First published in the Nov. 3 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
The Maranatha High School varsity football team did what last year may have seemed unthinkable and finished the season as undefeated Cottonwood League champions after routing host Desert Christian Academy in Bermuda Dunes, 42-13, last Friday.
It is an astonishing reversal of last year’s 1-7 performance, as the Minutemen own a near-perfect 9-0-1 overall record (5-0 in league) heading into their CIF-SS Division XIII playoff opener against visiting Santa Rosa Academy of Menifee (9-1 overall) on Friday at 7 p.m. Maranatha previously handed Santa Rosa its lone loss of the season, 34-16, on Oct. 14.
Quarterback Michael Martin helped lead the Minutemen to a league title by completing 12-of-15 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Connor Patterson made six receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 16 yards on one carry. Miles Omalley rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown on five carries while adding a 20-yard catch.
Jahmel Reeves made a 13-yard reception for a touchdown and made five tackles, Justice Wolyn added a rushing touchdown, and Owen Meleka went 6-for-6 in PAT attempts and had a pair of tackles. Isaac Ton rushed for 18 yards on six carries, made an 11-yard catch and had a pair of tackles, while Niko Vergara made a 10-yard reception, and had five tackles and an interception. Miguel Vazquez made a 38-yard catch, while Bradley Loiacono made one reception for 13 yards.
Jacob Neely amassed a team-high 14 tackles, Paul Argueta racked up 13 tackles and Dexter Bryant registered nine tackles. Andrew Massino had five tackles, Patrick Covert and Karsten Halvorson each made a pair of tackles, and Samuel Funches and Evan Teguh each finished with one tackle.
The Minutemen previously blanked host Vasquez High in Acton, 41-0, in a league game. Omalley rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns, eclipsing the 100-plus mark in a game for the sixth time this season. Martin completed three passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns, while Ton rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown on four carries, made a 25-yard catch for a touchdown and had six tackles. Meleka went 5-for-6 in PAT attempts, while Liam Ohannesian completed 2-of-2 passes for 23 yards. Loiacono rushed for 7 yards on one carry and had a pair of interceptions, while Blake O’Brien rushed for 3 yards and added a 4-yard catch.
Carter Shupper amassed 10 tackles, Neely racked up seven tackles, and Vergara registered five tackles. Aj Campana had four tackles and an interception, Covert finished with four tackles, and Argueta tallied three tackles. JT Lam made a pair of tackles, Dejohn Jones, Beau Stubbs, Halvorson and Massino each had one tackle, and James Lee posted an interception.
The Golden Knights were edged at rival Loyola High in Los Angeles, 28-27, in their Angelus League and regular-season finale last Friday.
St. Francis (4-1 in league, 7-3 overall) saw its five-game win streak snapped while also suffering its first league loss that created a three-way tie for first in the league standings between SFHS, Loyola and Cathedral High of Los Angeles. However, the Golden Knights still qualified for the CIF-SS Division V playoffs and will open the first round by visiting Silverado High in Victorville (8-2 overall) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Senior quarterback Jack Jacobs completed 24-of-36 passes for 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior Devyn Turner rushed for 41 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 16 carries and made three receptions for 45 yards. Senior Antonio Merlos had six receptions for 58 yards and junior Preston Jernegan made three catches for 67 yards while each scored a touchdown. Jernegan also tied the team-high mark with nine tackles. Senior DruShun Phillips made seven receptions for a game-high 136 yards and added seven tackles. Senior Jett McCullough rushed for 31 yards on one carry, made four catches for 90 yards, had six tackles and made an interception.
Senior Hank Foley made a 4-yard catch and posted eight tackles on defense, junior Phillip Ocon racked up nine tackles, and juniors John Calmette and Tyler Cofre each registered six tackles. Sophomore Jamie Lawyer finished with five tackles, junior Alex Juarez had four tackles, and senior Racin Delgatty made three tackles. Senior Ryan Doerfler, senior Michael Gordo and junior Adam Sandoval each had two tackles, while sophomore Thomas Deluccia had one tackle.
SFHS previously remained undefeated in league action after routing visiting St. Paul High of Santa Fe Springs, 49-20. Turner rushed for a game-high 220 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries. He also made a pair of catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Jacobs had seven completions for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while McCullough scored on a 28 yards reception and made a pair of interceptions. Jernegan had an 18-yard reception, registered a game-high 14 tackles and made an interception, while Merlos made two catches for 20 yards.
