About Steve Ramirez

Steve Ramirez has covered prep sports for San Gabriel Valley Newspapers since 1989.

Friday Final: Whittier Christian shows its worth; La Mirada opens league with easy win; La Habra, Montebello also score wins

(Correspondent photo by Chris Burt/Sports)

(Correspondent photo by Chris Burt/Sports)


FRIDAY’S FEATURED GAMEWHITTIER CHRISTIAN 55, DUARTE 20
DUARTE — How good is Whittier Christian quarterback Quinn Commans?
Very good, but so are the Heralds, who showed it at Duarte High School on Friday.

Commans, who equaled a CIF Southern Section single-game record with nine touchdown passes last week, accounted for 398 yards and four scores to lead Whittier Christian to a 55-20 victory over the host Falcons in a nonleague game.
Justin Osborn also accounted for 374 yards and three touchdowns for the Heralds, who improved to 4-1. Devon Hemsley accounted for 170 yards and a touchdown and Justin Hillyer had a 99-yard touchdown run for Duarte, which slipped to 3-1.
Whittier Christian put it away by halftime after blitzing the Falcons for 334 yards and scoring on six of its seven possessions.
Osborn gave the Heralds a 14-0 by the middle of the first quarter. He had a 19-yard run for a 7-0 advantage at 9:26 before making it a two-touchdown lead with a 3-yard run at 6:53. He set up the TD with a 63-yard run.
Commans gave the Heralds a 27-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter. He threw a 48-yard pass to Josh Hernandez to set up Hernandez’ 3-yard run before passing 24 yards to Cade McGee at 5:25.
Whittier Christian went up 42-7 at halftime by closing the second quarter with Commans’ 8-yard pass to Jacob Albertini at 1:43 before Osborn tossed 67 yards to McGee on an option pass with three seconds left in the half.
Duarte’s first half was one of frustration. The Falcons have five drives get inside Whittier Christian’s 40, but only came away with one score — a 30-yard run by Hemsley that made it 27-7 with 4:45 left in the half.
Whittier Christian coach Sergio Gradilla: “We knew coming in they were going to be excited. We had to jump on them early, and that’s what we did. We came out and scored quickly. Again, that’s what we needed to do.”
— Stephen Ramirez
ROUNDUP: LA MIRADA ROLLS IN LEAGUE OPENER
The Matadores did not mess around with Cerritos in a Suburban League game opener, rolling to a 62-0 victory.
La Mirada (3-2) scored 41 points in the first quarter, getting the ball into the end zone on every first-quarter possession. Quarterback Christian Meyer completed 10 of 11 passes for 264 yards and five touchdowns. He was done playing midway through the second quarter. Jeremy Clark had three receptions for 58 yards with two scores.
La Mirada, ranked third in CIF Southern Section Division 3, returned three interceptions for touchdowns. Linebacker Chase Newman had two interceptions for scores and Elijah Hicks returned an interception for a TD.
The Matadores led 62-0 at the half. The Dons (2-2) are in Division 13. It is the first time La Mirada has played against a team in a lower division this season.
— TJ Guerra
LA HABRA 42, COLONY 36
Madison Wheeler scored on an 11-yard run in overtime to lead the Highlanders in their final tuneup before Freeway League play in two weeks.
La Habra’s Prince Ross caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from Zach Fogel with 6:09 remaining and Wheeler rushed in the two-point conversion to tie the game.
La Habra (2-3) intercepted a pass in the end zone on the Titans’ first overtime scoring attempt.
The win ended the Highlanders’ three-game losing streak. The last time they started the season 2-3 was in 2004.
The Titans (3-2) are the only non-Orange County team La Habra will face in the regular season. Colony, from Ontario, is ranked fifth in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 poll.
Fogel passed for 196 yards and two TDs and Wheeler rushed for 58 yards and two scores.
— Angel Gutierrez
TESORO 28, LA SERNA 21, OT
The Lancers lost their second close game in as many weeks, giving up a a touchdown in the fourth quarter and another in overtime.
Matthew Marshall rushed for 115 yards and Justin Moreno threw for 125 for La Serna, which slipped to 2-3.
OTHER SCORES
Santa Fe 38, Brentwood 13
Montebello 34, Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary 2
San Marino 41, Bell Gardens 18
St. Paul 47, Warren 37
HOW THE TOP TEN FARED
1. La Mirada (3-2) def. Cerritos, 62-0
2. La Serna (2-3) lost to Tesoro, 28-21, OT
3. La Habra (2-3) def. Colony, 42-36
4. Schurr (3-2), idle
5. St. Paul (2-3) def. Warren, 47-37
6. Montebello (4-1) def. No. 10 Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary, 34-2
7. Whittier Christian (4-1) def. Duarte, 55-20
8. California (3-1), idle
9. Whittier (2-2), idle
10. Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary lost to No. 6 Montebello, 34-2

