Photos by Oscar Walsh
The SPHS football team was shutout by the Eagle Rock Eagles on Friday, suffering a 68-0 loss in their final non-league game. Despite a spirited effort, numerous turnovers and missed tackles on defense contributed to the lopsided loss. Outperformed in almost every facet of the game, frustrations mounted on the Tiger sideline as the game wore on.
The Eagles took command of the game right from the opening drive with a touchdown drive that was capped off with a short pass and catch for six. On the ensuing Tiger drive, South Pas failed to convert on one of their only scoring opportunities of the game. The Tiger special teams recovered a muffed punt from the Eagle Rock punt returner, giving South Pas a fresh set of downs deep in Eagle territory. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the scoring chance was squandered when a pass from quarterback Jaden Gallego was picked off in the flat by an Eagle defensive back. The interception was the first of four, on a rough night for the senior quarterback.
Junior Samuel Luna-Long, who was playing as a receiver and defensive back because of his throwing shoulder injury, came out in the first half with a wrist injury which further hurt the injury-depleted Tigers. Eagle Rock piled on the scoring in the first quarter, breaking tackles and forcing turnovers. With a pick-six and fumble recovery for a touchdown, the Eagles took a 54-0 lead into the halftime break.
Although the Tigers continued to fight hard in the second half, the game result had effectively been decided at halftime. Junior running backs Ethan Hong and Ivan Estrada were able to pick up a few downs on the ground on a third quarter drive, but South Pas was unable to convert on fourth down. Because of the one-sided scoreline, a running clock was implemented in the second half which quickly brought the blowout loss to an end for the Tigers.
“We have to treat the upcoming league opener as a new season,” coach Jeff Chi said. “We must work hard in preparation for the game against San Marino and focus on getting things done the right way.”
South Pas will turn their attention to their league opener away against the rival San Marino Titans on Friday, September 28. The Titans will be a tough opponent for the Tiger defense to contain, and are coming off a 20-20 tie.