Lancers Division 4 Champs

La Serna: CIF Division 4 Champs

By Alex A. Gonzalez

Whittier — For the third time in school history, the La Serna Lancers are crowned champions of the CIF-SS Division Four and did so Friday night with a dominating win over Corona Del Mar 49-29 at Sandy Thorstenson Stadium. Owen Long led the way for the Lancers by scoring four rushing touchdowns with 159 yards rushing on 19 carries.

“Man, It’s surreal. It’s like what we were talking about before the game. Everyone says, 14 week journey. These past 14 games, it’s been something that’s been talked about for four years,” said Long after the game. “This whole freshman class was something that we aspired to do, and to get there and complete it is surreal.”

The Sea Kings kept the game close for the first 13 minutes of the title game. La Serna did score the game’s first touchdown midway through the first quarter when Long took the handoff and scored from 15 yards out.

Corona Del Mar was then able to respond by compiling an 11-play drive that eclipsed 4:21, resulting in Colin Pene booting a 31-yard field goal with 2:07 remaining in the opening quarter. Then the Sea King’s defensive line deflected CJ Ceron’s pass on the ensuing possession, and Cameron Benion was on the receiving end of the deflection and then took it to the Lancer 10-yard line.

The drive went nowhere as La Serna’s defense sacked Kaleb Annett for a nine-yard loss and forced incompletions on both Annett’s passes. As a result, Pene’s 36-yard field attempt was wide left, and the score remained at 7-3 as the second quarter started.

The Lancers then extended their lead following the missed field goal, covering 80 yards in two plays. On their first play, Ceron’s designed quarterback run gained 25 yards. He was aided by Long, who gave him a critical block that sprung him for the run. On the next play, Ceron handed the ball off to Long, who made one move and took it 55 yards to the house.

“That’s the best feeling. That’s football right there,” said Long when talking about his block for Ceron. “I mean, shoot, when the pads hit together, it feels better when you’re coming out on top.”

The Sea Kings made it a five-point game when Jaden Mwendepole returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards, putting the score at 14-9 after Pene’s point-after try was missed.

Those were the last points Corona Del Mar put on the Lancers for the rest of the first half.

La Serna answered back by scoring 21 unanswered points for the remaining 6:41.

Ceron capped a 10-play drive when he connected with Isaiah Ramos, who was left alone for the 22-yard touchdown. Then, after Emre Law stripped and sacked Annett on their next drive, Long took the handoff and ran it in for the nine-yard score.

Then, just before the halftime whistle, Kaimana Tufaga picked off Annett and returned it to CDM’s 15-yard line. Three plays later, Long added his fourth rushing score of the night, making the score 35-9 at the break.

“All credit to the big boys up front in terms of offense,” commented Long about his offensive performance.

The Sea Kings scored their first offensive touchdown of the night with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter when Annett connected with Russell Weir for the score. The two hooked up again for the second time of the night as the final quarter started. However, their two-point attempt failed following the touchdown, and the score stayed at 35-22.

La Serna responded with back-to-back scoring drives that closed the door of a CDM comeback.

Ceron made the score 42-22 after he optioned to keep the ball and dart his way to the end zone from 44 yards out. Then Adrian Castro added his rushing touchdown before the night ended when he bulldozed his way into the end zone, making the score 49-22.

Lastly, Corona Del Mar added a late score to the game when Annett found his favorite target, Weir, for the third time of the night, making the final score 49-29.

34 Comments to "Lancers Division 4 Champs"

  1. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 1, 2023 - 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Dang, NFL player Jalen Thompson transferred out of La Serna and over to Downey after starting his Sophomore year on the LS 2013 CIF Championship team. Bummer, they might have gone back to back titles if he stayed.

    Weird, according to the crybabies on this site, La Serna gets all these transfers in, but you got an NFL player that left and another NFL player, 300 pound DT Kyle Peko who went to La Habra instead of LS like his Uncle’s did.

    Don’t matter.
    Still dominating.
    Coaching up neighborhood kids

  2. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 1, 2023 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    @LS 291, ER 14 Last decade – 1st half only

    Haha, I you think just because a kid went to JC before D1, it means his HS coaches didn’t do anything for the kid, you obviously have never coached, and you probably didn’t even play, and if you did play you were that “I would have been D1 but the coach didn’t like me” guy.

    Oh and lastly the La Serna players certainly have earned their spot on D1 teams, what is it like 5 or 6 them currently. Now go ahead and list the players from your HS currently playing D1.

