Matadors Welcome Pasadena in Scrimmage

SG Sophomore QB Eric Alvarez

(San Gabriel) – San Gabriel Coach Jude Oliva announced Thursday night on the Mid Valley Sports Show that Eric Alvarez is his starting quarterback. Alvarez solidified that position in a scrimmage with Pasadena Friday night.

Both Alvarez and Andy Guerrero took snaps against the Bulldogs but Alvarez was the one who really shined.

“Eric has picked up the offense real well. He also has gained the respect of his players in the huddle and on the field,” Oliva said.

He also had high praise for Guerrero as well. “Andy can do so many things for us on the field that I almost feel like I’d be doing a disservice to the team if he only played quarterback. He will play anywhere to help the team.”

Mark Covarrubias, who was wearing number 3 Friday night but will be wearing number 2 when the season starts, made several catches for SG and turned them into big plays. Arthur Brown caught a number of balls out of the backfield for the Mats. He will line up at linebacker as well.

Pasadena Sophomore QB Brandon Cox

The night started with the offense and defense squaring off on the North end of the field in a passing league type game- no pass rush. At the south end of the field the defensive and offensive lines of both teams squared off in drills. Finally regular (tackle) football followed for the rest of the evening.

Nobody is declared the winner but both teams had their moments. Brandon Cox was at quarterback for Pasadena and was as impressive with his legs as he was with his arm. There were times that he appeared to be trapped by the SG front but scrambled out of the pocket for a big gain.

Sam Saucedo, who was competing for the quarterback position earlier in the summer, was at wide receiver.

Pasadena’s athleticism showed on defense as the Bulldog secondary came up with one big play after another including a couple of interceptions. 

“We open with Muir so it was my idea to see a speed team when we scheduled Pasadena,” said Oliva.

Matador Bubba Kevin Ramirez

After Muir, the Mats get South Pasadena, Burbank, Contreras and Rosemead. League play starts October 15 at Montebello.

Pasadena opens with Westchester September 3. The Bulldogs then get non league opponents Cathedral and La Salle and open the Pacific with Arcadia on October 1.

Notes: Arcadia assistant Randy Backus explained the Eagle defense to me while we stood on the SG sidelines. He also told me what Alvarez was talking about when he yelled “Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy!” just before the snap. He advised me that the Apaches run the Eagle defense and he will be glad to send over a “Chalk Talk” soon. He likes Arcadia back Everett Frazier.  

Former area coach/food critic/sports writer Steve Collins is now making his living as an official. “I figured I can get my check a lot quicker this way. I still get to go to the games but I don’t have to write down the details,” Collins explained.

“I didn’t know he was a ref,” I told Backus after Collins went back to work. “Neither did I,” Backus responded shrugging his shoulders.

With all the transfer situations going on lately, Backus had a story of his own.

“Mike (Mooney) got me good one time when we were at Temple City years ago. He told me we had a transfer come in from Morro Bay,” Backus said. “So I’m rubbing my hands together in anticipation. I’m thinking ‘Yeah, Morro Bay!’ So we’re in the coach’s office and there’s a knock at the door. Mooney says that’s him so I open the door and look up…nothing. I look straight ahead…nothing and then I look down and there he stands. I literally have to reach down to shake his hand. I mean what am I? 5’ 8”? I look over and Mooney is busting up. But the kid really was from Morro Bay. But that’s the transfers that we got.

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