Sept. 8, 2018
Jr. Gremlin Flag
La Cañada Gladiators 14, Charter Oak Chargers 14
On Saturday morning at La Cañada High School, the La Cañada Gladiators opened their season against the visiting Charter Oak Chargers in a 14-14 tie. Both sides came to play.
Behind outstanding offensive line play anchored by Wyatt Zinn and Maddox Vengco, running back Dash Valdes and quarterback Tre LaFond used their game-breaking speed for long touchdown runs. Quarterback Sonny Rodriguez did a great job moving the offense with outstanding play from Cash Klein, Alex Carrillo, Jack Kelly, Jacob Varela and Leo Ortiz against a stingy Charter Oak defense.
The defense shined with Eli Zamorano, Rhys Petroc, and Luke Shumaker making plays all over the field. Cornerbacks Kiree Carrier and Brendan Smith were able to protect the corners and limit big plays. Linebacker Mario “the Missile” Martinez was unstoppable and had the play of the game, grabbing the opposing running back’s flag at the goal line as time expired to preserve the tie.
It was an excellent start to the season and Head Coach Charlie Smith is excited about the progress his team has made so far.
The Gladiators Jr Gremlins next game is against Baldwin Park at Baldwin Park High School next Sunday, Sept. 16 at 8:30 a.m.
La Cañada 0, Charter Oak 18
The La Cañada Gladiators Gremlins hosted the Charter Oak Chargers on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. at La Cañada High School. The game was tight throughout the first half with Charter Oak up by one score. Charter Oak broke the game open later in the third and fourth quarters, winning 18-0.
The two teams exchanged scoreless drives, with La Cañada punting on its first two drives, and Charter Oak failing on two fourth down attempts against the going for it on fourth down without success twice. La Cañada came close to scoring two times in the first and second quarters; the first on a long drive where the team dedicated to running the ball including runs by CJ Mattmann of 5, 7 and 10 yards. A short pass to wide receiver Alec Heberger from quarterback Liam Pasten set-up the first touchdown opportunity. The Gladiators drive ended with an interception by Charter Oak.
Charter Oak broke contain and went around the left side hash for a long run that set up their only score of the first half. The score came on 4th down in the second quarter on a weak side run to the right by the Charter Oak running back. Charter Oak missed on its two-point attempt, as it also would subsequently do with both of its scores in the second half.
La Cañada answered back with a 40-yard pass from Pasten to AJ Garcia. In the red zone, La Cañada had an opportunity to score but the drive was stopped after another interception by Charter Oak on a pass originally intended for tight end Thomas DeLucia. The teams entered the half with a one score lead by Charter Oak 6-0.
The second half began with stout defensive play on both sides. A near interception by Christopher Spears of the Gladiators stopped a promising Charter Oak drive. Charter Oak stood tall against the Gladiators offense throughout the second half, netting another interception and holding the Gladiators to minimal offense. Charter Oak’s offense would add two more scores on long runs including one from deep near its own end zone to close out scoring in the game.
The Gladiators finished the game with no touchdowns and the Chargers scored three times on the ground.
The offensive/defensive line including Matthew Merril, Spencer Turner, Linus Lund, Derek Flores, Dixon Womack, and Phoenix Vengco all contributed greatly to the team’s success.
The Gladiator Gremlins play their next game against Baldwin Park on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. at Baldwin Park High School.
Junior Pee Wee
La Cañada 13, Charter Oak 47
On Saturday afternoon at La Cañada High School, the La Cañada Gladiator Jr. Pee Wees fell to 0-1 on the season with a tough 13-47 loss to the visiting Charter Oak Chargers.
Fullback Cayden Klein had an outstanding second half with a 50-yard touchdown reception from Crowley Sullivan aided by a key block made by Desi Valdes. Klein also had a 30-yard rushing touchdown, thanks to the offensive line play of Justin Kong, Gavin Gates, Diego Ortiz, Lazaro Tio, Daniel Damaryan, Joe Martinez, and Alex Abramian.
