This week the Gladiator teams played at Bell Gardens, Temple City, and Covina. Three teams played the Bell Garden Lancers, one team played the Temple City Rams, and one team played the Covina Vikings. The following parents and coaches contributed to this article: Greg Kekahuna, Chara and Gary Campanella, Dean Okland, Amy Lydon Seiter, Ken Putnam, and Dean Richardson.
JR. GREMLIN FLAG
La Cañada Gladiators v. Bell Gardens Lancers
(Teams do not keep Score)
La Cañada 19, Covina Vikings 0
No Report Received.
JR. PEE WEE
La Cañada 6, Bell Gardens 40
The Gladiator Jr. Pee Wee team was overwhelmed by a strong Bell Gardens team 40-6 on Saturday afternoon in Bell Gardens. Playing their first game on the road, the Junior Pee Wees fell behind the Lancers early and faced an uphill battle rest of the day. The Gladiators are now 1-1 on the season.
Down 7-0 after the opening drive, the Gladiators mounted a strong defensive stand on the Lancers’ second possession, with Louie Delacruz breaking up a first down pass play, Marcus Powe combining with others on a backfield tackle, and a swarming defense led by Julian Kanach, Lucas Ponce and Anton Verheyen, snuffing out a dangerous option pass attempt on third down. The offense struggled to move the ball though, and the Gladiators were down 7-0 after the first quarter.
After a second touchdown put the Gladiators behind 14-0, the offense found its groove on their first series in the second quarter. With solid offensive line and downfield blocking from Pierce Clarkson, Efrem Rivera, and Christian Irianto, the Gladiators mounted a 70-yard scoring drive. Key plays on the drive were a 20-yard run from Chase Center and a 22 yard pass from Center to Aaron Garcia. Colby Rees then converted on 4th and one with a determined five yard touchdown run off left tackle.
The Gladiators played well on their next defensive series, with Talent Finn, who played impact defense all day, making several key stops. Still, the Gladiators were down 20-6 at halftime.
In the second half, the Gladiators, playing without several key players, struggled on offense. The defense, after giving up an opening score, stood tall for the rest of the third quarter, with second string defender Luc Campanella making or assisting on four tackles from his linebacker position, Dylan Louper consistently turning the Lancer runners inside off the right defensive end, and Francisco Vazquez, Jr., Noah Langford, and Jordan Leblanc making hardnosed stops during on a long Lancer drive in which the Gladiators bent but did not break. Taking over the ball and momentum at their own 15 yard line, the Gladiators then closed the quarter with a long drive deep into Lancer territory. Stalwart offensive linemen Adam Griffin and Joseph Mecit led the charge, and the score at the end of the quarter was 27-6.
A pair of Bell Gardens touchdowns against a tired and undermanned Gladiator squad rounded out the scoring on a character building day for the Jr. Pee Wees.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Gladiator Jr. Pee Wee team will host the always tough Rosemead Rebels at La Cañada High School.
La Cañada 16, Bell Gardens 26
The Gladiator Pee Wee squad had a tough loss 26-16 to the Bell Garden Lancers on a warm Saturday afternoon in Bell Gardens.
After an opening score by the Lancers in the 1st quarter, the Gladiators answered with a dominating running game that propelled Carter Link 33 yards up the middle for the first score of the game. The offensive line lead by Austin Heberger, Johnny Vasily, Clayton Byer, Chuck Myer and Steven Arrellano opened up holes for the running backs throughout the first half. That combined with the devastating downfield blocking of Devin Matthews, Hunter Cuneo, Samuel Kunz, Nick Abdalian and Jacob Buntich gave the Gladiators an 8-7 lead at halftime.
The Gladiators started off the second half in grand fashion, recovering an onside kick and a 52 yard TD run by Brendan Pernecky on the first play from scrimmage. Kade Wentz is proving to be quite a weapon with his arm and in this game with his foot. He converted 2 extra points worth 2 points each at this level and also served as a punter, with 2 punts over 30 yards.
The defense had a tough day but there were some great plays made by Michael Ruf, Milad Lashgari, Gilbert de Cardenas, Matthew Buntich, Shane Johnson, Ciaran Pierce, Patrick Mohr, Joey Brunner, and Patrick Faulkner. Both Thomas McConnell and Kevin Parada had at least one TD saving tackle as they finished the game with 6 tackles each. Valentin Nunez, Andres Ramirez and Anthony Lozano continually stuffed the run inside and in the fourth quarter Triston Kekahuna broke through the line smashed the opposing quarterback while throwing the ball. Once again it was a tough loss but the play of the game showed promise for next week, Jackson Wendling beat double coverage and had a great catch for a 30 yard gain to set up a TD.
Next week, the Pee Wees are back at home at La Cañada High School to host the Rosemead Rebels at 1 p.m.
