By Tim Peterson
So what do you do when you’re down 31-10 at the end of the third quarter, and at home no less, in a second round playoff game?
“You just play the next play, no matter if you’re up big or down big – just compete and do your job one play at a time,” said La Mirada Head Coach Mike Moschetti. “Players and coaches, that’s the mindset. The kids battled.”
The Matadores have proven the last couple of years that they can play with anybody. They won A CIF and a State championship last year and after devouring everybody in the Suburban League this season appeared to be on their way to another memorable year. Then suddenly they found themselves down 31-10.
It had to look bleak but when you have an Elijah Hicks, a Tristan Meyer and a Jeremy Clark you got a shot. Hicks returns a kick off for a score, Meyer hits Clark for another touchdown and now the deficit is just two. Then Brandon Petruescu…who?…Petruescu…boots the game winner with 12 seconds left.
You have to think this gives La Mirada all the confidence heading into the next round. I mean, if you can overcome a 21 point deficit in the fourth quarter, is anything impossible? The Mats travel to Los Alamitos Friday night.
The Schurr-Arroyo game last Friday night had everything I like about the local matchups. The stands were packed, the competition was heated and the momentum seemed to change with each possession.
“That was one of my all time favorite games,” said Arroyo head coach Jim Singiser. “Just a heavyweight fight…each of us landed shots that would have put other teams away…it was fun.”
The Knights ultimately landed the finishing shots in the fourth quarter with 15 consecutive points in a 42-28 victory. Arroyo, which was down 21-7 in the first quarter, outscored the Spartans 35-7 over the next three quarters.
“I think offensively we showed it last week against Verbum Dei. We came out in the second half and got a turnover and just drove and drove and drove and picked up the tempo and we saw that we did have another gear,” Singiser said. “We still got a lot of things to clean up though.”
Now Arroyo gets Segerstrom. What is Segerstrom? I didn’t even know such a school existed until now. “They’re physical, big…well coached. About what you’d expect for this tme of year,” Singiser added.
So South El Monte and Arroyo in the semi finals in the same year, but not in the same division. Who would have thunk it?
Did you get a glimpse of the box score of the South El Monte – Santa Clarita Christian game? Talk about polar opposites. In a 61-47 South El Monte win, the Eagles had 623 yards rushing but just 15 passing, while Santa Clarita racked up 636 yards passing and 17 rushing. South running back Sal Tovar continued his assault on the school record books with 308 yards rushing. Whew!
South El Monte will be at the swamp Friday night to face Rancho Christian. Get the scoreboard operators ready.
Everybody…well maybe not everybody…but a lot of people thought Northview would beat Burbank. Okay, I thought Northview would beat Burbank. Hey, I missed one. Stuff happens. The Vikings had just rolled over Chino after just rolling through the Valle Vista. It looked like it could be a year for a possible CIF title appearance. Heck, their next opponent would have been Don Lugo and they had already beaten Don Lugo. But Burbank is tough…tougher than I gave them credit for.
One of those people that didn’t think Northview would win was former El Rancho and current Pacifica Head Coach Vinnie Lopez. And he definitely reminded me.
“I called it. Burbank is well coached,” Lopez said early Saturday morning. “Burbank will win the division.”
Northview Coach Marcel Perez thought this might be the year the Vikes take that next step.
“I’m pretty upset. I think we should have won it this year but I guess we got to get back to work and make a run for it again next year,” Perez said “We graduate a lot of guys but I think we’re going to be really good again. Building that culture of winning is the expectation.”
Burbank is on the cusp of history with their 30-27 win over Northview. The Bulldogs have never appeared in a CIF Final game.
“We’re excited to be honest. We’re playing in the semis. As for how we match up against Don Lugo this game is going to be a war. Coach (Greg) Gano and his staff have a big physical team with skill kids that make plays on both sides of the ball,” said Burbank Head Coach Richard Broussard. “They have dominated their first two opponents in impressive fashion. It’s going to be a daunting task to make history at Burbank – no team has ever made it to the final. But our team is gritty and up for the challenge. It’s going to be fun playing one more time at Memorial Field. Can’t wait!”
The Bulldogs finished second in the Pacific before knocking off Brea Olinda and Northview in the post season.
Best game of the weekend may be in Division 4 where Sierra Canyon travels to Charter Oak. Great matchup featuring two perennial powers. I like Bobby Cole and the Blazers.
Los Altos is on a mission…maybe not necessarily from God but it is a mission. I’ll go with the Conqs at home.
My advice to Montebello against Valley View. Leave early. Have the bus packed and ready to go by 3:00. The drive to Moreno Valley on a Friday night is brutal.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40.