In addition to Klein’s 50 yards rushing, Kenyan Collins carried the ball 7 times for 22 yards, Scott Carey rushed 6 times for 44 yards, Jimmy Spears and Desi Valdes each carried the ball one time. Sullivan was 3 of 8 passing, amassing 37 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception. Klein caught 2 of those passes for 36 yards and Collins caught one pass for one yard. J J Runnels also threw the ball 3 times, connecting once on a 10-yard strike to Carey.
Though the score didn’t reflect it, there were plenty of bright spots on defense. The Gladiators leading tacklers were Sullivan, William Nyhan, and Ortiz. Collins had three tackles, while Spears had two touchdown saving tackles and an interception he returned for 15 yards. Gates had two tackles. Runnels, Martinez, Abramian, and Tio had one tackle each. Kong, Abramian, Sullivan, and Ortiz each had a quarterback pressure leading to two pass break ups each by Valdes, Khachikian, and Carey as well as one by Ortiz.
The Jr. Pee Wees will have some work to do this week as they will travel to Baldwin Park next Sunday to play the Roadrunners.
La Cañada 16, Charter Oak 24
The La Cañada Gladiator Pee Wee football team kicked off its season against the visiting Charter Oak Chargers on Saturday, Sept. 8 at La Cañada High School’s Spartan Stadium.
Charter Oak received the opening kickoff at their 43-yard line but could only drive three yards past mid-field before the Gladiator defense stiffened. Gladiator nose guard Noah Zarate and middle linebacker Nevada Miller sacked the Charter Oak quarterback on fourth-and-12 to turn over the ball over to La Cañada’s offense.
La Cañada quarterback David Mysza struck quickly connecting with wideout Ted Amorosi on a 50-yard bomb down the left sideline on the second play from scrimmage. Kicker Jayden Espadas converted on the extra point kick to put the Gladiators ahead 8-0 half way into the first quarter. Charter Oak responded with a 26-yard touchdown pass of its own on its second drive. Outside Linebacker Jacob Lopez blocked the PAT attempt to keep the Gladiators ahead 8-6.
The La Cañada offense struck quickly again, scoring again on the second play of their second drive, this time a 59-yard run through the left side of the Charter Oak defense by running back Corey Cheung. The quick-strike offense was led by offensive linemen Luke Cullen, Brian Boyer, Jalen Gregory, Brian Bloch, Thomas Sorensen, Dominick Cozza, and David Galaviz; tight end Amorosi and wide receivers Trent Carey, Michael Okland, Matteos Gallegos and Nicholas Battany. Cheung’s touchdown was enabled by a crunching block by fullback Nevada Miller and an outstanding downfield block by Gallegos. Espadas’ second straight PAT kick put La Cañada further ahead 16-6.
Charter Oak’s offense proved just as effective as on the first play of their next possession the Charter Oak running back broke two arm tackles and sprinted 57 yards for a touchdown. Two possessions later Charter Oak scored again on a 40-yard pass completion to move ahead 18-16 at half time.
The second half turned into a defensive struggle as neither team could score in the third quarter. La Cañada’s defense was led by middle linebacker Nevada Miller, who finished the game with 14 tackles, 1 assist and a fumble recovery. Outstanding support was provided by outside linebackers Lopez, Scottie Smith, and Carey; and defensive backs Cheung, Mysza, Jake Arellano, and Shade Schaefer. The defensive line also played well led by Boyer, Espadas, Zarate, Galaviz, Frank ‘Tank’ Higginbotham, Sebastian Pascuzzo, David O’Connor, and Izziah Alzaga.
La Cañada’s offense, which had sizzled in the first half, fizzled in the second half due to penalties, fumbles, and dropped passes. Charter Oak, on the other hand, committed fewer mistakes and made several big plays on offense, which allowed them to push further ahead on the scoreboard 24-16 midway through the 4th quarter. The game was close to the very end as the La Cañada offense tried but failed to even the score.
La Cañada travels to Baldwin Park High School next Sunday Sept. 16 to take on defending champions East LA.