Late Rally Puts Lancers in a Winning State of Mind

CJ Ceron had a big night for La Serna (Photo by Duane Barker).

By Tim Peterson

(Whittier)- La Serna went on a 27-0 fourth quarter run to beat Orange Vista 49-32 Friday night in the Division 2-AA State Regional Bowl at California High School.

The Lancers trailed 32-22 early in the fourth quarter when Dionte West caught a pass from Khalil Abdul-Aziz and raced 43 yards for a touchdown for Orange Vista. There was still 11:18 left on the clock and La Serna used less than half that time to take the lead.

Owen Long did damage running and receiving. (Photo by Duane Barker).

They went on a blitz that knocked the Coyotes out. La Serna used just four plays to go 58 yards with CJ Ceron hitting Jayden Northrup on a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it 32-29.

The Lancers then recovered an onside kick and were in business again at the Orange Vista 22. Four plays later Adrian Castro scored on a three-yard run and La Serna was up 36-32 with 6:59 left.

Orange Vista was then stopped on fourth down and after Ceron busted off an 82-yard sprint Owen Long found paydirt on a seven-yard jaunt and just like that it was 43-32 with 3:09 left.

Long then picked off Orange Vista quarterback Aziz with 1:45 left. While the Lancers were trying to run out the clock Ceron instead got loose for a 69-yard touchdown run as he weaved his way through the Orange Vista defense. A 10-point deficit was suddenly a 17-point La Serna rout.

Orange Vista and La Serna traded scores in the first quarter as Sire Gaines scored for the Coyotes on a six-yard run and and Zeb Bontemps (cool name) caught a 23-yard TD pass from Ceron. A missed extra point left the Lancers up 7-6.

Orange Vista scored twice in the second on an eight-yard pass from Aziz to Lese Magalei and an 11-yard run by Gaines. The Coyotes were up 19-7 at the half.

The Lancers out pressure on Orange Vista Quarterback Khalil Abdul-Aziz. (Photo by Duane Barker).

In the third quarter Eli Perez scooped up a fumble and went five yards for a score and Long scored on a 10-yard scamper to put the Lancers back up 22-19.

West hauled in a 42-yard pass from Aziz with 1:22 left in the third as the Coyotes regained the lead at 26-22. West then had the 43-yard catch and run early in the fourth for a 32-22 lead. But it was all La Serna from there. 27 points later it was over.

Ceron had a big night to lead the charge. He ran for 192 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and threw for 161 and a pair of touchdowns. Long, after a slow start, ran for 58 yards and two touchdowns and had three receptions for 28 yards.

West had six catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns for Orange Vista. The Coyotes finished the season at 11-4.

La Serna, now 12-3, moves on the State Finals.

41 Comments to "Late Rally Puts Lancers in a Winning State of Mind"

  1. Still no Dynasty's Gravatar Still no Dynasty
    December 8, 2023 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    comparing the lakers to LS is comical Cal high must be the clippers

  2. DaRanch's Gravatar DaRanch
    December 8, 2023 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    Grown men beating their chest like acting like they didnt inherit a top program , in the best parts of whittier but coaching staff is all GURU’s

  3. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 7, 2023 - 5:50 pm | Permalink


    Jelly much?
    Lol. I didn’t have to add anything. Over 250 yrs of high school coaching experience & 35+ CIF Championship rings from 10 teams at 7 different schools speaks for itself.

    Since you pointed out some of the losses. the crazy thing is, if not for like 4 unfortunately disastrous plays on special teams and 1 fluke fumbled snap, instead of 2 CIF titles and 6 CIF Finals app. since 2010, we might be talking about 7 or 8 CIF titles and 10 trips to the CIF Finals since 2010. That’s how good they’ve been. But 2 Titles, 6 Finals, 9 Final Fours, & 1 undefeated covid half season is an amazing 14 yrs.

