasadena Poly 30, Linfield 27
South Pasadena 39, Hoover 0
Temple City 33, Alhambra 14

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Friday Gameday Countdown: Arcadia takes on Monrovia; St. Francis hits the road

 (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

(Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

STAR-NEWS SCOREBOARD
Arcadia opened with a solid showing in Week 0, but the Apaches get a major test tonight when they take on Monrovia, which since the second half of its opener has been on fire. Will it continue? We’ll find out. Other big games tonight feature No. 1 St. Francis at Moorpark, and La Salle hosting Bishop Diego.
SCRIBBLE LIVE: Our Mike the Cousin and Fred Robledo will be at the Rancho Cucamonga-Bishop Amat game, and they will track the scores and results from all the games there. It’s easy to join, sign in through twitter or your own screen name and enter the chat. We provide scores from games throughout the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. If you’re at a game and can post an update on twitter, use the #sgvfootball hashtag to send the update straight to the chat. Mike will launch tonight’s chat at 6 p.m.

BIG GAME ADVANCE: ARCADIA AT MONROVIA
Monrovia High School football coach Chris Stevens will have some extra motivation on Friday when his Wildcats host nearby Arcadia in a key nonleague showdown for both teams.
Stevens’ mother, aunt and uncle all graduated from Arcadia and will be coming in from out of town to be in attendance at Friday’s game. Where will they sit and who will they be rooting for? Simple, on the Monrovia side rooting for Stevens’ Wildcats … or so they say.
“That’s going to be exciting for me to have my whole family there,” Stevens said. “There’s a lot of people who have ties to both schools and families that have come from both schools. We certainly don’t want to take for granted that this is a big rivalry just because it’s two school sitting right on top of each other.”

TONIGHT’S FEATURED GAMES: A LOOK AT THE TOP GAMES

Friday’s games and predictions
Rosemead at Burroughs, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Rose); Aram (Burroughs)
San Marino at San Gabriel, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SMarino); Aram (SM)
South Pasadena vs. Hoover at Glendale, 7 p.m. (Hoover); Aram (SouPas)
St. Francis at Moorpark, 7 p.m. — Robledo (St. Francis); Aram (SF)
Temple City vs. Alhambra at Moor Field, 7 p.m. — Robledo (TC); Aram (Rams)
Arcadia at Monrovia, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Monrovia); Aram (Cats)
Bishop Diego at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Salle); Aram (LS)
Blair at Hawthorne, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Hawthorne); Aram (Hawth)
Glendale at La Canada, 7 p.m. — Robledo (LC); Aram (Glendale)
Keppel at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SV); Aram (SV)
La Quinta vs. Bosco Tech at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Quinta); Aram (LQ)
Linfield Christian at Pasadena Poly, 4:30 p.m. — Robledo (PP); Aram (PP)
Marshall vs. Workman at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Workman); Aram (Workman)
Montebello at Arroyo, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Arroyo); Aram (Arroyo)
Pasadena at Artesia, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Pasadena); Aram (Pas)

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