Bonita cautiously optimistic facing La Serna

“I think they haven’t seen a team that throws as much as we do. That will be an interesting matchup – our passing game versus their pass defense. They do an excellent job versus the run, but we’ll be interested in testing those back four.”Bonita coach Eric Podley on facing La Serna in Saturday’s Southeast Semifinals.

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Advancing to the championship game of the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs appears to be a pretty simple proposition for the Bonita High School football team, according to its coach, Eric Podley. The Bearcats (11-1) will have to play near-perfect football against La Serna (11-1) on Saturday night because the Lancers simply don’t give anything away. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Bonita. (To continue click thread).

“They’re a very solid, disciplined team and they don’t make mistakes,” Podley said of La Serna.

“They don’t commit a lot of penalties.”

La Serna has put itself on the brink of a berth in the final game because it doesn’t give much away and plays a physical brand of football that relies on the running game. The Lancers have three backs who have rushed for more than 500 yards, led by Richard Alvarez’s 1,015 yards and 25 touchdowns.

What fans might see is a complete contrast in styles on Saturday, given how Bonita likes to spread the ball around with its passing game, but Podley warned on Wednesday doubting the Lancers’ passing game could be fatal.

“I think they’re comfortable throwing the ball,” Podley said.

“They’re not afraid to put it up. Forcing them to throw isn’t going to make them uncomfortable.

“Putting them behind in the game, that might (make them uncomfortable). That makes any of us uncomfortable.”

Even Podley, though, admitted it’s unlikely La Serna has seen a passing attack like Bonita’s.

The Bearcats have thrived through the air this season, whether it was backup Greg Spathias under center or starter Garrett Pendleton, who missed the first four games of the season with an elbow injury.

Pendleton has been on fire since his return in throwing for 1,616 yards and 20 touchdowns in eight games.

“I think they haven’t seen a team that throws as much as we do,” Podley said.

“That will be an interesting matchup – our passing game versus their pass defense. They do an excellent job versus the run, but we’ll be interested in testing those back four.”

In addition to Pendleton, the Bearcats have gotten a huge contribution in the running game from Giomani Johnson. Last week, the senior ran for 99 yards and scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help the Bearcats hold off Muir.

“Johnson single-handedly took over that game,” Podley said.

“He just plays hard, and when things get tough, he plays even harder. You need a guy to step up and lead in those situations, and he’s been that guy.

“Pendleton, also. When we’ve needed big plays, he has stepped up and been able to deliver. I think our kids have confidence in those two players.”

Bonita has won five consecutive games since a loss to West Covina on Oct. 29. In that span, nobody has been closer than 24 points to Bonita at the final gun.

“Right now, we have our hands full worrying about La Serna,” Podley said.

“That’s where all our concentration is at this point. We know we’re in for one heckuva game with those guys.”

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  • baby blue nutter

    “I think they haven’t seen a team that throws as much as we do.”

    Uh…coach. That’s all that Walnut did was throw. Quite effectively at times. Perhaps you meant a team that doesn’t throw like Bonita. Which in coach speak means you’re probably going to run.

  • BOHI Fan

    Zero chance bonita will win because of their running game. The pass offense is going to put up plenty of points this week.
    Now the defense is another story. They may find themselves in the same spot Azus was in were they were over confident due to past perfromance against weaker opponents.
    The only real test they have they gave up to many points.

  • BUSD

    It would be nice to see San Dimas and Bonita in the finals. Then if by chance they both win CIF titles, it’s a great statement for Bonita Unified School District…

  • LS DAD

    I think the point I was trying to make was that Tolegian seemed to have already decided who was going to win and that LS didn’t deserve to be on the same field with either Bonita or WC. LS is a much tougher team and not going to be a push over for the Bearcats. LS should be undefeated. When you look at the LS/Downey game, LS didn’t get beat, they gave it to them. Just as SFS handed WC their win last week and Muir handing the win over to Bonita. Not saying the outcome would have still been the same, but minus the turnovers, who knows, it could have been different. For Norwalk, LS stopped a big OL with a monster of an RB and kept him under 100 yards, the first time that’s happened since the begining of last season. Walnut, sure their passing was crazy. And if you looked at the stats, you’d think they won. I think this gives you an idea of how tough the LS defense is. Capable of stopping both the run and pass. Add to this the fact that they are a much more desplined team and well coached, they look to be the only ones that can put up a challange to Tolegian’s precious Hacienda League.

