EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the Final Super Deluxe edition of our season-long Round-Up, featuring our last report of the 2014“Playoffs.” Please also spend some time to see our team photo galleries. A final Congrats to Garfield, South Gate, and Salesian for reaching the coveted Semifinal round of this season’s Playoffs. In applying the hard-work ethic, total dedication to team and teammates, and paying extra attention to details, certainly put all of our teams in a position to advance. After reading the round-up, please“Share” and“Like” it with as many friends as possible. We’ve been very diligent in our coverage and we truly hope that you’ve enjoyed this inaugural season. So glad we could easily connect with all of you via the internet and East LA Sports Scene.Com. Please continue to visit us and view our full library of works. SENIOR & UNDERCLASSMEN ALERT! Click here on EliteSportsNetwork.Com and register for their FREE recruiting service. Click here on our In-Studio show featuring the National Director of Recruiting, Elite Football Network, (EFN), Ryan Wright.
CREDITS: sixtysixdesignstudios/South Gate helmet; AR/Garfield photos; Erik Sarni/South Gate photos; and maxpreps.com Rico Cabrera, Sr./East LA Sports Scene.Com
RESULTS FROM SEMIFINALS – L.A. CITY SECTION & CIF-SS
Narbonne “Gauchos” 14 Garfield “Bulldogs” 10 Recap: East L.A.’s Garfield High“Bulldogs” took to their home field for the last time this season with their very high hopes of prevailing over the #3 seeded, Narbonne“Gauchos,” led by their Head Coach, Manuel Douglas. The Bulldogs welcomed this encounter with open arms as they knew that a victory would propel them in to the L.A City Section’s record book by becoming the first Garfield team to reach the Division-I finals. But again, standing in their way were these extremely talented and well-coached Gauchos, winners of two of the last three Division I titles, (2011 & 2012) and members of the mighty Marine League.
Game Summary: The“key” word that both Head Coaches stressed to their teams was “DEFENSE.” Offense can surely win you games, but in a close encounter of an even kind, defense has proven that it can, and will win you Big Games. The Gauchos opened the scoring with a well-thrown 14 yd. pass from JR/QB/Roman Ale to his talented WR/Cedric Byrd. Both teams played the second quarter with tight and stingy defenses until just prior to halftime when the Bulldogs got on the board with a 27 yd. FG from their highly accurate and reliable PK/Aaron Rocha. Howcver, the Gauchos used their quick strike offense and answered back with just under a minute left in the period when Ale hooked up again with Byrd for a 35 yd. TD. The 2 point converison was good, and the halftime score showed Narbonne 14 – Garfield 3. In the 3rd quarter, the Bulldogs displayed their Big Play of the game when Stevie Williams connected with his WR/Chris Alexander for a 30 yd. TD pass which came at the 6 minute mark. Aaron Rocha’s PAT was good, and the score drew closer at 14-10, ending the 3rd period. In the final quarter, Coach Hernandez implored his determined defense to make stops, get the offense back to work, and get in a position to mount additional scoring drives. Good intentions, but the Bulldogs offense came up just a bit short when they failed to produce the“go-ahead” and potential winning TD after reaching the Narbonne“Red Zone” with just two minutes remaining. This was to be the Bulldogs final possession of the game as the Gauchos simply killed the clock and held on for the narrow, but hard-fought win. They now move on to the Division I Championship to face the Carson “Colts” on Saturday, Dec. 7th, at the Coliseum.
Post Game Comments: Head Coach Lorenzo Hernandez opened with this remark. “I was very proud of our kids and the way the played with a “never give-up” attitude. We fought to the end but came up short. Both teams had missed opportunities, and both defenses played excellent, so ultimately, and in the end, it came down to an execution of offense and special teams. Again we had our chances, but failed on executing, and that cost us the game. He also stated, first about his opponent, and then about his Bulldogs. “You can’t take anything away from Narbonne, they are a very talented team. But more so, I am proud and honored that our kids won the Eastern League Championship for the second time in a row, we made the playoffs, got all the way to the semifinals, battled with a great Division I champ for four quarters, and never gave up.” On his quick review of the game, Coach commented, “Our entire defensive unit played well, while Marquis Williams, our shut-down Corner Back, blanketed any wide receiver that lined up in front of him. Our offense also did well with Molina pounding the ball and Session, Jr. playing in all three phases of offense, defense, and special teams. Williams did what he always does, and that was leading us while always trying to put us in a good position to win.”
