Late Surge Not Enough for TC

By Josh Ouellette

(La Canada) The La Canada Spartans held back a late Temple City rally to win their first Rio Hondo league game 44-27.

The La Canada got the ball rolling on its first drive of the game and didn’t look back. Franklyn Cervenka and Matt Jones marched the Spartans down field, highlighted by a Cervenka 30-yard scamper that set up Jones’ three-yard touchdown dive for the score. Cervenka missed the point after, the score was 6-0 in favor of La Canada.

The LC defense sparked the beginning of an upsetting night for the Rams offensive attack when Mario Del Cueto picked off Anthony Valencia’s pass; setting up the Spartans at the TC 26. It would only take three plays to punch it in when the drive was capped off by Kevin Stoner’s two-yard run for the touchdown. Cervenka faked the point after and ran it in for the two-point conversion making the score 14-0 Spartans.

The Rams offense began to move the ball for the first time all night with Roger Tsung and Jaime Dea grinding out yards behind their offensive line led by Michael Bassette and Bobby Soto. Just before TC entered the red zone Valencia fumbled the ball attempting to hit his back on the option play, giving the ball back to LC right before the end of the first quarter.

The Spartans scored quickly again, this time on the fourth play of the drive, when Jones hit Cervenka over the top of the Rams D for the 60-yard bomb. Cervenka made this extra point attempt making the score 21 LC, TC still zero.

Tsung took over the Temple City offense and led his team down the field for a 5:40 and 76 yard scoring drive. On first and goal from the six Tsung carried four Spartan defenders to the goal line to be held short of the score by a mere inch. On the next play Valencia took it into the end zone for the Rams first score. Freddy Malki drove the point after through the uprights to make the score 21-7 in favor of La Canada.

LC would tack on a Cervenka 20-yard field goal just before the break to make the score 24-7 at the half.

La Canada received the kick to open the second half and drove down the field with runs by Stoner and Andy Paynter runs only for Matt Jones to take it in from one yard out for his second rushing score on the night. Del Cueto would miss the point after. 30-7, still all LC.

Temple City responded with a score of its on own on the ensuing drive. Again utilizing Tsung and Dea to carry the ball with Dea getting the nod to take the ball into paydirt from a yard out. Another Malki extra point made the score LC 30 TC 14 with 1:32 left to play in the third quarter.

Dan Yoder’s Spartans rebounded right away with a big scoring drive following the TC touchdown. Again led by Stoner and Paynter running the rock, and with big runs and a key 15-yard pass to Grant Owen on third and 10 in the redzone. Paynter would bang it in from three yards out a couple of plays later. LC 37 TC 14.

Temple City HC Mike McFarland mixed it up late by returning former starter Mikal Quintanilla to the quarterback position. The Rams number 11 provided an offensive spark and he quickly drove TC down the field with a combination of the run and pass.  Tsung would punch it in from a yard out for the Temple City score. Making it 37-21 with 5:01 left to go in the game.

On the next drive, LC fumbled the ball on its second play giving the ball back to the Rams on the Spartan 44 yard line. Quintanilla again drove TC down the field with the help of a 17-yard burst up the middle by Tsung. On third and 10 from the 15 Quintanilla hit Dereece Spratt over the middle for another quick Temple City Score. Unfortunately for the Rams a wide-open Kasmir Khaliq dropped Quintanilla’s pass on the two-point conversion attempt.

On Temple City’s kick off an inadvertent whistle by the side judge ended what looked like a possible Ram recovery on an over the top onside attempt. On the play that wouldn’t count and would result in a re-kick TC received three personal foul penalties forcing the Rams to their 12-yard line. LC would recover and a handful of plays later Kyle Herron added salt to the wound by breaking his way through the middle of the field for the 16-yard score.

Next week La Canada (2-6, 1-2) will stay home and try and get its second league victory against visiting Blair (1-7, 0-3).

Temple City falls to (0-8, 0-3) and will try and get their first victory of the season back at North Field against Monrovia (5-3, 3-0).

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