SAN GABRIEL, CA – The fact that both teams had very little time to practice had nothing to do with the final outcome as La Puente (1-0) used a stifling defense to stop Gabrielino 28-7.
The Warriors gave first-year head coach Brandon Rohrer his first victory, thanks to James Fernandez’s (4 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns) two breath-taking touchdown scores in the first half.
“I can’t even describe the game,” said Rohrer. “I know we have some speed with Fernandez and we had to use it. Lot of credit goes to Coach Mahoney who got these kids prepared during the last couple of weeks.”
It also marked the debut of new Eagles (0-1) head coach Harold Sanin.
For La Puente, it was the “Fernandez Show” in the first and second quarters as he was able to slice his way through the Gabrielino defense.
Fernandez opened up the scoring when the Eagles over-played a fake hand-off to running back Jose Rivas, that allowed Fernandez to get to the corner and a 80-yard touchdown score.
His second was just more incredible as he managed to evade three Gabrielino defenders and scoot for a 53-yard tally to give the Warriors a 14-0 lead with 11:14 to play in the second quarter.
“That really hurt us.” said Sanin. “We are just fortunate to have that game after missing six practice days. We will bounce back. This is a good team.”
While Fernandez was busy chalking up more 133 yards rushing in the first half, it was the defense that held Gabrielino’s double-wing offense in check by only allowing 67 total-yards.
For the Eagles the second-half began badly as La Puente managed to eat up 5:35 seconds to open up the third quarter, that ended with a junior quarterback Garret Hrey (10 of 15 for 159 yards and two touchdowns) finding Jose Cerda on a five-yard pass play to go up 28-0.
“He (Hrey) is such a smart quarterback,” said Rohrer. “We expect some great things from him this year. It helps to have a Hrey back there, you know he will make good decisions.”
Gabrielino appeared to have held the Warriors on downs during the opening third quarter drive as La Puente was short on a 3rd and 15 play at the Eagles 17-yard line was flagged for defensive holding.
To make matters worse, Gabrielino’s only possession of the third quarter resulted in three downs and a punt.
The silver-lining for the Eagles came with 4:36 to play in the game, when quarterback Joshua Acosta was able to score on a quarterback keeper from 10-yards out.
La Puente will open it’s home campaign against El Monte next Friday, while the Eagles head up the road to face San Marino.
1 2 3 4 F
LA PUENTE 6 14 7 0 28
GABRIELINO 0 0 0 7 7
LP – James Fernandez 80-yard run (PAT Missed)
LP – Fernandez 53-yard run (Fernandez pass from Garrett Hrey PAT Good)
LP – Jesus Vargas 23-yard pass from Hrey (Lalo Venegas Kick)
LP – Jose Cerda 5-yard pass from Hrey (Venegas Kick)
G – Joshua Acosta 10-yard run (Oscar Rivas Kick)
LP – Hrey 10-15-159-2-0
G – Acosta 3-15-35-0-0
LP – Fernandez 4-132-2, Vargas 10-58, Jose Perez 10-20, Hrey 2-0, Chris Santa Cruz 2- (-5)
G – Rivas 15-72, Acosta 6-22-1, Eddie Moreno 3-19, Matthew Matters 3-13
LP: Fernandez 5-82, Perez 3-49, Vargas 1-23-1, Cerda 1-5-1
G: Matters 1-30, Moreno 2-5
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