This week the Gladiator Junior Gremlin, Gremlin, Jr. Pee Wee and Pee Wee teams played on Sunday against the Claremont Wolfpack. The Jr. Midgets played Sunday against the Glendale Bears, and the Midgets played Sunday against the Pico Rivera Dons. The following parents and coaches contributed to this article: Keenan Cheung, Sara Ortiz, Mike McConnell, Chara and Gary Campanella, Destiny Garcia, Dean Okland and Ken Putnam.
JR. GREMLIN FLAG
Teams do not keep score
The Jr Gremlin flag squad faced a talented team from Claremont Sunday morning in Claremont. The Gladiators started out fast again offensively when Corey Cheung darted down the sideline for a 40 yard touchdown on the second play of the game. The offensive line opened holes all day behind the blocking of Reid Matthews, Kenny carpenter, Jason Wszelaki, Shawn Irwin, Moises Guiragossian, Nevada Miller, Jackson Radabaugh, Scott Smith, and Scott Ernst. The offense scored five touchdowns on the day with Jake Arellano, Julian Alday scoring one each Corey Cheung with two and the play of the day was a halfback pass from Corey Cheung to Scott smith for a 42 yard score. Andrew Sibbrel added two long runs but was denied the end zone when he was stopped near the goal line.
The defense held the speedy Claremont team in check most of the day. The defensive line of Andrew Ortiz, Timothy O’Brien, Abraham Saleh , Shawn Irwin, Mo Guiragossian, Nevada Miller, Jason Wszelaki , played aggressively all day. They pulled many flags for negative yardage. Young safeties Alec Heberger and Aaron Matthews were ball hawks and prevented several long passes.
Next up for the Gladiators are the El Monte Jets on Sunday, November 3rd at La Canada High School.
La Cañada 33, Claremont Wolfpack 0
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Jr. Pee Wee
La Cañada 48, Claremont Wolfpack 0
The Junior PeeWee Gladiators took the long drive to Claremont and then made short work of the Claremont Wolfpack, winning 48-0.
After kicking off, the Gladiator defense set an immediate tone, forcing an incomplete pass on first down, stuffing a right side pitch on second down, and then recovering a fumble on third and long.
Chase Center then sprung free on the first offensive play of the game, racing 53 yards off left tackle for a touchdown.
The Gladiators continued to apply pressure by recovering the ensuing onside kick. Center then picked his way through the defense for a second score, this one from 57 yards away. The entire offense contributed devastating blocks on this run, with stalwart centering from Adam Griffin, hard-nosed point of attack blocking from Joseph Mecit, and a determined downfield push from Anton Verheyen. Once into the secondary, Center weaved behind the facilitative blocking of fierce Pierce Clarkson, fleet-footed Christian Irianto, and “Blocking Tall” Jordan LeBlanc. Marcus Powe then punctuated both this convincing start to the game and a spirited week of focused practice by successfully kicking the conversion, a two point tally, giving the Gladiators a 14-0 lead barely three minutes into the first quarter.
The defense then swarmed the Wolfpack on their next possessions. Dylan Luper made a particularly nice backfield tackle to start things off. Center then picked off a Wolfpack pass and returned it 46 yards for another touchdown. The Gladiator defense then forced a three-and-out, with Talent Finn and Kilian Trulik, who were absolute monsters all day, contributing enormous tackles. Center then took the ensuing punt and, after a dose of shake and bake, blitzed down the right sideline for his fourth score of the quarter, which ended with the Gladiators firmly in command, 28-0.
The second quarter started off with Colby Rees completing a halfback option pass, and then Center flying through a clouded middle to the clear blue sky of another touchdown, this one for 40 yards.
Back on defense, the line continued to push the Wolfpack back, with the immovable Lucas Ponce anchoring a stout defensive line, while the linebackers and secondary swooped in for gang tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The Wolfpack offensive line were no match for the power of Julian Kanach, the monster play of Nathan Martinez, or the speed of defensive demons Aaron Garcia, Louie De La Cruz, and Jacob Martinez.
Marcus Powe got into the scoring frenzy with a 50-yard touchdown run off left tackle. On the ensuing Wolfpack possession, Francisco Vazquez played like a man possessed, while a slashing Luc Campanella contributed a backfield tackle and aggressive weak side pursuit. Powe then capped off Claremont’s early Halloween nightmare with a 57yard interception return for the game’s final touchdown.
The half time score was 50-0 and, as the Wolfpack was no match for our JPW Gladiators on this given Sunday, the game ended there.
Next up for the Junior Pee Wees is a home tilt against the El Monte Jets on Sunday, November 3.
La Cañada 36, Claremont Wolfpack 6
The Gladiators faced off against a tough Claremont Wolfpack on Sunday in Claremont and came away with a convincing 36-6 win to improve to 4-2 on the season.
From the beginning, the offense established its dominance moving the ball on the ground and through the air as Kade Wentz connected with Thomas McConnell on a 35 yard touchdown pass to finish-off the first drive of the game. McConnell finished the day with two touchdowns and three two-point conversions on the day. The offensive line of Patrick Faulkner, Austin Heberger, Tristan Kekahuna, Joey Brunner, Johnny Vasily, Ciaran Pierce and Andres Ramirez had a great day, and the downfield blocking of Devin Matthews, Jacob Buntich and Nicholas Abdalian carried the Gladiators as they racked up over 300 yards rushing.