    You remind me of a Clipper fan trying to trash talk to a Laker fan about Championships (yes we are all laughing at you) when you criticize a La Serna coaching staff that has either been undeafeted or playing for a CIF Championship (7 of the last 14 yrs) 50% of the time since 2010.

    “Holding the program back”
    Ahaaahhhaaa – somebody come get’em, the village idiot is on the loose.

    😂 😂 😂

  4. Juggle.....NOT's Gravatar Juggle.....NOT
    December 7, 2023 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

    t-bone – Max Preps is a wonderful site to explore the history of programs that claim “Dynasty” My kids went to a SP the year we beat LS at the PITT and lost in the finals!!! my LS jammies have holes in them

  5. T-Bone's Gravatar T-Bone
    December 7, 2023 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    @Ls Juggle…not

    Look at you, knowing all the scores and details through the years. I bet you sleep in LS jammies.

    Either you support one of local bottom-dwellers and memorized all that out of jealousy and hate for the championship program, or you are somehow tied to it. What was it? Did you used to coach there? Did your kid go there and ride the pine? Little Johnny weighed a buck twenty and had to run cross country instead?

    Save some room in that melon for the 2023 playoff blowout scores. Maybe someone will let you try on the ring.

  6. Ls Juggle...not's Gravatar Ls Juggle...not
    December 7, 2023 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    That was the dumbest take on this blog this season, youre adding rings to make it seem like its the coaching experience is the reason for the Championship team. 2019 loss by 1 in cif finals (had a 2 TD lead at one point) , 2016 up 30-10 to LM final 30-31 LOSS (CIF final) , 2022 bounced 1st round by a mid Palos Verdes team, 2021 0 points vs St Francis(semi final) , 2018 up 31-21 vs St Paul Final 31-32 LOSS(quarter final) , to me it looks like the stellar coaching has been holding the program back….. i doubt you are a LS alum

  7. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 6, 2023 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    @FB Fan

    Well from the info I have available….

    Coach George 2 @LS = 2

    Coach Perumean won titles at Bishop Amat in 92, HH Wilson 96 & 97, & 2 @LS = 5.

    Coach Cab 96 & 97 @HH Wilson, & 2 @LS = 4.

    Coach Mustain 96 & 97 @HH Wilson, 2 @San Dimas, & either 1 or 2 @LS. = 5 maybe 6.

    Coach Verstegen 2 @LS = 2

    Coach Jordan 2 @ LS = 2

    So that’s 20 or 21.

    Then the 12 other coaches listed as coaching in the La Serna program this year, 1 each @LS = 12.

    Up to 32/33

    as players you have Coach Canales at St Paul ’07, Coach Jordan @Schurr, Coach Cab @El Rancho in 1968.

    So a grand total of either 35/36 CIF Titles depending on when Mustain started coaching at LS. 33 Coaching, 3 Playing.

  8. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    December 6, 2023 - 8:10 am | Permalink


    30+ CIF titles? Please give specific years per coach

  9. LS Juggernaut's Gravatar LS Juggernaut
    December 6, 2023 - 12:51 am | Permalink

    Yes and everyone should embrace all of the local community kids who have become the gold standard in area high school football.

    The kids are a fantastic representation of the local community and should be celebrated for all of their Championship success at La Serna.

    I’ve noticed there are a lot of posters on here talking about the open enrollment policies in the area, so take advantage of this great opportunity, you 2 could end up being a La Serna gridiron legend playing high level Championship HS football.

    At the same time learning from a LS coaching staff that combined have 30+ CIF Titles on their resume & more than 250 years of HS coaching exp. with 150+ of those yrs dedicated to coaching at LS.

    To the CIF Champion La Serna Lancer players and coaches, we are proud of you guys and the way you represent the local area community with such courage, character,
    & commitment.

  10. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 5, 2023 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    One does wonder how many on the LS Lancers roster actually live within the LS attendance area? I would bet that 3/4 of the roster lives within the boundaries of CHS, PHS, SFHS, WHS, but CIF doesn’t account for Open Enrollment moves. This would include kids that live outside of the WUHSD but were able to enroll at LS, for whatever reason when starting their freshmen year, which again, CIF doesn’t account for.

