Nick Redick leads St. Paul into CIF-SS football semifinals

St. Paul’s Nick Redick (18) has keyed the Swordsmen run to the CIF-SS semifinals. (Photo by Libby Cline/SGV Tribune)

St. Paul’s Nick Redick (18) has keyed the Swordsmen run to the CIF-SS semifinals. (Photo by Libby Cline/SGV Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez
Fifty-two teams have the pleasure to practice on Thanksgiving.It’s a season-long goal of most every team in the CIF Southern Section. For some, it’s not a new experience. But for others, it’s a either a first-time affair, or it’s been a long time since having the pleasure.St. Paul sits in the latter category. The Swordsmen (6-6), who travel to Norte Vista (10-2) in Riverside for a Division 7 semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, are in the semifinals for the first time since winning the Western Division in 2007. They are in this position partially due to Nick Redick, who has turned it on down the stretch to key their magical run.
The senior also understands what this playoff stretch has meant to the school and the program, which has transformed from being 1-9 in 2013 to 5-5 last season and the playoffs this fall.
“All the support we’ve been getting, from the alumni and fans, it’s been good,” Redick said. “For us to end this drought, it’s been needed to pick the school back up.”
And Redick has done his part. He has rushed for 916 yards and 12 touchdowns to spearhead the Swordsmen’s attack, helping St. Paul to a third-place finish in the tough Angelus League before scoring consecutive playoff wins over Monrovia (54-42) and No. 1 Oxnard Pacifica (28-21).
“Nick has been very mature and focused student-athlete,” St. Paul coach Rick Zepeda said. “He really doesn’t show a lot of emotion. When he gets on the field, you know he has some fortitude.
“He’s really played hard. I’ve loved his consistency as a player and a student. He’s been a player for us to lean on throughout the year.”
Redick started his high school career at St. John Bosco, but the lure of being a Swordsmen was too strong and he wound up at the Santa Fe Springs school prior to his sophomore season. He wears his sword proudly.
“Before my freshman year, St. Paul and St. John Bosco were the schools I was considering,” Redick said. “My mom wanted me to go to Bosco, because of the experience. I went there, but I still wanted to come to St. Paul, so she let me transfer out.
“This is where my friends are. This was the school I’ve always wanted to go to.”
St. Paul has reaped the fruits of that decision. Redick has been the key to this season’s success, although his season has mirrored St. Paul’s up and down and back up season. He had a solid start, but was slowed by injuries during the early part of the league season before showing his worth late, once healthy.
“When he got hurt, he just rehabbed and got himself back out here,” Zepeda said. “He got dinged a bit (last week), but he got himself back in the game. Those are the intangibles of a great high school (player and team). Those players that are not selfish, but keep pushing and help the team win.”
Redick’s contribution has been key during the playoffs. He helped the Swordsmen rally for the win at Monrovia in the first round, rushing for 168 yards and four touchdowns. He then supplied 68 yards in last week’s win over Pacifica.
“The offensive line has been a big help for me,” Redick said. “They’ve improved every game. They are doing their job, helping me out.”
Now Redick and the Swordsmen look to continue it two more weeks, first on Friday at Norte Vista.
“It’s been a good vibe for the school, the run we’re on,” Redick said. “We’re hot right now. We want to feed off it, keep playing good and doing what we are doing.”
And Redick will likely be in the middle.

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Tuesday Recap: Whittier Christian girls basketball dominate Tarbut V Torah 64-8

If you have any scores or stats from any local high school sporting events call them into the desk at 626-544-0992 or 0991 or scores@SGVN

Girls basketball
Whittier Christian 64, Tarbut V Torah 8 — Joleen Corona had 16 points and Christa Evans and Amaya Norris both had 10 points to lead the Heralds to win their season opener. Sierra Gohl had six rebounds for Whittier Christian. Whittier Christian will play on Friday vs. El Monte.

