What a night! First Muir continued its dominance in the Turkey Tussle with a 24-17 win over Pasadena, but the real news was that South Pasadena, after beating La Canada, was voted out of the playoffs by the Rio Hondo League for a possible rule violation. Not to be overshadowed, Maranatha scored a big win over Whittier Christian to finish 10-0 in the regular season.
Below is this week’s run down:
GAMES OF THE WEEK
MUIR 24, PASADENA 17
PASADENA — Sixteen and counting.
The Muir High School football team got all it could handle from rival Pasadena in the 68th Turkey Tussle, but in the end the Mustangs were back in their customary spot ringing the victory bell at one end of the Rose Bowl following a 24-17 win on Friday night.
Freshman running back Jonathan Stephens plowed into the end zone from 5 yards out to break a 17-17 tie with 1:37 to play. Muir’s defense then stopped Pasadena on downs to end the game.
“I just told my coaches that this is one of the greatest feelings in the world,” Stephens said. “To come out here and play on a field that not many people get the opportunity to play on and win a big game for the team, it just feels great.”
— Aram Tolegian
SOUTH PASADENA 21, LA CANADA 3
LA CANADA — The match up of South Pasadena High School and La Cañada in both schools’ final regular-season Rio Hondo League football game saw two teams whose seasons had run in parallel lines.
But Friday’s league finale that would determine third place saw the Tigers and the host Spartans part ways as South Pasadena came out on top 21-3, which in theory earned the Tigers the league’s final guaranteed ticket to the CIF-SS Central Division playoffs … until it didn’t.
The Tigers (7-4, 3-2) were forced to play the game without head coach Martin Konrad due to an unspecified administrative issue, but in spite of that, when the final whistle blew, it appeared they were going to the postseason for the first time since 2003.
However, soon after the game, La Cañada first-year coach Ramsey Lambert announced to his team that because of unspecified CIF issues, the league had voted to ban South Pasadena from the postseason, which meant that, despite the loss, it would be La Cañada advancing to the postseason.
“I’m not exactly sure what it was, but we get a second chance,” Lambert said. “I’m not sure who reported what, but the league made a decision and we’ll find out more details sometime over the weekend, I’m sure.”
— Nathan Cambridge
MARANATHA 69, WHITTIER CHRISTIAN 34
WHITTIER — For the first time in 31 years the Maranatha High School football team completed a perfect 10-0 regular season and will head into the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division.
The Minutemen easily defeated host Whittier Christian 69-34 at Whittier College to head into the playoffs next Friday as the top seed in the division.
Leading the way for the Minutemen was senior running back Caleb Devine with three touchdowns and 182 yards on 12 carries. He scored on runs of 65, 30 and 1 yard.
Whittier Christian freshman quarterback Quinn Commons threw for a game-high 227 yards on 31 attempts, completing 20 passes, while senior tight end Noah Evans caught nine passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
— John Sherrard
PASADENA POLY 56, FLINTRIDGE PREP 14
Pasadena Poly completed an undefeated season with a 56-14 victory over rival Flintridge Prep on Friday night at South Pasadena High.
The Panthers (10-0, 3-0) wasted no time, scoring 21 points in the first half. Running back Griffin Carter had three of his four touchdowns before halftime.
HOW THE TOP TEN FARED
1. St. Francis (10-0) def. Salesian, 46-15 (Thursday)
2. Monrovia (9-1) def. Blair, 55-0
3. Muir (6-4) def. Pasadena, 24-17
4. Maranatha (10-0) def. Whittier Christian, 69-34
5. San Marino (8-2) def. Temple City, 74-20
6. Pasadena Poly (10-0) def. Flintridge Prep, 56-14
7. La Canada (6-4) lost to South Pasadena, 21-3
8. Pasadena (4-6) lost to Muir, 24-17
9. South Pasadena (7-3) def. La Canada, 21-3
10. Rio Hondo Prep (4-5), idle
El Monte 40, Gabrielino 23
Rosemead 52, Mountain View 14
Sierra Vista 41, Duarte 40
Montebello 28, Alhambra 21
Schurr 56, Keppel 0
Crescenta Valley 61, Arcadia 30
St. Genevieve 53, Bosco Tech 0
Cathedral 71, La Salle 28
ST. FRANCIS 46, SALESIAN 15
LA CANADA — There was a certainty sense of pageantry and excitement in the air Thursday night at St. Francis High as the Golden Knights finally had their chance to take its shot for its first unbeaten football season in 50 years.
St. Francis took care of business, breaking away for a 46-15 Angelus League victory over Salesian to wrap an unbeaten league title in forceful fashion and accomplish a feat that was 50 years in the making.