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Friday Final: St. Francis ends La Serna’s hex; La Mirada bounces back in a big way; Schurr shuffers first loss

St. Francis rallied to beat La Serna Friday, ending the Lancers two-game win streak over the Golden Knights. (Photo by Chris Burt)

St. Francis rallied to beat La Serna Friday, ending the Lancers two-game win streak over the Golden Knights.
(Photo by Chris Burt)


ST. FRANCIS 24, LA SERNA 21

WHITTIER — La Serna High School’s hex over St. Francis is over.
Michael Bonds threw for 299 yards and three scores, including the game-winner to Blake Howard with 2:25 left, and the Lancers’ Justin Moreno was sacked by Matt Barriga with 10 seconds left to give the Golden Knights a 24-21 victory over La Serna at Cal High.
It was the Golden Knights’ first win over the Lancers in the past three season. The previous two games were in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.
The Lancers, who slipped to 2-1, had a chance to win it after driving to the Santa Fe 4 with less than 20 seconds left. But La Serna’s Matthew Marshall was stopped for no gain with 16 seconds left before Moreno was sacked at the 16.
La Serna tried to run one last play, but committed a false start, resulting in a 10-second runoff to end the game.
St, Francis (3-0) went 64 yards for the winning drive for a 24-21 lead with 2:25 left. The Knights looked Golden with a little trickery from coach Jim Bonds. He called for fake punt on fourth-and-6 from his 40 with just over four minutes left. Matt Bazarevitsch passed 25 yards to Tony Norton for a first down at the La Serna 31.
Michael Bonds then followed with passes of 7 and 4 yards before tossing 9 yards to Howard for the game-winner with 2:25 left.
Daniel Scott then intercepted a Moreno pass at the St. Francis 25 with 1:41 left to apparently end it.
But La Serna had one last try up its sleeve. The Lancers got the ball back with just over a minute left. Moreno passed 44 yards to Calvin Salcido to the St. Francis 29 before the Lancers came up short down the stretch.
St. Francis coach Jim Bonds: “It was huge to get the win here. We had lost to them two years in a row in the playoffs. They ended our season and made us turn in our gear. That’s the worst feeling every year. But tonight’s game … to commit four turnovers and still win a high school football game. That’s hard to do. I give our guys a lot of credit. They never quit. Big win.”
— Stephen Ramirez
CALIFORNIA 34, ROSEMEAD 21
Led by running back Andrew Reyes’ big night on the ground, California High knocked off Rosemead 34-21 in a nonleague game on Friday night at Rosemead.
Reyes rushed for 249 yards and reached the end zone four times. He scored three of the touchdowns on the ground and one on a 54-yard screen pass.
California improved to 3-1; Rosemead slipped to 0-4.
While Reyes carried the Condors (3-1) on offense, the defense halted Rosemead’s second-half explosion.
Junior quarterback Alex Argueta lifted the Panthers when he entered the game in the second quarter. Argueta completed 16 of his 23 pass attempts and tossed three touchdowns.
Argueta helped his team climb back from a 21-7 halftime deficit. After the Panthers recovered a fumble to open the second half, Argueta threw a 12-yard touchdown to wide receiver Darien Camacho, then a 13-yard score to Elisha Garner to even the score at 21.
But Cal answered Rosemead’s two second-half touchdowns on the very next drive by handing the ball to Reyes. He finished the series with 70 yards and a go-ahead score.
Cal’s Andrew Reyes: “We’ve been in these types of games before. Our team just doesn’t give up, we know what we’re capable of and we executed.”
— Wil Hernandez
ROUNDUP: LA MIRADA GETS REVENGE ON SAN CLEMENTE, 43-14
The Matadores scored 36 consecutive points to break open the nonleague game.
The game was tied at 7 and La Mirada (2-2), playing its fourth consecutive Orange County powerhouse team, took control.