  • kh

    theres only one team that will stop the bearcats,
    thats the coaching staff team..
    if we all do are jobs,nobody on earth will stop the bearcats.
    we have to run the ball down there throats,rotate johnson,huth mikety # 2 pound them both ways offensen and defensen,
    all l/.s. should remember from there ass wopping is face mask prints embedded in the skins.
    stuff the crap every single play,like we did to muir,muir hates to admitt it,but we broke down the little pride one stick at a time,they were never in control of that game,get real.g.p slides instead of losing ball ,its over right there we blow the out by 40.
    i said we would win by 30..andddddd.
    l.s. please run outside thats where my son # 6 will be coming at you every play .if thats not enough,try the middle crazy eyes mikety will own you.becareful for # 42 big danny {larry} hairman.
    # 1 will be hanging outside with k.c. or try the otherside # 33 comes up hard dudes,the alittle 6-2 satfey,who hits and punishes guys ,64 and 51 52 like to curl your toes while your head hits the ground.48 hours tell l.s. hangs up the cheats…
    go bearcats

  • Chiefs

    La Serna wins! Bonita is good but La Serna is better. SFHS wishes both teams well, but we know who is better go La Serna!

  • kh is a knut hugger

    I though you said you quit drinking. You must have said you quit thinking. Do you really expect that you will intimidate anyone on the La Serna team with your weak a$$ crap about how bad you your kid is and how hard he hits. Is your self confidence so small that you have to declare how the Bearcats are going to dominate like you did before the West Covina game, and how did that one work out for you? That is also a nice trick trying to pre lay off a loss on the Coaches so that when you lose you have a built in excuse for your kid. Why don’t you do everyone a favor and just shut your piehole until after the game. That way you won’t have to suffer the embarrassment and we won’t have to suffer your stupidity.

  • kh

    huts hugging love lips.
    i watch the film last night ,when walnut gave you guys every thing they had,
    l.s. is slow to the ball on d.
    and that offense will go no where,son and i watched it for about 10 plays ,thats all i needed,
    believe me ,like i said,
    been around bonita football for 4 years now,i will stick to my guns,the only thing that will beat u sat. is bad play calling,so what,i said it,big deal,coaches do get butt hurt like you when your wife comes looking for u at the bar dude.pull your head out we will when to fight on for another match up with w/c/ i hope..
    as for my drinking solid like bonita dddd–fense.
    this game will be a laugher….bonita by 40
    about the w/c/ game i didnt know mckinnez both reggie and bomgard where all out my friend,three starters and 1 players first game back for a knee injurie,and garrett p still was gfetting his feet under is body game speed.20 td 4 intro 8 games.bring on w/c/.we are going to stick # 5 all night long .he cheap shot our head coach coming out after half time,he will pay the piper.
    go bearcats

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  • kh is a knut hugger

    Dude you got more excuses than you wife for being on top of that guy in the bar. My favorite was she dropped her keys and was checking in his pants for them. She must have check 1/2 the other guys in there as well. I just wonder how YOU are not the head coach if you can figure everything out in 10 plays. But with you as head coach you wouldn’t have that excuse. Better just go sleep it off and dream of glory for your son Little All American. How you ever graduated from high school I will never know. You must have been performing extra services for your principal, like picking up those keys. Oh yeah, say hello to your wife for me.

  • Dan

    Bonita’s got to get through La Serna first, I would’nt worry too much about West Covina right now, I’m pretty sure the only thing on West Covina’s mind is Mayfair and what they need to do to beat this team.

  • kh

    dan we will wax them tomorrow night,then all we have to do is stop your run and your done.

  • Still a Lancer

    Talk is cheap bonita ask wc

  • Still a Lancer

    Talk is cheap bonita ask wc

  • kh

    knut ball biter.
    dame you shouldnt talk about kids moms like that,not are fault your mom made you brest feed from dads unit.i would hate woman too.

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