POSTGAME: Showdown Friday and Week 3 … Talk your smack or cry me a river …

Showdown Friday lived up to its billing!!!

Castaneda continues to come up big … no pun intended.

The Tribune called it showdown Friday and the awesome kids who put on the helmets and pads made it happen. Three big games with three thrilling finishes and six football teams that all deserve a huge round of applause. Friday night was why SGV FOOTBALL IS ONE OF A KIND!

West Covina gets out of Monrovia with a last second field goal – 22-20
Los Altos holds to topple Damien in a thriller – 26-24
Glendora goes 80-yards in the final minutes to take back the Mayor’s Trophy – 14-7

Aram’s Los Altos over Damien takes: This was absolutely why people should go to high school football games. For six bucks or whatever it costs, the game had its twists and turns, big plays and unforeseen dramas. The lights went out, LA coach Greg Gano was given a special forum by the officials to go out on the field and scream at all of them after a questionable personal foul penalty that put Damien way inside LA territory late in the game. And, of course, a thrilling finish.
The main thing I took away from the game was that LA is definitely for real. I said on this blog before that people who scoffed the Conquerors after seeing them in Week 0 against South Hills should reserve judgement. The main reason is because Fono Muasau and Richard Maciel were out. Muasau is a beast. Maciel adds depth to the defense. With them, LA is a totally different defense. Offensively, LA has a genius in Gano calling plays, a good little QB, a perfect route-running receiver in Foss, a developing star in RB Thomas, and the best tight end around in Rodriguez. This team has it all and is only going to get better and better. Oh yeah, and D-coordinator Lee Fair pulled another out of the hat.
I thought Damien was solid, too. I don’t think Spartans fans should get sour about this loss. They lost to a very good team and chances to win the game. QB Mendrun is much better than last season. I had no idea he had those kind of wheels. WR Travis Eschardies is also much better than last season. I don’t think it’s wrong to say those two have improved. The defense is still a little shaky, but it was able to make some big plays. I am no coach … but if I were Scott Morrison, I would make Danny Pertusati the No. 2 receiver. No way could that pass attack be stopped with him flanking Eschardies. There just doesn’t seem to be a viable No. 2 receiver to scare defenses right now.
Both sides could make arguments that had major breaks go against them that could’ve produced a different outcome. Los Altos could argue that it gave Damien two scores with two INTs and the game wouldn’t have been so close had that not happened. Damien was INT’d deep in LA territory, though, and that ended one scoring threat. And then we all know about how the game ended. Both sides have some regrets and these things even out. No excuses. I think that Morrison put it best – “When two good football teams meet, crazy things happen.” Amen.

Aram’s West Covina over Monrovia takes: Let me get this straight – West Covina is overrated because they had a close call on the road against a good team? Is that right? I thought the game was going to be a blowout … it was 19-0 at one point. Sorry. I apologize that I didn’t factor in that Monrovia would rally and WestCo was human like all other HS football teams and in trouble when it lost momentum. Momentum is a funny thing in HS football. Everyone should know this. But it’s foolish For any Monrovia fan to come on here and say WestCo is overrated. By doing so, you’re subliminally saying that your team isn’t that good. Why can’t it be that Monrovia proved it’s legit and fought back from a big hole against a very good team? When Monrovia wins the Mid-Valley Division this season I want all of you telling me I overrated WestCo to come back here and tell me that a 2-point win against a CIF champ isn’t a good thing. Oh, did I mention that WestCo was without linebacker Shaun Rosenthal and receiver Demond Wallace? That’s on the heels of losing WR/DB Fati Shorty last week. Yet the Bulldogs still did what they had to in the final minute to gut out a win. Championship teams do stuff like that. This team isn’t overrated. When they get Demond Wallace and Rosenthal (aka the heart and soul of the defense) back, they will be ready to roll further.

Aram’s Glendora over Charter Oak take: Obviously, I wasn’t at this game. But on the surface level, it was another good win for Glendora. I think Tartans fans are a little crazy for thinking that their team should’ve been ranked Top 5 or even 10 in the Valley AT THE START OF THE SEASON given what was lost from last year. By not being ranked so highly, something I stand by, the magnitude of what this team is doing is even greater. To be 3-0 at this point with wins over Covina and CO is huge for a team that had no experience in the skill spots and whose main defensive players from last year had to be replaced. Great coaching and depth in talent have to be the main reasons why. GHS fans do have great reason to be excited. Your team is definitely now among the top teams in the area. It’s great to see the hoops crowd is out at football games.
Of course, I got my usual array of messages and emails from Tartans fans saying “Maybe now you’ll give us more respect.” OK, you guys have gone from unranked to No. 6 and are headed higher this week. And it’s not like I’m not giving good coverage to what this team is doing. Glendora was the video game of the week for us yesterday. There have been decent sized articles for all three Tartans games this year, with yesterday’s win starting on the front page. You guys are getting enough respect, please don’t worry. I just hope you’re enjoying the ride. The good things this team has been doing haven’t been pushed to the back page. That would be not getting any respect.

In other news …
Amat bounced back with a 27-17 win over Rancho.
South Hills got its first win, 9-4 (what?) over Claremont
Wilson went down to Schurr, 27-14 … something tells me Daniel Bernal didn’t play.
Northview gave coach Jim Arellanes his first win by spanking Rosemad, 33-14. What’s wrong with Koffmead?
Baldwin Park waxed Sierra Vista … hung a spot a 70-spot, in fact. Harris went under, but had 156 yards in just eight carries. Oh yeah, I think he had 5 TDs.

Truly awesome stuff … let us know where you were and what you thought.

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