    Kids living a block or 2, shoot, even across the street from the other WUHSD schools, are making the drive to LS each morning.

    Open enrollment, and permits, it is what it is.

  11. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 4, 2023 - 11:34 am | Permalink


    Lol, it’s called sarcasm.

    LS got 1 transfer and another kid that played his first 2 years @LS, then left, and then comeback home to LS, and people on this site lost their minds like if La Serna had brought in a whole new team of transfers like Warren, Bosco, or Mater Dei have been doing for years.

    Reading is fundamental.

  12. Tim Tebow's Gravatar Tim Tebow
    December 4, 2023 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    in 30 years no one will care about the “dominate playoff run LS had in 2023” all that will matter is that big fat RING on each players finger tell their children and grandkids how they won STATE CHAMPIONS IN SOCAL. 2-AA STATE CHAMPIONS , dont check LS check your credit score.

    December 4, 2023 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    LMAO some people are in this “industry” for the wrong reasons, if it was really about winning CHAMPIONSHIPS you wouldnt be responding on this BLOG, Where is the COURAGE , CHARACTER , COMMITMENT ? Must have been the “coaches before me” motto

  14. You Oughta Know's Gravatar You Oughta Know
    December 4, 2023 - 12:03 am | Permalink

    I’m assuming you are referring to my comment. I’m just making out points to consider.
    Most notable to you might be, you can point at the fact that the WUHSD open enrollment has been beneficial to La Serna football program. But is it their fault if the other football programs are not meeting the expectations of these families who opt for La Serna? Simple answer is NO. They are just capitalizing on it.

    You are either a coach/parenr from one of these programs who is struggling or a private school who is trying to vie for the athletes La Serna is getting.

    My intention was not to make LS to be a “poor victim”. I am acknowledging they had the ability to place these issues aside and still remain focused on each opponent as every week passes. Now here they are in week 16. Just thought You Oughta Know

  15. Sports Man's Gravatar Sports Man
    December 3, 2023 - 11:30 pm | Permalink

    LSJuggernaut the most ignorant nonsense on this site in long time with ‘actually believing LS inherited all winning players after losing to Warren. HS graduate are you// ? Wow incredibly ignorant

  16. Sports Man's Gravatar Sports Man
    December 3, 2023 - 11:25 pm | Permalink

    FBFan you forgot la mirada won state championship few years ago under muschetti

  17. Sports Man's Gravatar Sports Man
    December 3, 2023 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    December 2, 2023 – 1:55 pm | describe , even one reason, why LS belongs in higher division dude! they have not won a playoff game in two or three seasons well coached and have earned the advantage to bring in players from area

  18. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 3, 2023 - 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Making La Serna out to be a poor victim in WUHSD might be the most laughable comment I’ve ever seen on these blogs.

  19. @ Juggernaut's Gravatar @ Juggernaut
    December 3, 2023 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Remember La Habra’s “got rings?” jingle? That’s what your “king of the rings” moniker feels like, and for the same reason. The unfair advantage had by Frank Mazzotta back in the day is identical to the edge enjoyed by Andy George currently. Everybody knows this, so the comments you describe as hate are actually a call to tone-down the nonsensical superlatives.

  20. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 3, 2023 - 3:21 pm | Permalink

    @You Oughta Know

    Well said. I know the neighbors would never allow it, but I have often thought about how amazing a home football stadium with lights would be right there on campus nestled against the hill with all those trees & Friendly Hills CC in the background. Man that would be fantastic for the players, coaches, and all the proud LS Alumni.

  21. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 3, 2023 - 3:09 pm | Permalink

    There’s a ton of Lancer fans on here so here is a score recap of the amazing playoff run by Coach George and the boys.