La Cañada 7, Temple City Rams 20
On Saturday, the Junior Midget Gladiator game against the Temple City Rams at Temple City began after a one hour delay. La Canada came out on the short end 20-7, bringing their season record to 1-1.
La Cañada scored first midway through the first quarter on a 37 yard run by Greg Dulcich. Sure-footed Chris Wood kicked the point after touchdown to give the Gladiators a 7-0 lead. Quarterback Erik Zimmerman’s supporting cast included center Marcelino Martinez, Elijah Washington, Jason Watson, Daniel Cho, Chris Simonian, Mitchell Espinosa, Teddy Ibarra, Brandon Torres, Emmett Pernecky, Taylor McCubbin, Michael Torres, Clayton Esparza, Carson Okland, Tyler Shakibai, Kai Aguila and Derek Albanese. Michael Torres recovered a Temple City onside kick attempt.
The Rams did not score until the second quarter, but they missed the conversion, and the Gladiators held a 7-6 halftime lead.
The two teams then went up and down the field until the end of the third quarter when the Rams scored their second touchdown and added the 2 point conversion to take a 14-7 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with and interception by Temple City of a La Canada pass on the Ram’s twenty yard line and a second Temple City play being an eighty-six yard run by a Ram player for the last score of the game. Defensive squad members included Evan Estrada, Braeden Bentzen, Davy Stone, Artis Candler, Will Stewart, Jack Stellwagen and Ian Goodstein. The final score was Temple City 20 and La Canada Gladiators 7.
Next week the Jr. Midget will welcome the always tough Rosemead Rebels to La Cañada High School on Saturday, October 5th at 3:00 p.m.
La Cañada Gladiators 46, Bell Gardens Lancers 6
The La Canada Gladiators traveled to Bell Gardens for their second game of the season against the Lancers on Saturday, September 28. In the final game of the day, the Midget division won a landslide victory of 46-6, bringing their record to 2-0.
Taking the field at kickoff, the Gladiators’ offensive line, featuring Jack Casani, Louie Pintado, Gavin Chi, John Carter, Bryan Navarro, Thomas Ary, Marty Martinez, and Hermen Sebastian, got right down to business in the first quarter, driving the ball deep into Lancers’ territory within the first four minutes. Assisted by a strong carry by Drake Barron to the 11-yard line, Charlie Johnson blazed a trail right around the Bell Gardens defense to score the first touchdown of the game, and Barron followed up with the extra point to give the Gladiators a 8-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was no less dramatic, with the Gladiators’ defensive line swarming fiercely to thwart the Lancers’ offensive drives. Less than two minutes into the quarter, La Canada moved the ball seventy yards to the Lancer 9 yard line and into scoring position. Drake Barron made a daring carry for the final few yards at third down to score the Gladiators’ second touchdown. Austin Urbach slammed home the extra point, bringing the score to 16-0.
Jesse Blackwell, Thomas Ary, Rafe Stenwall, and Alfonso Castillo were relentless in their determination to bring down Lancer attacks on Gladiator turf, creating the opportunity for a brilliant 36-yard carry into the end-zone by Ryan Sabin. Alfonso Castillo forced through the pack to score the extra point with four minutes still on the clock in the quarter to increase the La Canada lead to 24-0. Bell Gardens rallied its offense late in the quarter to score their first and only goal with only 36 seconds remaining on the clock before halftime, despite a beautiful pass interception by Bobby Gazmarian. The first half ended with the Gladiators enjoying a 24-6 lead.
The third quarter opened explosively with an amazing interception and touchdown-scoring run by Rafe Stenwall from around the 40-yard line, and an easy extra point gained by Drake Barron, increasing the Gladiator lead to 32-6. Fearless blocking by Ruben Munoz, Zach Kejmar, Andres Garcia, and Bryan Navarro kept the Lancers scrambling and off-balance, fighting hard but unsuccessfully to turn the tide in their favor.
La Canada showed no signs of slowing their onslaught during the fourth quarter. Riley Center tore through the Lancers defensive line for a 20 yard gain to the 1 yard line with nearly half the Lancers defense dragging behind him. Center then brought it home for the touchdown with a one yard run. Following the successful conversion, the Gladiators we ahead 40-6. With only three minutes remaining, it looked as though Bell Gardens might break through and score again, but at the Gladiators’ 9 yard line, Bobby Gazmarian seized control of the ball, broke free of any opposition and ran the full length of the field, completely unopposed, to seal the Gladiators’ victory at 46-6.
Congratulations to the La Canada boys on an exciting and well-deserved victory! Please join the Gladiators on Saturday, October 5th, at 6:00 p.m. at La Canada High School, where they will take on the El Sereno Stallions.