(Teams do not officially keep score)
On Sunday morning at La Cañada High School the La Cañada Gladiators Junior Gremlin team squared off against their rivals, the Glendale Bears. The Gladiator lineup of Andrew Sharman, Emmet Hurley, Adam Crawford, Austin Heberger, Cayden Smith, Max Nelson, Dylan McGoldrick, Ronald Shin, Adam Griffin, Matthew Bannick, Ryan Gonzalez, John Lytle, Charlie Stewart, Corey Koehler, Benjamin Ahn, Jonathan Ahn, Brian Harley, Mitchell Frus, Devin Mathews and Thomas McConnell played well against the Bears, scoring at will for most of the game, while the defense kept the Bears out of the end zone.
Quarterback Austin Heberger started things off with a great pass to Adam Crawford for a gain of 10 yards and a 1st down. At the end of the first quarter, behind a great block by John Lytle, Crawford sprinted 25 yards for a score. At the beginning of the second quarter, Ryan Gonzalez batted away a sure score from the arms of a Bear receiver. Quarterback Heberger then hit Lytle for his third reception of the year. Then Heberger hit Thomas McConnell for a short gain. On 4th and long, Heberger hit Crawford for a a 55-yard score. Ronald Shin then intercepted a pass stopping a Bear drive at the Gladiator 5-yard line.
On the first play of the third quarter, Heberger hit Crawford for another long touchdown. On Glendale’s next series, Heberger intercepted a Bear pass. Shin picked up his second interception of the game in the third quarter to thwart another Bear drive.
On the opening drive of the final quarter Shin wrestled the ball from the Glendale receiver. Then Heberger hit Shin who ran 20 yards for a touchdown. La Cañada’s defense then upped the pressure. Dylan McGoldrick capped the Gladiator scoring with a 25-yard run.
La Cañada Gladiators: 18
Glendale Bears: 14
The La Cañada Gremlin Gladiators played host to a very tough opponent on Sunday morning at La Cañada High School, but they managed an exciting 18-14 triumph. The Gladiators, now winners of four straight games, are 4-1 and in second place in the Arroyo Division with just two weeks left in the regular season.
The Gladiators offense started slowly but geared up behind lineman Drake Barron, Julian Martinez, Jules Buenabenta, Justin Sabourin, Chris Simonian, William Stewart, Richard Berry, Connor McGoldrick, Ian Goodstein, Kyle Ramirez, Brandt Lukas, Henry Alvarez and Michael Chan to score the game’s first touchdown on a counter play to running back Will McConnell. McConnell took the handoff from quarterback Noah Kim and broke free for a 40 yard ramble down the Gladiator side line. Glendale answered quickly with a strong running attack, and tied it up 6-6 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Gladiator quarterbacks Kim and Tanner Gish continued to lead the offense down the field ending with a strong run by Elijah Washington to the endzone. La Cañada took a 12-6 lead into halftime.
The Gladiator defense settled in during the second quarter and began to shut down two very talented, hard running Glendale backs. Defensive Ends Chan, Jackson Tottleben, Berry and McGoldrick struggled to contain the speedy Bears but made huge plays when they were needed. The defensive backfield was led by safeties Bobby Gazmarian and Jake George. Gazmarian played with tremendous heart and saved several touchdowns with his tackling. Rounding out the defensive backfield and equally impressive were Chris Wood, Carson Okland, Jared Bourgault, David Saravia and Clayton Esparza.. Linebackers McConnell, Washington and Mitchell Espinosa played outstanding football for the entire game with highlights in the final minutes of the game to follow below. With most lineman playing on both sides of the ball, the defensive line was further enhanced by Miles Haxton and Derek Albanese.
The opening series of the second half for Glendale showed that the Bears were not going down without a fight. Glendale tied the game again early in the third quarter by utilizing their strong running game. Both teams battled for the remainder of the third quarter with neither defense allowing much production.