East L.A. Sports Scene’s Co-Players of the Game: Offense–Williams/13 compl-18 attmpts-168 yds/18 car-46 yds/1 TD pass; Molina/25 car-69 yds; Session, Jr./5 car-69 yds/All Purpose yds-127; Alexander/2 recps-45 yds/1 TD; Rocha/1 FG-27 yds/1 PAT/4 total points. Defense: Joseph Silva/7 tckls/1 solo-6 assts; Jacquan Shaw/4 tckls/3 solos-1 asst; Tristen Chavarria/4 tckls/3 solos-1 asst/2.5 tckls for losses.
Last Words: The Bulldogs proudly closed out 2014 with these substantial accomplishments: #1) Completed the season with a (10-3) overall record and an impressive (10) consecutive win streak; 2) Credited with “Back-to-Back”Eastern League Championships; 3) Finished with a National ranking of 2,426; and 4) Finished with a State of California ranking of #182. Look for more of the same success in 2015 as the“Pride of East L.A.” begins another strong“Race To the Top!” In closing out our inaugural season of our Weekly Round-Up Feature, we can certainly say that it was a most memorable “Semifinal Friday Night Lights AND 2014 Season” for the Garfield High School“Bulldogs!” LH/GHS & RC, Sr./East LA Sports Scene.Com
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Hamilton “Yankees” 42 South Gate “Rams” 23 Recap: The Rams knew that their road to the Finals would not be paved with silver or gold. They knew it was going to be a huge uphill struggle, first of all because of their #5 seed and secondly, they would have to become undefeated “Road Warriors” twice in order to reach the title game at the Coliseum. Nevertheless, South Gate’s Head Coach, Jose Casagran and his excellent Assistant Coaching staff did their very best to prepare the Rams for the expected tough match-up against the strong Western League Champions, Hamilton “Yankees” who were to be led by their “Big Play,” and very tall QB, 6-6, Armani Rogers. There was no doubt that the Rams would have to prevent and contain his season-long and potent air attack to give themselves a decent chance at pulling off the upset and the eventual right to move on. Although Hamilton’s playing field conditions were not on par with their own, the Rams simply folded up their sleeves, put on their hard hats, came to work, offered no excuses, and knew that tomorrow wouldn’t be the same without a much-needed victory over the #1 seeded team. After all, it was more than just the usual“Game Day” under“Friday Night Lights” – it was indeed the Semifinals and the adrenalin was flowing!! What more could a player, a coach, a team, and its fans ask for?
Game Summary: The first quarter ended dead-even at 7-7 as both teams put up successful scoring drives, Hamilton on a 4 yd rushing TD, while South Gate scored on an electrifying 62 yd. pass from Andrew Toro to Jacquan Shaw, III. Then the vaunted Yankee air game took center stage as Armani Rogers showed why he is a D-1 college recruit in throwing bombs for 48 and 30 yd scores, moving the halftime score to 21-7, Hamilton. The major concern for the Rams was Hamilton’s laser-focused“keying” on their lead running back and All-City standout, Lavell Thompson. Everywhere he went, there was a defender. With that defensive strategy, he would never get untracked and become a factor in the game. To start the 3rd quarter, the Rams received the kickoff, came out with their “now or never” mindset and went to work once again via their quick strike air attack. Andrew Toro found his favorite target in the game, James Shaw, III, this time on a spectacular 61 yd. TD pass. Hamilton came back and answered that with a 14 yd TD pass by Rogers. On the Rams next possession, they would add on a 29 yd FG from PK/Hector Carranza, making the score 28-17 to end the 3rd quarter. To start the final period, Rogers lighted up the scoreboard with his fourth TD pass of the game, literally breaking South Gate’s momentum with the score now reading, Hamilton 35-Rams 17. From that point on, it was all academic when the Yankees added one more score, as did the Rams with just a minute remaining. Final score: Yankees 42 – Rams 23.
Post-Game Comments: Coach Casagran had this to say about the contest. “Last Friday against Hamilton was our most hard-fought game versus the“Best” team we played all year. Hamilton is an excellent football team that, like us, would have beaten several teams in Division I playoffs.” When asked to evaluate the season, Coach added, “we went 11-2 on the field this year and 5-1 in the Eastern League after taking over a program three years ago, a program that had not won a League game in six years. So I feel quite proud of the team and our great efforts. With all the obstacles that we faced and overcame this year, I feel this may have been my best coaching job ever.” He closed his post-game comments with the following remarks. “I want to thank the South Gate High School administration and staff, the South Gate alumni, and of course the wonderful senior class for all the great memories. The South Gate Rams are a team to be reckoned with once again. “
East L.A. Sports Scene’s Co-Players of the Game: Offense– Andrew Toro/11 compl-24 attmpts/264 yds/7 rushes-58 yds/2 TD passes/1 rushing TD; Lavell Thompson/7 car-41 yds; Antonio Washington/4 recps-103 yds; James Shaw III/4 recps-101 yds/2 TDs; Special Teams: Hector Carranza/1 FG–29 yds/2 PATS/5 points. Defense By Committee: Jonathan Estrada, Frank Gallegos, Antonio Olivares, Cesar Bobadilla, and Oscar Barba.