For the game, Brendan Pernecky had one rushing score, and player of the game Kevin Parada added another two rushing touchdowns as well as 1.5 sacks on defense. The defense was solid throughout the day. Middle linebacker Steven Arellano once again anchored the defensive unit and led the way with 8 tackles, a pass deflection and displayed toughness playing through an ankle sprain. The defensive line of Michael Ruf, Milad Lashgari, Gilbert de Cardenas, Valentin Nunez, Carter Link, Chuck Meyer and Triston Kekahuna set the tone with 6 sacks on the day. Kekahuna and Parada had 1.5 sacks each and Link, Meyer & McConnell had a sack each and Jackson Wendling added in an interception. The hit of the day came from Jacob Buntich in the 3rd quarter dropping the Wolfpack runner and forcing a fumble.
Next in store for the Gladiators are the El Sereno Stallions next Sunday at La Canada High School.
La Cañada 42, Glendale Bears 8
At the beautiful Occidental College Football Field on Sunday October 27th the La Canada Gladiator Junior Midget squad played a strong, consistent game versus the Glendale Bears under the lights. The final tally was La Canada 42, Glendale 8, bringing the Gladiators to 3-3 on the season.
The Gladiators scored six times in the one and a half hour playing time. Glendale was only able to score one touchdown. The tough Gladiator defense held the Glendale Bears to 66 yards of offense in 6 possessions. Defense was lead by Kai Aguila, Davy Stone, Evan Estrada, Will Stewart, Jack Stellwagen, Daniel Cho, Clayton Esparza, Ian Goodstein, Michael Torres and Chris Wood. Greg Dulcich intercepted the Bears passer to run back for one of La Canada’s scores.
Quarterback Eric Zimmerman lead the team to 278 yards of offense. Piling up the yardage were Zimmerman, Gregory Dulcich and Elijah Washington as the principle runners. The recipients of Zimmerman’s passes were Elijah Washington, who grabbed five, and one each to Carson Okland, Emmett Pernecky, and Greg Dulcich. Assisting to power this offense were Marcelino Martinez, Chris Simonian, Jason Watson, Daniel Cho, Brandon Torres, Teddy Ibarra, Mitchell Espinosa, Taylor McCubbin and Derek Albanese. Chris Wood capped off the scoring with 4 extra point-after kicks.
Sideline support was lent by Tyler Shakibai and Braeden Bentzen. La Canada’s next opponent is the Lincoln Heights Tigers in a home game on Sunday.
La Cañada 14, Pico Rivera Dons 36
The La Canada Gladiators traveled to Pico Rivera on Sunday to battle the Dons, and came home with their first loss of the season, despite a valiant and unflagging effort. The Gladiators’ starting line took the field for the kick off, and Charlie Johnson, Gavin Chi, Ruben Munoz, Andres Garcia, Zach Kejmar, Bobby Gazmarian, and Thomas Ary launched into immediate action at the return. Ary made the first tackle of the game at the La Canada 37 yard line, followed by two more by Ary and a coordinated attack by Gazmarian and Rafe Stenwall. But it was not enough to hold back the Dons, who scored early in the first quarter.
Alfonso Castillo easily caught the Dons kick off, and charged upfield to make it to the 29 yard line before the Dons took control of the ball. Before the end of the first quarter, Pico Rivera had scored again, bringing the score to 0-14.
The second quarter opened with a swift score by Pico Rivera, with the conversion raising the score again to 0-22. The Gladiators dug in with fierce determination and resolved to hold their lines at midfield, giving Austin Urbach and Rafe Stenwall the windows they needed to slip through the Dons’ grasp: Urbach made the final, ground-eating carry for the Gladiators’ first touchdown with two minutes left in the quarter, with a good conversion, the half ended with the score at 22-8.
Post-halftime, the Gladiators refined their strategy, tightening up their lines to stave off the relentless Dons offense. Drake Barron, Charlie Johnson, and Alfonso Castillo made fearless tackles, and Bobby Gazmarian landed a brilliant hit to Pico Rivera on the heels of a long pass reception. Despite the unified and densely aggressive efforts of the Gladiators defense, however, the Dons scored again at the end of the third quarter.
Despite the redoubled efforts of the Gladiator defense, and double-player tackles against the Dons, Pico Rivera landed their next and final touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Undaunted by the odds, La Canada surged into Pico Rivera territory, with Urbach and Stenwall making dramatic carries to bring the ball within inches of the Dons’ end zone before launching across for the goal, dragging a haystack of Dons and Gladiators across the line in a roiling pile. The Gladiators made the conversion in the same way, as if the entire team was one, single-minded player with only one thought – score again. With the score at 36-14, and the Gladiators’ spirit renewed, Urbach, Stenwall and Patrick Casani managed to wrest the direction of play back to within 16 yards of another touchdown for La Canada, but an intercepted pass by the Dons ended the charge with 16 seconds on the clock.
Next week will be the final game in the regular season, and the Gladiators will take on the Whittier Redskins in Whittier at 5:00 PM. We hope you will come out and join us to cheer on the team!
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” – Peter Marshall