Friday Final: La Serna, Santa Fe move a step toward final showdown; Buena Park ends La Habra’s 47-game league winning streak

Photo by Chris Burt

Photo by Chris Burt

We’re one step away from a Del Rio League showdown as La Serna and Santa Fe scored wins to stay undefeated in league play..Buena Park ended La Habra’s 47-game Freeway League win streak by rallying for 27-13 victory over the Highlanders…St. Paul’s playoff hopes dealt a big blow as La Salle rallies for 16-14 win over the Swordsmen.

PICO RIVERA — The La Serna High football team started fast and never let up in a 49-23 Del Rio League victory over host El Rancho on Friday.
The Lancers (5-3, 3-0) scored on five of their first six possessions to remain in first place in the Del Rio League. They remained tied with Santa Fe (4-4, 3-0), who defeated California, 27-23. The Lancers and Chiefs close the regular season against each other.
La Serna, which is ranked No. 9 in CIF-SS Division 3, was led by senior running back Brandon Jimenez, who scored three times while rushing for 80 yards on seven carries. Lancers quarterback Justin Moreno threw one touchdown for 86 yards (6 of 14, 2 interceptions) and senior running back Matthew Marshall scored two touchdowns with a game-high 166 yards on 11 carries.
El Rancho senior quarterback Adam Chandler led the Dons with 161 yards passing (16 of 21, 2 TDs).
The Lancers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the game. Moreno gave the Lancers a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard pass to junior receiver Jalen Chavez. Chavez caught two passes for 29 yards.
On their next possession, the Lancers drove the ball 65 yards on seven plays, culminating with a four-yard run by Jimenez for the 14-0 lead.
On the next La Serna drive, the Dons (2-6, 1-2) made perhaps their best play of the half with a pass deflected away in the end zone by senior defensive back Gabriel Huerta.
However, on the next La Serna possession, Jimenez rambled 26 yards for a score and a 21-0 lead with 7:33 left in the second quarter.
Just 16 seconds later, after a surprising onside kick was recovered by the Lancers, Marshall ran 29 yards for another score and the 28-0 lead.
— John Sherrard
BUENA PARK — Since coach Anthony White arrived at Buena Park in 2010, the Coyotes have had their eyes on dethroning La Habra in the Freeway League.
The Coyotes scored 27 unanswered second-half points on their way to a 27-13 victory over La Habra, snapping the Highlanders’ 47-game league winning streak and putting themselves in prime position to win their first league championship since 1966.
Buena Park (7-1, 3-0) took its first lead at 14-13 with 1:41 left in the third quarter after James Rafkin connected with Victor Bates on an 11-yard touchdown.
The Coyotes extended their lead to 21-13 with a nine-yard touchdown from Rafkin to AJ Allen in the back corner of the end zone.
After a difficult first half, Rafkin completed his final 11 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
La Habra’s comeback attempt was nixed when Niguy Simms intercepted a Zach Fogel pass and returned it for a touchdown, which was called back because of a penalty.
A few plays later, Hennings took a short pass and ran through the La Habra defense, putting the game out of reach at 27-13 with just under 3 minutes to play.
La Habra (4-4, 2-1) opened the scoring on a 35-yard touchdown reception from Fogel to Prince Ross with the Highlanders facing a third-and-31 after a holding penalty on the previous play. Eli Anderson later plunged into the end zone, extending the La Habra lead to 13-0 with just under 2 minutes to play before halftime.
— Richard Hernandez
PASADENA >> La Salle High School no longer is out of its league.
Amon Milliner rushed for 81 of his 113 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the first half and the Lancers defense smothered visiting St. Paul after the break to lead La Salle to a 16-14 win and its first Angelus League win on Friday night.
The Lancers (5-3, 1-2) had been 0 for 12 in league games since joining in 2014.
Milliner’s 46-yard scoring run midway through the second quarter gave La Salle a lead it would never relinquish. That was his lone offensive highlight, as he averaged less than 3.4 yards on his other 20 carries. Still, he had his 15th consecutive game with at least 100 rushing yards.
In the second half, Milliner booted punts of 42 and 35 yards to help keep the Swordsmen (3-5, 1-2) at bay.
In the second half, St. Paul had only 36 yards of offense, against 40 penalty yards, and two first downs.
With 47 seconds remaining in the first half, La Salle went up 16-7 on quarterback Jake Caan’s 1-yard sneak. The run finished off an 11-play, 97-yard drive.
But St. Paul needed only two plays and 38 seconds to respond. Alfredo Reyes hit Armando Velasco for 43 yards, then found Anthony Dias for a 31-yard score.
— Mike Branom

Santa Fe High School sure likes to play its football games close.
For the second consecutive week, the Chiefs pulled out a victory in the game’s final minute. Chris Ramsey threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Javier Valdivia with 19 seconds to play to defeat host California 27-23 in a Del Rio League game on Friday night. Last week, the Chiefs defeated El Rancho with 3 seconds to play with a field goal.
Santa Fe remained on pace for a league title showdown against La Serna in two weeks. Both are undefeated in league play.
Santa Fe (4-4, 3-0) began its final series at its own 45 with 1:54 to play. The Condors (4-3, 1-1) appeared to have the Chiefs stopped on the 22. On third-and-8, Ramsey, in the shotgun formation, dropped the snap. He chased the ball down and found a wide-open Thomas Gomez for a 15-yard gain and first down.
California trailed 21-14 earlier in the quarter. Andrew Reyes scored on a two-yard run, but Andreas Avila blocked the extra-point attempt. The Condors got a stop and drove inside the Santa Fe 20. Ben Lopez kicked a 29-yard field goal with 2:03 left for a 23-20 Condors lead.
The Chiefs returned two fumbles for scores, Avila on a 55-yarder and Jaquari Levett on a 50-yarder to start the third quarter.
— Teren Guerra
The Matadors won their 17th consecutive Suburban League game, just missing their fourth shutout of the season.
La Mirada (7-2, 5-0) built a 63-0 lead at the half, scoring on all nine of its possessions. Tristan Meyer completed 13 of 16 passes for 233 yards and five touchdowns. Chad Wilson had TD catches of 32 and 12 yards and rushed for a 45-yard score. Nick Hernandez scored on the game’s first play from scrimmage, a 48-yarder.
The Eagles (1-7, 0-4) had both of their scores in the fourth quarter.
— Angel Gutierrez
Almont League

Montebello 35, Keppel 0
Schurr 63, San Gabriel 7
Del Rey League
Whittier 34, Pioneer 13
Freeway League
Sunny Hills 42, Sonora 26
Olympic League
Cerritos Valley Chr. 63, Whittier Chr. 34
South Catholic
Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary 31, Bosco Tech 8
1. La Mirada (7-2) def. Glenn, 70-10
2. La Habra (4-4) lost to Buena Park, 27-13
3. La Serna (5-3) def. No. 10 El Rancho, 49-23
4. Montebello (7-1) def. Keppel, 35-0
5. St. Paul (3-5) lost to La Salle, 16-14
6. Santa Fe (4-4) def. Cal, 27-23
7. Whittier Chr. (5-4) lost to Cerritos Valley Chr., 63-34
8. Schurr (5-3) def. San Gabriel, 63-7
9. Whittier (4-4) def. Pioneer, 34-13
10. El Rancho (2-6) lost to No. 3 La Serna, 49-23

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