By Fred J. Robledo Staff Writer
DUARTE – Duarte High School football coach Wardell Crutchfield isn’t a favorite among his coaching peers in the Montview League, and those emotions spilled out in Friday’s league opener against visiting Gladstone.
A sideline-clearing brawl with 3:28 remaining and the Falcons leading 34-3 forced referees to end the game.
The Mid-Valley Division’s top-ranked Falcons improved to 4-1 and 1-0, while Gladstone dropped to 1-3 and 0-1, but the heated post-game comments from Crutchfield and Gladiators coach Albert Sanchez indicates bad blood exists.
It all started when Falcons running back Chris Harris, who rushed for 215 yards, scored his third touchdown with 6:13 left to give the Gladiators a 34-3 lead.
Instead of kicking an extra point, the Falcons went for a two-point conversion and failed.
That bothered Sanchez so much he asked for a running clock, which Crutchfield laughed off on the sidelines.
“He’s a coward,” Crutchfield said. “You can put that in the paper.”
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Above: This taken from a spectator when fight breaks out between Gladstone and Duarte. I’ll have a different thread on this incident later this weekend.
Above: Duarte’s Desmond Hayes eludes a defender during Falcons 34-3 win
Duarte 34, Gladstone 3 — I’ll explain this later, game ends in brawl with 3:28 left. Chris Harris look great though, rushing for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Bonita 28, Northview 12 — Podley continues to work magic with Bearcats; Saints next
Damien 14, Charter Oak 14 — What, no overtime? Give Spartans credit for bouncing back after last week’s loss.
South Hills 28, Fullerton 7 — Not surprised they won, but shocked at how easy it was
St. Francis 35, Los Altos 21 — I have to watch the video. I can’t explain how the team I saw last week loses at St. Francis and gives up 35 points.
Above: St. Francis QB Austin Heyworth running for a touchdown against Conqs.
Rancho Cucamonga 42, West Covina 21 — Too many athletes for Bulldogs to keep up with
Wilson 42, Montebello 20 — Chalk up another solid win for Wildcats
Rosemead 34, Temple City 12 –– Took a while for Panthers to finish them off
Azusa 39, Sierra Vista 14 — Aztecs could be a force in Montview
Don Lugo 22, Rowland 21 — Another close loss for Raiders
Corona del Mar 22, South El Monte 14 — Closer than I expected
La Puente 39, Workman 9 — These Warriors are a force
El Monte 22, Baldwin Park 21 – Lions go for two and win on final play of the game
Arroyo 28, El Rancho 21 — Didn’t think Knights would struggle, but they did
Diamond Ranch 15, Ayala 12 – Ranch struggles with team that beat Duarte
Nogales 7, Montclair 3 — One touchdown is all it takes
Glendora 28, West Ranch 14 — Tartans look flat early, but bounce back and beat a very good West Ranch team.
Troy 42, Diamond Bar 38 — Brahmas lose, but make their point. If I’m one of the so-called Sierra League favorites, the Brahmas would worry me.
Our prayers are with you – Let’s all wish coach Backus a healthy and speedy recovery. Keep fighting the fight coach. I was at a Temple City baseball game in 2003 when my dad called to tell me had prostate cancer. It was devastating news, but he had the surgery, stays on top of his health, and is looking and feeling as good as ever. I know you’ll be back soon, this is just a small bump in the road.
Temple City football coach Randy Backus learned he had prostate cancer over the summer, but waited until this week to tell his football team. Backus underwent prostate cancer surgery on Monday and will be out indefinitely.
“I’ve heard everything from two weeks to two months,” Temple City athletic director John Van De Veere said.
Van De Veere described Backus’ procedure as successful.
“I talked to his wife today and the surgery seemed to be successful and they won’t find out until Thursday if they got it all. Our prayers and wishes are with him, and we’re going on from there.”
In a season where the Rams have struggled with an 0-3 record and lost their top running back to injury, to be without their head coach is not only disappointing, but disheartening.
According to Van De Veere, Backus found out about the cancer during a routine physical over the summer.
Backus, in his 13th season with the Rams, did his best to keep it a private matter until announcing it to the team over the weekend.
“It’s something that we didn’t want to distract the kids with and they’ve had a hard time,” Van De Veere said. “They lost Mike Mooney and Williams Do got hurt a couple of weeks ago. And now Randy’s gone down, so the kids are going through some trying times.”
Time Warner’s Reginald Miller and Tribune Prep Editor Fred J. Robledo discuss four of this week’s top games. By the way, Miller does a great job following our local teams and beyond on his popular site “A Local Sports Show” … go check it out.
West Ranch vs. Glendora at Citrus College, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Los Altos at St. Francis, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Damien at Charter Oak, Friday, 7 p.m.
Bonita vs. Northview at Covina District Field, Friday, 7 p.m.