By Tim Peterson
“You probably picked Glendora didn’t you,” West Covina head coach Mike Maggiore said to me late in the game Friday night with his Bulldogs up 30-13.
“No coach, actually I picked you guys.,” I replied. “Oh you did? Thanks I appreciate that,” Maggiore said.
Yeah I picked them but a lot of people haven’t been lately. Henry Martinez, who figured to be the Bulldogs feature back, was injured three weeks ago in a 42-7 loss to St. Francis. Martinez missed the entire season last year as well with an injury and it put a severe strain on what West Covina likes to do – pound the football.
The L to St. Francis was the second straight blow out defeat for Westco who was belted by Colony 49-14 in the season opener. Martinez was out, the Bulldogs were 0-2 and many thought that Maggiore’s crew was cooked. Now suddenly it’s a different outlook.
West Covina had other guys to run the ball (don’t they always?) and now they were needed.
“We just needed them to step up and they have,” Maggiore said after win over Glendora Friday night. “It’s what we do and we’ve been good at it.”
Yes they are. They racked up over 200 yards on the ground against Glendora in what was the Bulldogs third straight victory since the St. Francis debacle. The beat South Hills 35-8 followed by a 24-13 win over Schurr and the 30-13 win over the Tartans.
Guys like Anthony Ramiro (140 pounds soaking wet), Noah Northey and Andrew Rodriguez have all filled in for the injured Martinez. Ramiro had close to 100 yards Friday night while Rodriguez had touchdown run and Northey scored twice.
“Northey’s my bruiser and Ramiro has done a great job of always moving the ball forward,” Maggiore said.
Friday night Maggiore used six different players to carry the ball. “It’s kind of by committee right now,” Maggiore said.
Three straight victories and the running game is not missing a beat. After a bye week the Bulldogs will face Charter Oak, a team that struggled to beat South Hills last week and is missing its starting quarterback. West Covina is definitely back and ready to contend for the Hacienda League title. Was there ever a question?
Give me a running clock on all levels. High school has it already but college and the NFL should follow suit. When it’s 45-0 in the fourth quarter nobody benefits from the clock stopping on incomplete passes, exchange of possessions, out of bounds plays etc. The chance of injury is greater and everybody in the stadium is thinking “will somebody please just end this?” If both coaches agree, implement a running clock when the score differential is 35 or more in the fourth quarter. Sitting through the final quarter of Azusa Pacific’s 64-14 rout of Simon Fraser when the clock stopped on seemingly every down was brutal. Please, this needs to happen.
Speaking of brutal Fantasy Football is the worst. I had four running backs to start the season and all of them are out…yes OUT with injuries. Is Marshawn Lynch available? Eric Dickerson? Cullen Bryant? Anybody?
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40.