Los Altos stuns us, stuns everyone in dramatic 17-14 win over West Covina; Bishop Amat, Charter Oak win big, Damien goes down hard

Keith Birmingham’s Los Altos-West Covina photo gallery

Los Altos rocks the champs

By Fred J. Robledo
For lack of better words, it was unbelievable.
Los Altos pulled off the upset of the season, shocking back-to-back CIF-Southern Section champion West Covina 17-14 a week after getting embarrassed in a 40-point loss to Diamond Bar.

Los Altos kicker Alex Henry, called up to varsity after regular kicker Juan Sanchez left the team to join a soccer academy, booted a 30-yard field goal as time expired to hand the Bulldogs their first loss in the Hacienda League since it was created in 2010.

“It was awesome, I don’t know what to say, amazing,” Conquerors coach Dale Ziola said. “We played our guts out tonight. West Covina’s a great team, but we wanted it bad and our guys played their hearts out.” TO CONTINUE READING CLICK THREAD

Bishop Amat remains unbeaten: – Bishop Amat High School put the finishing touches on a fantastic nonleague schedule with a workmanlike 31-7 win over visiting Culver City on Friday night. The Lancers improved to 5-0-1 and will have next week off to prepare for Serra League play, where the action begins with a road game against defending league champion Alemany.

Charter Oak impressive again: Senior Aaren Vaughns ran for 163 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries as Charter Oak cruised to a 52-7 win over Los Osos in nonleague play Friday, making for an unhappy homecoming for the Grizzlies.

Goss leads way for South Hills: South Hills continued its winning ways as it defeated Glendora 28-17 in a nonleague game Friday at Citrus College. The Huskies were led by a strong passing attack featuring junior Adam Goss, who was 12 of 19 for 164 yards, including touchdowns of 25 and 21 yards to Carlos Delgado and Steven Mendoza, respectively.

Damien routed on the road: Los Alamitos (4-1) sent Damien (3-2) into Sierra League play on a sour note by defeating the Spartans 42-7 on Friday at Veterans Stadium.

Friday’s results
Los Altos 17, West Covina 14
Bishop Amat 31, Culver City 7
Los Alamitos 42, Damien 7
Charter Oak 52, Los Osos 7
South Hills 28, Glendora 17
Bonita 42, Walnut 7
San Dimas 47, Baldwin Park 7
San Marino 31, South El Monte 21
Kaiser 14, Ayala 7
Temple City 20, Rosemead 10
La Puente 56, Ganesha 6
El Monte 46, Bell Gardens 41
Bassett 41, Workman 14
Arroyo 42, La Canada 7
Northview 20, Pomona 10

For quarter updates of tonight’s games, click link

Mike the Cousin will launch at 6:45 and we will all tweet updates into the chat. Sign-in or tweet updates using #sgvfootball

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The Streak is Over: Duarte ends Azusa’s 27-game league winning streak, beats Azusa, 40-14; Gladstone hangs on for 19-13 win behind another big second half from Amezquita

Azusa coach Joe Scherf has won four straight Montview League titles and was a perfect 27-0 in league since taking over in 2008, but Duarte ended that tonight with a 40-14 win over the Aztecs while Gladstone hung on for a 19-13 win over Sierra Vista.

DTOWN is Back: Azusa High School’s 27-game Montview League winning streak came to an end Thursday night. Duarte broke open a close game late in the first half and went on to score a 40-14 win over the Aztecs at Bonita High School. “All good things must come to an end,” first-year Falcons coach Jason Martin said. “We knocked ’em off, but that team won’t be down for long. They’ve got one of the best coaching staffs around. We’re 2-0, but the league, from top to bottom, is real competitive.”

Gladstone-Duarte photo gallery

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN

Nothing has come easy for the Gladstone High School football team during its undefeated run, surviving a triple-overtime thriller against El Monte a couple weeks back, and coming from behind for the fourth time in five games on Thursday against Sierra Vista, sneaking away with a 19-13 victory at Citrus College.

