Contributors are Paul D. Fitzgerald, Bruce Millstein, Chad Runnels, and Tony Ponce.
JR. GREMLIN FLAG
La Cañada Gladiators v. El Sereno Stallions
(Teams do not keep Score)
No report received.
La Cañada 35, El Sereno 6
The La Cañada Gladiator Gremlins returned to their winning ways Sunday with a 35-6 victory over the El Sereno Stallions in an Arroyo League matchup at la Cañada High School. The Gladiators are now 4-1 and in a three-way tie for first place with the Rosemead Rebels and Bell Garden Lancers.
A key to the Gladiators’ success was right tackle Josh Byer and left guard Jordyn Delgado who returned to the lineup to join offensive linemen Hudson Stimmler, Luke Cullen and Thomas Sorensen in re-establishing La Cañada’s punishing ground game. They opened gaping holes in the El Sereno defensive line for Gladiator running backs Jacob Calnon, Corey Cheung, Niko Anderson, and Joseph De La Cruz. Together the La Cañada offense amassed a whopping 305 yards on the ground for the day.
The Gladiators showed dominance from their first possession, driving the ball 54 yards in five plays, with key runs by Cheung, Anderson and Calnon. Calnon scored the first touchdown on a 1 yard quarterback sneak to end the drive. Calnon also executed a perfect bootleg on the extra point, running around the left end untouched to put the Gladiators up 7-0.
The Stallions put together an impressive 14 play drive and managed a first down at the Gladiator seven yard line. On first down linebacker Nevada Miller stopped the Stallions’ wing back for a one yard gain. Then the defensive line of Calnon, Moises Guiragossian, Frank Higginbotham, Izziah Alzaga, and Stimmler strung out a Stallion quarterback sweep right until Miller made another key tackle. On third down outside linebacker Scottie Smith made a crushing tackle on the El Sereno quarterback for no gain. On fourth down three Gladiators teamed up to tackle the Stallions’ quarterback for a one yard loss.
On first down from the four yard line Calnon ran through a giant hole on the right side and outran the El Sereno defense down the right sideline for a 96 yard touchdown. Back-up quarterback Smith scored the extra point with a run around right end, again taking advantage of the powerful La Cañada offensive line and tight ends Miller, Maddox Freeman and Smith. This put the Gladiators up 14-0.
El Sereno then could only manage one yard in six plays. La Cañada took over on their own 47, but fumbled on the next play to return the ball to the Stallions. El Sereno then put together another well-executed drive to the La Cañada seven yard line, but on first down El Sereno threw a lateral that was scooped up by an alert Shawn Irwin, who then scampered 90 yards for yet another La Cañada touchdown. Calnon ran the ball in for the point after to put the Gladiators up 21-0 with less than two minutes to go in the first half.
El Sereno, which could only manage 70 yards of total offense the entire game, then took advantage of a breakdown in the Gladiators’ secondary to complete a 42 yard pass and eventually score their only touchdown as time ran out in the first half, trailing 21 to 6. The La Cañada defense was led by linebackers Smith (10 tackles), Miller (8 tackles), De La Cruz (2 tackles), and Cullen (2 tackles.)
La Cañada’s deep offensive line, bolstered by Sebastian Pascuzzo and Collin Massey, continued to drive at will in the second half, paving the way for second-half touchdown runs of 76 yards by Cheung and 55 yards by Calnon against the El Sereno defense. La Cañada’s defense, solidified by defensive backs Matthew Kurkdjian, Anderson, Irwin, and Harrison Schloessmann, and defensive line subs David O’Connor, Massey, Byer, and Sorensen held the Stallions to only one first down and 29 offensive yards in the second half. The Gladiator second-half defensive performance was capped off by an opportunistic interception by Schloessmann, and two forced fumbles, one a strip by linebacker Scottie Smith, and the other recovered by Sorensen. The final score was La Cañada 35 and El Sereno 6.
La Cañada next faces division rival Bell Gardens at La Cañada High School on Saturday in a key Arroyo League matchup.
La Cañada 42, El Sereno 0
On Sunday afternoon at La Cañada High School the La Cañada Gladiator Pee Wee team improved to 5-0 and remained alone on top of the Arroyo League with a 42-0 victory over the El Sereno Stallions. This is the Gladiators fourth shutout in five games.
