By Nathan Cambridge
Outlook Valley Sun
La Cañada High’s second football game of the season almost didn’t happen.
In this era of the COVID pandemic, the originally scheduled opponent – Temple City – didn’t have enough time to prepare. The second choice, St. Monica High of Santa Monica, pulled out mid-week due to injuries. Santa Paula then came into the picture, with the final arrangements solidified barely 24 hours before kickoff.
The Spartans were sure glad everything worked out. La Cañada pulled ahead in the second quarter and maintained the advantage for a 54-42 nonleague victory over the visiting Cardinals in Saturday afternoon at LCHS.
“We enjoyed every moment of it,” said La Cañada coach Jason Sarceda, whose team evened its record at 1-1. “The anticipation of not playing, possibly playing, then being able to play, then not being able to play, and coming back to play the game is amazing.”
La Cañada quarterback Ivan Ostry accounted for five touchdowns. The senior transfer from Rosemead racked up a game-high 177 yards rushing on 12 carries with touchdown runs of 18, 57 and 53 yards. As a passer, he was 7 of 10 for 126 yards, with touchdown throws of 42 and 33 yards.
“It feels good to get that first win and it feels good to rush for a ton of yards,” Ostry said.
The teams combined for 34 points in the second quarter. The hosts struck first when Ostry scored on an 18-yard run up the middle. Just 19 seconds later, La Cañada scored again – this time on defense – when Ian Phillips scooped up a Santa Paula fumble and returned it 35 yards.
Santa Paula (0-2) then scored, but on the ensuing Spartan drive, quarterback Matthew Plocher threw a short pass to Abraham Jhee that turned into a 62-yard score.
The Cardinals scored in the final minute of the second quarter to trim the Spartans’ lead to 29-20 at halftime.
La Cañada scored on its first two drives of the third quarter. First, Ostry connected with Dezin Delgatty over the middle for a 43-yard touchdown. On defense, Delgatty then intercepted a pass to set up a 57-yard rushing touchdown by Ostry.
The Spartans’ lead peaked at 26 points with 6:39 left following a 33-yard touchdown pass from Ostry to Delgatty.
LC’s first points of the game came in the first quarter on a fumble return by Delgatty that covered 19 yards. The Spartans had an 8-7 lead after the conversion.
“We weren’t going to have this game today, then our coaches made it happen,” Delgatty said. “We all wanted it super bad and you saw it on the field today.”
Delgatty led the Spartans in receiving with three catches for 92 yards and the two touchdowns. Jhee had two grabs for 78 yards, Cole Stratton had 23 yards on two catches, and Justin Zoltzman had one catch for 15 yards.
In addition to Ostry’s 177 yards rushing, Corey Cheung had nine yards on three carries.
Cheung had an interception in the third quarter help the Spartans’ defense. Ostry and Milo Tavera combined for a sack in the final minute of the first half.