By Rich Whittington
(Pasadena) The Linfield Christian Lions traveled from Temecula to Pasadena Friday evening, leaving town with a victory over the host Pasadena Bulldogs, 28-21, in the CIF Division 11 Quarter-Finals at Pasadena High School.
The Lions proved that, in football as in life, it is quality, not quantity that counts. Linfield sports a roster that includes only 31 players, as compared to the 51 players that were suited up for Pasadena. Having to overcome this deficit proved to be an asset to the Lions, as they were able to, at times, control the tempo of the game, as well as to survive Pasadena’s “big play” capabilities.
Quarterback Michael Harkins had a big night for the Lions. Harkins completed 8 of 13 passes for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns…connecting with tight end Brye Lighon and wide receiver Jalani Jefferson for scores of 8 and 6 yards, respectively. Harkins also scored on a 2 yard run.
Rounding out the scoring for the Lions was running back Crispin Wong, who scored on a 2 yard TD blast, and Carden Taylor, who successfully converted a 2-Point PAT attempt.
Also contributing to the Lions success was Justin Manqueros, who carried the ball 27 times for 182 yards, and kept the clock running while keeping the ball away from Pasadena’s powerful offense.
Pasadena’s offense was led by quarterback Dante Coronel, who connected with Au’dante Bailey for a 33-yard score, and Mekhi Fox, who scored on runs of 1
and 58 yards.
The remainder of the Bulldogs’ scoring was supplied by Fernando Simental, who successfully converted 3 PAT attempts.
Next week, the Lions will host the Muir Mustangs in the CIF Division 11 Semi-Finals.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Pasadena finishes the 2019 football season with a record of 7-4, 3-3 in Pacific League play, and 1-1 in the CIF playoffs.