There were some big wins and a huge Del Rio League upset. Here are the recaps.
La Mirada 42, Mayfair 14
While the Suburban League title is still up for grabs, the La Mirada High School football team showed Friday night that it isn’t ready to surrender its crown.
The Matadores (5-3 overall, 4-0 in league) outscored visiting Mayfair 35-7 en route to a dominating 42-14 victory that leaves La Mirada in sole possession of first place, ahead of Mayfair (5-4, 4-1) and Norwalk (5-3, 3-1).
In winning their 13th consecutive league game, the Matadores can secure a share of a second consecutive league title by defeating visiting Norwalk next week.
The Matadores scored the only two touchdowns of the second half, the first when Washington State-bound running back Max Gama scored from 39 yards on a delayed draw that put La Mirada ahead 35-14.
The final touchdown came when senior running back Alex Munoz (15 carries for 151 yards) scored his third touchdown off right tackle from 58 yards.
La Mirada’s Andy Gramajo also helped defensively with an interception.
It was a bullish first half for La Mirada, which scored on four of five possessions in taking a 28-14 lead.
After trailing 7-0, the Matadores utilized their mammoth offensive line to bully the Monsoons with four rushing touchdowns.
The final one was all grit as Munoz scored on a 12-yard draw with 17 seconds left in the half.
Munoz initially tied the score 7-7 on a 3-yard run at 4:52 of the first quarter.
Momentum shifted when Mayfair fumbled on its next possession and Nevada-bound La Mirada senior E.J. Galvez recovered at the Monsoons 34.
Gama (18 carries for 131 yards) then scored four plays later from 6 yards out to put the Matadores ahead for good, 14-7, with 3:00 left in the first.
After a Mayfair punt, the Matadores marched 79 yards on 15 plays that
The touchdown put La Mirada up 21-7.
The Monsoons responded with an 81-yard scoring pass from quarterback Evan Hunko (12 for 23 for 158 yards) to receiver Theo Chambers, who slipped behind the defense.
The score brought the Monsoons within 21-14.
Junior running back Jerry Smith broke containment at the line of scrimmage and scored from 5 yards to give Mayfair a 7-0 lead after the point after.
La Mirada fumbled the opening kickoff but held Mayfair from scoring.
La Serna 70, Pioneer 0
WHITTIER — They did the smash, they did the monster smash.
La Serna High School took on a scary demeanor Friday night in Del Rio League football, slicing up host Pioneer, 70-0.
“I was more nervous about this game than any other,” Lancers coach Margarito Beltran said.
Pioneer, after all, had defeated La Serna in two of their previous three meetings. But there was no need to worry this time.
The victory gave the Lancers a jolt to start league action as they earned their second consecutive victory. Overall, the Lancers are 7-1; the Titans fell to 4-4 and 1-2.
Again, it was a three-headed monster out of La Serna’s backfield that Pioneer couldn’t handle.
Tailback Richard Alvarez rushed for 156 yards and scored five touchdowns. He had only one carry after halftime as Beltran substituted freely with the reserves.
Secondly, quarterback Andrew Buenrostrothrew for 134 yards, all in the first half, on 8-of-11 efficiency.
No. 3, running back O.J. Medina had 74 yards on just five carries and scored a pair of TDs.
The Lancers wasted little time in asserting their offensive muscle, moving 80 yards after the opening kickoff in just six plays. Alvarez ran for 29 yards during the march and caught a 13-yard pass from Buenrostro.
Alvarez took the ball in for the score from the 7, and the Lancers were on the board in just 1:40.
The other TDs for the talented senior running back covered 34 yards, 1, 51 and 24. Medina’s touchdowns came on runs of 13 and 30 yards.
Even reserve backs Nick McCarty and Ricardo Bazurto got in on the scary scoring parade.
McCarty’s covered 65 yards and Bazurto’s 5.
Pioneer had trouble getting its offense untracked, running for just 28 yards and 35 through the air.
St. Francis 40, St. Paul 10
LA CAADA FLINTRIDGE — Exploding for 30 points in the third quarter, St. Francis High School downed visiting St. Paul 40-10 in a Mission League game Friday night.
The loss dropped St. Paul to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in league. St. Francis is 4-4, 1-2.
St. Francis’ Travis Talianko began the second-half scoring by receiving a 17-yard pass from Brett Nelson for a 17-3 lead.
Golden Knights defensive back Luke Anderson intercepted a pass three plays later to precede a 13-yard TD run by Austin De Los Santos.
Late in the third quarter, Ian Hamilton was contained in his backfield on a double-reverse, but he alertly threw a 27-yard scoring pass to Talianko.
One play later, St. Francis’ Keith Enterante tackled a St. Paul ball carrier in the end zone for a safety.
On the second play after the free kick, Nelson threw a pass, which bounced off his receiver’s hands, bounced off a defender’s hands and was caught by Hamilton, who ran to the end zone for a 68-yard touchdown.
