Spartans Remain Undefeated by Beating Santa Paula

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School varsity football team increased its winning streak to six games (dating back to last school year’s pandemic-shortened season) following a 23-12 non-league victory over visiting Santa Paula from Ventura County last Friday evening.
Sophomore quarterback Macky Plocher completed 16 of 27 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns for the unbeaten Spartans (3-0 record), whose winning streak is the longest since they won seven straight in 2000.
Junior running back Corey Cheung caught six of those passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns and added 13 carries for 40 yards in the running game. Senior wide receiver Cole Stratton contributed four catches for 37 yards and a touchdown and teammate Brandon Shepherd added three catches and also had three carries for a total of 63 all-purpose yards.
LCHS backup junior quarterback Andrew Gevorgian completed his one pass of the night to senior wide receiver Jack Stroben for 13 yards.
Shepherd and Cheung also had an impactful performance on the defensive side of the ball during Friday’s contest. Shepherd totaled 11 tackles (seven solo) and an interception while Cheung added seven tackles (five solo, two for a loss). Junior defensive back Anthony Venneri matched Cheung with seven tackles (six solo) himself and senior defensive lineman Maximo Mora had the only sack of the night along with four total tackles (two solo, two for a loss).
Meanwhile, senior defensive back Caleb Carruthers had two interceptions to go along with his five total tackles and teammate Jamie Warner added his three total tackles and a lone interception to cap off a four-interception night for the Spartans’ defense.
The victory sets up a battle of the unbeatens as LCHS will host visiting North Hollywood Campbell Hall (4-0) this Friday, Sept. 17, in a non-league game.