Del Rio League football teams have provided a ball bag full of surprises this season, to wit …
DRL preseason favorite Santa Fe sends the rest of the league a message by upsetting Division 1 (Pac-5) member San Clemente, 34-20;
La Serna loses to Downey, 17-10 in season opener, gets a victory when Downey has to forfeit for using an ineligible player, and then loses four in a row to go into league play with an 0-5 record on the field. Apparently they didn’t get the memo about Santa Fe, and they promptly upset the Chiefs, 28-23;
El Rancho opens the season with two wins, drops a tough one to Bell Gardens, and then begins a string of win big (Montebello), lose big (St. Francis), win big (Pioneer), lose big (California).
Meantime, Pioneer 2-4 after that one-sided, 43-7 loss to El Rancho, hangs on for a 17-17 halftime tie with La Serna, then rallies in the second half to stun the Lancers, 34-17.
And last night, El Rancho, without standout RB Art Franco to lean on, gives up two touchdowns in the final minutes of the first half to trail La Serna, 20-10, then roars back to shock the Lancers, 27-23, and turn upside down the race for the DRL’s three automatic postseason playoff berths.
Tonight’s games: League leader California (another surprise) vs. Santa Fe; Pioneer vs. Whittier.
If California (5-2-1, 3-0) defeats Santa Fe (6-2, 2-1) , the Condors clinch the DRL title and the Chiefs remain in second place.
If Pioneer (3-5, 1-2) defeats Whittier (3-5, 0-3), Pioneer improves to 2-2 and the league will have a four-way for second place going into the final week of the regular season.
If Santa Fe defeats California, the Chiefs gain a share of the DRL lead. And if Pioneer defeats Whittier, there is a three-way tie for second.
The final week’s schedule:
California vs. La Serna; Santa Fe vs. Pioneer; El Rancho vs. Whittier.
And the beat goes on … and on … and …