  3. 84-21's Gravatar 84-21
    December 1, 2023 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    JuggleNADS Those players you mentioned all went to Junior College before receiving D1 offers , ask Jaylen Thompson which high school he will say DOWNEY, LS has the best program in the area because 95% of those kids know this is the end of the road for their football careers ( and that’s okay) coaching staff gets the most out of them and then moves along , the only player to sign out of high school is the nephew of the HC…. coincidence?

  4. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 1, 2023 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Chase Davis ELAC alumni and is now at Bowling Green.

  5. LS CIF Title Juggernaut's Gravatar LS CIF Title Juggernaut
    December 1, 2023 - 1:55 am | Permalink


    “El Rancho kids were born Dons, but after getting torn a new one by La Serna all 4 years they left campus thinking they were

  6. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 1, 2023 - 12:32 am | Permalink

    @LS FAN

    My bad. Thanks for the correction.
    It’s Justin Sanchez.

    I agree, it’s great so many La Serna kids are earning the opportunity to play at the next level.

  7. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 30, 2023 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Good luck this Friday. Make the city of Whittier proud. Bring home that state championship

  8. LSFan's Gravatar LSFan
    November 30, 2023 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    @LSJuggernaut the linebacker at Colorado St is actually Justin Sanchez! It’s great to see these kids playing at the next level!

  9. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    November 29, 2023 - 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Long is a stud. He’s fun to watch.
    Ya, I think you are right about George.

    I few La Serna kids recently went JC and then D1. Playing this year there’s Milo Lopez a Safety at Boise St, a LB Justin Hernandez @Colorado St, and a DE Chace Davis he was at UTEP, maybe now at Western Kentucky, I can’t remember for sure. Also ex La Serna Lancer & Downey Viking, Jalen Thompson is playing DB in the NFL.

    I know there are several playing at the Non D1 level Collegiate as well.

    Speaking of Long…
    When Long’s dad, Larry, played at La Serna, he had one of the best baseball seasons ever at LS. I think he still shares the La Serna record, with CSUF All-American & Big West POY Jeff Ferguson, for HR’s in a season with 13 bombs.

  10. FAN Whittier's Gravatar FAN Whittier
    November 29, 2023 - 2:39 pm | Permalink

    @LS Jugrtnsaut Long is amazing to watch. He is going to a Division 1 school. He will excel. The lancers are starting to produce kids to the next level. I think Jake Geroge was the last Div 1 signee?

  11. The Watcher's Gravatar The Watcher
    November 28, 2023 - 6:41 pm | Permalink

    So if you were winning 2 – 3 years and you started getting a few transfers of kids enrolling that should go from your rival school you’re going to stop them? Gtfoh if it was anyone of these cry babies on here teams getting the kids they wouldnt be saying anything.

  12. The big boys's Gravatar The big boys
    November 27, 2023 - 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Big congratulations to coach Verstegen! Coaching up the offensive line and are in full throttle at the right time very impressive.

  13. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    November 27, 2023 - 6:34 pm | Permalink

    This looks like a good place to list the CIF Champion La Serna Lancers accomplishments on the Gridiron recently.

    Congrats to the players, the coaches, and the LS Community. What a FB Dynasty!

    *Only 1 losing season in the past 22 years.
    *14 consecutive winning seasons.
    *6 straight Del Rio League Titles & 11/14.
    *Current 27g DRL win streak & won 42/43.
    *10 of the last 14 yrs either made it CIF Semifinals or went undefeated.
    *7 of the last 14 yrs either made it to the CIF Finals or went undeafeted.
    *2 CIF Championships & 1 berth in the State playoffs since 2013.
    *58-11 record since 2018, 3rd best out of 373 CIF Southern Section teams.

    and the La Serna freshman team just went 10-0 this year.



  14. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 27, 2023 - 2:31 pm | Permalink

    @The P in pico is for pitty, now you sound like an idiot. La Serna isnt even beating a
    Division 3 or 2 team. Open enrolment benefits La Serna more than any school in
    WUHSD. to deny that is ridiculous. They take more transfers then any Whittier school.
    Yes they had a great year, but dont disregard facts.

  15. Don's Gravatar Don
    November 27, 2023 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    @The P in Pico….

    What are you talking about? The one El Rancho poster on here just gave credit to the wing-t and Owen Long in particular.