The Dons tried to rally in the final minute, but with the seconds ticking away after a third-down sack on the Gladiators 41, they spiked the ball thinking they had a play left and the Gladiators took over and ran out the clock to improve to 5-0 and 2-0 in the Montview League.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes and did things that made the game a lot more difficult that it needed to be,” Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez said. “But Sierra Vista deserves a lot of credit. They have some good scrappy players. They gave us everything they had and kept coming after us. It was hard fought on both sides.”

The Gladiators looked like they would run away it on the opening drive, quarterback Kevin Amezquita completing his first six passes and scoring on a three-yard touchdown run to go up 8-0.

But the Dons came back in the second quarter, quarterback Jonathan Mora completing a five-yard TD pass to Sergio Gonzales to cut it to 8-6 after the missed conversion.

After the Gladiators extended it to an 11-6 halftime lead on Eduardo Cortez’s 34-yard field goal as time expired, the Dons chewed up clock in the third quarter and went ahead on Gonzales’ eight-yard TD run to go up 13-11 with 3:55 left in the third.

“I just told myself, we have to get that back,” Amezquita said.

That’s exactly what the senior did, rushing for 31 yards and later scoring on a 10-yard TD run to go back in front less than two minutes later, giving the Gladiators a 19-13 lead that it wouldn’t surrender.

Amezquita completed 12 of 16 passes for 153 yards and rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns in another complete effort.

“We don’t want to get down in games, but when we do we fight right back,” Amezquita said. “Winning feels great.”

Sanchez leaned on Amezquita in the fourth quarter, going to him time and time again on options to use up the clock.

“We’ll go as far as he takes us,” Sanchez said. “He ran it with his legs late in the game, I couldn’t be more proud of him and the guys. They (Sierra Vista) punched us in the mouth and we came back and took the lead for good. It’s one of those things where we’re starting to get that character and it’s carrying us when we need it.”

The Dons’ Lee Jones, the San Gabriel Valley’s leading rusher, was a workhorse finishing with 116 yards on 31 carries before leaving the game for good in the third quarter with cramps.

Jose Carillo took over and rushed for 52 yards, but he couldn’t finish either, leaving late in the fourth with an ankle sprain.

The Gladiators had their chances, but coach Don LeGro said the mistakes and injuries piled on as they dropped to 3-2 and 1-1.

“We’re a small school and we don’t have a lot of depth,” LeGro said. “When you lose two tailbacks and a lineman it’s tough to replace. But those things happen.”

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Replacement Ref Lance Easley, a 1978 graduate of South Hills, helped save the NFL with Monday’s Night’s call, helping end the lockout

Easley Does It

1978 South Hills grad Lance Easley (26) ruled the controversial Fail Mary a touchdown on Monday that allowed Seattle to beat Green Bay, 14-12. That ruling and the buzz it created helped end the referee lockout on Wednesday. That’s right, you can thank the SGV for bringing the refs back to work.

USA TODAY: Small wonder why NFL replacement official Lance Easley is considered public enemy No. 1 this week — and maybe for the entire season in Green Bay, Wis.

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Boys Water Polo: Damien takes the Orange Crate Trophy in rout over Bonita, 18-5

Bonita-Damien boys water polo gallery

The annual Orange Crate Trophy match between Damien and Bonita high schools is always an intense match between the cross-town rivals. Unfortunately, a rebuilding Bearcats (2-9) team ran into a solid defense led by All-American goalie Kyle Garwick as the Spartans (5-3) cruised to an 18-5 win Wednesday afternoon at Los Flores Park. Freshman 2-meter man Matt Maier scored with only 25 seconds gone in the game. The Spartans scored five more goals in the quarater as they built a 6-1 lead and never looked back.

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The race for player of the year is on …

After five weeks of high school football we’re starting to get a clearer picture in the chase for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune Football player of the year. In no particular order, here are my top eight candidates. Of course, more could emerge when the games get bigger and the dust settles in the CIF playoffs.

