By Tim Peterson
(West Covina) – Torrance shut out West Covina in the second half and went on to beat the Bulldogs 23-7 to win the CIF Division 10 championship Saturday night at West Covina High.
Torrance led 9-7 at halftime and outscored West Covina 14-0 the rest of the way. The Bulldogs fumbled the ball on their first possession of the third quarter and Anthony Perez recovered for the Tartars at their own 36.
Torrance then marched 64 yards and was aided by a pass interference penalty on West Covina to get in the endzone. Jake Silverman capped it with a 7-yard run with 4:27 left in the third quarter. The lead was only 16-7 with plenty of time left but you could feel the momentum shift. Instead of the Bulldogs taking the lead on the first series of the second half they now found themselves down by two scores.
On the next four possessions West Covina went punt, punt, punt and turned the ball over on its last series on an interception.
Torrance put together one more drive. After a short punt that left the Tartars at the West Covina 40-yard line Torrance used six plays to get to paydirt. Joshua Radeke hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass from Connor Shearing with 7:03 left in the fourth quarter to make it 23-7. Game, set , match.
The Bulldogs moved the ball down to the Torrance 38-yard line late in the fourth quarter after Chris Perez hit Angel Murillo on a 42-yard pass play. But Malikai Johnson intercepted Perez with 1:00 left and the celebration was at hand.
Torrance scored first on an 11-yard touchdown run by Silverman to cap a 70-yard march with 29 seconds left in the first quarter. The extra point was missed leaving the Tartars up 6-0.
West Covina answered immediately when Robert Rodriguez returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and a 7-6 lead with just 14 second left in the first. That was the Bulldogs only score and lead of the night.
Christopher Ramirez booted a 40-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half to put Torrance back on top 9-7.
Then the defense went to work in the second half and the offense did enough to finish the job.
For West Covina Zander Requena ran for 82 yards on 17 carries but the Bulldogs weren’t able to establish any offensive momentum.
Ryan Young rushed for 180 yards on 23 carries and also had a reception for 54 yards for Torrance. Shearing completed 6 of 14 for 95 yards and a touchdown. Silverman had two carries for 18 yards. Both carries went for scores.
West Covina finishes the season 11-4 overall to go with its CIF Finals appearance. Torrance also finished 11-4 while claiming the Division 10 crown.