Pasadena coach Doug Bledsoe: “We feel we have the best quarterback in the area, we feel we have the best receiver in the area and we feel we have one of the best offensive lines in the area. It’s going to be a heated night.”


The Pasadena High School football program has been here before. Several times in the recent past the Bulldogs have had step-up games and come up way short of expectations.

Yet again, there’s optimism surrounding the Bulldogs and tonight they can show whether it’s justified when nearby La Salle pays a visit. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

“It’s definitely going to be a heated night,” Pasadena head coach Douglas Bledsoe said. “This is a rivalry game for us, because everybody knows each other. We want to win.”

Pasadena started the season with a resounding, 50-7 win over South El Monte last week. The Bulldogs have now equaled last year’s win total, but there’s a sentiment around town that many more happy Friday nights are on the way.

It starts with standout wide receiver Tyrek Adams, who is 6-foot-3 and also one of the top basketball players in the area. Pasadena was bolstered in the offseason by the transfer of quarterback Jorge Reyna, who guided Downey to a CIF championship two years ago as a sophomore.

“We feel we have the best quarterback in the area, we feel we have the best receiver in the area and we feel we have one of the best offensive lines in the area,” Bledsoe said. “Our kids are very confident. They’re going to play in front of the home crowd. We’re going to go out there and play hard, but we know La Salle is one of the better-coached teams around.”

Despite all of the Pasadena hype, La Salle is still considered to be prohibitive favorite tonight. The Lancers are led by quarterback Will Plyburn and feature some top-flight receivers of their own in Evan Rambo and Isiah Spencer.

But it was the Lancers’ defense that stole the headlines last week by putting the clamps on Compton in a 34-0 win that saw the visiting Tarbabes struggle to cross midfield. La Salle won last year’s game against PHS, 28-0.

“I’m really impressed with their quarterback,” Bledsoe said of Plyburn. “They have probably one of the best wide receiver tandems. They’re going to give us problems, but we’ve got the play them. You want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.

“We know they’re a very talented football team, but like I said, they’re one of the better-coached football teams in the area. This is a big game for us and we’re looking for a big game. And we’re looking to come out with a victory.”

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  • New York

    The use of the term “step up game” boggles me a bit…what is La Salle’s body of work? Or are you just projecting La Salle to be very good?

  • Pete

    I would have to agree with questioning their body of work. However, they have had two solid season recently, but can’t seem to get out of round one. I don’t think PHS needs to step up. They just need to play hard and smart. On another note, LS just beat compton and their mascot is “tarbabes”. What’s up with that?

    • Don

      The “tarbabes” is short for Tartan Babies which is short for Tartans which they have been in Compton for 100 years or so. Ethnically speaking, I think the Compton HS student body is something like 75% Hispanic.

      Most famous Tar-Babes that I can remember are Don Klosterman (former GM of the LA Rams) and Duke Snider.

      • Don

        And BTW, saw Reyna last year against a really good Huntington Beach team and he is all of that and that bag of chips we hear about. Good size, strong, good runner, has the arm, field presence, poised when pressured.

      • Pete

        Yes, I looked it up and you are correct on both counts, however, I’m just surprised that there hasn’t been a ruckus to change it. Maybe there has, but if they like it, who am I to start trouble.
        As to GM’s comment, maybe they are blowin’ smoke. The name of the game is Speed… If you ain’t got it, you’re blowin smoke. We’ll see how fast they are. I watched BA vs SM last night on PT. Good game, but man (here goes) is BA …wait for it…overated! There, I said it. Come on, ya’ll give me your best shot! The bright light on that team is Arconado. I would have to agree with an earlier comment that Camrargo is Not gonna get you there at RB. Garcia can use some quicker legs to get him into the endzone. That said, I wasn’t impressed with Costello either, but 6’5″ will get him into college. Speed baby-very few have it…

        • Don

          Amat overrated? Not really. Maybe overexposed but not overrated.

          Just being in the mid tier of a division with Bosco, Poly, Alemany, Mater Dei, the Serra’s, Chaminade, and Centennial, Servite and a couple others ahead of you is a far and away better program than anything else you see even in the “expanded SGV” covered here. Yeah, Chino Hills is great, beating Hart was epic. But how many games would it take for them to beat the Lancers? Would they win 2 of 10? Three of ten?

          The rest? In ten games? Maybe St. Frannies could beat ’em. Maybe Norwalk. After that, I’d suggest the chances start to shrink dramatically. La Mirada, Glendora, Charter Oak, Monrovia, Damien, all of the stars in the Trib sky, as great as they are in their own worlds would need a lot of Fridays to find a win against Bishop Amat. But that isn’t the way the teams are measured for Aram’s or Fred’s
          or Steve’s ratings.

