The Southern California sports scene was abuzz the last two weeks, and it wasn’t so much the Lakers dominating the Western Conference nor the Dodgers solid start to spring training. It was the official return of high school football, and what a return it was, especially for Maranatha High School.
The Minutemen, coached by former NFL standout LaVar Arrington, opened their season at home with a 46-7 rout over Olympic League opponent La Habra Whittier Christian last Friday.
Tobey Schmidt, who transferred from high school sports powerhouse Mater Dei of Santa Ana, turned in a stellar debut performance. The junior quarterback completed 28 of 37 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for two scores. All four of his passing touchdowns were to speedy sophomore receiver Derek Ganter Jr.
Maranatha (1-0 overall record) will host Heritage Christian of Northridge in a league contest on Friday, March 26, at 2:30 p.m. The Warriors (1-1 overall) are coming off a 24-19 victory over Sun Valley Village Christian.
St. Genevieve 41
La Salle 19
The Lancers fell to visiting St. Genevieve of Panorama City, 41-19, in their season opener at Kohorst Field last Friday.
La Salle quarterback Richie Munoz completed 18 of 34 passes for 251 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. The sophomore also ran for 50 yards on eight carries.
His favorite target was senior receiver Marcus Powe, who finished with six receptions for 100 yards and three scores. Isaac Mora contributed to La Salle’s aerial attack with three catches for 71 yards, and Giovanni Butteri hauled in five passes for 49 yards.
Junior Rashaad Austin led the Lancers’ rushing attack with 65 yards on eight carries.
Cody Ventigan led the defense with 16 tackles and Matthew Gamble added 14. Powe had nine tackles and Christopher Miller recorded one sack.
La Salle (0-1) will hit the road to face Mary Star of the Sea of San Pedro this Friday at 7 p.m.
La Verne Damien 23
St. Francis 19
The Golden Knights squandered a nine-point lead in the final quarter and fell to host Damien, 23-19, in a non-league contest last Friday.
St. Francis (1-1) scored 13 points in the third quarter to build a 19-10 advantage but the home team rallied back to hand the Golden Knights their first defeat of the season. The Spartans (1-1) limited their opponent to only 26 yards on the ground.
St. Francis quarterback Jack Jacobs continues to impress, completing 20 of 33 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Bryson Reeves, who recently committed to play Division I football at Utah, led the SFHS receiving corps with eight receptions for 126 yards and two scores. Evan Jernegan added seven catches for 66 yards and Max Garrison hauled in three passes for 25 yards.
Jernegan led the defense with seven tackles, including two sacks, and Matthew Buntich also recorded seven tackles. Myles Shannon and Reeves each finished with six tackles and Brendan Davitt blocked a punt.
St. Francis, which opened the season with a 38-35 victory over Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach on March 13, will look to bounce back at Garces Memorial of Bakersfield this Saturday, March 27, at 5 p.m.
A balanced offense propelled Pasadena to a 42-26 victory over Burbank High in a Pacific League showdown at the Rose Bowl last Friday.
The home squad garnered 231 yards through the air and 220 on the ground to control the game. Senior quarterback Dante Coronel completed 12 of 20 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns, and running back Daylon Beasley rushed for 146 yards and two scores on 23 carries. Ahmad Jolley contributed to the Bulldogs’ ground game with 63 yards on 14 carries.
Senior Kevin Serrato led all receivers with four catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns, and junior Jamir Allen hauled in an 81-yard score. Mekhi Fox had four receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Marcus Serrato, Cameron Mitchell and Jamir Mitchell led the defense with three tackles each. Serrato recorded a sack and Jason Sanford Jr. intercepted two passes.
Pasadena will host Burbank Burroughs in a league game at the Rose Bowl today at 3 p.m.
Whittier La Serna 48
The Mustangs dropped their first game of the season at Whittier La Serna, 48-7, last Friday. Muir (0-1) will look to bounce back against Pacific League opponent Crescenta Valley High of La Crescenta today at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.