About Steve Ramirez

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

Friday Night Rewind: St. Francis takes lead in Angelus with win at Cathedral; Muir looking good; San Marino routs rival South Pas

St. Francis celebrates after defeating Cathedral 52-41 during a prep football game at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, Calif., Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

St. Francis celebrates after defeating Cathedral 52-41 during a prep football game at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, Calif., Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


GAMES OF THE WEEK
ST. FRANCIS 52, CATHEDRAL 41


LOS ANGELES >> St. Francis High School ran for 271 yards and had 509 total, but the Golden Knights are in first place today because of their defense.
Avery Williams had two interceptions and St. Francis had three during a two-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to score a 52-41 victory over host Cathedral on Friday in a key Angelus League game.
Jeremiah Martin also accounted for 334 yards and three touchdowns for the Golden Knights, who improved to 7-0 and 2-0 in league play. Areg Nazarian rushed for 144 yards and two scores, and Williams also had a touchdown run for St. Francis, which opened the game with three scores on its first three possessions and closed it by scoring on four of six possessions in the second half.
Andrew Tovar threw for 456 yards and six touchdowns for the Phantoms, who slipped to 6-1 and 1-1. Tovar had 332 yards passing during the first two quarters.
“It’s just a great feeling to bounce back and come back in a game like this,” St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “We won the second half, 31-7. It was all three phrases. We said we’re going to get the ball kicked to us, we’re going to go down and score, stop them, and score again.
“The only thing different was we kicked a field goal on that second drive and were down by three instead of being up by a point. Guys hung in there, and they just kept battling. Our guys never gave up, and that tells a lot about our team.”
— Stephen Ramirez
MUIR 56, ARCADIA 16
ARCADIA — After a lackadaisical first half, Muir came out in the second half and looked like the dominating team many expect to see every Friday night. The Mustangs improved to 4-3 overall, but more importantly remain undefeated in Pacific League play at 3-0 as they beat host Arcadia 56-16 Friday night.
Normally such a lopsided win, especially in league play, would make a coach at the very least, content. But coach John Hardy Jr was not happy at all with his team’s effort.
“We had a bad week of practice and it showed,” said Hardy. “Guys didn’t take this game seriously like they needed to. I could’ve bailed them out by calling a couple of different plays (offensively and defensively). But I wanted them to struggle to see what it takes for a championship team. You have to practice hard every week and do the things to be a successful team.”
When asked what changed from the first half to the second half, Hardy didn’t mince any words.
“I had a conversation with them and I asked them if they were done ‘playing around’ and are ready to play football. Or do they want a repeat of the first half. And they responded.”

– Guillermo Tovar
SAN MARINO 57, SOUTH PASADENA 14
SAN MARINO — San Marino High School hosted South Pasadena in the 60th meeting between the schools with the all-time series tied at 28-28-3 for the Titans’ Rio Hondo League opener, and the Tigers came in riding a five-game win streak.
On Friday night the host Titans, who appeared this week in the rankings of the CIF-SS Central Division for the first time at No. 10 despite losing their league opener to Monrovia, got back to their winning ways as San Marino defeated South Pasadena 57-14 to claim the traveling Paul Crowley Cup and the overall series lead.
“It was a great victory, absolutely a great victory,” San Marino coach Mike Hobbie said. “I knew they were going to be tough. I didn’t know we’d beat them like this, but we were lucky we got the turnovers in key spots.”
The win for San Marino (5-2, 1-1) means Hobbie, who is in his fourth year as head coach, extends his perfect record against the rest of the Rio Hondo, other than four losses to perennial champion Monrovia, to 13-0.
Titan quarterback Carson Glazier, who threw for six touchdowns last week with five in the first half, threw for another four before the break against the Tigers and finished with six once again. The junior finished 21 of 28 for 375 yards, the six scores, and no turnovers.