Near the start of the fourth quarter, the Gladiator line took control of the game. Showcasing their true mettle, the men up front dominated the line of scrimmage and ushered McConnell and Washington down the field for the Gladiator’s third and final score of the game. La Cañada had the lead, 18-12 and the momentum of the game on their side. However, Glendale again showed fortitude and kept the Gladiators from moving the ball outside of their own 15 yard line. With less than 2 minutes to play, La Cañada opted to take a safety in favor of ball position to give the defense a better chance of holding. Unfortunately, the gamble did not pay off very well. Glendale returned the Gladiator kick back to the La Cañada 20 yard line with one lonesome Gladiator between the returner and the end zone. Elijah Washington held on with one hand while being dragged down the field by the Bear’s kick returner. Thankfully a host of Washington’s teammates showed up to bring the run to an end.
Glendale had four cracks at the end zone from the Gladiator 15 yard line with the clock running down and the fans on both sides at the edge of their seats. Tottleben showed up big on third down with an open field, touchdown saving tackle. With 30 seconds and one down left in the game, Glendale passed for the first time. The pass was intercepted by Washington on the two yard line allowing the breathless crowd and coaches to exhale. La Cañada let the final seconds run off the clock and the game was over.
Jr. Pee Wee
La Cañada: 0
Glendale Bears: 13
The La Cañada Junior Pee Wee team took on the undefeated Glendale Bears (4-0) at La Cañada High School. The Bears came into the game heavily favored, previously beating their opponents by an average of 32 points per game. However, this was not going to happen against the tough Gladiator squad.
Quarterback Brett Gangi helped lead the Gladiator offense down the field on several long drives, behind the excellent running of Mario Martinez, Daivon Grayson, Brandon Sharman, Augy Saucedo, and Drew Sarcedo. The Gladiator offensive line, led by Abel Fernandez, Ty Hill, Angel Salazar, Jack Rappard, Michael Doud, Jason Chang, Ellis Rothrock, Jason Rowton, and Ethan Demoulin all fought valiantly to provide a strong push against the Bears tough defense. Unfortunately in the first half, two long Gladiator drives were stalled by the Bears in the red zone.
The Gladiator defense also stepped up, with Ty Hill at middle linebacker. Hill played an excellent game, but missed the second half after suffering a concussion and sprained neck. So the Gladiators team came together and provided team tackling, with Max Burcher, Danny Pardo, Michael Doud, Jason Rowton, Theo Chamberlain, Anthony Guerrero, Anthony Saravia, Eli Fazzi, Ethan Demoulin, and John Monroe closing down the middle, and Brett Gangi, Brian Erickson, and Mason Gilmour doing an excellent job at defensive end containing the outside. At the end of the first half, the Bears were up only 6-0.
In the second half, safety Mario Martinez intercepted a pass and took it to the house, but the apparent Gladiator touchdown was called back due to a block in the back penalty. The Gladiator offense moved the ball down field after the penalty, but once again got stopped in the red zone. Late in the fourth quarter, the Bears got one more score on a broken play to end the game with a 13-0 victory–by far their toughest and closest game of the year.
La Cañada: 44
Glendale Bears: 6
The Gladiator Pee Wee team kept its record unblemished with a 44-6 thrashing of the Glendale Bears at La Cañada High School. The Gladiators are now 5-0 and in sole possession of firt place in the Arroyo Division.
The game started out inauspiciously, however, as the Bears returned the opening kickoff 65 yards for an early 6-0 lead.
It did not take long for the Gladiators to answer, however, as quarterback Kyle Cheung scrambled for a 51 yard score on the Gladiators first play from scrimmage to knot the score at 6-6.
The stonewall Gladiator defense, including Kyle Tavizon, Jack Philo, Ernesto Juaregui, Cheung, Joey McClure, Skyler Payne, Andrew Dehne, Chris Harb, Dominic Aguilar, Sam Brown, Nick McConnell, Sean Bloks, Joey Robertson, Charlie Bednar, Matthew Perasso, Robert Benson, Greg Stupakis, Travis Westhoff, Colin DuCharme, Gunnar Trowbridge and Bryan Esparza forced a punt by the Bears, which was received by Juaregui at the Gladiator 45 yd. line. Juargui returned the punt to the Glendale 22-yard line. Benson then outran the Bear defense to score on a bubble screen pass from Cheung. The extra point kick by McConnell was good, to put the Gladiators ahead 14-6. After another defensive stop, the Gladiator offense took over as the swift Tavizon powered off tackle to the end zone virtually untouched. Again, the points after kick split the uprights to make the score 22-6 at the end of the first quarter.