Last Words: In addition to the accomplishments that Coach Casagran stated, we’d also like to add that the Rams claimed credit for convincing victories over several L.A. City Section Division-I schools, a National Ranking of 3,793, and a State of Califoirnia ranking of #269. There’s much to build on while reloading for 2015. We salute Coach and his unrelenting staff for all of the many extra miles they put into molding the young lives of their players, while season after season, they watch them mature into the next groupings of outstanding graduates and underclassmen representing the Rams from South Gate High School. JC/SGHS & RC, Sr./East LA Sports Scene.Com
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Downey “Vikings” 35 Salesian “Mustangs” 14 Recap: The Downey High Vikings dominated the visiting Mustangs on both sides of the ball as they earned themselves a spot in the Finals of the Southeast Division V on Friday, December 5th. The Mustangs ended their season with a 6-7 overall record as they learned what moving up several divisions in the CIF/SS felt like in this seminfinal match-up. It was a tough 2014 Playoff road to travel, but at the same time very rewarding to know that they caused many heads to turn in great disbelief with their two enormous playoff wins over much higher-seeded opponents. Salesian’s program can only continue to get better. You must recall that they won a Section title in 2013 over Mission Prep. Head Coach Angelo Jackson and his team have a much to be proud of, and thankful for, in 2014.
Game Summary: Downey’s rushing attack was in peak form all “Friday Night Lights” long. Their running backs piled up a total of 328 total yards for the game but the difference was early on when their offensive line kept the pressure on the Mustang defense. Their first successful scoring drive culminated with a 13 yd. scoring pass. What then followed was a big Downey 47 yd. interception that was returned deep into Mustang territory at the 8 yd. line. The Vikings then ran it in for a 14-0 lead. On their first play of the 2nd quarter, they hit paydirt again, this time on a rushing TD, pushing the score to 21-0. From that point on, the Vikings played solid defense in limiting Salesian to its first touchdown of the game with just 2 minutes left in the half on a 25-yard pass from QB/Damion Wright to WR-CB/Nick Perez. Halftime score: Downey 21, Salesian 7. The final Mustang touchdown of the game and the season, came on a 14-yard pass from Damion Wright to Nick Pickett/WR in the 3rd quarter. This was the closest that Salesian would get to the Vikings at 21-14. Downey then finished strongly by scoring two more touchdowns in the final period to seal their victory. Both came on rushing efforts by their talented group of runnning backs. Downey now moves on to play the Crescenta Valley “Falcons” in the Championship game on Friday, Dec. 5th, at Glendale High School. Kick-off is at 7:30 pm.
East L.A. Sports Scene’s Co-Players of the Game: Offense – QB/Damion Wright/2 TD passes; CB-WR/Nick Perez/1 TD recp; and WR/Nick Pickett/1 TD recp. Defense By Committee: Kevin Scott, Kyahva Tezino, Felipe Meza, Noah Perez, and Marcus Cosby.
Last Words: The Salesian Mustangs certainly have much to be proud of in this 2014 season. Here’s a brief look back and a quick analysis. #1) They are currrently ranked #207 in the State of California poll; #2) They acclimated very nicely to their new conference and joined their traditional cross-town rival, the Cathedral “Phantoms” in the Angelus League. #3) Although they were moved up by the CIF/SS as a result of being last year’s Champions of the Northeast Division XIII into the higher Southeast Division V, the Mustangs managed to make the playoffs as an “At-Large” team, and #4) They shocked and awed many high school football insiders, beat writers, and coaches with their amazing and unbelievable first round playoff victory over #2 seeded, the La Mirada “Matadores.” As if that were not enough drama for one season, and using an easy metaphor to describe it, David then slew Goliath in another huge upset, this time the enemy was Burbank High’s“Bulldogs” in the quarterfinal round. To close out our coverage for the season, we can confidently say that the future is looking very bright for the Mustangs from Boyle Heights as they huddle up together again in the off-season under Head Coach Angelo Jackson and make their strategic plans for another run on the Championships. We wish them nothing but even more success in the 2015 season. RC, Sr./East LA Sports Scene.Com
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