– Nathan Cambridge
ROUNDUP
ROSEMEAD 33, GABRIELINO 14

Rosemead High School scored twice in the first two minutes of the third quarter to take a 33-14 victory over Gabrielino and a commanding lead in the Mission Valley League on Friday night.
Robbie Franco scored on a 45-yard run and Jordan Parham returned an interception 23 yards in the opening minutes of the third quarter for a 27-7 Panthers (3-4, 3-0) lead.
Junior quarterback Steven Nava passed for 211 yards on 10 of 25 attempts with two TDs, 5 yards to Joseph Rosales and 59 yards to Louis Luna. The Panthers intercepted Gabrielino quarterback Elijah Peters three times and they also recovered a fumble.

HOW THE TOP 10 FARED
1. St. Francis (7-0) def. Cathedral, 52-41
2. Monrovia (6-1) def. Temple City, 56-6
3. Muir (4-3) def. Arcadia, 56-16
4. Maranatha (8-0) def. Village Christian, 26-3
5. San Marino (5-2) def. South Pasadena, 57-14
6. La Canada (6-1) def. Blair, 36-0
7. Pasadena Poly (7-0) def. CSDR, 48-14 (Thurs)
8. Rio Hondo Prep (3-4) lost to Fillmore, 27-0
9. South Pasadena (5-2) lost to San Marino, 57-14
10. La Salle (3-4) lost to Harvard-Westlake, 39-3
OTHER SCORES
Rosemead 33, Gabrielino 14
Gladstone 47, Duarte 7
Bell Gardens 36, Alhambra 7
Montebello 23, Keppel 0
Schurr 55, San Gabriel 0
Burroughs/Burbank 17, Pasadena 14
St. Monica 50, Bosco Tech 12
TODAY’S GAME
Firebaugh vs. Flintridge Prep at La Canada HS, 7 p.m.

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Friday Night Final: Muir rises, La Salle falls

Muir's Jaylyn Newson (25) is hugged by quarterback Chase Keough (3) after running for a touchdown against Burbank in the first half of a prep football game at Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif., Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Muir’s Jaylyn Newson (25) is hugged by quarterback Chase Keough (3) after running for a touchdown against Burbank in the first half of a prep football game at Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif., Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

GAMES OF THE WEEK
Muir 31, Burbank 0

PASADENA — If there was any doubt about whether the Muir High School football team had really turned things around following an 0-3 start, the Mustangs put it to rest on Friday night.
Muir’s defense put the clamps on Burbank and eventually the Mustangs’ offense joined in the act and it all added up to a 31-0 Pacific League win.
“I kept saying to judge us later on in the season,” Muir head coach John Hardy said. “We’re young and I think we needed to lose in order to learn how to win.
“That’s what we expected as a staff, 0-3 never bothered us. We let the spectators spectate and we’re here coaching and we know what we have. We’ll get better each week and then we’ll take a nice run at the playoffs.”

– Aram Tolegian

St. Paul 28, La Salle 21, OT
PASADENA — St. Paul High School football coach Rick Zepeda believed this could be a season of resurgence for his football team.
The Swordsmen showed why Friday night.
Jacob Maier accounted for 185 yards and four touchdowns, including throwing the game-winning pass in overtime and St. Paul opened Angelus League play with a 28-21 victory over host La Salle.
St. Paul, which had been outscored, 96-0 the last two weeks, improved to 4-2. La Salle, getting 164 yards passing and two touchdowns from Will Pyburn, slipped to 3-3.
The Lancers, who joined the Angelus League after winning the Del Rey the past two seasons, tied with less than a minute to play when Pyburn lofted a pass in the left corner to Isiah Spencer to knot it at 21.
But Maier, who rushed for a touchdown, came through on third and 22 in overtime, tossing 26 yards to Damian Escobedo for a 28-21 lead.
La Salle, which got 87 yards rushing from A.J. Akobian, drove inside St. Paul’s 5 on its possession, but on fourth and goal from the 3, Pyburn dropped the shotgun snap from center and was sacked at the 5 to end the game.