    (Grant is a 7 pt favorite according to Cal Preps, they predict Grant to win 38-31, but they also predicted Trabuco Hills to beat LS, so who knows, but Grant is really good)

    What a team!
    Kings of the Rings

  22. You Oughta Know's Gravatar You Oughta Know
    December 3, 2023 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Andy George and the La Serna Football program has had many obstacles this season, especially since league started and the time changed. Most impacting being the practice facilities (or lack of). Being nestled in the “not-so-friendly” hills, the surrounding neighborhood $$$$$ won’t allow lights to be installed. Therefore, practice opportunities on campus are limited. Getting use of either of the TWO “district stadiums” has been extremely limited. They tend to get primarily used by Cal & Pioneer. When La Serna does get a chance to use the facilities, lights are shut off right after two hours use. Which could be a safety issue if someone in the stands or along the track were to trip and fall. You can drive by these stadiums any other time and see those lights conveniently on ANY day of the week until 10:00 PM. With little to no support from the WUHSD district office since the “piñata scandal” (Cal Condor cultural sensitivity issues), the Lancers have resorted to sessions in the gym, borrowing the field at Whittier College at 8:00 PM (really, 8:00 PM?), or shortening practice simply to the unsafe conditions on their campus fields with no lighting. You would think that the district would celebrate the success of one of their local high school’s football program. But NO, they’d rather pull their prearranged charter buses to travel to Trabuco Hills and send them on standard school buses. The charter buses needed to be allocated for mountainous travel which another team travelled to Yucca Valley (near Palm Springs……mountainous drive?). They’d rather humiliate their school for cultural insensitivity even though over 85% of the school’s enrollment is of Hispanic ethnicity. The list of obstacles and road blocks can go on and on. Yet La Serna continues to persevere and Rise Up. Sure, you can point at the WUHSD open enrollment for the success of LS Football. But if it were a choice you had to make for your kid, would you choose the programs at Whittier, Pioneer, Cal, or Santa Fe? With the exception of this season, which Santa Fe had a great run, the answer would be PROBABLY NOT. Unless you opted for paying $$$$ for a religious education and sending your kid to Bosco, Amat, Servite and maybe St Paul, the obvious choice for a public school education and a football program in the WUHSD is to send your student-athletes to La Serna. It’s called making the best choice for your kids with your personal finances and their high school experience in mind.

    Any of you who try to argue other, are probably someone who stood along the grassy knoll in Dallas singing kumbaya with the rest of the Q-Anons waiting for JFK Jr to reappear and run for president.

    Despite these issues, George and Company continue to push their way into a week 16 state championship game. Best of luck to them.

  23. @ T Bone's Gravatar @ T Bone
    December 3, 2023 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    I’ll sell you a bound volume of notorized La Serna trashing comments. I don’t ask for any of your “real money”, but instead require you to wash and wax my car every Saturday for 10 years. I’ll video the service to make sure each swipe of the rag shows real courage, character and commitment.

  24. Low Profile's Gravatar Low Profile
    December 3, 2023 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    What about the horrendous ball spot that took away first down from OV when they were about to go back ahead late in 4th.
    Horrible call on your home field ; take it easy !

  25. T-Bone's Gravatar T-Bone
    December 3, 2023 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I’d pay real money to get access to all the loser comments that were being crafted at halftime when LS was down. At what point during the 42-point blitz did you have to erase everything and start over? CJ’s long run? Or his other long run? The 4th down stop? Long’s INT? I wonder which championship-level, difference-making play was the backbreaker.

    I got goosebumps just thinking about it. Some of you nerds should go outside and touch grass. Sign your kid up for a camp and get better so he can play for whatever stooge gets the next 1-year gig at Cal or Whittier.

  26. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 3, 2023 - 3:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t know, I think a lot of you guys hold La Serna to high on the pedestal. They are really good no doubt, 1 of the top public schools in the state, but the majority of posters here talk about La Serna like they are a Trinity league team.

    It’s nice to know you think LS is that good but most level headed LS people know that La Serna isn’t a private school that is allowed to recruit players from all over like Trinity league teams, or else they probably could be.
    I’m sure we’d play them if they wouldn’t to schedule though.