Midway through the fourth quarter, St. Paul’s Michael Ortega concluded the game’s scoring with a 52-yard touchdown run.
Midway through the first quarter, a 60-yard punt by St. Paul’s Angel Gonzalez was downed on the St. Francis 7-yard line.
After the Golden Knights gained one first down, In the first quarter, St. Paul took over on downs at the St. Francis 42-yard line after tackles by Michael Vega on third-and-short and Eric Sanchez on fourth down.
Seven plays later, Angel Gonzalez kicked a 32-yard field goal for a 3-0 Swordsmen lead.
St. Francis responded
On St Francis’ next possession, two plays later, the Golden Knights’ Raul Castillo recovered a St. Paul fumble at the Swordsmen 27.
After one first down, St. Francis’ to set up Ian Sternau kicked a 34-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead
St. Paul stopped the Golden Knights late in the second quarter when A.J. Gonzalez intercepted a pass in the end zone and when Alex Sanchez made a tackle for an 11-yard loss at the St. Paul 18 on the final play of the half.
La Habra 42, Sonora 13
LA HABRA — In a battle of Freeway League rivals, La Habra High School took sole possession of first place in league with a 42-13 victory over Sonora on Friday.
Drake Griffin led the Highlanders (5-3, 3-0) with 19 carries for 219 yards and four touchdowns.
La Habra broke the game open with a 21-point third quarter.
The Highlanders received the second-half kickoff and took a 21-0 lead on Griffin’s 50-yard run that came with 10:58 remaining in the quarter. The play capped a five-play, 74-yard drive.
After Sonora (7-1, 2-1) punted, the Highlanders went back to work and took a 28-0 lead on Griffin’s 1-yard run for his final touchdown of the game with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter to finish off a six-play, 52-yard drive.
La Habra scored on its next possession on a 2-yard scoring pass from Cody Clements to Jordan Salo to make it 35-0 with 1:54 left in the third quarter.
The play capped a 10-play, 79-yard drive.
Sonora ended La Habra’s shutout bid with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Zach Ouderkerken to Art Navarrro with 11:04 left
The play finished the Raiders’ six-play, 74-yard drive.
La Habra recovered the ensuing onside kick and scored on Ahmad Avery’s 28-yard run with 9:18 to go.
Sonora got its second touchdown on a 3-yard run by William Nichols with just under four minutes left
Montebello 17, Alhambra 7
ALHAMBRA — Montebello High School senior safety Gabriel Cardenas intercepted the Moors’ Joshua Mendoza with 5:42 remaining in the game to seal the victory as the Oilers upended Alhambra (4-4, 1-2) 17-7 in Almont League play on Friday night.
Coming into Friday’s game the Oilers (3-5, 2-1) knew their backs were against the wall.
This was scenario, win and the Oilers move into second place and are set for a showdown with Schurr next week. Lose and any chance for a playoff berth dies.
The Oilers played with conviction and determination and pulled out a 17-7 victory over the Moors.
Defensively, Montebello gave up just 209 yards of total offense to the Moors while sacking Mendoza five times and intercepting him twice.
Both interceptions were made by the Oilers’ Cardenas.
Offensively, Montebello had a balanced attack as they totaled 319 yards of offense (183 pass, 136 rush).
Oilers senior quarterback Fernando Hoffens threw for 183 yards on 21 completions in 34 attempts.
In the first half, the Oilers’ offense entered Alhambra territory on six of sevens possessions and entered the red zone (within the 20 yard line) on four possessions.
However, Montebello was able to put only 14 points on the board as they led 14-7 at halftime.
Alhambra opened the scoring when it went 80 yards in eight plays.
The Moors’ Mendoza connected with tight end Jason Yrigollen on a 34-yard pass to give Alhambra a 7-0 lead.
Montebello’s offense finally reached the end zone when Hoffens connected with wide receiver Dylan Gomez on an 8-yard scoring pass to tie the score 7-7 with 36 seconds remaining in the first half.
Instead of running out the clock, Montebello’s Cardenas intercepted Mendoza and ran it back to the Moors’ 8 yard line with 21 seconds before halftime.
The Oilers’ Johnny Salinas scored from the 8 to give the Oilers a 14-7 halftime lead.
Montebello’s Eric Guevara kicked a 33-yard field goal to close out the scoring for the Oilers.
Santa Fe 41, Whittier 24
Santa Fe High School (4-4, 2-1) overcame an 18-point deficit and three first-half fumbles and Alex Mirola scored four second-half touchdowns to earn a 41-24 Del Rio League victory over league rival Whittier (0-8, 0-3) on Friday night.
Whittier started fast when Christopher Barclay scored the game’s first touchdown on a 40-yard run early in the first quarter.
By the time Santa Fe finally scored on Gael Esparza’s 6-yard touchdown run with five minutes left in the half, the Chiefs trailed 18-7.
They went on outscore Whittier 34-6 in the second half.
The Chiefs, attempted only three passes and were led on the ground by Christian Mahlstede’s 133 yards and Mirola’s 112.