Elijah Hicks returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown. He caught three passes from Tristan Meyer, two for touchdowns. Meyer completed all six of his pass attempts, for 90 yards.
— Angel Gutierrez
MONROVIA 26, WHITTIER 14
The Wildcats made huge fourth-quarter sacks in a nonleague game.
Monrovia rallied from a 14-13 deficit and Michael Washington returned an interception 55 yards to give the Wildcats (1-3) their first lead, 20-13.
The Cardinals (2-2) marched to the 6-yard line in the fourth quarter. On fourth-and-3, quarterback Dylan Salcedo was sacked. Whittier got the ball back and drove to the 35. On fourth-and-3, Salcedo was sacked again with 7:14 to play.
The Wildcats avoided starting the season 0-4 for the first time in more than two decades when Alfonso Castillo, who rushed for 138 yards in the game, scored from the 1 on the next series.
Aaron McClain took the opening kickoff 75 yards for a TD for the Cardinals. Robert Sandoval gave Whittier a 14-7 halftime lead with a 1-yard run.
Richie Schroeder threw a 38-yard TD pass to Elijah Hall and a 9-yarder to Washington in the first half.
— Royce Kirkland
LOS ALAMITOS 40, LA HABRA 29
The Griffins (3-1) pulled away from the host Highlanders (1-3) in the fourth quarter in the nonleague game.
Los Alamitos led the entire game, but La Habra cut the lead to 33-23 in the third quarter. Los Alamitos answered back with a TD for a 40-23 lead.
Every time the Highlands came close, the Griffins would get a big play. Keanu Norman returned a kickoff 94 yards and Dylan Laurent had TD runs of 62 and 75 yards and After La Habra scores.
Highlanders quarterback Zack Fogel completed 14 of 28 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 59 yards. Prince Ross caught six passes for 119 yards and a TD.
— T.J. Guerra
WEST COVINA 24, SCHURR 13
The Spartans averaged 40 points in their first three games, but the host Bulldogs held Schurr to two rushing touchdowns in the nonleague game.
West Covina (2-2) was led by senior running back Anthony Ramiro, who had 125 yards on 16 carries and scored on runs of 17 and 50 yards.
The Bulldogs sacked quarterback Miguel Aguero four times. Senior running back Noah Rangel had 105 yards and two scores on 11 carries for Schurr (3-1), which was trying go 4-0 for the first time since 2001.
West Covina scored three times on its first five possessions.
— Rudy Ramos
WHITTIER CHR. 68, BELL 55
Quinn Commans completed 27 of 39 passes for 490 yards and nine touchdowns to lead the Heralds in a nonleague game at Whittier College.
Cade McGee had 10 catches for 211 yards, three for TDs, Nico Albertini had six receptions, three for TDs, and Noah Sanchez had two TD receptions. Justin Osborn rushed for 166 yards. Comans had the Heralds’ lone rushing TD.
— Staff Report
SANTA FE 29, SOUTH TORRANCE 12
Santa Fe (1-3) looked much more polished offensively and seemingly had control of the ball for most of the game. They jumped out to a 12-0 lead after the first quarter and led 19-0 at halftime.
Santa Fe was led by quarterback Chris Ramsey, who showed he was capable of being a dual-threat with his fantastic arm and speed. Ramsey completed 17 of 32 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns but also threw two interceptions. He also ran for 94 yards on 10 carries.
OTHER SCORES
El Rancho 67, Bell Gardens 12
Buena Park 67, Pioneer 0
HOW THE TOP TEN FARED
1. La Mirada (2-2) def. San Clemente, 43-14
2. La Serna (2-2) lost to St. Francis, 24-21
3. La Habra (1-3) lost to Los Alamitos, 40-29
4. Schurr (3-1) lost to West Covina, 24-13
5. St. Paul (1-3) lost by forfeit to Bishop Amat, 2-0
6. Montebello (3-1) def. Azusa, 41-13, Thursday
7. Whittier Christian (3-1) def. Bell, 68-55
8. California (3-1) def. Rosemead, 34-21
9. Whittier (2-2) lost to Monrovia, 26-14
10. Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary (1-2), idle

