Photos by Luke Quezada
South Pasadena dominated Duarte on Friday night, picking up their second win of the season by a wide margin of 44-0. The Falcons were no match for the Tigers, who overwhelmed their opposition on both sides of the ball. South Pas was able to run the ball at will, while Duarte couldn’t produce any offense early in the game. The Falcons, who were plagued by injuries, also hurt themselves with costly penalties.
South Pasadena’s defense set the tone for the game early, with multiple three and outs in the first half. On Duarte’s first possession, the Tigers forced a safety with a blocked punt by senior Josh Saucedo.
With backup quarterback Justin Huff filling in for the injured Sydney Luna-Long, South Pasadena leaned on the run game early. Senior Jackson Totleben moved the chains early with a 37 yard run to the Falcon’s one-yard line. Senior Gavin Chi pushed it into the end zone a play later, giving South Pas the early lead.
By the end of the first quarter, the Tigers had already put the game out of reach, as they led the Falcons 30-0.
Throughout the game, Duarte was unable to move the ball against a stout Tiger defense. The aggressive play was highlighted by a Thomas Avila interception in the first quarter. The senior cornerback caught a tipped Falcon pass while running full speed towards the end zone, but was ultimately tripped up at the one-yard line. Early in the second, Huff connected with senior Danny Rios for a 48-yard touchdown catch, the longest passing play of the year.
Tensions had flared between the two teams in the first half, resulting in numerous personal fouls on both sides. The hostility climaxed in the third, as with the Tigers leading by 37, players from both squads engaged in a heated confrontation on the field. After multiple flags were thrown and the referees conferred, one Tiger was thrown out of the game.
“You don’t want to run up the score on the other team,” coach Chi said. “We tried to keep the game as honorable as possible.”
South Pas continued to run the ball in the second half, effectively moving the ball down the field and killing time.
Fullback Gavin Chi provided the bulk of the Tiger’s offense, finishing with 92 yards and four touchdowns.
“My linemen made the holes, and my backs led up the field for me. I believe we had great team coordination,” Chi said. “I believe we can only get better from here on out.”
The Tigers will next host a Riverside Prep team who recently won 24-20 over Capistrano Valley Christian on September 15 at 7 p.m.