There were a few teams that posted some huge wins on Friday night. Here are the most impactful victories.
1. California defeats El Rancho, 24-21
California’s David Manzano
How bout dem Condors! Remember two weeks ago when California (2-6, 2-1) was dead and buried and the naysayers were all over coach Jim Arnold. Despite a bad start and the most injuries of any area team, both overall and of a critical nature, the Condors are very much alive and in line to snag the Del Rio League’s third and final playoff spot thanks to their huge upset at The Ranch. Realistically, California is probably going to lose its season finale against La Serna, meaning the Birds need to beat Pioneer (4-4, 1-2) on Thursday to likely take the league’s last guaranteed playoff spot. That’s right, 2-6 California is in a good spot to advance to the postseason.
2. Montebello defeats Alhambra, 17-7
Montebello quarterback Fernando Hoffens
Staying on the theme of tough starts and embattled coaches, you have to tip your cap to Montebello’s Pete Gonzalez. No team has endured as many heartbreaking losses as the Oilers. Yet, rather than pout, Montebello (3-5, 2-1) has won 3 of its last 4, with two of those wins coming in an upset nature. Unlike California, though, Montebello has a tough road and much steeper odds at getting to the postseason. Since the Almont League has only two guaranteed playoff spots, the Oilers will probably need to finish in the top 2 and not be left hoping for a wild-card berth. That means Montebello will need to beat Schurr (5-3, 3-0) in the city championship next Friday. Which so much emotion in that game, anything is possible.
3. La Mirada defeats Mayfair, 42-14
La Mirada quarterback Shane Blood
Wow! Who would have thought this would be the final score after La Mirada fumbled twice in the first three minutes of the game. The coaching staff deserves credit for sticking to its big guns (aka the offensive line) and just steamrolling Mayfair (5-4, 4-1). As the line and the running game took over, Matadores quarterback Shane Blood relaxed and the Matadores (5-3, 4-0) scored the final three touchdowns of the game.
Kudos to the Matadores. They have one more big win with Norwalk (5-3, 3-1) on Friday. If they win Friday, they more than likely win the Suburban League title outright. Even a loss probably means a tri-league championship.
4. Whittier Christian defeats Cerritos Valley Christian, 31-24
Whittier Christian running back Joel Rhone
This was the game the Heralds had been talking about the whole year. Despite trailing late, cornerback Grady Smith had a game-changing pick that fueled the Heralds’ game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds left. That’s not too shabby for Smith, who was making his seasonal debut after sitting out the year with a bulging disk. The win leaves the Heralds (7-1, 2-0) undefeated in league with more hurdle next week with Village Christian (5-2, 1-0). CVC (5-4, 2-1) is the defending league champion.