– Stephen Ramirez
Monrovia 48, San Marino 42
MONROVIA — Last season’s Rio Hondo league football action came to a climax with a de facto championship contest on the final game of the schedule, with Monrovia comfortably defeating San Marino for another crown.
On Friday night, those same two teams came out of the gates for this season’s slate of games as Monrovia, ranked No. 3 in CIF-SS Central Division, hosted San Marino, with the Wildcats winning 48-42, giving them their 33rd straight league win and the inside track to a seventh straight league title.
“We knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Monrovia first-year coach Chris Stevens said.

– Nathan Cambridge
HOW THE TOP 10 FARED
1. St. Francis (6-0) def. Harvard-Westlake, 21-7
2. Monrovia (5-1) def. San Marino, 48-42
3. Maranatha (7-0) def. Cerritos Valley Chr., 38-13
4. San Marino (4-2) lost to Monrovia, 48-42
5. La Salle (3-3) lost to St. Paul, 28-21, OT
6. Muir (3-3) def. Burbank, 31-0
7. Pasadena Poly (5-0) vs. Firebaugh, today
8. La Canada (5-1) def. Temple City, 24-7
9. Rio Hondo Prep (3-3) def. Flintridge Prep, 49-26
10. South Pasadena (5-1) def. Blair, 55-0
OTHER SCORES
Gabrielino 35, Mountain View 14
South El Monte 60, Marshall 0
Baldwin Park 42, Duarte 14
Alhambra 45, San Gabriel 0
Bell Gardens 56, Keppel 0
Pasadena 42, Arcadia 20
Bishop Montgomery 49, Bosco Tech 0

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Star-News Top 10 Football Rankings: St. Francis still riding high at No. 1 after perfect nonleague

St. Francis still No. 1 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

St. Francis still No. 1 (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

STAR-NEWS TOP 10 FOOTBALL RANKINGS
1. St. Francis (5-0) –
Defense deserves credit, too.
2. Monrovia (4-1) – Will ‘Cats speed bury Titans?
3. Maranatha (6-0) – Big favorites to win Olympic League
4. San Marino (4-1) – Can Titans get over Monrovia hump?
5. La Salle (3-2) – Doable game vs. St. Paul
6. Muir (2-3) – Big test looms vs. Burbank
7. Pasadena Poly (5-0) – Thinking Prep League title, and why not?
8. La Canada (4-1) – Where does Sparty fit in RHL?
9. Rio Hondo Prep (2-3) – Still the Prep League favorite?
10. South Pasadena (4-1) – Defense was solid yet again

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Friday Final: Rosemead edges Arroyo; Muir wins in a rout

Rosemead defeats Arroyo 28-27 at Arroyo High School in El Monte during Friday night's game on October 3, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Rosemead defeats Arroyo 28-27 at Arroyo High School in El Monte during Friday night’s game on October 3, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)


GAMES OF THE WEEK
ROSEMEAD 28, ARROYO 27

EL MONTE >> Having not beaten rival Arroyo High School since 2008, there was little chance that Rosemead football coach Marc Paramo wasn’t going to go for two and the win.
That’s exactly what Paramo did after his team scored on a touchdown pass with 11 seconds left to pull within one of the Knights. And when Robbie Franco bulled into the end zone moments later, a great weight was lifted off the Rosemead program with a 28-27 win on Friday night.
Rosemead, which didn’t win a game during the nonleague slate, improved to 2-4 overall and 2-0 in the Mission Valley League. Arroyo saw its four-game win streak snapped and fell to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in league.

Rosemead coach Marc Paramo: “When we were on the 15-yard line, I told my assistant coach upstairs ‘Get your play ready, because we’re going for two. We’re not going to kick it, I’m proud of our guys. It is a huge hump. If we would have lost, we would have stewed over it for all of our bye week.”
Arroyo coach Jim Singiser: “Those guys (Rosemead), they earned it. It was a good high school football game. I think in the last couple seconds, they wanted it more than we did. I’m happy for them.”
– Aram Tolegian
MUIR 42, BURROUGHS 14
PASADENA >> Quarterback Chase Keough put on a first-half aerial clinic to help host Muir get its second Pacific League victory as the Mustangs defeated Burroughs 42-14 Friday night.
Keough completed 13 of 16 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns before being pulled at the start of the fourth quarter, well after the game was in hand.

