By Stephen Ramirez
COVINA — Those reports of the South Hills High School football team’s demise appears to be have exaggerated.
The Huskies showed Thursday they can be a player for the Palomares League title.
Christian Martinez threw for 374 yards and four touchdowns and South Hills opened league play with a 45-7 victory over Claremont at Covina District Field.
Nicholas Lariviere had four receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns and Tahron Tolbert had five for 109 yards and a score for the Huskies, who improved to 3-3. Duy-Tran Sampson rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown for the Wolfpack, which slipped to 1-5.
South Hills all but put it away during the first half after gaining 270 yards during the first two quarters and scoring on its four possessions.
Martinez, who was 14 of 17 for 198 yards in the half, keyed the first score with a 47-yard toss to Lariviere to the Claremont’ 8. Martinez then followed with a 1-yard run for a 7-0 lead at 4:54 of the first quarter.
Martinez also had touchdown throws of 28 yards to Tyler Lopez and 10 yards to Tolbert, the latter for a 24-7 lead with eight seconds left in the half.
The Huskies then sealed it by scoring on three of its first four possessions during the second half.
Zion Naulls completed an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard run for a 31-7 lead at 10:02 of the third quarter before Martinez connected with Lariviere on pass and runs of 56 and 55 yards for the 45-7 advantage after three quarters.
South Hills’ Christian Martinez: “It was the bye week. That’s what got us all together. We took the week off and all got on the same page. We just came out and competed. It’s league. We have to have games like this from here on out.”
Claremont coach Jose Jarin: “South Hills has a really good football team. You look at all phases of the game, they kind of put us where they needed to put us. It could have been worse. We have to go back to the drawing board.”