Football: Cerritos Valley Christian survives 70-64 in 5 OTs over Maranatha; the game lasts nearly five hours.

Above: Maranatha coach Joel Murphy (middle wearing blue sweatshirt) addresses both teams after an epic showdown.

MaxPreps: Cerritos team wins in five overtimes

Final box score

PASADENA — What a night if you happened to be at Maranatha High School on Friday night. The game lasted nearly five hours and needed five overtimes before Cerritos Valley Christian prevailed 70-64 in an epic showdown that will be remembered for years to come.

This undoubtedly is the longest, most thrilling game I have ever been a part of in my decade-long career as a sportswriter. Believe us when we say that we tried extremely hard to get this story to be in Saturday’s paper, but that just wasn’t going to happen, not when the Star-News’ absolute deadline is 11:10 p.m. and the game didn’t come to an end until 11:30 p.m. But don’t worry, we’ll have something in Sunday’s paper so that you all have a keepsake to remember. I know that doesn’t seem all that enticing right now given that the Minutemen came away losing, but years down the road this will be a game you’ll look back and remember it for what it was — an epic smackdown.

The first half lasted exactly two hours, and if you were at the game you saw just about everything — explosive offense, exciting defense, an offensive shootout with huge playmakers all over the field.

What makes this game even more difficult for Maranatha (5-3, 0-2) besides the fact it lost, is that the Minutemen now have to hope for an at-large playoff berth out of the Olympic League. You must understand that this isn’t a game that Maranatha players should hang their heads over, but they did because the playoff hopes grew somewhat dimmer with another loss.

Maranatha coach Joel Murphy didn’t hide the fact the Minutemen are now aiming for an at-large berth, and given that the Minutemen have gotten their two biggest competitors out of the way, Maranatha is likely to gain that at-large berth if it takes care of business down the road.

Maranatha led 17-7 with 9:07 left in the second quarter before Cerritos Valley Christian (5-3, 2-0) stormed back to take a 26-24 lead with 1:56 left in the second quarter. After that, there were four lead changes before Tyler Boer connected on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fronke with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 40 and force overtime.

It was Trevor Rodriguez who finally came through on a broken play to score from 25 yards out to lift the visiting Crusaders to an improbable 70-64 win in the fifth overtime period.

Maranatha’s Mark Jebbia connected for a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Elffers to take a 47-40 lead in the first overtime period. Cerritos Valley Christian responded with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fronke to Darrell Bush. The Crusaders maintained possession in the second overtime period, and that’s when Fronke ran one in from 12 yards out to make it 54-47.

Maranatha didn’t waste time in the second overtime as Jeremy Major caught a brilliant 19-yard touchdown pass from Elffers to tie the game at 54. Facing fourth and five at the nine, the Minutemen opted for a 26-yard field goal, and Matt Marbach was perfect, giving Maranatha a 57-54 lead.

That put the pressure on the Crusaders, and they didn’t disappoint. Facing fourth and 10 at the 25, Cerritos Valley Christian took the safe route and attempted a 42 yard field goal, which Boer converted with ease to tie the game at 57.

Fronke then connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Bush to take a 64-57 lead in the third overtime. Maranatha faced fourth and inches at the 4 before Elffers got the first down on a quarterback sneak. He then ran it in from 3 yards out to tie the game at 64.

Maranatha missed a 42-yard field goal on its next possession, allowing the Crusaders to bring the game to an end after Rodriguez’s touchdown run from 25 yards.

“That was the most ugly (slash) beautiful game I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Cerritos Valley Christian coach Erick Streelman said. “What time is it? …. with the injury timeout and overitme, these guys have to be gassed.”

When asked where this game ranks among the many he’s coached, Streelman didn’t hesitate.

“I think it’s the best game I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Five overtimes, down to the wire. We couldn’t sop them and they couldn’t stop us.”

For Murphy, it wasn’t quite the same feeling.

“You knew someone had to (lose),” Murphy said, “but I kinda wish it wasn’t us.

“We thought it was going to go back and forth, but we had every opportunity to finish it with a field goal and gave them a touchdown. we just didn’t finish and that’s what it comes to.

“Now we have to win the last two games outright to give us in the right position (to make the playoffs).”

Maranatha had a chance to put the game on ice with 58 seconds left in the game leading 40-33. The Maranatha defense came up big when it stopped the Crusaders on fourth and 4 at their own 18. The Minutemen took over on downs with 1:51 left in the game. But it wouldn’t be long before Maranatha faced a fourth and 7 at the Cerritos’ 15.

That’s when Maranatha took a timeout and settled on a 32-yard field goal attempt. The attempt, however, was wide left. That left 52 seconds left on the clock and plenty of time for Cerritos Valley Christian to come up with something. It wouldn’t take long. In fact, two plays later that’s when Boer caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Fronke. Boer’s PAT tied the game at 40.

