Photo by Tony Chen
The football team was unable to win their first league game against Temple City, falling 21-7 on Monday afternoon to the Rams. After heavy rain and lightning interrupted the Homecoming game last Friday, the Rio Hondo League match resumed with South Pas in possession of the ball, down 7-0. However, the two day intermission was unable to change the offensive fortunes for the Tigers, who weren’t able to score the ball until the final drive of the game.
Play resumed midway through the second quarter, where the Tigers began Monday’s action in front of the sparsely populated bleachers at Ray Solari Stadium. Down a touchdown, South Pas was forced to punt the ball back to Temple City after failing to convert on third down. The Rams quickly marched down the field and extended their lead with a two yard touchdown run. After electing to go for it on fourth down with less than a minute remaining before halftime, SPHS surrendered the ball back to Temple City, who connected on a 48 yard touchdown pass to take a 21-0 lead into halftime.
After surrendering two touchdowns on two drives in the first half, the Tiger defense came out of the locker room in the 3rd quarter with a new energy. Led by senior Johnny “Realman” Xiao, South Pas was able to hold the Rams scoreless in the second half. The added defensive pressure created a tense atmosphere on the field, which erupted in the third quarter. Following a punt from Temple City, players from both teams began to push and shove after the play, leading to an unnecessary roughness penalty and player ejections.
Down three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the Tigers put together their first scoring drive since on September 15th against Alhambra. Senior running back Logan Svihovec-McCarty ran the ball for multiple first downs, patiently waiting for the South Pas offensive line to open up holes for him to run through. Later in the drive, senior quarterback Jaden Gallego completed a pass to senior Jacob De La Rosa for the Tigers’ first completion in league play. Following the first down throw, junior Ivan Estrada took a handoff up the middle for a long-awaited Tiger touchdown. After a successful onside kick, South Pas lost its chance for a second touchdown after a desperation pass from Gallego was intercepted with ten seconds left in the game.
“It’s not a good feeling losing like this,” Coach Chi said. “But the [players] are fighting hard, so we just have to finish this season strong against La Cañada and find a way to win.”
South Pas will turn their attention to this Friday, October 19, when they will face off against the La Cañada Spartans in the Tiger’s final game of the year. The 1-7 Spartans have yet to score a touchdown in league and will give South Pas a chance to win their first league game.