It isn’t very often that I come away very impressed after a game. Maybe once in a while I might find myself thinking well that was nice but let’s see.
After three weeks of football, I have seen some incredible performances that made me actually stop and take notice.
It could easily be said that in zero week, La Serna was shaking off the cobwebs and maybe even feeling a little hangover after last year’s championship. Prior to the beginning of the season two major changes occurred. The first is replacing Frankie Palmer and the second was finding another running back after the loss of Bryce Oliver.
Quickly the Lancer doubters after their loss said, they weren’t going to be a factor. Especially after their loss to Ralston Valley where they looked as though the team was out matched. Quite frankly, the Lancers were out matched. They were giving up on a ton of girth on the front line and getting off the field too quickly on offense for my liking.
I told Joe T. the day after that La Serna was going to make some noise, the Lancers are way too well coached not to be a factor in the Southeast.
Fast forward to last week. Monrovia looked as though they were in prime condition to be pounded into submission by the no-huddle offense of Bonita. After the Bearcats turned the ball over on their first two drives, Bonita chose to run the ball. It worked as the Wildcats were on their heels.
Then as the Wildcats looked as though they were going to give up their first points of the game. In steps defensive wunderkind Jordan Nathan. Already with two interceptions in the game, Nathan blocked a field goal for the second consecutive game.
Throw in the fact Monrovia has a quarterback that is finding his groove at the position in Asaph Zamora and the lethally fast Octavius Spencer ran the same play three straight times for touchdowns. In all, they combined for all five touchdowns to lead the Wildcats.
Again, this team is too well coached not to become a factor in the Central Division.
Last night, I told former Mark Keppel head coach Bobby Madrid that watching Rio Hondo Prep run their offense was watching playbook come alive. When the Kares ran their off-tackle play the Gio Perez or Domenico Chico would literally brush their offensive lineman to get a couple extra yards. Both sweeps to the right or left extended the defense and set Rio Hondo Prep up for the biggest play of the night.
That play, a counter-sweep to the left was ran perfectly. The entire Gabrielino defense was fooled and it allowed Michael Cuda to turn an innocent four or five yard first down into a game-winning touchdown.
After last night, there is little doubt that even with 20 players suiting up, the Kares cohesiveness and never give up attitude instilled by Ken Drain will make them a player in the Northwest Division.
If you look back at what makes all these teams special, it’s all about being able to coach.