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Friday Final: La Mirada stuns La Serna late to advance; La Habra, St. Paul also punch semifinal tickets


Unbelievable! That’s all I can say about La Mirada’s comeback against La Serna. The Matadores looked dead, but some how found whatever champions have to rally, and then unknown sophomore kicker wins it for them. Just unbelievable. It was a great night for the area, which also saw La Habra and St. Paul score impressive wins to advance to next week’s semifinals, joining Montebello, which punched its ticket on Thursday. I’d have to say this new divisions are exactly what the playoff doctor ordered!
LA MIRADA 32, LA SERNA 31
LA MIRADA >> The La Mirada High football team may have been down, but the Matadores showed Friday they are never out of a football game.
Tristan Meyer completed a key 30-yard pass on fourth down late in the fourth quarter, and sophomore Brandon Petruescu kicked a 30-yard field goal with 12 seconds left as the host Matadores completed a miraculous rally to score a 32-31 victory over La Serna in a CIF Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinal game at La Mirada High.
Meyer also threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns for the Matadores (10-2), who will face Los Alamitos, likely at Long Beach’s Veteran Stadium, in next week’s semifinals.
Matthew Marshall rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns for La Serna (8-4), which was looking for its seventh consecutive trip to the semifinals.
That he had the chance was miraculous in itself.
The Matadores’ shot at a repeat state title looked dead. They trailed 31-10 at one point in the second half and after rallying to within 31-29 with just over a minute left, still needed to drive 55 yards with 43 seconds left.
But Meyer, who had a second-half touchdown pass that made it 31-23 with 6:31 left, threw a 22-yard pass to Hicks on fourth down to get La Mirada to the La Serna 43 with 28 seconds left. He then found Hicks again for 30 yards to the La Serna 13 with 16 seconds left.
Petruescu then calmly made the winning kick.
La Serna — which went ahead 31-10 on Justin Moreno’s 8-yard pass to Steve Osorio with three minutes left in the third quarter — drove to its 45 when time expired.
La Mirada’s Brandon Petruescu: “I felt a lot of nerves. I had to keep my composure and get it done.”
La Mirada’s Tristan Meyer: “I have to give credit to my (offensive line). It was a battle the whole game. They hung in there and I told them we were going to come out ahead, and we did.”
La Serna coach Andy George: It’s heartbreaking to lose like that. It was big plays that got us in the end. We are not going to focus on that, but how these kids put everything on the line and that they are warriors. It’s tough, but we’ll be OK. It just didn’t go our way at the end.”
— Stephen Ramirez
ARROYO 42, SCHURR 28
MONTEBELLO — With his team trailing by 14 points in the first half, Arroyo High football coach Jim Singiser thought the situation might be too big for his team.
Then the Knights hit another gear and showed why they’re the top seed in CIF Southern Section Division 12 playoffs by rallying for a 42-28 win over host Schurr in Friday’s second round.
Arroyo improved to 11-1 and will host Segerstrom in next Friday’s semifinals. Schurr finished 8-4.
Early on, the Spartans looked as if they were up to the challenge of knocking off the division’s top seed and even gave the impression they might make it look easy. But after falling behind 21-7, Arroyo rallied for two touchdowns to get within 21-20 at halftime.
From there, the Knights’ offense got rolling. Arroyo took its first lead since the first quarter on a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ernesto Camacho to Yezdan Marquez. It was the duo’s second scoring connection of the game.
Schurr came right back and got the lead back on an 8-yard touchdown run by Jason Rochin late in the third quarter. Camacho showed he could also do damage with his legs on Arroyo’s next drive and gave his team the lead for good on a 26-yard touchdown run with 11:29 to play.
“I think we kind of wore them down,” Singiser said. “We saw that we did have another gear. The kids played hard. This group has faced more adversity than any team. And trust me, I know it was self-imposed (adversity) in most cases. That’s just this team, I don’t know.”
After going ahead 35-28, Schurr figured to answer right back, if how the game was flowing was any indication. But the Spartans went three-and-out and Camacho and crew took full advantage by driving 88 yards on their next drive, capping the drive with an 11-yard TD run by the sophomore quarterback with 4:13 left.
