JR. GREMLIN FLAG
(Teams do not keep score)
No report received.
La Cañada 14, Pasadena Panthers 6
On Sunday morning, November 10, 2013, the undefeated Gladiators confronted the ones-beaten Pasadena Panthers at John Muir High School. Both teams led the Gremlin Division in scoring and defense. This year the Gladiators scored 238 points while allowing only one touchdown in seven games. The Panthers of scored 233 points while allowing only 12 points on defense. As expected, both defenses played extremely well. At the end of the day, however, the more balanced attack of the Gladiators proved too much for the Panthers, and the Gladiators prevailed 14-6 to advance to the semi-final playoffs next week against the West Covina Bruins.
In the first quarter, the Gladiators took the opening kickoff and drove downfield behind the running of Chris Marfisi, Daylon Beasley, and Luca Cuneo. Behind the excellent blocking of CJ Corlett, Brandon Shepard, Austin Kane, Nathan Wendt, PJ Weinmann, and Jake Fitzgerald, Marfisi pounded the ball up the middle while Beasley and Cuneo exploited the perimeter of the Panther defense. The drive stalled, however, inside the Panther 5 yard line with the Gladiator fumble.
The Gladiator defense came ready to play with a defense that has allowed one touchdown all season. The defensive unit of Max Saucedo, Jake Fitzgerald, Jonah Cisneros, CJ Corlett, Charlie Stewart, Caden Smith, Mycha Pasten, Daylon Beasley, Matthew Watson, PJ Weinmann, Laelan Wright and Andrew Sharmen contained the elusive Panther running backs for most of the game. For the remainder of the first quarter, neither side was able to move the ball, and the quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
In its initial possession of the second quarter Pasadena drove the ball inside the Gladiator 15 yard line but was stopped on fourth down and the Gladiators took over. Two plays later Beasley broke free for an 82 yard score. Beasley then successfully converted the point after and the gladiators took a 7-0 lead halfway through the second quarter. The Panthers responded in their next possession with a three-play scoring drive, but Pasadena was unable to convert and the Gladiators held a 7-6 lead at halftime.
Both defenses stiffened in the third quarter, and neither offense was able to move the ball. The Gladiator defense then took control of the game midway through the third quarter. PJ Weinmann and Max Saucedo had several good plays, and when Pasadena attempted a trick play on fourth down, the Pasadena punter was sacked for a big loss by Cisneros and Fitzgerald, giving the Gladiators great field position as the third quarter came to an end with the Gladiators hanging onto it a precarious one-point lead.
As the fourth quarter began, great running by Marfisi, Cuneo, and Beasley gave the Gladiators a first and goal inside the Panther 5 yard line. Beasley pounded in for the score and Andrew Sharman added the conversion to give the Gladiators a 14-6 lead with less than eight minutes to go in the game. The next Panther possession was stifled with an interception by Laelan Wright around midfield, and although the Gladiators were unable to score again, the offense managed to drain precious time off the clock so when Pasadena eventually regained possession late in the fourth quarter there was less than three minutes in the game. After managing one first down, the Gladiator defense stiffened and on fourth-and-long the Panther quarterback was sacked for a loss by Watson and Saucedo. The Gladiator offense then ran out the clock securing the 14-6 victory.
Next Saturday the Gladiators will travel to the Covina District Field in Covina to take on the West Covina Bruins in the semi final rounds at 9:00 a.m..
Jr. Pee Wee
La Cañada 0, Bell Gardens Lancers 32
The Gladiator Junior Pee Wees fell to the powerhouse Lancers of Bell Gardens 32-0 in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday. Securing the fourth seed on the final day of the regular season, the 4-2 Gladiators travelled to Bell Gardens to face the undefeated Lancers.