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Thursday Final: Montebello gets offensive with Azusa, routs Aztecs, 41-13

Montebello's Gabriel Tapia accounted for 204 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Oilers to a 41-13 win over Azusa on Thursday.  (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Montebello’s Gabriel Tapia accounted for 204 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Oilers to a 41-13 win over Azusa on Thursday.
(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)


MONTEBELLO 41, AZUSA 13

GLENDORA — Montebello High School has been led by its defense early in the football season. But it’s offense isn’t bad either.
The Oilers showed it Thursday.
Quarterback Gabriel Tapia accounted for 204 yards and three touchdowns and running back Michael Vital rushed for 70 yards and two scores to lead Montebello to a 41-13 victory over Azusa in a nonleague game at Citrus College.
Kris Rodriguez also had a rushing touchdown for the Oilers, who improved to 3-1. Gabriel Whitworth accounted for 152 yards and two touchdowns for the Aztecs, who slipped to 1-2.
Montebello took control in the third quarter, scoring twice for a 27-13 lead.
The Oilers, after a muffed punt set up an Azusa score to tie it at 13, countered with a 79-yard drive for the lead. Vital had a 42-yard run to the Azusa’ 19 before Tapia took it in from the 3 for a 20-13 lead at 4:42 of the quarter.
The Oilers then converted an Azusa fumble into a two-touchdown lead. Rodriguez ran 14 yards to the Aztecs’ 23 before Vital made it 27-13 with a two-yarder with 54 seconds left in the quarter.
Rodriguez followed a bad center snap by Azusa with a four-yard run for a 34-13 lead with 10:05 left in the fourth.
Tapia made it 41-13 with a 35-yard run at 3:52.
Montebello coach Pete Gonzalez: “It’s kind of our plan, to wear teams down. We weren’t really executing well in the first half. (Azusa) played really well. We knew they would come after us and they did. It put us in some tough spots, but we stuck to our plan, and things got better for us in the second half.”
— Stephen Ramirez
Other Scores
Yorba Linda 41, Sonora 7
Alhambra 28, L.A. Wilson 13

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Friday Final: La Habra, La Mirada step up…lose; Schurr keeps rolling; St. Paul wins, but allegedly involved in fight with Notre Dame/Riverside

La Mirada’s Chad Wilson (10) runs thought Mater Dei defense in the first half of a prep football game against Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium in Santa Ana, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo by Libby Cline/Southern California News Group)

La Mirada’s Chad Wilson (10) runs thought Mater Dei defense in the first half of a prep football game against Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium in Santa Ana, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo by Libby Cline/Southern California News Group)


MATER DEI 48, LA MIRADA 0
SANTA ANA — Mater Dei quarterback sophomore JT Daniels is only 15 games into what is shaping up to be a record-setting career, but it’s fair to say that La Mirada has seen enough.
In last season’s lopsided victory over La Mirada, Daniels passed for six touchdowns despite sitting out the fourth quarter.
On Friday night, he passed for 358 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Monarchs in a 48-0 rout over the Matadores at Santa Ana Stadium.
Mater Dei left no doubt from the opening kickoff, scoring touchdowns on five of its six first-half possessions on its way to a 34-0 lead at the break.
The Monarchs outgained the Matadores 362-71 in the first half.
After forcing a punt on La Mirada’s first possession, Mater Dei marched down the field on a drive that started at midfield and was capped by a 16-yard touchdown catch from Osiris St. Brown.
After a short touchdown run from Raphael Jones, the Monarchs extended their lead to 21-0 following a 5-yard scoring reception from St. Brown along the back line of the end zone.
— Richard Hernandez