    Congratulations La Serna. A well deserved feat. Now go and finish it off with a state title.

  16. The P in pico is for pitty's Gravatar The P in pico is for pitty
    November 27, 2023 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    If la Serna beat a NCAA team ER people would be saying it’s because la serna is open enrollment. If la Serna beat a nfl team ER people would be like La Serna paid off the nfl.

  17. Cry me a damn river's Gravatar Cry me a damn river
    November 27, 2023 - 1:09 am | Permalink

    @truth we did hit a home run. And we may hit another one this Friday. Be ready for

  18. Truth's Gravatar Truth
    November 26, 2023 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

    “La Serna kids were born on third base and they think they hit a home run.”

  19. Maverick's Gravatar Maverick
    November 26, 2023 - 7:01 pm | Permalink

    La Serna Lancer’s 2023 CIF-SS D4 Champions!!!
    Super proud of our young men, Coach Andy George and the coaching staff. Epic Season!

    Coach George said it best;

    I can’t say enough about these kids, I can’t say enough about these coaches. It’s a family here and we weren’t going to be denied. This was ours from the start and we believe in it. We work so hard all year. This championship is for all the Lancer community, all of our Lancer families, it’s for everybody that came before us, it’s for the coaches that came before me, it’s for La Serna. I’m just so proud to be the leader of this team and work along such great men and experience this with this incredible team!

  20. La Serna CIF champs's Gravatar La Serna CIF champs
    November 26, 2023 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh boy, did Mr. O show up Friday night ! Class act , a model for all underclassmen, the La Serna way!

  21. Someone Who Knows's Gravatar Someone Who Knows
    November 26, 2023 - 5:10 am | Permalink

    Here’s a thought…La Serna scheduling Rio Hondo Prep. Might be a fun match up.

  22. Elrancho's Gravatar Elrancho
    November 26, 2023 - 2:26 am | Permalink

    LS is a very hard team to stop this year for a variety of reasons. Most teams have a hard time playing against the Wing-T, so many teams run the spread these days and the moment they play against a wing-t team they have no clue how to stop it, add to that a real D-1 back in Owen Long, a bowling ball at RB Castro, some dynamic wide outs and a mobile QB, hard to key on one thing without getting hit with another. Long is probably the best player I’ve seen at La Serna, Palmer was amazing but this kid is on another level.

  23. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 26, 2023 - 12:03 am | Permalink

    Coach George can finally stop wearing Margarito’s ring.

  24. Just an Ol’ Has Been's Gravatar Just an Ol’ Has Been
    November 25, 2023 - 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could have gone to this one. I hear it was a full house on the La Serna sidelines and stands. I was able to stream this game since we were out of town for the holiday weekend. La Serna was clearly the dominant team. Their non-league games appear to have prepared them for this playoff run. Congratulations to the Lancer Staff and Players.

    And to those who choose not to celebrate the success of these young athletes, “It is best to remain silent and be thought a fool. Rather than speak out and remove all doubt”.

  25. La Serna FB Royalty - Triple Crown Kingdom's Gravatar La Serna FB Royalty - Triple Crown Kingdom
    November 25, 2023 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

    CIF CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LA SERNA ’67, ’13, ’23

  26. La Serna 2023 CIF champs's Gravatar La Serna 2023 CIF champs
    November 25, 2023 - 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Yeaaaaaaaaaa buddddyyyyyy ! We’re so proud of you guys, congratulations!
    Way to go coach George!

  27. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    November 25, 2023 - 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Let this team have their time in the sin. It’s well deserved and they’re clearly the top team in the area. I’ve been someone who has been critical of La Serna’s league placement, but this isn’t the time for those arguments. Congratulations Lancers!

  28. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 25, 2023 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Cry harder haters, LS won another ring!

  29. His coach's Gravatar His coach
    November 25, 2023 - 3:09 pm | Permalink

    What a fool!!!

  30. Haha's Gravatar Haha
    November 25, 2023 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Post of the year!

  31. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 25, 2023 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Doing it the right way. Coaching up homegrown local talent. Friendly Hills is a hotbed
    For stellar athletes. No need to even go South of Whittier Blvd to recruit.

  32. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 25, 2023 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations LS, your hard earned dollars and politicking were well worth the championship run. Bravo!

  33. Awesome's Gravatar Awesome
    November 25, 2023 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations La Serna coaches and players !

  34. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 25, 2023 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to the La Serna Lancers. Happy

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