    But LS isn’t these unbeatable Gods of the Gridiron as you portray them to be. Well, maybe to schools like El Rancho & Cal, La Serna is a Trinity league team, I guess it’s all relative when you’ve been destroyed by LS like that for that long. After the 8th TD of the first half, El Rancho players probably can’t tell if it says Mater Dei or La Serna across their opponents jersey.

  27. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 3, 2023 - 2:10 am | Permalink

    @Titles for 2nd Place?

    Didn’t you hear? You must not read this board very much cuz after Warren beat La Serna earlier this year, La Serna replaced their entire team with transfers (I’m sure Warren can appreciate that considering Warren is transfer tech these days) showing no loyalty to the players on the current team.
    So you lucked out playing LS pre transfer LS

    Once LS paid off CIF to make them eligible, they sneaked out of the eligibility office and into the playoff office and paid off the playoff guy to get LS an easy playoff win in RD 1. But running short on cash after greasing the open enrollment guys, La Serna’s easy playoff road was scheduled to end in RD 2 with a loss @Trabuco Hills by 1, but they somehow won by 36. Now, miraculously a team that was supposed to go out in RD 2, is playing for a State Championship. Amazing.

    See what a whole new team of transfers can do for you. La Serna’s new team of transfers (or really just 2 guys) is so impressive, according to Cal Preps, and this is fact, that right now, they would have La Serna beating Warren if they had a rematch and I’m sure you would agree considering you just used CalPrep rankings as gospel in your post.

    Congrats on 2nd place
    (PS save some transfers for the rest of us)

    Oh and I forgot to mention LS
    Probably deflated the footballs
    Spied on the other teams practice
    Videotaped their opp signals calls
    Wiretapped the visitor locker room
    Teachers changed grades & paid players
    Sent Honeypots to player houses
    & have all their players on a steroid regiment so ridiculous that it would make Barry Bonds envious and is ready to use the snowplow to clear the field for a FG if it ever snows.

  28. Arroyo knows's Gravatar Arroyo knows
    December 3, 2023 - 2:07 am | Permalink

    some one has taken over my long used moniker “Just the facts”, so all future posts will be “Arroyo knows”

  29. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 3, 2023 - 1:08 am | Permalink

    @Just Facts (AKA CIF Champion Liar)

    Let’s look at CIF & SoCal Regional Champion La Serna’s playoff predictions from Cal Preps that are generated from the same Cal Preps rankings that you speak of….

    Rd/Prediction/Actual Score
    FIRST/Win by 7 / LS Won by 25
    QTRS /LOSE by 1 / LS Won by 36 ***
    SEMIS /Win by 7 / LS Won by 21
    FINALS/Win by 10/ LS Won by 20
    ST.REG/Win by 11/ LS Won by 17

    ***Wow, from their own rankings, Cal Preps had La Serna losing in the 2nd round.

    But I thought you said…. Oh wait it’s just you lying again. You want facts, the facts make you a liar. Sorry about that, enjoy your Hatorade kid, while LS enjoys the Rings.

    CIF Championship Ring = $1.99*
    CIF SoCal Reg Champ Ring = $2.99
    Proving that you’re the CIF Champion of Lying = Priceless

    *BTW, Thanks 99¢ store manager
    What a deal.

  30. Title Validity's Gravatar Title Validity
    December 2, 2023 - 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Warren reaching the division 3 finals is more impressive than La Serna winning division 4. If we are to be guided by the Calpreps power ratings, this is a fact. But please, turn up the volume on the LS boasting…it will help the Bears spank the Lancers even harder next year.

  31. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 2, 2023 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    @Just no Facts

    La Serna’s been gifted a title with an easy road in the playoffs blah blah blah.
    On the other hand, my best wishes to Bell Gardens tonight in hopes they reach the State title game.

    Meanwhile in Reality:
    In the 2AA State championship game, favored Sacramento Grant (ranked #24 in the state of CA) faces off vs underdog La Serna (ranked #27 in the state).