– Guillermo Tovar
MARANATHA 41, MOUNTAIN VIEW 6
EL MONTE >> Two teams, Mountain View and Maranatha high schools, heading in opposite directions met Friday night in a nonleague game and the final outcome was predictable.
With four games remaining in the regular season for both teams, Maranatha remains on a path to an undefeated season, while Mt. View is still seeking its first win.
The visiting Minutemen (6-0), top-ranked in CIF-SS Northwest Division, defeated the Vikings 41-6.
Maranatha, off to its best start since the 2011 season, improved its record to 6-0, while the Vikings remained winless at 0-5.
Minutemen quarterback Eli Snyder passed for two touchdowns and threw for 156 yards.
The senior, who is now only 18 yards short of 5,000 yards passing in his three-year career, was 9 for 13 in just over one half of action.

– John Sherrard
HOW THE TOP 10 FARED
1. St. Francis (5-0) def. Calabasas, 45-7 (Thursday)
2. Monrovia (4-1), idle
3. Maranatha (6-0) def. Mountain View, 41-6
4. San Marino (4-1), idle
5. La Salle (3-2), idle
6. Muir (2-4) def. Burroughs, 42-14
7. Pasadena Poly (4-0) vs. St. Genvieve on Saturday
8. La Canada (4-1), idle
9. Rio Prep (2-3), idle
10. South Pasadena (4-1) def. Beverly Hills, 42-9 (Thursday)
OTHER SCORES
El Monte 60, Marshall 13
South El Monte 40, Gabrielino 36
Azusa 34, Temple City 28
Glendale 28, Arcadia 14
Pasadena 47, Hoover 0
Cantwell 45, Bosco Tech 0

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Ready, Set, Action! Eli Snyder enjoying latest starring role as Maranatha’s QB

By Stephen Ramirez
Pasadena Star-News

PASADENA >> Eli Snyder is no stranger to being in the spotlight.
The Maranatha High School senior, who is in his third season as the Minutemen’s starting quarterback, has also acted in three movies, including the popular cult film, “300.”
The talent he honed in the latter has helped him succeed in the former, where he’s become one of the top quarterbacks in the Valley.
“My dad (Zack Snyder) is a director, so I was able to be in a few of his films,” said Eli Snyder , who looks to add to his success when the Minutemen play at Mountain View on Friday. “It kind of made me mature quicker. I was in front of 100 people on a set, so the pressure was on a little bit. I was only 8-years-old.
“It helped me mature a little bit. It makes you realize what you have to do when the spotlight’s on.”

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Thursday Gameday Countdown: St. Francis preps for Angelus League with easy win over Calabasas


ST. FRANCIS 45, CALABASAS 7
LA CANADA >> A blocked punt certainly does not change the makeup of a football game.
But John Carroll’s block certainly had a lasting effect Thursday night. The St. Francis High School senior blocked a punt, picked it up at the 2-yard line and scored early in the first half. It gave the undefeated Golden Knights a 14-0 lead en route to a 45-7 nonleague victory over visiting Calabasas.
“The ball got snapped and I ran right through and blocked it,” Carroll said. “It felt better than scoring that way than catching and running for a touchdown. The team got a little hyped. We got excited about that.”

– Keith Lair
FLINTRIDGE PREP 44, CAMPBELL HALL 14
The Rebels (3-2) won their third consecutive nonleague game Thursday afternoon in a game played in North Hollywood.
Riley Jones caught two touchdown passes from Andew Tsangeos. The Rebels built a 35-0 lead in the third quarter. It was the Vikings’ first loss of the season.
– Keith Lair
OTHER SCORE
South Pasadena 42, Beverly Hills 9

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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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