Barclay gained 129 of his 172 rushing yards in the first half for the Cardinals and had two of three touchdowns.
Whittier failed to capitalize on four Chiefs turnovers, but it trailed by only three points at the start of the fourth quarter.
Santa Fe then scored three consecutive touchdowns to break it open.
Aaron Zaragoza’s 19-yard run secured the outcome.
California 24, El Rancho 21.
PICO RIVERA — California High School defeated El Rancho, 24-21, in a crucial Del Rio
El Rancho commemorated the 50th anniversary of its 1960 CIF championship with a 24-21 victory over California in a crucial Del Rio League game Friday.
It was 50 years ago that El Rancho (5-3, 1-2) beat California in the CIF championship game.
But the Condors (2-6, 2-1) had the upper hand Friday.
Anthony Ratliff’s fourth-quarter interception with less than two minutes remaining in the game preserved a 17-14 lead. It soon was followed by Justin Dankert’s to pound out a 28-yard touchdown run that gave the Condors an insurmountable 24-14 lead.
California’s Andrew Klien was one of the game’s most impressive players in averaging more than six yards a carry. He finished with 159 yards on 23 carries.
Both teams wasted little time in the third quarter.
California began the third quarter with a 66-yard drive that featured a 56-yard scoring run by Drew Castro.
After a missed field goal and an El Rancho turnover, the Condors’ Nick Escalante kicked a 31-yard field goal to break a 14-14 tie.
El Rancho’s first touchdown was the biggest play of the night, an 84-yard pass from Troy Campos to Lone.
Schurr 42, Keppel 0
MONTEBELLO — An explosive running attack by Schurr High School led the Spartans to a 42-0 Almont League victory over visiting Keppel on Friday.
Running back Abraham Gonzalez anchored the victory with a superb rushing performance. Gonzalez finished with 213 yards on 14 attempts with four touchdowns.
The Spartans (5-3, 3-0) maintained high offensive efficiency by scoring six rushing touchdowns on six of seven possessions, starting with Gonzalez’s 38-yard run early in the first quarter and ending with Bradley Powell’s 28-yard score late in the third.
The Spartans defense held the Aztecs (0-8, 0-3) to 113 total yards and had interceptions by Chris Chiaromonte and Brandon Chavez.
Spartans quarterback Aaron Cantu passed for 62 yards on 3 of 5 attempts with one rushing score.
Aztecs running back Johnathan Marty finished with 73 yards rushing on 20 attempts.
Whittier Christian 31, Cerritos Valley Christian 24
CERRITOS — Renewing a decades old rivalry, Whittier Christian defeated host Valley Christian of Cerritos in a, 31-24, in an Olympic League game that came down to the final seconds of an Olympic League game Friday night.
An interception by Heralds cornerback Grady Smith gave Whittier Christian the ball with three minutes left in the game and trailing 24-23.
With 11 seconds remaining, quarterback Stephen Anderson of the Heralds (7-1, 2-0) connected with receiver Cameron Stanley for a 7-yard go-ahead touchdown pass.
Anderson then ran in the two-point conversion to give Whittier Christian a 31-24 lead and ultimately the win.
Anderson completed 23 of 43 pass attempts for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
His other touchdown passes were 5 yards to Grant Escobar in the first quarter and 21 yards to Cody Bronkar late in the third quarter.
Defensive pressure from the Heralds led to sacks by George Flynn, Taylor Smith, David Bissuet, Tim Sanchez and Jeff Worthy.
Valley Christian (5-4, 2-1) was intercepted by Smith and linebacker Rudy Robles, who stopped Valley Christian’s momentum at the end of the first half, giving Whittier Christian a 17-14 lead going into halftime.
Stanley added a 24-yard second-quarter field goal for the Heralds.
Cantwell Sacred Heart 28, Bosco Tech 7
MONTEBELLO — Behind a strong defensive effort and offensive trickery, Cantwell Sacred Heart High School defeated visiting Bosco Tech 28-7 in a Del Rey League game Friday night.
Leading the way for the Cardinals (7-1 overall, 3-1 league) was junior wide receiver Corey Collins.
With 5:20 remaining in the first quarter, Collins took a fake punt snap and ran for 28 yards, which set up Cantwell’s first touchdown of the game when Collins was on the receiving end of Jacob Alaniz’s 18-yard pass.
With 2:08 left in the half, Collins threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to junior Adam Aguirre on a halfback pass play.
That score gave the Cardinals a 21-0 lead going into halftime. Collins finished the game with three receptions for 32 yards, five carries for 65 yards, and also had an interception in the fourth quarter.
The lone score for the Tigers (5-4, 2-3) came with 16 seconds left in the third quarter when junior quarterback Dillon Welsh rushed for a 1-yard score.
Junior running back Johnathan Silvas had 8 carries for 38 yards and senior running back Devin Welsh finished the game with 11 carries for 35 yards.
Cardinals sophomore running back Jared Gonzalez had 22 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.