Head coach Jim Bonds was doused in a celebratory shower as the players rang the victory bell loud enough to wake up the La Canada community.
Perfection never tasted so sweet.
“This meant a whole bunch to us. We’re going to be the team talked about around the block instead of that team from 1964,” said St. Francis receiver John Carroll, who had two touchdown catches. “ Being 10-0, that’s a special feeling. We haven’t done that year in a long, long time.” — Tony Ciniglio
GAMES OF THE WEEK
ST. FRANCIS 60, LA SALLE 0
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> In time, St. Francis vs. La Salle may become one of the top high school football rivalries in the West Valley.
But Friday night the schools’ first meeting was instead a coronation for host St. Francis.
Jeremiah Martin accounted for 250 yards and six touchdowns and the Golden Knights clinched A a share of their first league title since 1997 with a 60-0 victory over the Lancers in an Angelus League game at Friedman Field.
Jasher Foster had four receptions for 125 yards receiving and two scores and Dylan Crawford had two for 41 yards and two touchdowns for St. Francis, which improved to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in league play. St. Francis, by virtue of Harvard-Westlake’s 28-14 win over Salesian, clinched the league’s No. 1 playoff spot.
La Salle slipped to 3-5 and 0-4.
— Stephen Ramirez
MONROVIA 24, LA CANADA 7
MONROVIA — Monrovia wrapped up the Rio Hondo league title Friday, beating La Canada 24-7. Octavius Spencer had two punt returns for touchdowns yards in the first half to lead the way on his senior night.
The combination of off-and-on rain and the majority of the student body deciding to skip the game made for a strange Halloween night.
“It was different not having all the fans behind us,” Spencer said. “I liked the atmosphere of the rain though. I like playing in weather games.”
Monrovia came into the game winning its last two by a combined score of 88-12.
The Wildcats (8-1, 4-0) couldn’t make plays early on to take control. When they did manage to move the ball, they had problems taking care of it with two early turnovers.
— Robert Schmitt
ROSEMEAD 51, SOUTH EL MONTE 14
Rosemead High School clinched at least a share of its first Mission Valley League championship in six years with a 51-14 victory over South El Monte on Friday night.
The Panthers (5-4, 5-0) can take the title outright if they defeat Mountain View next week.
The Eagles (3-6, 3-2) did not make it easy early on.
HOW THE TOP TEN FARED
1. St. Francis (9-0) def. La Salle, 60-0
2. Monrovia (8-1) def. La Canada, 24-7
3. Muir (5-3) def. Hoover, 40-0 (Thursday)
4. Maranatha (9-0), idle
5. San Marino (7-2) def. Blair, 76-8 (Thursday)
6. Pasadena Poly (9-0) def. Gabrielino, 49-20 (Thursday)
7. La Canada (6-3) lost to Monrovia, 24-7
8. Pasadena (4-5) lost to Crescenta Valley, 49-24
9. South Pasadena (6-3) def. Temple City, 41-18
10. La Salle (3-6) lost to St. Francis, 60-0
Arroyo 56, Marshall 0
Rosemead 51, South El Monte 14
Schurr 34, Alhambra 0
Rio Hondo Prep 34, Firebaugh 14
Mary Star 69, Bosco Tech 20
Cathedral 36, St. Paul 13
San Gabriel 14, Keppel 6
AZUSA 49, DUARTE 30
DUARTE — With just three rushes this season entering Thursday night’s game, junior Dominic Ramirez totaled only 30 yards.
With his first three touches of the ball Thursday, the 5-foot-8 Azusa High School running back totaled three touchdowns on runs of 69, 46 and 4 yards.
And he wasn’t through as he ran for another two scores and finished with 179 yards on 11 carries as the Aztecs defeated host Duarte, 49-30, in a Montview League game.
“I just told the coach to put the ball in my hands and I’ll make something happen,” Ramirez said.
“I know I’m not the biggest, but that means that I have to be the fastest.”
— John Sherrard
MUIR 40, HOOVER 0
PASADENA — There was no chocolate, strawberry or even pistachio in Muir High School’s 40-0 Pacific League game against Hoover on Thursday night.
“We just wanted to play vanilla football,” Muir coach John Hardy Jr. said. “That’s all we wanted to do.”
The Mustangs ran right at the Tornadoes, scoring on their first five drives. Muir (5-4, 5-1) had a 27-0 lead and a running clock at the end of the first quarter.
“We wanted to come out here and do the basic part of football,” Hardy said. “That is run the football, execute your blocks, have a couple of pass plays and just stay healthy.”
— Keith Lair
Crescenta Valley 49, Pasadena 24
Burbank 56, Arcadia 14