Cerritos Valley Christian attempted a pooch onside kick, which Valley Christian recovered. Two plays later, Josh Jones recorded his second interception to give the Minutemen the ball back at their own 5. But Maranatha took a knee to let the clock run out and take its chances in overtime, but to no avail.

Elffers did just about everything he could to keep the Minutemen within reach. Jones also did his part with more than several key plays late in the game. Elffers completed 25 of 45 passes for 460 yards and four touchdowns in regulation while Jones caught eigh passes for 155 yards and one touchdown. Major caught touchdown passes for 10, 70 and 19 yards while Mark Jebbia added two from 16 and 14 yards, respectively.

The Minutemen defense also made big plays despite what the final box score may have to say. Adam Harr recorded two sacks and the Maranatha defense recorded five interceptions — two by R.J. Straker, two by Jones and one from Connor Pendley.

The game went long because of an injury delay midway through the first quarter. Austin Batiste fell on his right wrist and as a result broke it badly. He passed out and appeared to be in shock after suffering the injury. He lay on the field more 10 minutes before he attempted to get up and sit on a cart. It wasn’t until 32 minutes had passed that paramedics arrived to take him to a nearby hospital. Later in the game, LeWayne Wright suffered a concussion and he also was taken to the hospital.

It should be noted that Maranatha’s Omar Younger and Chris Cornell were knocked out of the game in the first half. Undoubtedly their presence would have been of big help for the Minutemen.

Maranatha took advantage of three turnovers which resulted in two touchdowns and a field goal. But each time the Minutemen appeared to pad their lead, the Crusaders came back to make it interesting, all but assuring fans that a shootout was in the works.

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Friday Night Aftermath: Wow, wow, wow. Maranatha, Valley Christian in epic smackdown. Valley Christian survives, 70-64 in 5 OT!!!!! Don’t look now, Temple City 2-0 in Rio Hondo League; Arcadia, Muir, PHS all winners.



Tonight’s games
Arroyo 35, Rosemead 21 — Mike Amaya intercepted a pass and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown to break a 14-14 tie in the third quarter. Moments later, Alexis Aceves returned an interception 35 yards to help host Arroyo ice a 35-21 victory and improve to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in league.

Cerritos Valley Christian 70, Maranatha 64, 5OT — Maranatha held a 17-7 lead with 9:07 left in the second quarter before Cerritos Valley Christian stormed back to take a 26-24 lead with 1:56 left in the second quarter. After that, there were four lead changes before Tyler Boer connected on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fronke with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 40 and force overtime. It was Trevor Rodriguez who finally came through on a broken play to score from 25 yards out to lift the visiting Crusaders to an improbable 70-64 win in the fifth overtime. It was absolutely insane, and definitely a game you wish never came to an end, but it did, at exactly 11:30 p.m. I’ll have more details Saturday morning, and we’ll also have a full story in Sunday’s paper.

Monrovia 56, San Marino 0 — Monrovia dominated, including scoring 21 points in a 29-second span of the second quarter.

Temple City 27, La Canada 15 — Joshua Simangunsong continued his string of big games for Temple City High School as the senior running back ran for 252 yards on 28 carries with three touchdowns in leading the Rams to a 27-15 Rio Hondo League win over La Canada Friday night.

Arcadia 48, Burbank 20 — The game got off to a sloppy start. Arcadia fumbled the snap on a third-and-15 on its opening series and had to punt. Still in the first quarter, Arcadia blocked a punt by Burbank inside the Bulldogs’ 20 that flew out of the end zone for a safety. Late in the first quarter, a fight broke out on the Burbank sideline, with Arcadia’s Taylor Lagace and Burbank’s Quortney Brazier ejected. Arcadia’s Sheldon McKinley gained 137 yards on 23 carries, with one touchdown. Rodney Arnett added 87 yards rushing and a score. Quarterback Myles Carr was efficient in going 11 for 15 for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Everett Frazier caught two of those touchdowns.

Muir 53, Hoover 0 — The Mustangs’ playmakers put on a show. Quarterback Jeffery Davis was sharp with 150 yards passing on 7 of 10 attempts. Davis connected on three long passes for scores, including two to Daityevon McFadden (47 and 75 yards) and one to Deshawn Hayes (49 yards).

Pasadena 21, Crescenta Valley 14 — Andreece Brown’s 3-yard touchdown run capped an eight-play, 89-yard drive to lead Pasadena High School to a 21-14 victory over Crescenta Valley at Glendale High in a Pacific League game on Friday night. The Bulldogs (3-4, 2-3) got the ball at their own 11-yard line with 4:59 left in the game and the score tied 14-14. On fourth down and 3 from the Bulldogs’ 33, coach Randy Horton rolled the took a chance. Brandon Cox rolled to his left and hit Riian Simpson slanting across the middle for a 30-yard catch and run to the Falcons’ 33. Following a short run, Cox scrambled 36 yards to the Falcon 3. Brown covered the last 3 yards for a 21-14 lead with 1:56 to play.