Foley made a 13-yard catch, senior Owen Peterson rushed for 6 yards on one attempt and senior Clint Geryak went 5-for-6 in PAT attempts.
Ocon amassed 11 tackles, while Juarez and sophomore Julian Navarro each racked up seven tackles. Delgatty finished with five tackles, Doerfler recorded four tackles and a sack, and Phillips and Gordo each made four tackles. Calmette had three tackles, senior Julian Oses finished with one tackle and a sack, and Sandoval, junior Nizam Nama and Deluccia each had one tackle.
The Lancers dropped their regular-season finale at Harvard-Westlake High in Studio City, 28-14, in a Del Rey League matchup last Friday.
Will Clougherty completed 23-of-35 passes for 218 yards and rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Anthony Balurdi rushed for 28 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries while making a pair of catches for 18 yards. Aidan Leyland made five receptions for 88 yards while registering six tackles and an interception. Mauricio Pavon had seven catches for 58 yards, Drew Ward had seven receptions for 25 yards and made six tackles, and Daniel Arroyas Jr. made a 23-yard catch and added seven tackles. Chris Cardenas rushed for 12 yards on four carries while adding five tackles and a sack, and Raphael Viramontes made a 6-yard reception.
Thomas Gomez racked up eight tackles, while Christian Alarcon and Andrew Boecking each registered four tackles. Athanasios Darlas had two tackles, while Adam Pavon and Kyle Godwin each made one tackle.
La Salle previously defeated visiting St. Genevieve High of Panorama City, 42-28, in a league game. Clougherty completed six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns on eight carries. Balurdi rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries while adding seven tackles. Leyland made a pair of receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown while posting six tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. Arroyas Jr. made a 10-yard catch with five tackles and an interception, while Mauricio Pavon had a pair of receptions for 22 yards and had five tackles.
Boecking amassed five sacks and six tackles, Alarcon racked up seven tackles, and Ward registered four tackles. Cardenas finished with three tackles and a sack, Mario Cassina made a pair of tackles, and Ian Truitt, Jack Seibert and James Nolan each had one tackle.
La Salle concluded the regular season third in the league standings with a 2-2 record (5-5 overall) and will open the first round of the CIF-SS Division X playoffs by hosting Sunny Hills High of Fullerton (3-7 overall) on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Wolves lost their regular season finale at Palos Verdes Chadwick, 44-27, last Friday.
Senior Jack Jones completed 11 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 25 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Junior Noah Willingham made six catches for 161 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries. Sophomore Aj Carre rushed for 46 yards on eight carries and finished with seven tackles, while senior Luca Yeghnazar made a pair of receptions for 15 yards and had three tackles. Freshman Owen Willingham made a 38-yard catch and had one tackle, while freshman Will Grable had a pair of receptions for 11 yards and racked up a team-high 11 tackles.
Senior Teddy Gould registered six tackles, while seniors Griffin Theis and EQ Willis each finished with three tackles. Senior Sam Symington and sophomore John Battaglia each had a pair of tackles, while senior Oscar Yum made one tackle.
Flintridge Prep previously routed visiting Windward High of Los Angeles, 43-7, to collect its first league victory. Jones completed 4-of-4 passes for 57 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 13 yards on two attempts. Carre rushed for 85 yards and a pair of touchdowns on six carries while adding a pair of tackles. Noah Willingham rushed for 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns on eight attempts. Grable caught a 41-yard pass for a touchdown and made 10 tackles, while senior Luck Chapman scored on a 5-yard reception.
Yeghnazar rushed for 30 yards on two carries and made a 10-yard catch, freshman Nathan Sanok rushed for 28 yards on eight attempts, and junior Alex Chorba rushed for 18 yards on three carries. Willingham rushed for 5 yards on one attempt, while Calvin Chen made a 1-yard catch.
Theis and Battaglia each registered five tackles while freshman Mac Peutet finished with four tackles. Gould, Symington, Oscar Yum and senior Peter Peutet each had three tackles, while Willis, junior Kevin Zhang, sophomore Will Jamison and sophomore Miles Yum each made one tackle.
The Wolves finished league with a 1-2 record (5-2 overall) and will open the CIF-SS Division I eight-man playoffs by hosting Valley Christian Academy of Santa Maria (5-2 overall) on Friday.
The Panthers finished the regular season by losing at La Cañada, 27-6, in a Rio Hondo League game last Thursday; individual statistics were not reported to the Pasadena Outlook.
Poly concluded the campaign fifth in the league standings with a 1-4 record (1-8 overall).