by David Winchell
Asked how he felt after Gabrielino’s 27-21 victory over visiting Bosco Tech, Head Coach Harold Sanin said, “Just like last week. Jumping out in front and having to hang on for a hard fought win against a team that just wouldn’t give in.” Mirroring week one’s 14-7 victory where Gabrielino had to nervously hold a lead against Sherman Oaks CES, the Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and then watched as the Tigers defense did not allow another touchdown and just two crucial field goals the rest of the way. Sanin reported after the game he was suffering for a “big headache” that had began troubling him during the second quarter. Ironically that’s also the time when the Tigers got off the deck and into the game.
After both sides were unable to get their offenses going and trading punts, the Eagles defense chipped in with Chris Montoya recovering a Tiger fumble deep in Bosco Tech territory. Eagle quarterback Elijah Peters, who threw for a total of 171 yards on the night, took advantage of a short field with a drive culminating with flea flicker toss to Bryan Vargas who then threw the 18-yard pass to Jeremy Franco. Franco had to fight off a Tiger defender but hauled the pass in for the score. Oscar Palma booted the extra point and the Eagles had the 7-0 lead.
In the next possession, Vargas took a short swing pass for a 57-yard scamper for the second score of the night. Palma’s PAT was good, but the Eagles still weren’t done. Less than two minutes later, running back Lorenzo Mena took a handoff on a draw and ran 37-yards for the third Eagle TD in the first quarter. Palma again kicked the PAT and with 1:38 to go in the first the Bosco Tech Tigers were looking up at a 21-0 deficit.
Ironically, the Tigers, too, saw their week two game imitate their first game as they quickly fell behind and lost to Wilson last week. Before the contest, Head Coach Chris Shockley of Bosco Tech had reminded his team of last week’s contest while playing from behind may “build character, but was not the way he wanted the game to go.”
The Tigers, showing that character and grit, scored on their first possession of the second quarter. On 7 yard run by Carlos Ramirez and PAT by David Fuentez, the Tigers were on the board. Just twenty seconds later, Defensive Back Max Mora stepped in front of a Peters pass and returned it for the Tigers second touchdown. The half ended with the score 21-14, but the Tigers were back in the ballgame giving the Eagles all the character they could handle.
In the 4th quarter, after a scoreless 3rd, Oscar Palma easily kicked a 41-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 24-14 lead. But the Tigers were not done yet as Steve Barron mishandled the ensuing kickoff at the 9 yard line. Barron stayed focused and recovered the ball in full stride, heading up the left sideline. He was trailed into the endzone by Eagles and closed the gap to 24-21.
The Eagles closed out the scoring with another long field goal by Palma with 7:51 remaining and were able to keep the Tigers out of the endzone. The Tigers’ last effort ended when Eddie Garcia batted down a Brady Martinez pass on fourth and seven with 1:41 left. The Eagles then ran out the clock, securing their second win.
The Eagles hope to build on their 2-0 record and keep their opponent winless. The Mark Keppel Aztecs have lost to Basset and Workman but last year beat Gabrielino, 13-0. The victory for the Aztecs was their first ever in the long running series with the Eagles. Coach Sanin told his squad, “Every team on our schedule will put us to the test. It is up to us to get ready and answer each time out.”
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