Chaminade 29, St. Francis 26 — Logan Scott’s 5-yard run with 55 seconds left led Chaminade High School to a 29-26 victory over St. Francis on Friday night.

Schurr 44, Alhambra 16 — The Spartans dominated the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter when they scored 28 points. Aaron Cantu finished with 12 completions in 21 attempts for 205 yards and three touchdowns.

San Gabriel 42, Keppel 0 — After struggling in an Almont League loss to Montebello last week, the Matadors roared back with a 42-0 victory over visiting Keppel on Friday in another Almont League game. Junior Andy Guerrero threw three touchdown passes to Alex Villalobos and Arthur Brown rushed for two touchdowns. San Gabriel led, 22-0, at the half. The second half was played with a running clock.

South Pasadena 44, Blair 7 — The Vikings couldn’t stop Tigers quarterback Conor Bednarski and running back Patrick Martin. With 9:46 in the first quarter, Bednarski hit receiver Matt Nelson with a 20-yard touchdown pass. Two minutes later, Martin ran it in from 34 yards. With 6:57 on the clock, Bednarski found Nelson again on a 52-yard pass. At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers led 23-0.

El Monte 31, Gabrielino 19 — The Lions scored 24 consecutive second-half points. Gabrielino led, 19-7, at the half.

Bishop Montgomery 49, Bosco Tech 21 — Bosco Tech had its opportunity. But it all fell apart within a matter of a few plays. The host Tigers failed to score and Bishop Montgomery capitalized en route to a 49-21 Del Rey League victory Friday afternoon. “That’s a 14-point swing,” Bosco Tech coach Chris Shockley said. “That’s a momentum swing and everything else. It’s really tough to overcome that.”

Saturday’s games
Pasadena Poly at Webb, 2 p.m. — Melendez (Poly); Stang Fan (Poly)
Rio Hondo Prep vs. Flintridge Prep at Occidental, 7 p.m. — Melendez (RHP); Stang Fan (RHP)

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San Marino Superintendent Gary Woods confirms that Titans football coach and assistant principal Mike Mooney was placed on administrative leave

San Marino Unified School District Superintendent Gary Woods issued an official statement on Wednesday, confirming that San Marino High School vice-principal and varsity football coach Mike Mooney has in fact been placed on administrative leave. This is all Woods was at liberty to share.

“Mr. Mooney has been placed on administrative leave,” Woods said. “Because it’s a personnel issue, we really can’t comment any further.”

Woods also confirmed that principal Loren Kleinrock will coach the football team on an interim basis.

Mike Mooney maintained all along that he never resigned his position as vice principal or football coach.

An email sent by Woods and Kleinrock to parents of the Titans football team was obtained by this newspaper on Tuesday, which read as follows:

Dear Parents of San Marino High School Football Players:
As you may already know, Mr. Mike Mooney has stepped down as Varsity Football Coach. We are not allowed to comment on the specifics.
We would like to invite you to a parent meeting (Wednesday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.) in the high school cafeteria. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the plan to move forward for the remaining weeks of the season.
Please understand, Mr. Mooney’s departure has NO connection to any external complaint or criticism.
Sincerely, Loren Kleinrock and Gary Woods.

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BREAKING NEWS: San Marino football coach Mike Mooney placed on leave, school says he resigned

San Marino High School football coach and assistant principal Mike Mooney said on Tuesday that he has been placed on administrative leave by the school, but declined to comment why.
Also on Tuesday, San Marino superintendent Gary Woods and high school principal Loren Kleinrock put out a letter to team parents saying that Mooney had in fact resigned, but did not say why. Kleinrock’s letter said that Mooney’s departure had “NO connection to any external complaint or criticism.”
Mooney says he has not resigned from either position — assistant principal or head football coach. Kleinrock is expected to coach the football team on an interim basis.
Parents were invited to attend a meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria to discuss the direction of the program. San Marino is currently 2-4 and just lost its Rio Hondo League opener to Temple City last Friday night.
Mooney, who was an assistant coach last season, took over as head coach in April 2009 after former coach D.R. Moreland resigned in March.
San Marino gave Mooney his first head coaching job in 1996. Mooney left in 1998 to become head coach at Temple City. Mooney left Temple City in 2006 to return to San Marino as an assistant principal with the option to coach, something Temple City would not afford him if he wanted to be an administrator. Mooney, a 1988 graduate of Temple City, played at USC between ’88-’93.
Aram Tolegian, Miguel Melendez and Fred Robledo contribunted to this report.

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