First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Maranatha High School’s varsity football team opened up a two-touchdown lead but lost to visiting La Habra’s Whittier Christian, 22-14, in the Minutemen’s annual Homecoming game.
Freshman Miles Omalley rushed for a team-high 112 total yards and one touchdown on 14 carries for Maranatha. He also had a receiving touchdown.
The Minutemen started strong by jumping to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Their opening drive saw junior quarterback Connor Patterson connect with Omalley, who ran it in from Whittier Christian’s 30-yard line. Freshman kicker Owen Meleka converted his first of two PATs for a 7-0 lead with 8:21 to play.
Patterson found Omalley again as the pair scored Maranatha’s second touchdown with 3:53 remaining and Meleka’s PAT made it 14-0.
“Miles Omalley is constantly putting up good work,” said Rand Holdren, Maranatha’s head coach. “Connor Patterson played super hard all the way through to the end.”
Patterson passed for five completions on nine attempts for 66 yards. He also had nine carries for 70 yards.
Jo Ingram completed the Minutemen’s running game with eight carries for 52 yards.
With 3:30 to play in the second quarter, Whittier Christian scored its first touchdown and added a successful two-point conversion to trail 14-8 entering halftime.
Whittier Christian scored a touchdown in each of the last two quarters and one more two-point conversion in the fourth quarter for a come-from-behind win.
Maranatha sophomore Camden Jones had two receptions for 22 yards while classmates Jahmel Reeves and Jacob Neely both caught one pass for 14 and five yards, respectively.
On the defensive end, Carter Shupper — the sophomore class homecoming prince — caused one fumble and had a team-high 14 tackles (five solo, nine assists). Ingram added 11 tackles (four solo, seven assists).
Reeves and sophomore Dejohn Jones each added eight tackles, and Neely recorded six.
Sophomore Taylor Patterson had four tackles while senior Garrett Beagle and Jones both had three.
Maranatha’s sixth game of the year was also its final home game, as the seniors of the football, cheer and dance teams were celebrated, and the school’s Homecoming Court was introduced. Seniors Chloe Hsin and James Ye were crowned queen and king, respectively, during halftime.
“These seniors that are here, they played hard tonight,” Holdren said. “This whole team is a collective unit of guys that are trying to figure out how to play this game right, and it’s been an honor to coach them thus far.”
Maranatha (1-6 overall record, 0-3 league), which recently lost to Northridge Heritage Christian, will visit Arrowhead Christian of Redlands (3-5 overall, 0-3 in league) in a league game on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.