Above: Gladstone quarterback Kevin Amezquita has been nearly perfect in leading the Gladiators to a 4-0 start.

Aaren Vaughns, Charter Oak, RB: The senior has been everything for the Chargers, but has settled in as their primary back, averaging 125 yards with seven touchdowns. He’s also caught 13 passes for 102 yards and had a highlight night against Los Alamitos, rushing for 277 yards and two touchdowns.

Koa Haynes, Bishop Amat, QB: Has done everything Amat coaches have asked him to do in compiling an undefeated 4-0-1 record. He’s completed 76 of 108 passes (70 percent) for 1,087 yards and 11 touchdowns while also rushing for 121 yards and three TDs. Not bad considering he’s done it against the area’s top challengers.

Kevin Amezquita, Gladstone, QB: Is having an incredible season leading the Gladiators to a perfect 4-0 start and is making them a serious threat to dethrone Azusa, the four-time Montview League champs. Amezquita is doing it with his feet and arms, leading his team in passing and rushing. He’s thrown for 481 yards and six touchdowns while also rushing for 506 yards and seven TDs.

Matt Simko, Chino Hills, QB: The Colony transfer has fit right in and performed well against a tough schedule, leading the area in passing with 1,454 yards with 13 TDs to go against just four interceptions. And he’s done it all against super competition.

Darren Andrews, Bishop Amat, WR/KR: The run and pass threat has been Amat’s most electrifying player. He has 15 receptions for 301 yards and three TDs. He has eight carries for 98 yards (12.3 average) and is averaging 35 yards on kick returns, including a TD.

Jake Payton, San Dimas, RB: The durable back has done it all for the Saints, rushing for 660 yards and an area leading 11 touchdowns. He’s been over 100 yards in every game, rushing for a season-best 166 yards and three touchdowns in their win over Bonita in the Smudge Pot.

Jordan Robinson, Ayala, RB: Arguably the area’s best all-around player, he’s been key in leading the Bulldogs’ resurgence from a team that was 3-7 last year to a perfect 4-0 start this season. Robinson is averaging 113 yards with 7 TDs and also has 11 receptions for 190 yards and 2 TDs.

Brandon Martinez, El Monte, QB: Despite his teams rough 2-2 start, Martinez has been the straw that stirs the drink for the Lions and can get himself back in the player of the year race by winning the Mission Valley League. He’s passed for 1,306 yards, 11 TDs while also rushing for 273 yards and 4 TDs.

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Los Altos in big trouble without Hacegaba while Diamond Bar finds its groove behind Peterson

Above: Diamond Bar sophomore QB Tyler Peterson already has thrown for 1,083 yards and 14 TDs

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN

Nothing can unravel a season like the loss of a quarterback, especially one as valuable as Los Altos’ Cristian Hacegaba, who was playing well in leading the Conquerors to a 3-0 start while averaging 43 points a game.

But Hacegaba injured his shoulder in the first quarter of a 16-0 loss to Chino on Sept. 14 and never returned, and in Friday’s Hacienda League opener against Diamond Bar, Hacegaba was a no-show again in a 40-3 loss to the Brahmas.

Los Altos committed seven turnovers in the loss to the Brahmas, and now has to travel to back-to-back CIF-Southeast Division champion West Covina on Friday. The Bulldogs have never lost a league game since the Hacienda was created in 2010.

Hacegaba isn’t expected to play this week and there is no timetable for his return.

“Here comes the buzzsaw,” Los Altos coach Dale Ziola said of West Covina. “Injuries hit everyone, they hit West Covina so that’s not an excuse we can use.

“West Covina is sort of like the (Concord) De La Salle of the Hacienda League. They’re the team everyone is striving to be. You just have to accept the challenge and give it your best shot and hopefully we’ll be better this week.”

They couldn’t be much worse.

It’s hard to blame sophomore quarterback Lorenzo Silva, who made his first start against Diamond Bar a few weeks after suffering a concussion in a junior varsity game.

