High School Football: La Serna’s title hopes dashed by Downey

La Serna’s Gio Long intercepts a pass in the end zone during Saturday’s CIF-SS Southeast Division Championship game against Downey. La Serna lost, 33-25. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

FULLERTON – La Serna High School’s quest for its first CIF-Southern Section title since 1967 will have to wait another year.

Jorge Reyna threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns and Justin Huff ran for 183 and two scores to lead Downey (11-3) to a 33-25 victory over the Lancers in the Southeast Division championship game at Cal State Fullerton.

It was Downey’s first CIF-SS title since 1957.

La Serna (12-2) had a chance to tie it late.

Quarterback Frankie Palmer, who threw for 104 yards, had completions of 16, 18 and 23 yards, the final one to Matthew Rosales to the Downey 10 with 35 seconds left.

But Palmer fumbled the snap and Downey recovered.

La Serna got 137 yards rushing from Gio Long and 79 on the ground from Luke Gonzales. Both players scored second-half touchdowns to give the Lancers a late chance.

Downey took control in the third quarter by scoring on its first two possessions of the second half. Reyna threw 3 yards to Jacob Cook for a 14-13 lead with 9:27 left in the third. He then completed the next drive with a 10-yard run for a 20-13 lead.

Huff made it 27-13 with a 5-yard run with 11:29 left in the game.

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  • Del Rio Fan

    NO comments from the stuffy, hot air bag, friendly hills crowd???? No support posted here for your boys? Figures, you have no class, your coach tries to run up the score whenever you can, AND your announcer is everything the CIF guide for public announcers says NO TO BE. YOUR ALSO THE BUFFALO BILLS of the Southeast, only outdone perhaps by Diamond Ranch. Fester on that for entire off season. And know that LM is coming back head hunting next year.

  • 84-21

    I for one welcome a resurgent, hungry La Mirada team. THERE’S a program that’s being run RIGHT, and the rings will come. Of course there are no comments from the cads over in rich man’s land…they would never want to do anything proper or humane, like commending their boys for a hard-fought game, since this would get in the way of their overblown self images.

  • Hoosier Daddy

    He who laughs last laughs at La Serna……..

  • Steely Don

    I would like to congratulate the Downey Vikings on their sensational CIF championship win. Wear your rings with pride.

  • The Chef

    What a group of the wretched refuse of the WDN area. From those who could not get there (ER), to those that could not get it done (LM). Man am I glad that I don’t have to be a hater of those that are more successful than I am… Maybe next year your teams will get to the finals, but I doubt it. Until then feel better about yourselves because La Serna didn’t win the ring, even though they did get farther than you

    • 84-21

      Well now let’s see: Chef is not a hater, yet he has taken the opportunity to call all his fellow posters “wretched refuse”. If this type of insult is typical of the La Serna fan base, there is good reason for all the criticism thrown their way.

      I for one believe that the Lancers showed improvement over last year’s performance, and since no Lancer faithful will come on here to say it, I will offer my congratulations and sincere hopes for a great 2013 campaign. If the players are listening, it’s too bad that the only public support you are getting comes from a fan of another team. Hopefully, Chef and his cohorts will someday see the value of focusing on YOU, the players, instead of us, the bloggers.

      • Lancer Fan

        “Hatee-Four”-21, I’m guessing you will now want to change your screen ID to 33-25 or why not just go with “La Serna Sucks?” That would properly express your true feelings…look, I love our country and I completely respect your right to come on this blog and say whatever the hell you want to say. You are obviously educated and articulate, which leads me to wonder how you and DR Fan below draw your conclusions about our school and its fan base. There is no need for me to address our “public support” of our boys as I’m pretty sure they know how we feel about them (and so would you had you gone to our school’s parking lot post-game on Friday night). I love that you and the 37 other readers of these blogs use our silence against us as proof that we don’t care and we are a classless, stuffy Friendly Hills crowd. Do you actually understand the boundaries of our school? Do you understand the concept of Open Enrollment? Do you know how many homes there are in the FH area? I am so sick of this “above the boulevard” crap! Do the math my friend, our school has about 2,600 kids who attend from Whittier, East Whittier, West Whittier, South Whittier, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Montebello, La Habra and multiple other neighborhoods. So by calling our fan base classless, you may, if effect, be calling your neighbor(s) the same…(off my soap box on that topic).

        Call us what you will and yes, that loss on Friday stings and will for a very long time. However, our program is on a great trajectory out of relative obscurity from seasons past. In steadfast support of our players and coaches, allow me to submit the following:

        – Win-Loss Record over the last three seasons 33-8
        – Win-Loss Record of the “Beltran Era” 54-20
        (that’s about an average season record of 9-3 over 6 years)
        – First Outright League Championsip in 2012 since 1981
        – Back-to-back Southeast Finalist
        – Southeast semi-finalist in 2010
        – CIF Playoff victories (over 3 seasons) 8
        Granted, this could appear as a “loser’s lament,” however, I’m just presenting facts. All of our players and coaches know the difficulty in returning to the finals in consecutive seasons, especially 3 in a row, however, if there was ever a group that can get it done, it is this group of young men. The 3rd time may be the charm and it may not, but there is no disputing the amount of success we have experienced and the strength of leadership under Coach Beltran’s watch. Let’s be clear, he has a very experienced and qualified staff, Coaches George, Perumean, Winchell, Ibarra, Boyd, Verstagen, Orona, Jordan, Caballero, Gonzales and others all contribute to teaching our boys about football, but more importantly about life. I for one, am proud that my son is part of this program knowing full well he has only 1 more season left to wear the uniform. Win or lose next year, he entered La Serna as a boy and will leave as a man, a proud graduate with many life lessons acquired by virtue of his involvement in our football program.
        Lastly, congratulations to a very talented Downey High Football team, they earned those rings!. The Southeast is gonna’ be a battle next year to be sure with West Covina, Downey, La Mirada, Muir, Dominquez, Santa Fe, Cal Hi, Norwalk etc…Hopefully, we can keep our boys out of the country club pool long enough to practice a little (sounds a bit ridiculous, right?) The Lancers will be back ready to compete next August and the only game on their minds will be the Zero Week opponent…until then, I’m Out!

  • 84-21

    In response to Lancer Fan, I feel that the 84-21 designation, recalling as it does an unprecedented collapse in a title game, best serves my purpose of helping the Lancer players toward their shining moment. 33-25 would seem to offer built-in excuses such as “if only this call or that bounce of the ball had gone our way…” But I thank you nonetheless for your advice in screen name choices.

  • LS DAD

    To Lancer Fan: