[El Camino College, Torrance, CA.] – Site of ALL CIF/L.A. City Section Championship Games—(Title Game Preview): The San Fernando Valley, represented by the Birmingham Patriots of Lake Balboa, met the South Bay, represented by the Banning Pilots, in the right and the fight to determine who would become the 2019 L.A. City Section’s Open Division Champion. This marked the third year of the Open bracket competition and it was quite a year for both teams.
The Patriots, “Back-to-Back” Champions of the West Valley League with a (4-0) record this season, came into the game with an overall record of (8-4), possession of a (7) game winning streak, a National ranking of #1,727, and a #128 State ranking. The Patriots Head Coach is Jim Rose, now in his 11th season at the helm.
Their opponents, the Banning Pilots, from Wilmington, CA entered the match-up with a (7-4) overall record, a #2,914 National ranking, a #211 State ranking and were second place finishers in the highly renowned Marine League. The Pilots’ Head Coach is Raymond Grajeda.
Brief Game Summary: [1st Qtr] -The Pilots were up first on the scoreboard when they rushed in for a TD at the 5 minute mark. Their PAT was good for a (7-0) lead. [2nd Qtr] – The Patriots caught them at the 4 minute mark of the period when #4/QB/JR/Jackson Dadich found #3/WR/SO/Marcus Arthur for a TD. The PAT failed, leaving the score at (7-6) Banning. On their next possession, the Patriots once again went up-top for their second passing TD when Dadich targeted #18/WR/SR/Gonzalo Robledo for his first score of the game. The 2 point conversion was credited to Robledo for a (14-7) score.
HALFTIME SCORE: Birmingham 14 Banning 7
[3rd Qtr] – At the 5 minute mark in the period, the Pilots managed to score again with their ground game and after a successful PAT, tied up the game at (14-14). Then, as the period was coming to a close, Dadich threw his third TD pass of the game to #19/WR/SR/Mason White. The PAT was good for a (21-14) Birmingham lead. [4th Qtr] – The Patriots stuck to their “Air Attack” game plan and delivered on it in crunch time when Dadich connected with Gonzalo Robledo for his second TD reception of the game, giving Birmingham a (27-20) lead with 6 minutes left in the game. The game’s final outcome still hung in the balance due to the failure of their 2 point conversion. However, the Patriots defense dug in and held the Pilots at bay for the rest of the game and when the final buzzer sounded, it was time to be declared the Open Division Champions and then get ready for their run to the State’s Regional Division 2-A Championship Bowl Game.
Birmingham Game StatLine: [Offense] Jackson Dadich/20-28/270 yds./4 TDs/Completions = 71%/Ave. 13.4 yds/Longest 43 yds/0 Interceptions/QB rating=141.1; Mason White/8 recps/103 yds./Longest 38 yds/1 TD/Ave. 12.9 yds. [Defense] #34/SR/Christopher Figueroa/15 tkls/10 solo-5 assts/; #9/JR/Jeremiah Cox/11 tkls/6 solo-5 assts.
Next Up: Division 2-A State Regional Playoffs, vs. Pacifica Tritons (Oxnard, CA), representatives and winners of the Pacific View League with a National ranking of #224 and a State ranking of #25. Game venue will be at Birmingham HS on Saturday, 12/7/19 at 6:00 pm.
Photo & Video Credits: Frankli Robles/Lee Pictures, Contributor/East LA. Sports Scene Productions