Arroyo coach Jim Singiser: “We’ve struggled with mental and emotional maturity this year, and I think it bit us a little bit (early). But the kids stayed the course and showed a lot of grit. Maybe a little more grit than I thought they had.”
— Aram Tolegian
ST. PAUL 28, PACIFICA/OXNARD 21
SANTA FE SPRINGS — The St. Paul High School football team gutted out a 28-21 home win over Oxnard Pacifica on Friday night to advance to the semifinal round of CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs.
The Swordsmen (6-6) will travel to face fourth seed Norte Vista for a chance at the championship game.
The game’s momentum shifted toward the Swordsmen in the second quarter. Top-seeded Pacifica (9-3) began the game with a pair of effective drives but missed field-goal attempts of 43 and 40 yards. On its third drive, Pacifica had fourth-and-4 and coach Mike Moon decided against a 27-yard field goal attempt. Quarterback Raul Sandoval threw to receiver Miles Williams, who caught the ball, but couldn’t get his feet inbounds.
After the turnover on downs, St. Paul quarterback Cody Cardenas entered the game for the first time and promptly completed a 42-yard pass to Anthony Lemos. It was the Swordsmens’ initial first down. Five plays later, on fourth-and-1, starting quarterback Alfredo Reyes took a naked bootleg to the left. He made a defender miss at the line of scrimmage and ran 37 yards for the game’s first touchdown and a 7-0 St. Paul lead.
Pacifica quickly responded on the ensuing drive. Two plays following a long kickoff return, Tritons receiver Kamar Wilson lost his defender and was waiting for Sandoval’s pass at the goal line. The 43-yard touchdown pass made it 7-7 at halftime.
St. Paul stormed out of the gates after the break. Running back Damian Luna’s 15-yard touchdown run completed a 57-yard drive to open the second half and give the Swordsmen a 14-7 lead. Luna then pushed the lead to 21-7 with a 31-yard touchdown run on the next possession, a handoff to the right side where Pacifica’s defenders couldn’t get a hand on him. The run completed a 58-yard drive over four plays.
The Tritons kept the game close on the next drive when Sandoval hit Williams with a 15-yard pass to pull Pacifica within 21-14.
Midway through the fourth quarter, St. Paul had fourth-and-3 from the 45. Coach Rick Zepeda lined up his team for a punt. But the snap went to Reyes, who completed a pass to Lemos near the 20-yard line and the senior ran into the end zone for a 28-14 Swordsmen lead.
— Kevin Lu
LA HABRA 24, REDLANDS EAST VALLEY 14
LA HABRA — This hasn’t been an ideal season for the La Habra High football team.
In nonleague play the Highlanders lost three straight games, and their 47-game Freeway League winning streak, which lasted nearly a decade, was ended by Buena Park.
Despite those setbacks, the Highlanders (8-4) will once again be practicing on Thanksgiving morning.
A week after stunning traditional power Oaks Christian, the Highlanders pulled off another surprise, beating visiting Redlands East Valley 31-21 on Friday night in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.
The Wildcats (9-3) scored to open the third quarter and trim La Habra’s lead to 24-14, but two key second-half interceptions by the Highlanders’ defense kept the Wildcats from getting any closer.
Senior Alan Giron’s 37-yard interception return for a touchdown extended La Habra’s lead to 17 points with 1:09 left in the third quarter.
REV threatened to get back to within 10 points, but quarterback Armando Herrera had a pass intercepted in the back of the end zone by Isaiah Alcocer midway through the fourth quarter.
Herrera found Billy Bowens for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:22 remaining in the game, but La Habra recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
La Habra will host Murrieta Valley next Friday in the semifinals. The Highlanders are looking for their eighth division title since 2002.
— Richard Hernandez
CERRITOS VALLEY CHR. 37, EL RANCHO 12
The visiting Crusaders scored on their first five possessions to win the Division 9 quarterfinal game.
Quarterback Isaac Joseph threw three TD passes and running back Dominic Paul rushed for two scores.
Top-seeded Valley Christian (10-2) will play No. 4 Notre Dame of Riverside, a 34-20 winner over Agoura.
Marcus Weeks scored both TDs for the Dons (5-7) on runs of 9 yards and 1 yard.
— Henry Montemayor
NEXT WEEK’S CIF-SS SEMIFINALS
All games tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Division 2
Murrieta Valley (10-2) at La Habra (8-4)
Division 3
La Mirada (10-2) at Los Alamitos (9-3)
Division 7
St. Paul (6-6) at Norte Vista (10-2)
Division 11
Montebello (11-1) at Valley View (9-3)