    La Serna will be looking to beat a team
    ranked in the CA State Top 100 for the 5th week in a row. Hailing from he CIF SS, La Serna, beat 7 teams ranked in the top 60 of their Section this year.

    Bell Gardens, ranked #694 in CA, plays LA Jordan ranked #768 in CA for a berth in the hey everybody gets a Participation Trophy State playoffs, even the 700th or 800th best team in the state.


  32. La Serna CIF Champs's Gravatar La Serna CIF Champs
    December 2, 2023 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    What a game !

  33. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 2, 2023 - 3:41 pm | Permalink


    Almost losing was self-intlicted. Sounds like many of the LS players were not at 100% due to the flu. Let’s be real, CJ connects on 3-4 of the overthrown passes, this is totally a different game.

    Great job by the Lancers though, taking full advantage of a non fumble scoop and score, a first down sideline catch that really wasn’t since one foot touched out of bounds before the other touched inbounds (followed by a TD), and the bad spot on what should have been a 1st down for OV late in the game that had them turn the ball over on downs. And yes, I confirmed what I saw at the game when I got home and watched it on TV.

    Lancers should definitely take care of business against Grant. By then the flue should have run it’s course.

  34. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 2, 2023 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

    There’s merit to what the team has accomplished, however there are questionable methods as to how this team was assembled that will make people call this a little bit tainted. For those who stayed the course and showed loyalty, congratulations you know who you are, for those who chose to go against our core values you should feel ashamed. Congratulations La Serna.

  35. Truth's Gravatar Truth
    December 2, 2023 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Who cares about Trinity league,its a private school,kids pay to go there.I would love for any of those coaches in that league to go coach in a public school and see if they can win and playing the same calibar.Easy to coach when you get the cream of the crop.

  36. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    December 2, 2023 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Wow what a run. If La Serna beats Grant which they probably will, this will go down as one the best season a local team has had within the last 30 years or so. Just ahead of La Miranda’s 2015 state championship and Bishop Amats 2010 D1 semifinals run and behind Amat’s Division 1 championship in 1995

  37. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 2, 2023 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    @LSJuggernaught, Great win for la Serna. But all year LS fans have been saying that they are
    a Div 2 or 3 Team. CIF gifted them a fairly easy route to championships though.
    But you play who’s in front of you. Good players from Friendly Hills neighborhood, But they
    would be hard pressed to crack most most Trinity League starting line-ups.
    But great team that preaches they don’t recruit, use transfers, or benefit from Whittier area
    open enrollment. Coaching up local Friendly hill kids the right way.

  38. Kingdom's Gravatar Kingdom
    December 2, 2023 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Haters in the back. Do you still consider this a “cheap” championship? Would love to hear your logic. La Serna almost went down to a D5 team, but according to you LS did not belong in D4?

  39. Kingdom's Gravatar Kingdom
    December 2, 2023 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Congratulations CJ. Complete baller!

  40. Just the Facts's Gravatar Just the Facts
    December 2, 2023 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Those singing the praises of La Serna’s resilience in this one need to keep in mind that the Lancers were rated 52.6 against Orange Vista’s 39.4. Next week’s title game against Grant of Sacramento will be the FIRST time the locals have had to play a team rated anywhere near their ranking in the playoffs! Incredible but true.

    My best wishes go out to Bell Gardens and Rio Hondo Prep as they battle tonight for a spot in their respective state title games.

  41. LSJuggernaut's Gravatar LSJuggernaut
    December 2, 2023 - 1:32 am | Permalink

    Man Ceron played awesome. I know he overthrew a couple of open WR’s for would be long TD passes, but other than that what a game. Breaking tackles, scrambling for his life, making play after play. Was that Tarkenton, Vick, & Lamar Jackson out there, or was it CJ Ceron?

    Hard to find a better quartet of outstanding HS football players on 1 team better than Ceron, Castro, Long, & Northrup. They showed up big time on the big stage.

    Way to go Lancers!

    Great coverage Tim!

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