          What hasn’t been known, till now, are that the ratings are measured using
          a sophisticated and highly technical propitiatory computer program on
          the Cray super computer buried deep in the sub-basement of Jaime Escarcegas mom’s house. That thing is so powerful they can only run it in the wee hours of the morning when none of the neighbors will notice the power surges in the area. (Edison still thinks it’s just someone turning on the grow lights for their indoor marijuana
          plantation so they just let it go.) Anyhow, now you know how they do
          it. Sorry Aram, the secret is out but hey, it wasn’t going to stay a secret forever.

          • WCDan

            Too funny Don, agree with you on Amat though, pretty sure nobody else in the area would get within 5 of Santa Margarita, maybe Chino Hills, maybe this years la Mirada with their Bosco and lakewood transfers, other than that we’re reaching a bit.

          • Don

            Hiya Dan, good to hear
            from you. How do them Titans look this year? I heard that truck
            driver guy has like a zillion kids out for the team.

            New York: No Norwalk
            connection though I could tell a couple funny, (and at least one not
            so funny) stories about Excelsior Stadium from back in the day when
            there was an Excelsior High School. Remains to be seen how well they
            will do this year without a Penny to their name, but I wandered by a
            practice a few weeks ago and the team seemed HUGE, something that has
            always troubled teams who rely on finesse and loads of skill guys
            rather than the people-mover types. Like the Lancers.

          • New York

            So you think Norwalk might have a favorable matchup in the trenches with Amat? This Norwalk program, by design and pedigree, is a reincarnation of Don Markham’s Bloomington program.

          • Don

            “Who is the “truck driver guy?””

            The Willig boys come from a family that ran a company called Willig Trucking back in the day. They were also a staple for years on the field and then on the sidelines for Marijon Ancich. Brother Matt was a long time OL in the NFL. Greg was a SWC QB and works now with Chuck who is the HC at Pioneer. There were two or three more but I forget their names.

            “So you think Norwalk might have a favorable matchup in the trenches with Amat?”

            Up front they looked enormous which always seems to give smaller teams
            problems even when that smaller team have loads of talent outside the
            trenches. Gonna be really hard to do it with both of the Penny boys gone but I’ve been told there are a couple kids who’ll get a lot of touches this year and they are not WR’s.

            “This Norwalk program, by design and pedigree, is a reincarnation of Don Markham’s Bloomington program.”

            Overload weak side, pull everybody not in a wheelchair and trample the little guys; grind, grind, grind, wear the other team down and use your
            strength and size to keep the ball and control the clock?

            Nah, I think it’s a coincidence. 😉

          • New York

            Fun facts for a high school football junkie. Thanks!

          • Don

            NY, last on Norwalk for now: If they can stay within three TD’s of Bosco tonight they could beat those guys who will remain unnamed. Me, I’m stayin’ home tonight to watch the Nade’s take on a cranky bunch of Injuns.

          • New York

            Who is the “truck driver guy?”

          • WCDan

            Always enjoy your post Don, my poor Titans haven’t been good for a long time, don’t think they get much of the football types over there anymore, would be nice if Willig can spark a little life down in West Whittier, it’ll be a tough road though. Great to hear he is getting some numbers, thats a start.
            Speaking of Chuck Willig, I remember seeing him set a record with his 13th pick of the season in St. Pauls cif title game against Los Altos. Despite his record pick, Los Altos came back in the second half to win the Big 5 title. I played corner for Pioneer the same year he did for St. Paul, so I kept tabs on him since St. Paul was always in the news in those days.

          • New York

            Wait, wait, wait. Great post except for NORWALK! What?!?! Do you work at Excelsior Stadium and you are obligated to give them a shout?

  • GP AKA Green Machine

    LOL @ PHS

    Best QB in the Area, Best WR in the Area, Best Line in the Area ……Smoke Smoke Smoke…. Even with a win over La Salle come on…. until the Turkey Tussle ssssh..

    • The truth and nothing but…

      Pasadena definitely has the best QB in the area. Not even close!

      • GP AKA Green Machine

        Really? Better than Fink?

        Until the Dawgs win the Tussle….Stay in the Dog House.

        • Who dat

          I saw Reyna play twice last year and Fink 1 time, both have major problems with accuracy. Reyna is a better runner then Fink.

        • The truth and nothing but…

          Yes, much better! But of course we already know your judge of talents saying St. Paul is going to beat Damien. LMAO!

  • The truth and nothing but…

    Pasadena over La Salle tonight convincingly. It won’t be close!

  • talkischeap2

    Pasadena wins this one. It will be close. Final score PHS 21 LSHS 14. (How / why does Amat get mentioned on every blog page? The original post here has nothing to do with Amat. Calm down.)

    • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

      Cause we run this area.

      Now, puff puff, pass…