Pierce Clarkson was able to serpentine through the Stallion defenders for a seventy-five yard touchdown on the opening drive in making the score 6-0. El Sereno took over on their own forty-five yard line, but a couple of big plays from Gladiators Matthew Watson and Demarcus Caruana forced the Stallions offense to sputter and give the ball back to the Gladiators. The Gladiators delivered again with a forty-eight yard touchdown pass from Sam Faulkner to Dexter Matthews. Mycah Pasten kicked the two point conversion and spotted the Gladiators a 14-0 lead. On El Sereno’s next possession James Warner made a big tackle and Brandon Shepherd knocked down a fourth down pass attempt giving La Cañada the ball back on El Sereno’s forty six yard line. Michael Balian also came up with a great defensive play. On the next play, San Faulkner connected with a short pass over the middle to Daylon Beasley who took it in for a forty six yard touchdown. Pasten’s conversion gave La Cañada a 22-0 at the end of the first quarter
In the second quarter, Michael Sanchez III intercepted an El Sereno pass giving La Cañada the ball on its own forty-four yard line. Clarkson tossed a thirteen yard pass to Laelen Wright and Faulkner scrambled for sixteen yards moving the ball to the Stallions’ twenty five yard line. Clarkson then tossed a perfect strike to Jake Fitzgerald who did the rest in scoring another Gladiator touchdown. Clarkson’s pass to Beasley for the extra point gave La Cañada a 29-0 lead. El Sereno took over at the fifty and Jackson Reese made a nice tackle to nix the Stallion drive. La Cañada took over on El Sereno’s forty five yard line and Faulkner ran for twenty yards to the El Sereno thirty. Jonah Cisneros and Christopher Marfisi made some nifty moves in the run game. La Cañada’s Andrew Sharman took a hand-off left and out-ran the El Sereno team for another Gladiator touchdown from the twenty five yards making the score 35-0 to end the half.
El Sereno opened the second half on the fifty yard line. Jake Okland and Sebastian Deleon made a couple of nice tackles in forcing the Stallions to turn over the ball. On the Gladiators next possession Wright ran fifty-two yards for an additional La Cañada touchdown in making the score 41-0. Gladiator Jonah Cisneros ran in the extra point that made it 42-0.
The fourth quarter featured some Gladiator defensive plays including a tough tackle by Miguel Sanchez III and a Caruana quarterback sack. Charles Stewart and Victor Guiragossian tried their hand at running back and made some impressive gains. Fitzgerald sacked the El Sereno quarterback for the final play of the game.
Gladiators Sean Ecobar, Aiden Garcia, Jonathan Martin, Daniel De la Cruz and Michael Balian played tough on both sides of the ball.
The La Cañada Gladiator Pee Wee team takes their undefeated team on the road for a pivotal game this Saturday October 17, at West Covina High School against the West Covina Bruins.
La Cañada 48, West Covina 0
The La Cañada Junior Midgets improved to 4-1 with a convincing 48-0 victory over the visiting West Covina Bruins at La Cañada High School on Sunday afternoon.
The Gladiators jumped ahead early and never looked back. Chase Center weaved 65 yards with the opening kick-off and Angel Ochoa barreled 14 yards on the first play from scrimmage and the Gladiators led 7-0 before most fans had found a shady place to sit.
On defense Ponce and Simblet stuffed the first two Bruin runs and Max Grant sacked the quarterback on third and long. Aaron Garcia stormed up the right sideline with the ensuing punt, bring the ball back into Bruin territory, and the Gladiators capped off a four play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run from Zeal Shumate.
Henry Whitford then set up shop in the Bruin backfield, stuffing one run and pressuring an incomplete pass on third down, forcing another punt. The no nonsense Gladiators got the ball back and again drove forward. The first quarter ended with the G-men ahead 13-0 and knocking on the door for more.
The second quarter opened when the Bruins answered the door and Colby Rees raced in, giving the Gladiators a 19-0 lead.
The defense was stellar all day. Mher Baranian, Kyle Lewin, Max Herman, and Jason Contreras collectively stuffed the Bruins on the next series, and the ball suddenly popped out and Chase Center snagged it out of mid-air and raced 55 yards for the Gladiator’s fourth touchdown putting the Gladiators up 25-0. The defense again went back to work and forced another three and out.
Halfway through the second quarter, the Gladiator offensive line asserted itself again. Kilian Trulik, Valentin Nunez, Adam Griffin, Jack, Modrzejewski, Jacob Zabala, Charles Meyer, and Duncan Sprengal pushed the Bruins back on every run and gave Ochoa ample time to find a receiver on every pass. The Gladiators mixed both on this drive, and the line eventually sprung Sam Galeano, who accelerated off right tackle for a 35-yard touchdown run to close out the half. The Gladiators were firmly in control, 32-0.
The Bruins got the ball to open the third quarter, and they came out fighting, getting their initial first down of the game. A few plays later, though, Ryan Villalobos and Luc Campanella administered a 1-2 punch on third and long, and number 21 Efrem Rivera reversed the direction of the ball by intercepting a desperation fourth down pass.
Ochoa then went back to work. With great protection, he dropped back to pass, faked to a cutting Joshua Kibler, and then heaved a long ball to Bryson Reeves who hauled in the bomb and sprinted the remaining twenty yards for another Gladiator score. The third quarter ended with the score 40-0.
Déjà vu hit in the fourth quarter, when the Bruins were again stopped by the spirited Gladiator defense, and Zeal Shumate came close to breaking the sound barrier with a 35-yard rocket run to close out the game and scoring. The final was 48-0.
The Gladiators will grapple next Saturday at La Cañada High School with the first place Lancers of Bell Gardens in a league showdown to determine first place in the Arroyo league.