Spartans Win Big On Their “Salute To The Troops Night” The East L.A.”Spartans” (1-0) analyzed, then paralyzed their visiting opponents, the Valley”Heat,” (0-1) with a very calculated and dominant effort on both sides of the ball in this regular season match-up. With that said, the final score read, East L.A. 27, Valley Heat 8. And with their first victory, the Spartans are confident that they will play both an exciting, and winning season for their growing fan-base. Needless to day, on this Special promotion night, the team was highly motivated and inspired to play, since many of the fans were active and non-active veterans who benefited from Owner/Player #77 Niko Gonzalez’s outstanding gesture in offering FREE admission to our former servicemen/women who are avid football fans. Regarding the victory, Gonzalez couldn’t be prouder of his entire team and its coaching staff as they very methodically took care of business, scoring TDs in each quarter of play. Once again, the defense was stingy and gritty, holding the Heat’s offense to NO TDs. Their only score came on a Spartans’“turnover” late in the game. From here on, it’s all about the victories en route to the playoffs in May.
Head Coach Ernie Navarro had this to say about his first victory of the season. “First of all, Thanks to the Valley Heat for playing a hard-fought game. All of their players deserve lots of credit for going both ways (offense & defense) for nearly the entire game. As for our play, I thought we performed solidly in all phases of the game. Our offense was consistent as we slowly but surely, began to put some good drives together, much different than our first game against Riverside two weeks ago. The running game was dominant behind our O-Line and our running backs, # 21 Zach Owens and #00 Desahwn Edmond. At our wide receiver spots, we showed our fans why we will be a dangerous threat to opponents with great performances by #81 Mike Rivera and #88 Eric Newman. In reviewing the game film, my offensive linemen were the“Big” winners by becoming a cohesive unit in just a short period of time. Individual credits go out to #63 Henry Callao, David Robins and #55 Jesus Norona who led the way to victory along with the rest of the “O-line.” For the second straight game the defense was“bulletproof” as they pitched another defensive shut-out. Coach Navarro took time to add this comment. “Stepping up big for us on defense was #7 Harold Arnold, one of our WRs, who filled in at DB due to an injured starter. His interception in the 2nd quarter was a huge play.” His last comments on the game were: “Overall, we played well as a unit, however we know that our goal is to build a gradual winning streak as we go from 1-0 to 2-0 on Feb. 21st, vs. the High Desert”Rams.” We are fortunate to have a“Bye” this week and that’s a good thing since we took some “lumps and bumps” in the game. Now we have a chance to get healthy, as well as fix a lot of the flaws we observed.”
Niko Gonzalez, Spartans Owner/Player, had these remarks about his team’s play ….”Our guys came out with a fire that I hope stays with us all season. Defense played ‘lights out’ again. Highlight plays included interceptions by #23 Rico Gonzalez and #1 Chris Williams. Our offense came to life and our ‘O-line’ played a great game. We had strong performances in our running game by #21 Zach Owens who rushed for over 60 yds. and 2 TDs, plus a strong showing from #32 Tony Alaniz, Jr. who racked up 45 yds. rushing. On our first offensive series, we surprised the Heat with a running back option pass, completed by #00Deshawn Edmond to #88 Eric Newman for a TD. Edmond also had a punt return for a TD but it was nullified by a penalty. We had their defensive unit on skates all night long. Our offfensive goal tonight was to score 42 points, and although we didn’t, I’m still happy with the ‘W.’ There were some key turnovers on offense but those are correctable. Our next game will be a big test for us but I feel our coaches will have the team ready for battle.”
Credits: Richie Subintr, East L.A. Spartans Photographer, Photo Gallery; Special Thanks To Niko Gonzalez and Head Coach, Ernie Navarro. Rico Cabrera, Sr./EastLASportsScene.Com
Photo Gallery: Click once on each photo to enlarge.