Of the seven turnovers, five were directly related to bad snaps and mishandling of the ball and two were interceptions, areas that Ziola said will improve with practice and reps.

“Lorenzo’s going to be fine, he was just in a tough spot without any Friday night experience,” Ziola said. “If we stay the course good things are going to happen. But the last thing you want to do is throw up your hands and feel sorry for yourself. Everyone goes through this.”

On the flip side, Diamond Bar (2-3, 1-0) is climbing its way back after an 0-2 start that included back-to-back blowout losses to Ayala (46-17) and Norwalk (52-38).

The Brahmas might be a year away from making serious noise because they start sophomore quarterback Tyler Peterson, who already has thrown 1,083 yards and 14 touchdowns, and have three dynamic sophomore receivers that all make big contributions.

Kanya Bell already has 22 receptions for 401 yards and six touchdowns, and Cordell Broadus has 15 receptions for 156 yards and three TDs.

Austin Cox, another sophomore, is coming into his own with nine receptions for two touchdowns.

While the future is bright, coach Ryan Maine isn’t ready to give up on the present.

Diamond Bar has a favorable schedule for a young team gaining experience each week. The Brahmas visit Rowland (3-2, 0-1) on Friday but don’t have to face West Covina or Bonita until the final two weeks of the season.

“How we do in this league is the million-dollar question,” Maine said. “No game is guaranteed. We’re not good enough to think past this week so we’ll continue to improve and get better and hopefully that will result in another win on Friday.”

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Girls Volleyball: Los Altos and Diamond Bar sweep to victory; Bishop Amat goes down

Los Altos 3, Rowland 0
The Conquerors won 25-17, 25-13, 25-6. Alyss Chacon led the way for Los Altos (3-1, 3-0) with 30 assists, seven aces, two blocks and two kills. Fabiana Rosas contributed 12 kills and one block. Rowland dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in league.
Diamond Bar 3, Diamond Ranch 0
Tatum Lockett had nine kills and Tia Hernandez added five kills as Diamond Bar (6-4, 2-1) swept Diamond Ranch (5-6, 0-3) 25-11, 25-6, 25-16. Allison Castanon chipped in 18 assists for the Brahmas, who play Tuesday at Walnut.
West Covina 3, Walnut 0
West Covina improved to 6-11 overall and 2-1 in league with the 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 win. Leading the Bulldogs was Genessee Tate with nine kills, six blocks and six aces. Laura Rose contributed six aces and two kills and Casey Shubin chipped in with 22 assists, eight digs and two aces.

Azusa 3, Workman 0
The Aztecs (5-1, 4-0) won 25-11, 25-18, 25-19. Senior Carmina Ortiz had seven kills and five aces to lead the way.
Gladstone 3, Duarte 0
Gladstone (10-2, 4-0) won 25-7, 25-20, 25-10. Leading the Gladiators was Melissa Jacob with 15 kills and eight aces.

Valley Christian 3, Bishop Amat 1
Valley Christian came from behind to defeat the Lancers 21-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-22
Chino Hills 3, Etiwanda 0
Meghan Buzzerio had 13 kills, four digs and two aces, Shelley Anderson added nine kills and 24 assists and Kiana Hayashida had five aces and 14 digs to lead the visiting Huskies (8-2) to victory. Chino Hills hosts Temecula Chaparral today.
Claremont 3, Bonita 0
Madison Shapiro had eight kills, a hitting percentage of .467 and eight digs, and Janie Feldscher had five kills, three blocks and a hitting percentage of .444 as the Wolfpack (4-0) swept the Bearcats 25-12, 25-18, 25-15. Annalyese Fausel had 23 assists and two blocks and Tyler Romero had nine digs for Claremont, which plays at West Covina South Hills on Thursday.

