Early signs of life faded quickly for El Rancho

There were early signs El Rancho might have a chance against La Serna in Thursday night’s Del Rio League championship game.
On the very first play from scrimmage, senior defensive lineman Malachi Allen sacked elusive Lancer quarterback Frankie Palmer for a nine-yard loss, delighting the El Rancho sideline and fan base. On La Serna’s next drive, the Dons forced a Kevin Ramos fumble, and Allen recorded his second sack of the game on the ensuing possession, a 17-yard loss. After the first quarter, La Serna’s lead was just 6-0.
El Rancho’s offense, however, had zero success moving the ball vs. the Lancers. The Dons earned just two first downs in the first half, went three-and-out three times, were stopped on downs once and turned the ball over once.
“The coaches gave us a good defensive strategy,” said senior linebacker Luis Camacho, who had two sacks and a tackle for loss in the first half. “We knew we had to come out and give it all we’ve got in the first five minutes.”
With El Rancho’s defense beginning to fatigue, La Serna assumed control of the game in the second quarter. Ramos scored a pair of rushing TDs – 8 and 54 yards – and sophomore Anthony Garcia scored his second of the game on a 6-yard run. With good clock management at the end of the half, the Lancers added one more TD before halftime on a 6-yard strike to D’Andre Sanchez, and they took a 36-0 lead into the intermission.
With backups playing the majority of the second half, La Serna rushed for 266 yards and five TDs. Ramos finished with 98 rushing yards and Garcia – a JV call-up – had 84 yards and three TDs.
El Rancho’s only score of the game came in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, with a running clock. Backup quarterback Andrew Perea threw a 6-yard TD pass to Victor Ruelas. The Dons finished with zero rushing yards.
La Serna finished the regular season at 8-2 and claimed its second consecutive Del Rio League title. El Rancho finished at 7-3 overall and 4-1 in league, and will make its first playoff appearance since 2010. Both teams will learn their CIF-SS Southeast Division playoff fate Saturday when the pairings are released.

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  • Rob

    If it were a running clock why did it stop at 11 seconds to let the dons reset their offense? There were no penalties or timeouts called? Was it a gift TD for the ranch? This game should have ended with la Serna pitching a shut out?

  • Observer

    Because the idiot Head Coach at El Rancho called all 3 of his time outs to try and score on the subs for La Serna. It took all 3 time outs also. I don’t ever want to hear that El Rancho plays with “class”. That was one of the most non-classiest thing I have ever seen. Shame on the administration of this school for allowing this to happen.

    • Who Observes the Observer?

      That is a lame observation, “Observer”. High school athletes shouldn’t just lay down and let the opposing team stop them until the clock reaches 0:00. What was the administration to do? Stop the coach from calling a time out? I will however agree that the head coach from El Rancho was classless for not shaking the coaches’ hands after the game.

  • ranch

    Sorry that we couldn’t lose 43-0…. it would have made your league title that much more sweet…. Bottom line is our backup QB was in there on the last couple of drives and our coach wanted to give him some looks… You guys were the better team… a garbage time TD would not have changed that whatsoever….