The game started strong for the Gladiators, with a running attack led by Colby Rees and Marcus Powe grinding out three first downs and moving deep into Lancer territory. The drive took eight minutes off the first quarter clock, as the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
Talent Finn, Anton Verheyen, and Aaron Garcia all had standout tackles in the first half, as the Gladiators stalled the high octane Lancer offense on their first three possessions. Meanwhile, the Gladiator offense continued to forge tough yards against a defense that had allowed only two scores the entire season, one to the Gladiators on their first meeting. The offensive line included Adam Griffin, Joseph Mecit, Efrem Rivera, Nathan Martinez, Kilian Trulik, and Luc Campanella, and together they held back a ferocious defensive front and allowed for the Gladiator backs and receivers Christian Irianto and Noah Langford to make slow headway in a first half war of attrition.
Determined play on defense from Julian Kanach, Louie DelaCruz, Pierce Clarkson, Jacob Martinez, Lucas Ponce, and Francisco Vazquez, frustrated the Lancer players and coaching staff alike, as they tried new plays and frequent substitutions to solve the Gladiator riddle. They finally broke through as the first half closed, and the Gladiators took their halftime rest within striking distance, trailing 8-0.
During the third quarter, the fresh legs of the Lancers took a toll on the undermanned Gladiators, and they raced ahead with three additional scores, and led the Gladiators 26-0 after three quarters.
Faced with the end of their season, the Gladiators then played a spirited fourth quarter, moving the ball well and then stuffing a confident Lancer offense when defending. While they couldn’t push the ball into the end zone, they did stand strong defensively, holding the Lancers scoreless until they eschewed a kneel-down situation with 30 seconds remaining and pushed across the final score on the game’s second-to-last play. Making a final statement on a successful season, the Gladiators then blocked the Lancers attempt to kick a two-point conversion, and walked off the field disappointed, but with heads held high.
La Cañada 7, Boyle Heights Wolfpack 7
No report received.
La Cañada 12, West Covina Bruins 20
As the 2013 football season draws to an end those Gladiator teams that did not make the playoffs play a Friendship Bowl game. The La Canada Junior Midget team played a Friendship Bowl game hosted by the West Covina Bruins at Cortez Park. Their opponent was the West Covina Bruins.
The Gladiators scored first on their first possession 4 minutes into the game with a 18 yard run by Elijah Washington. The Bruins did not score until just before the end of the first half. The teams went into half-time tied at 6-6.
In the second half the West Covina squad scored on their first possession and kicked the extra point to bring the point tally to Bruins 13–Gladiators 6. The two teams battled up and down the field until the West Covina team scored again with one minute and thirty seconds remaining. The Gladiators responded with a 30 yard pass play from Quarterback Erik Zimmerman to Elijah Washington in the Bruins end zone. The resulting final score for the game was West Covina Bruins 20 and La Canada Gladiators 12.
Erik Zimmerman quarterbacked the Gladiators running and passing attack with major runners and receivers being Elijah Washington, Carson Okland, Gregory Dulcich, Kai Aguila and Michael Torres. Zimmerman had 17 passing completions for 315 yards. Assisting with the offensive push were Marcelino Martinez, Jason Watson, Davy Stone, Clayton Esparza, Mitchell Espinosa, Emmett Pernecky, Daniel Cho, Brandon Torres, Teddy Ibarra, Chris Simonian, Taylor McCubbin and Derek Albanese.
The game was well played with some hard running, blocking, defending and tackling by the Gladiators against the heavier hard running Bruins on a hot afternoon. The defense for the Gladiators included many outstanding efforts by Will Stewart, Evan Estrada, Jack Stellwagen, Ian Goodstein, Braeden Bentzen, Michael Torres and Chris Wood. Sideline support was lead by Tyler Shakibai who was injured earlier in the season.
All Gladiators are to be congratulated for their team effort and sportsmanship. The Junior Midgets squad thanks all of their coaches, AD’s, parents, Gladiators officials, families and friends for supporting them this season. The team would especially like to thank the cheerleading squad that was at each game, home and away. The cheerleaders are Nicole Bednar, Taylor Washington, Isabella Tweedy, Amanda Bouzikian, Paige Goodstein, Britney Nies, Samantha Bouzikian, Catherine Papac and Claire Papac.
The La Cañada Midgets had a bye week and have finished the regular season with a record of 6-1. The Midgets will begin the defense of their 2012 conference championship next week in the semi-final round against the Charter Oak Chargers on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Duarte High School.