By Alex A. Gonzalez
WHITTIER —The La Serna Lancers opened Del Rio league play on a cold Friday night against the California Condors and took a 7-0 lead into halftime but then scored 34 unanswered points after intermission en route to a 41-0 blowout win over the Condors at Sandy Thorstenson Stadium.
Brothers Jake and Owen Long combined for three scores, one passing touchdown by Jake and two rushing touchdowns by Owen, in front of a rambunctious La Serna crowd.
The contest opened with both offenses struggling to gain an advantage over the other, with the two units trading punts and failing to convert on fourth down.
“We came out a little slow, and we turned it around,” Said Jake postgame. “We are a good second-half team, picked up our mistakes and played our normal ball. Shoutout to the O-line. They did great tonight. Wideouts were great, running backs were great, and defense was great too.”
The lone score in the first half came in less than a minute in the first quarter of the contest, when defensive back Johnny Navarro picked up Cal quarterback Daniel Torres and returned it to the house for the score.
The Lancers did have an opportunity to put points on the board following the pick-six, but Adrian Castro’s fumble in the end zone stalled the team from separating themselves from the Condors, keeping the score at 7-0 in the second quarter.
“I told them to play loose and play hard. That’s all I asked of them,” Commented Jake about his team’s first-half performance. “First half we kind of struggled, and I told them, second half we need to finish the drives, hold on to the ball and eliminate the mistakes and that’s what we did. “
Following the break and another punt by the Condors, the Lancers were able to capitalize on a short field and marched their way down for the team’s first offensive score. Jake’s 21-yard touchdown to Jayden Northrup started a run of three consecutive scores that Cal could not keep up.
Then with Owen’s back-to-back rushing scores of 30 and 26 yards, La Serna quickly extended its lead to 27-0 with the one missed point after touchdown once the fourth quarter started.
“Obvious credit has to go everywhere, you know? It starts with the offensive line, which created massive holes the whole night,” Owen added after the game. “It’s like what Jake said. We were driving the field the whole night. It’s a mindset, and the defense did a good job keeping them (Cal) out of the end zone, and the QB right here was throwing bombs all night. It was awesome.”
Less than a minute after Owen’s rushing touchdown, the Lancers’ defense added their second score of the night when Navarro instinctively read the Condor’s play, picked off Torres’ pass, and saw nothing but the open field on his way for the score.
Finally, with a running clock in the fourth quarter, Drew Cobos ended the night by scoring the game’s final touchdown when he punched in his rushing touchdown as the game concluded.
With the win, the Lancers extended their winning streak to five games and look to make it six on October 14th when they travel to Santa Fe. The Condors will try to end their four-game skid next Thursday when they travel to Whittier to play the Cardinals.