McClure opened the scoring in the 2nd quarter, getting behind the beleaguered Bear defense, on a nice 13-yard scoring toss from Cheung to up the score to 28-6. Cheung received great pass protection, and the running backs benefited from the Gladiator offensive line that includes Bloks, Sean Davitt, Perasso, Chris Basso, Trent Bauer, Larkin Iverson, Alex Espinosa, Mike Reilly, Robertson, Ross Niederhaus, Benson, Matthew Erickson & Cameron Chavez.
McConnell then snared the first of two interceptions on the day to thwart a Bear scoring threat and the Gladiators took over at their own 16 yard line.
Cheung then electrified the crowd by dashing and eluding tackles for a spectacular 86 yard run to put the Gladiators up by the commanding score of 36-6 at halftime.
The second half was substituted liberally by the Gladiator coaching staff, but the subs were able to keep the Bears out of the end zone and, at the same time, pad a insurmountable lead.
After McConnell’s 2nd interception, Juaregui finally joined in on the offensive onslaught after a 26 yard jaunt, to cap the scoring at 44-6.
Next Sunday the Gladiators visit the Temple City Rams at Temple City High School at 3pm.
La Cañada: 0
Glendale Bears: 24
In a game much closer than the score would indicate, the La Cañada Junior Midgets lost a tough one against the Glendale Bears 24 to 0 on a warm October afternoon at La Cañada High School last Sunday.
Both defenses controlled the first two quarters resulting in a scoreless tie at halftime. The Gladiator defense was led by the dominating play of cornerbacks Krystian Sermak-Proulx and Anthony Parada who completely shut down the Bear passing game. Safeties Joshua Yoon, Mark Sassounian, Brandon Renick and Diego Sawers-Mendoza all made keys stops on running and passing plays. Linebackers Adam Rowton, Michael Greenberg and Will Lombardo continued their strong play all but shutting down the inside running game of the Bears. The defensive line of Hunter Trowbridge, Jonathan Sotoodeh, Alex Mkrtchyan, Justin Petrie, Evan Sillas, Jason Reyes, Sam Peplow, Clyde Kozak, Christian Woodward, Hussein Maaz, and David Vardanian came hard on every play despite being on the field for most of the game. Defensive ends Todd Murray, Hasan Maaz, and Remy Madarieta all had a good game keeping the Bear running game inside. Murray also tipped a pass to prevent a touchdown on 4th and goal.
The Bears got on the board with a long run by their fleet-footed quarterback with 6:20 left in the third quarter. The Bears were unable to convert, however, and took a 6-0 lead into the final quarter.
The Gladiator offense had a hard time getting on track. Despite several turnovers forced by the defense (including a couple after first and goal), the Gladiators were not able to score.
The Gladiator special teams also had a tough game giving up a punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to make the score 12 to 0, after a nice strip by Murray to cause a fumble on the PAT conversion attempt.
The Bears then scored twice in rapid succession in the 4th quarter on an interception returned for a touchdown and a quarterback run. Both PAT attempts were unsuccessful (including an interception by Sermak-Proulx) for a final score of 24 to 0.
All members of the squad played hard for the whole game and did not quit. Parada, Sermak-Proulx, Rowton, Hasan Maaz, Murray, Sotoodeh, and Kozak were all singled out for their exceptional play on both sides of the ball.
La Cañada: 8
East Los Angeles Bobcats: 34
On a crisp beautiful evening, the LC Gladiator Midget team had high expectations against the visiting East LA Bobcats. It didn’t turn out the way they wanted, losing 34 – 8. But the one thing this team did show that night was a lot of pride and guts as they continued to battle, dish out punishing hits and never giving up until the very end.
Although the Bobcats exposed the Gladiator defense, they felt the effects of the Gladiators physical play after the game as the entire defensive unit never quit.
It was the offensive unit who showed that ‘never say die’ attitude as they put together a spectacular drive late in the fourth quarter to show they had heart. There was great fire out blocking by Adam Fazzi, Jared Soohoo, Peter Garfield, Lucas Drill and Michael Kobeissi, spot on throwing by quarterback Ty Gangi to Marceles Clash and Jorge Escandon, and hard running by Jake Johnson, Denzel Grant and Zachery Washington, who capped off the 80 yard drive with an 8 yard touchdown run.
No matter the score, the Gladiators showed a lot of pride by giving it their all until the very end.