La Cañada Gladiators


La Cañada Gladiators v. Pasadena Panthers

(Teams do not keep Score)


The La Cañada Gladiators Jr. Gremlins hosted the visiting Pasadena Panthers on Saturday Sept. 23 at 9 a.m. at La Cañada High School.


The Gladiators came out strong on defense, stopping Pasadena early on with excellent defensive outside contain. In particular, defensive end Phoenix Vengco and defensive back Christian Mattmann had flag pulls and a near interception leading to a Pasadena turnover on downs in its first possession. In the Gladiators first possession, the team came out strong with runs to Mattmann and to Cole Richards, culminating with a touchdown run on a sweep left by Laurence Kerkonian.


On the ensuing Pasadena possession, the Panthers were able to break outside contain, and on a run that involved three to four Gladiator missed flag pulls, scored on a long touchdown down the right sideline to pull the game even at one touchdown each. The Gladiators and Panthers traded offensive possessions, with the Gladiators committing a few costly turnovers that have plagued them the first three games of the season. Despite an interception, and turnover on downs, the Gladiators defense held.


In the second half, the Gladiators began with the ball, and sputtered to a punt, and turnover on downs in their first two possessions. After the Gladiators turned the ball over, the Panthers capitalized with a long touchdown run, this time down the left sideline involving several missed flag pulls by nearly the whole Gladiator defense.


At that point, the Gladiators’ offensive took over and put together an exemplary touchdown drive. Runs by Richards and Mattmann set up two quick toss-and-catch plays from Vengco to Kerkonian. The drive was capped with seven-yard touchdown run by Richards to close out the scoring.


The Gladiator defense overall played sound, only giving up two long run plays the entire day on sweeps around both sidelines. Christopher Spears made a great interception, Sergio Rodriguez had a handful of key flag pulls, and Mattmann had a near interception in the first half. Kerkonian played excellent from his defensive end spot, netting two flag pulls of the Panther quarterback behind the line of scrimmage.


The offensive/defensive line including Dixon Womack, Kerkonian, Maddox Vengco, Henry Vartanian, Izaac Rodriguez, David (“Tre”) LaFond, Leo Ortiz, and Maclean (“Mackie”) O’Brien all contributed greatly to the team’s success.


The Gladiator Jr. Gremlins’ next game at home is against Baldwin Park on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. at La Cañada High School.



La Cañada 32 – Pasadena 7


No Report Received


Jr. Pee Wee

La Cañada 32 – Pasadena Panthers 0


Junior Pee Wee

La Cañada 32 – Pasadena Panthers 0

The La Cañada Junior Pee Wee Gladiators continued their march through the Baseline Division of the San Gabriel Valley Junior All American Football league on Saturday Sept. 23 with a 32-0 drubbing of the visiting Pasadena Panthers. The Gladiators dominated in all facets of the game, notching their third straight shutout of the season.

Though the final score was lopsided, the two teams fought closely in the first half. The Panthers received the ball first and put together their only positive drive of the day, grinding out 20 yards in five plays before the La Cañada defense gelled. The Gladiator defense, led by linebackers Nevada Miller, Scottie Smith and Jacob Lopez, and defensive backs Michael Liggins, Jake Arellano, Levi Griffin, Will Nyhan and Wyatt Becker, shut down the Pasadena offense after the first drive, holding them to -13 rushing yards and no passing yards. Defensive tackle Noah Zarate recovered an errant Panther fumble on the La Cañada 38-yard line to turn the ball over to the La Cañada offense.

The La Cañada offense was plagued with penalties and fumbles in the first two quarters and was kept out of the end zone by a stingy Pasadena defense. Both teams traded possessions until midway through the second quarter when the Gladiators orchestrated a five-play drive from their 35-yard line and scored on a 15-yard sweep by wingback Liggins. The key play on the drive was a 33-yard pass from quarterback David Mysza to a leaping Liggins, who caught the ball in between two Panther defenders. Jaiden Espadas converted on the extra point kick to put the Gladiators up 8-0. Espadas was perfect on conversion kicks for the day, going 4 for 4.

Sloppy play by the offense and an overwhelming Gladiator defense closed out the first half with the score 8-0 and the Panthers still in the game.

The Gladiators adjusted at halftime and were much more focused and determined in the second half. On their first possession, the Gladiators returned to basics and attacked the Pasadena middle with a steady ground attack. Alternating quarterbacks Mysza and Becker moved the Gladiators down the field in an 11-play drive, giving the ball to six different running backs — Arellano, Griffin, Liggins, Lopez, Miller and Mysza. The final play of the drive was a two-yard touchdown run by Nevada Miller. The overwhelming show of force was keyed by the offensive line, which won the battle in the trenches. Centers Luke Cullen and Julian Vartanian, guards Dominick Cozza, Thomas Sorensen, David O’Connor, Gray Cucullu, and Arman Deravakian, tackles Noah Zarate, Ricky Guerrero, Christian Guerra, Michael Shahanian, David Galaviz, and Sedrik Jimenez, and tight ends Espada, Scottie Smith, Sebastian Pascuzzo, and Jason Nelson, controlled the line of scrimmage, racking up 291 yards in rushing on the day.

La Cañada scored on their next two possessions, with Jacob Lopez scoring the third touchdown on a five-yard run up the middle at the end of the third quarter, and Miller bowling over several Panther defenders on a 10 yard run in the fourth quarter. Espadas’ perfect extra-point kick made the final score 32-0.

Also contributing to the win were wingback Calix Jamerson who had a brilliant 17-yard run, Joe Martinez, Nathan Hovestreydt, and defensive tackle Teddy Gocke, who had one tackle and a forced fumble.

The Gladiators will play the Azusa Raiders at Spartan Stadium at La Cañada High School next Sunday, Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. in a division game.


Pee Wee

La Cañada 16, Pasadena Panthers 18


No report received.


Jr. Midgets

La Cañada 36, Pasadena Panthers 20


The La Cañada Gladiators Junior Midget were on fire Saturday, Sept. 23 in their first home game in Spartan Stadium at La Cañada High School. The win over the Pasadena Panthers is the third straight win for the Gladiators.


The offensive and the defensive lines were the highlight of the game. Every lineman performed their duties perfectly allowing for the run and the pass to be executed by the other players. Brandon Shepard, Mher Baranian, Anthony Sanchez, Robert Huynh, Charles Ownes Jr., Sean Escobar, Michael Balian and Michael Ebner blocked, attacked and masterfully shifted to create or break plays to enable the win.  In addition to the outstanding performance of the line, players Andrew Sharman, Jake Fitzgerald and Patrick Weinman terminated the Pasadena Panther’s running and passing game with bone crushing tackles and sacks.


In the first half, Maxwell Garrison, Daylon Beasley, Sal Guerrero and Colin Mathews scored for a total of 36 points. The Gladiator Junior Midgets finished off the Pasadena Panthers with a 36-20 win.

Next up for the Gladiators are the Baldwin Park Roadrunners next Sunday at 4:30 pm at Spartan Stadium in La Cañada.