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Time for La Mirada, La Serna and the Hacienda to worry, West Covina QB Jon Najera and RB Josh Best will play in Friday’s game against Los Altos

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
West Covina High School coach Mike Maggiore jokingly said they dressed up an imposter prior to Friday’s 20-14 win over Diamond Ranch in the Hacienda League opener that improved the Bulldogs to 2-3 overall, though one of those losses was a win they forfeited to Covina for using an ineligible player.

Senior quarterback Jon Najera warmed up and dressed prior to beating the Panthers, but Maggiore decided to sit him out another week because he needed practice time.

“We were hoping nobody would notice,” Maggiore said of Najera in uniform.

Najera suffered a knee injury in a pre-season scrimmage against Claremont and hasn’t taken a snap since. Najera was one of the most impressive quarterbacks over the summer, leading the Bulldogs to the Arroyo Passing League title.

“He’s (Najera ) cleared to play,” Maggiore said. “He got cleared last Thursday and we anticipate him playing this week (at home against Los Altos on Friday).”

If Najera starts, it will only be his second start in a Bulldog uniform.

Najera was injured the first game of his junior season and when he returned late in the year the Bulldogs were well on their way to their second consecutive CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division title, so he only played a clean-up role in garbage time.

“He’s probably the most experienced, inexperienced quarterback there is,” Maggiore said. “He gives us so much more diversity and at a time when we missed 11 starters (against Diamond Ranch) because of injuries, it will be nice to get your quarterback back. It’s huge for us.”

Huge in a lot of ways.

Sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull is pegged as the future QB, but he’s not capable of throwing the ball around the park like Najera. Plus, with Najera back, it allows Hull to return to the backfield, where the Bulldogs will also welcome back junior Josh Best from injury.
“Josh is one of the better running backs in the area,” Maggiore said. “We’ve missed him a great deal too.”

Adding Best to go with Hull and bruiser Aaron Salgado in the backfield may finally allow the Bulldogs to look like a team seriously capable of winning a third straight Southeast title.

With West Covina looking human in blowout losses to Loyola and Chino Hills, La Mirada and La Serna have taken over the top two spots respectively in the Southeast rankings, with the Bulldogs third.

“We’ve got a couple guys back and we want to get more healthy,” Maggiore said. “Then you have to stay healthy so there’s a lot that has to go right.”

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Super 35 Rankings: Bishop Amat averaging 30+ to stay No. 1; Gladstone checks in at No. 10


Back in top ten: Gladstone returns to the Tribune’s top ten for the first time in a long time.


1. Bishop Amat (4-0-1) — The offense has scored 30 or more every game and is fun to watch again. If the defense catches up, they could be a force in the Serra League, where everyone has a winning record.
2. Chino Hills (3-1-1) — Still looks like the Sierra League favorites with a huge win at Great Oak and has a week off before heading to Charter Oak for the league opener.
3. Ayala (4-0) – They’ve undefeated against formidable opponents, but now they get undefeated Kaiser before the Sierra League starts.
4. Charter Oak (3-1) — Chargers answered loss to Bishop Amat like great teams should, routing neighboring Glendora. Now it’s time for another step-up at Los Osos. Can they handle it?
5. Damien (2-1) — The Spartans continue to remind area fans they’re still a force to be dealt with. If they get a win at Los Alamitos like Charter Oak did a few weeks ago, they’ll prove they’re ready for the Sierra.
6. *West Covina (2-3) — Even injured, the Bulldogs are still better than the rest ranked below, showing it again at Diamond Ranch, winning 21-14.
7. South Hills (3-1) — You have to give them credit for already matching last year’s win total on a team few expected anything from.
8. San Dimas (4-1) — You can mark down 9-1 right now because the Saints won’t lose again. They’re simply too good for the Valle Vista.
9. Glendora (2-2) — After its mighty 2-0 start, Ayala and Charter Oak have sent them back to earth.
10. Gladstone (4-0) — When was the last time the Gladiators were ranked in the top ten poll? Hope this isn’t a jinx.

