Wow there’s something you don’t see everyday. In football it just doesn’t happen this way. If you can establish a running game and chew up yardage on the ground while eating up the clock, you’re going to win. Just ask any football coach.
“If you can run the ball you’re going to win,” is the usual coach speak. Oh sure “Air Coryell” was pretty, but it was “Ground Chuck” that usually brought the wins.
So when I finally made it down the 605 Friday night to see a Suburban League game I saw something rarely seen on a football field. Norwalk rushed for over 450 yards and lost. The Lancers didn’t just establish a running game, they owned it. They ran over, around and through La Mirada all night long.
Elijhaa Penny, Billy Moore and Andre Thompson broke off long runs, short runs and all sorts of runs in between. How often do three different players rush for over 100 yards each for a losing team? How often does a team score on touchdown runs of 65, 25 and 35 yards and still lose? But they did.
It worked for awhile. Norwalk led 17-0 in the second half and was still up 17-13 at the half. But La Mirada found the best way to attack a ground game is with a passing game and quick strikes. And that’s exactly what the Matadores did.
After being down 17-0 they scored 27 consecutive points and never looked back. They did it with a 54 yard touchdown pass by Shane Blood, (cool football name), and a 63 yard punt return by Reuben Poncedeleon.
La Mirada took the lead and never looked back. And although Norwalk ran and ran and ran some more, they couldn’t catch up. What made it worse for Norwalk Coach Jesse Ceniceros is that it wasn’t the first time they let a lead over La Mirada get away.
“The same thing happened last year. We jumped out to a lead and then they came back. We just have to get mentally tougher,” Ceniceros said.
Last year Norwalk was up 27-6 before La Mirada turned it around.
With the win La Mirada improved to 5-0 in league and all but wrapped up the Suburban. But in La Mirada, who won the CIF Southern Division Championship a year ago, the league title is only the first step.
“Sure the Suburban is nice but we’re taking it one game at time,” said Matadore Coach Mike Moschetti.
With a likely win over Artesia this week, Norwalk will take third in league and earn a trip to the post season. The Lancers will continue to run the ball right into the Southeast playoffs. Will they rush for over 450 yards again and lose? Ceniceros will take his
Speaking of the Southeast, with Muir, Burroughs and Burbank all in the Pacific Division, did anybody have Arcadia as league champs? But if Burbank beats Burroughs Thursday and Arcadia takes care of Crescenta Valley on Friday the Apaches will be crowned King of the Pacific.
If you are a league champion in the Southeast how would you like to face Muir in the first round? Or Norwalk…
La Mirada may be defending CIF champs but is anybody in the Southeast playing better than West Covina right now? Talk about a running game. The Bulldogs bring Chris Soloman, B.J. Lee, Charles Tucker and Jimmy Frazier, the list goes on. West Co has rushed for over 2200 yards so far this year.
The Bulldogs keep making Covina look better and better every week. Speaking of Covina, I got beat up by the Colt faithful for not jumping them over the top three in the Mid-Valley Division Top 20.
But they can’t take much solace in the CIF Top Ten. While I have Covina (9-1) number four behind Monrovia (7-2), Whittier Christian (8-1) and Azusa (9-0), CIF has the Colts at four also. They have Azusa at one, Monrovia at two and Arroyo (8-1) at three.
Hey take it easy Colt fans. CIF butchered it too!
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.