By Joe Torosian
(Montebello)—Jeremiah Hartfield’s lateral to Lance Babb II was converted into a 87-yard touchdown with 1:30 to play to give the Schurr Spartans a 36-35 victory over the Whittier Cardinals on Friday night at Ken Davis Field.
The Spartans after taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter found themselves playing catch-up all night. The Cardinals scored four times in the second quarter and built a 21-7 lead and 28-14 lead at the break.
Schurr quarterback, Miguel Arguero scored on a 1-yard run in third and had the Spartans knocking on the door early in the fourth with a first and goal at the one. But the Whittier defense stopped a pair of runs and forced an incomplete pass. On fourth down, Arguero tried to sneak in but was stopped on the half yard line.
The Cardinals then took the next three minutes off the clock while marching 99-yards on 10-plays. Alex Rentana ran the ball seven times, and it was on the seventh carry he went in from 7-yards to give his team a 35-21 lead with 7:01 left in the match.
…And the drama was just beginning.
The Spartans went on the march. Ten plays and 60-yards later, Arguero hit Babb on a 3-yard slant in the end zone. After the score, Babb was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty and disaster nearly struck on the extra-point. A bad snap forced kicker, Francisco Remigio to scramble and fire the ball into the end zone to Michael Torres for the deuce. The score was now, 35-29 in favor of the Cardinals
Taking the yardage on the Babb penalty on the ensuing kick-off, the ball went out of bounds, and Whittier took possession at the 50 with its running attack clicking and a chance to close out the game.
Two plays later the Cardinals coughed up the ball and Schurr was back in business at their own 40. Five plays after that, Arguero was picked off by Whittier’s Keith Harris.
The Cardinals tried to work the clock but three plays and two-Spartan timeouts later and Whittier was forced to punt.
Schurr took over at its own ten with 2:05 to play and no timeouts. On second down, Arguero went to Hartfield in the flat. The Cardinals defense swarmed, and as they were pulling him down, he flipped it to Babb who was off to the races.
After 87-yards, Babb dove—unnecessarily across the goal line—and was flagged again and ejected from the game.
The penalty was tacked onto the extra-point, and Francisco Remigio was forced to make the game-winning kick from 30-yards.
The victory concluded Schurr’s non-league schedule with a 4-1 record. The Spartans have a bye next week. Whittier is now 2-3 and ready to begin Del Rio League play.
It was Arguero who scored the game’s first touchdown late in the first quarter on a short run.
Whittier then scored four of the next five touchdowns. Rentana on a 2-yard run and less than two minutes later he scored on a 50-yard sprint to paydirt.
Three minutes after that Cardinals quarterback, Nathan Delgado punched in on a 1-yard run.
The Spartans broke the run when Arguero went 13-yards to Babb to close the gap to 21-14.
But with four ticks left on the first clock, Delgado went to Raymond Yrigoyen in the corner of the end zone to make it a 14-point game at the break.
Whittier’s starting offensive line:
LT: Angel Alcudia, LG: Larry Faustino, C:Dylan McDermott, RG: Anthony Alvardo, RT: Christian Torres
Schurr’s starting offensive line:
LT: Michael Guerra, LG: Mario Cuevas, C: Jorge Romero, RG: Lorenzo Arce, RT: Nikolas Masterson.
Arguero: 21-37-312-yds 2Tds, 2Ints
Delgado: 12-22-231-Td, 2Ints
Keven Lopez: 15-50
Alex Retana: 29-207-3Tds