MISSION VIEJO 32, LA HABRA 14
MISSION VIEJO — La Habra High School had a chance last season to knock off traditional power Mission Viejo. Instead, the Highlanders walked away shaking their heads and wondering about a lost opportunity.
They had no such frustration Friday.
The host Diablos were that dominant and looked every bit like the 2015 CIF State Division I-AA football champions.
Matthew McDonald accounted for 245 yards and a touchdown and Mission Viejo held La Habra to 142 yards en route to a 32-14 victory in a nonleague game.
Jarmari Ferrell rushed for 44 yards and two touchdowns for the Diablos (3-0). They are ranked No. 5 in the state by MaxPreps.
Zach Fogel and Madison Wheeler rushed for touchdowns for La Habra (1-2).
Mission Viejo led 20-7 at halftime.
The Diablos, who outgained the Highlanders 223-43 during the first two quarters, overcame an early turnover to score on three of their last four drives of the half.
— Stephen Ramirez
SCHURR 42, SAN MARINO 7
MONTEBELLO — The Schurr High football team stayed perfect with a 42-7 win over visiting San Marino in a nonleague game Friday night.
Big plays were the difference for the Spartans (3-0). They reached the end zone four times on plays of 40 yards or longer. Schurr quarterback Miguel Aguero was the star of the night, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running for two more.
Aguero got Schurr on the board on the Spartans’ second possession. He threw the ball to receiver Francisco Remigio, who made an over-the-shoulder catch with a San Marino defensive back draped all over him. The junior escaped and ran another 30 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Two plays into Schurr’s next possession, Aguero didn’t see any open receivers and scrambled through the Titan defense 41 yards for a 14-0 Schurr lead.
The score stayed that way until midway through the second quarter. Aguero threw a screen pass to receiver Lance Babb near the 37-yard line. The dynamic pass catcher then sliced through the San Marino secondary 63 yards to push the Schurr lead to 21-0.
— Kevin Lu
NORTHVIEW 44, SANTA FE 6
WHITTIER — Northview High School, after opening the season with a loss to CIF Southern Section Division 4 No. 1 Charter Oak, has been on a major roll.
The Vikings continued it Friday, steamrolling host Santa Fe, 44-6, in a nonleague game at Pioneer High School.
“Losing to Charter Oak definitely motivated us, but having (running back) Kevin (Thomas) back has changed our offense a lot,” junior quarterback Steven Comstock said.
Northview, which had a one-sided win over Rosemead last week, was led by Comstock, who threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns. He completed seven of 14 passes. The junior now has eight touchdowns for the season.
Senior receiver Antwaun Ayers had four receptions for 113 yards and two scores for the Vikings.
— John Sherrard
ROUNDUP WHITTIER CHR. 42, ARROWHEAD CHR. 14
Quarterback Quinn Commans ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more to lead Whittier Christian High School to a 42-14 over Arrowhead Christian Friday night in a nonleague game at Redlands High.
Commans completed 13 of 24 passes for 187 yards with touchdown passes of 40 and 9 yards. He also rushed for 56 yards, including a 40-yard scramble in which he escaped a sack for a score. He also had TD runs of 8 and 19 yards.
Whittier Christian had 476 total yards. Justin Osborn had 197 yards rushing on 15 attempts with a TD run and a 60-yard run to seal the game in the second half. Osborn also turned a short screen pass from Commans into a 40-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
— CJ Daft
CAL 32, POMONA 12
The host Condors (2-1) jumped out to a 16-0 lead early in the third quarter for the nonleague victory.
The Red Devils (0-3) cut it to 16-6, but California scored two more TDs. Andrew Reyes rushed for 132 yards and two TDs on 16 carries and had 52 receiving yards. Adam Arceo had three catches for 97 yards, two for TDs. Antonio Garcia had two interceptions and a fumbler recovery.
Nygyrrion Crouch scored on a 73-yard touchdown pass from Ricky Lua for Pomona. Lua also caught a 31-yard TD pass.
— Teren Guerra
MONTEBELLO 21, WHITTIER 7
The host Oilers scored all of their points in the third quarter to hand the Cardinals their first defeat in a nonleague game.
Andy Brown had five receptions for 103 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown pass from Gabriel Tapia. Tapia also ran in an 18-yarder. Joshua Leon scored from the 6 for Montebello (2-1).
The Cardinals (2-1) scored in the fourth quarter. Robert Sandoval ran it in from the 8.
— Angel Gutierrez
SALESIAN 63, CANTWELL-SACRED HEART OF MARY 0
The Mustangs had 585 yards of total offense and scored on all nine of their possessions in the nonleague game at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary.
Senior Deommodore Lenoir caught three touchdown passes from senior Robbie Blosser that covered 75, 70 and 37 yards. He also ran in a 23-yarder.
Blosser completed 12 of 16 passes for 256 yards and five scores for the Mustangs (2-1).
The Cardinals (1-2) were held to 142 yards. Sophomore Jason Morago rushed for 89 yards.
— Rudy Ramos
MAYFAIR 34, SONORA 0
The Raiders’ offense finally came to life in the second half, but could not overcome a 20-0 second quarter to fall in a nonleague game at La Habra.
The Raiders’ defense managed to keep the game scoreless after one quarter, but the Monsoons finally took advantage of continuous great field position they had and took a 14-0 lead. The final blow of the first half was when it looked like with the ball deep in their own territory that the Monsoons (1-2) were content to simply run out the clock. That is when Chris Adimora broke off a 72-yard run to set up the final score of the first half with only 13 seconds remaining.
— Stephan Martin
OTHER SCORES
St. Paul 17, Notre Dame/Riverside 0, suspended, 3Q
La Serna 32, Mira Costa 28
HOW THE TOP TEN FARED
1. La Mirada (1-2) lost to Mater Dei, 48-0
2. La Habra (1-2) lost to Mission Viejo, 32-14
3. La Serna (2-1) def. Mira Costa, 32-28
4. Schurr (3-0) def. San Marino, 42-7
5. St. Paul (2-1) def. Notre Dame/Riverside, suspended, 3Q
6. Montebello (2-1) def. No. 7 Whittier, 21-7
7. Whittier (2-1) lost to No. 6 Montebello, 21-7
8. Whittier Chr. (2-1) def. Arrowhead Chr., 42-14
9. Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary (1-2) lost to Salesian, 63-0
10. California (2-1) def. Pomona, 32-12

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