By Duane Barker
(Pico Rivera) The El Rancho Dons piled up 497 yards on the ground Friday night and ran to a 45-28 win over the visiting Bell Garden Lancers. Roman Rojas, Richie Amaya and Fernando Silva combined for 381 yards and all six touchdowns.
The Dons got on the board first with 7:44 left in the first quarter. An 11-play 73 yard drive was capped by a two yard plunge Rojas for his first of three scores. Joseph Reyes booted the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
The Ranch took a 13-0 lead just a few minutes later on another two yard run by Rojas but the two point conversion failed. The score was set up by a questionable lateral call by the officials. Lancer quarterback Agustin Velasquez fired a pass to the flat that was missed by his receiver. No whistle was blown and a Don defender scooped up the ball. To the dismay of the Bell Gardens coaching staff, the officials stuck with their call.
Rojas finished the night gaining 162 yards on 18 carries with three touchdown
The controversial call sparked some life into the Lancer offense on their next possession and they proceeded to march 58 yards on seven plays. Velasquez called his own number from 10 yards away. Albert Gomez added the extra point to cut the Don lead to six.
Mid way through the second period, the Lancers got their first lead of the night 14-13. Frank Gonzalez barreled his way across the goal line on a six yard run to complete a seven play 75 yard drive.
El Rancho stormed right back to take a 21-14 lead needing only five plays to cover 55 yards with Amaya getting his first score on a one yard run. The Dons went for two and were successful with Silva taking in in.
An interception of El Rancho quarterback Arthur Sanchez by Bell Gardens’ Manuel Rios set the Lancers up deep in Don territory. Three plays later Velasquez got his second touchdown on the night on an 11-yard run. Gomez added the point after to knot the game at 21.
Coming out of the locker rooms for the second half the teams traded possessions until lightning struck with 8:35 left in the third quarter. Silva energized the crowd taking a hand off and bolting 74-yards to paydirt. Reyes added the extra point and the Dons were back on top 28-21.
Not wanting to be upstaged by their hosts, Bell Gardens provided a little bit of electricity themselves when Gabriel Campos got loose and out raced the El Rancho defense 81-yards to glory. Another Gomez extra point and things were all square at 28.
Campos was one of the few bright spots on the night for the Lancers. The junior running back gained 198 yards on 10 carries with the lone score.
The rest of the night belonged to the Dons who added two more touchdowns, one by Rojas and Amaya’s second of the contest, and a 20 yard field goal by Reyes.
With the win the Dons improve to 1-1 on the season while the Lancers drop to 0-2.