The Rest: 11. Diamond Ranch (3-2), 12. Bonita (2-3), 13. Diamond Bar (2-3), 14. Rosemead (2-2), 15. Claremont (2-3); 16. Los Altos (3-2); 17. Northview (3-2), 18. El Monte (2-2), 19. *Covina (3-2), 20. Rowland (3-2), 21. La Puente (2-2); 22. Sierra Vista (3-1), 23. Mountain View (3-1); 24. Walnut (1-3), 25. Arroyo (2-2); 26. Azusa (2-2), 27. South El Monte (2-2), 28. Duarte (2-2); 29. Wilson (1-4); 30. Nogales (1-4), 31. Baldwin Park (0-5), 32. Pomona (1-3), 33. Workman (1-3), 34. Bassett (1-3), 35. Ganesha (0-4).

*Covina forfeit win; West Covina forfeit loss

Check out our Maxpreps Made Easy Widget for Tribune Football Fans. If coaches are posting rosters, updating stats and standings, this is the most useful SGV widget there is. Check it out, makes following your teams and area leaders simple.

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CIF Rankings: No. 3 West Covina still looks like the area team with the best shot at a title

Inland Division
1. Vista Murrieta (4-0), 2. Corona Centennial (3-1), 3. Rancho Cucamonga (4-1), 4. Upland (5-0), 5. Chino Hills (3-1-1), 6. Redlands East Valley (1-2), 7. Charter Oak (3-1), 8. Chaparral (3-1), 9. Norco (3-1), 10. Murrieta Valley (5-0)

Mid-Valley Division
1. Sierra Canyon (4-0), 2. Paraclete (4-1), 3. Monrovia (2-2), 4. San Dimas (4-1), 5. San Marino (5-0), 6. Brentwood (4-0), 7. Bell Gardens (3-1), 8. El Monte (2-2), 9. Windward (3-1), 10. Arroyo (2-2).

Southeast Division
1. La Mirada (4-1), 2. La Serna (4-1), 3. West Covina (2-3), 4. Norwalk (4-1), 5. Paramount (3-1), 6. California (4-0), 7. Diamond Ranch (3-2), 8. Muir (1-3), 9. Downey (3-2), 10. Bonita (2-3).

Northwest Division
1. Nordoff (5-0), 2. Bishop Diego (4-0), 3. La Salle (5-0), 4. North Torrance (3-1), 5. Gladstone (4-0), 6. Oak Park (3-2), 7. Heritage Christian (3-2), 8. El Segundo (2-2), 9. South Torrance (2-2), 10. Bishop Montgomery (4-1).

Pac-5 Division
1. Santa Margarita (5-0), 2. Tesoro (5-0), 3. Mater Dei (4-0), 5. St. Bonaventure (4-1), 6. St. John Bosco (4-0), 6. Mission Viejo (5-0), 7. Alemany (4-1), 8. Oaks Christian (4-1), 9. Crespi (6-0), 10. El Toro (5-0)

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Make sure you visit Clay Fowler’s Blog for the best Inland Empire Football News and much more

Every Friday Clay Fowler’s Blog will be part of ScribbleLive with Mike The Cousin so we can give you more scores and updates from the Inland Empire and share our scores with them. We’re all a big family. Clay’s blog is rolling with football news, rankings, video’s and in the future, you can check out his two-minute drills and discussions of some of the best high school football in the Los Angeles Newspaper Group coverage area.


Los Angeles Daily News: Prep editor Erik Boal posts his Top 20, Alemany No. 1

Daily Breeze: Tony Ciniglio and Dave Thorpe keep you up to date on everything happening in the South Bay

Long Beach Press Telegram : Dave Werstine, Robert Morales and David Felton have you covered in Long Beach

San Bernardino Sun: There’s always fun under the sun in San Bernardino with Pete Marshall

Pasadena Star-News: Steve Ramirez and Keith Lair have you covered in the Rose City

Whittier Daily News: Eric Terrazas is loving his new gig as the Daily News prep editor, check it out

In the Huddle: By far the most popular high school football blog in Southern California. Nobody dominates the SGV like Aram Tolegian

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