The La Cañada High School varsity football team picked up a big victory last Friday by defeating visiting Whittier Pioneer, 43-21, in a nonleague game last Friday.
The Spartans got back on the win column and bounced back from consecutive losses against Fillmore and South El Monte, improving their overall record to 4-2.
“We’re definitely starting to gel,” said LCHS head coach Jason Sarceda. “More importantly, a lot of guys are stepping up. We are developing more sophomores, who are really stepping up for us. We didn’t have Jacob Hardy playing any defense. Brandon [Reese] also didn’t see time at linebacker, allowing him to focus on the offense. It’s a big change for us and getting those guys the well-rested.”
Reese turned in a stellar performance behind center, throwing for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Dezin Delgatty caught two scores and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Walker Baggett also hauled in a touchdown.
“That kid is great,” Sarceda said about Delgatty. “He’s an athlete and doing a great job for us this season. He’s a hard worker and dedicated to the program. He is a Spartan, and he represents us well.”
The Spartans built a 20-7 lead at the half and the defense held off the Titans’ offense throughout the game.
“The progression of our defense has been very nice,” Sarceda said. “The similarities of the offenses we face in the preseason prepare us for league. It’s really good preparation for us.”
The win could not have come at a better time for the Spartans, who begin Rio Hondo League play at home against Temple City this Friday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m.
“It was really important for us to get the win,” Sarceda said. “We had to teach a lesson the week before when we sat some players for disciplinary reasons. We’re trying to change the culture here and make sure the guys are truly committed. It was a great team win. Now we’re excited and focused on Temple City.”
The Rams (2-2 overall) enter the league opener with victories Alhambra Mark Keppel and El Monte Mountain View. They suffered defeats against Alhambra and Fillmore, which also defeated the Spartans.
The Spartans have recorded wins over Hacienda Heights Wilson, Glendale and Calabasas Viewpoint.
They will be seeking their first Rio Hondo League victory since defeating San Marino in 2016. A win would snap La Cañada’s eight-game losing streak in league.