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Thursday Final: Montebello rallies past Covina to punch ticket to Division 11 semifinals

Montebello players celebrate their overtime win over Covina in their CIF playoff football game at Covina District Field in Covina on Thursday November 17, 2016. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)

Montebello players celebrate their overtime win over Covina in their CIF playoff football game at Covina District Field in Covina on Thursday November 17, 2016. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)


COVINA — The CIF Southern Section semifinals are no longer a quest for the Montebello High School football team, but a reality.Jonathan Olguin scored on a 3-yard run in overtime and the Oilers advanced to the Division 11 semifinals with a 17-10 victory over Covina at Covina District Field.
Montebello had seen its season end in the quarterfinals in 2013 and ’14 and lost in the first round last season.
Gabriel Tapia, who was hurt twice before exiting for the final time in the fourth quarter, threw for 165 yards and a touchdown for the Oilers (11-1), who will play either Rancho Alamitos or Valley View next week. Nin Burns threw for 275 yards and touchdown for Covina (7-5).

The Colts had a shot to tie it in overtime. But after two plays gained two yards, Burns threw two incomplete passes in the end zone to end the game.
Montebello, which has won 10 consecutive games, shut out the Colts in the second half. Kevin Bravo opened the third quarter with a 30-yard field goal before Tapia tied it early in the fourth quarter with a 35-yard pass to Dorian Sanchez.
In overtime, Kris Rodriguez had an 11-yard run to the Covina’ 15 before Olguin scored on his 3-yard run. The Oilers then stopped the Colts to win it.
Montebello coach Pete Gonzalez: “It was a little bit scary there, but our kids our resilient. To get to the semifinals is a goal for every team, and we’re real happy. It’s a great accomplishment. Our players played a heck of a game.”
— Stephen Ramirez

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Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary’s Lily Perkins signs with Eastern Washington

Girls basketball player, Lily Perkins, signs her letter of intent to attend Eastern Washington University with her family, Helen Perkins, Mother, Walter Thurmond, top right, and Darryl Perkins at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Montebello on Wednesday November 16, 2016. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News/SCNG)

Girls basketball player, Lily Perkins, signs her letter of intent to attend Eastern Washington University with her family, Helen Perkins, Mother, Walter Thurmond, top right, and Darryl Perkins at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Montebello on Wednesday November 16, 2016. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News/SCNG)

By Stephen Ramirez
MONTEBELLO >>
Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School’s Lily Perkins has been one of the area’s top basketball players the past three seasons, and Wednesday she received her just rewards for that billing.
Perkins signed a scholarship letter to attend Eastern Washington in a ceremony at the Montebello school.

“I’m really excited,” Perkins said. “I’ve worked hard for this. I think of all those around me who helped me get here, and most importantly, God, who without him I wouldn’t be here. I’m just really excited.”
Perkins has earned first team All-Area the past two seasons and helped the Cardinals win the Camino Real League title and advance to the CIF Southern Section Division 4A championship game, losing to St. Anthony. She led the team with 15.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per contest.
She also helped Cantwell-Sacred Heart reach the CIF State playoffs, losing to St. Paul in the second round.
She will now take those numbers to Eastern Washington, which competes in the Big Sky Conference..
“I liked that it was a family-orientated school,” Perkins said. “It was also the team, the girls, the coaching staff, everything. I really liked the program. I think I’ll fit in well.”
But first she is looking for another solid season for Cantwell-Sacred Heart, which is again expected to be one of the better teams in the area, and could compete to get back to a CIF-SS title game and possibly win it.
“I’m really excited (about the season),” Perkins said. “We have really good team this year. We’re all working hard. I expect a good year.”

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