Photos by Matthew Scholtz
Despite the running clock rule taking effect before the first half ended, South Pasadena’s 48-0 vanquish of the Blair Vikings dragged on as a result of a profusion of clock stoppages, extending a painful homecoming night for the Viking team. The win puts the Tigers at 2-0 in Rio Hondo League play, both wins coming as shutouts, and 7-0 on the season.
Held at John Muir High School, the visiting Tigers were determined to show their 36-0 win against La Cañada last week was no fluke. This became evident when the Vikings’ first drive into Tiger territory resulted in a fumble and was quickly recovered by junior cornerback Jalen Ross. Although the Tigers would fumble in their next possession, a determined South Pas defense forced a punt to the Viking 31 yard line.
With the momentum on their side, the Tigers rolled into scoring position at the eight yard line to punch senior running back Emiliano Sornoso into the endzone. This would be the blow from which Blair never recovered, as the Tigers’ fullback Thomas Huff closed a three yard gap to score another touchdown after the South Pas defense forced a second punt for the Vikings.
Now 14-0 on the board, the Tigers continued their scoring frenzy with Ross rushing for a 30 yard touchdown 7:05 into the second quarter. This would be followed by another Viking punt. With Ross at punt returner, the Tigers reached the eight yard line in an impressive 60 yard return. Huff subbed back in and converted the Tigers’ fourth touchdown.
The South Pas defense was in full drive after the team’s touchdowns and forced another Blair punt. This time with the help of senior quarterback Michael Partida, Sornoso would be wide open for a Partida pass and score another touchdown put the score at 35-0.
“We’ve been preparing for this our whole season and we’re all hyped for it [and] we’re going to do our best this week to prepare for them and just stay focused,” junior offensive guard Joshua Hwang said. “This win is great and all but we got to shake it off and look to the next game and especially against our toughest opponent in league.”
Sornoso pulled out 50 yards the Tigers’ next drive and scored another South Pas touchdown to make a 42-0 impression on the scoreboard. Blair offensive weapon Terrence Douglas kept the Tigers on their toes but still could not convert against the South Pas fortification. This would come in the form of a pick six by Ross for a 50 yard touchdown on the Vikings. With an off line kick to the left, the Tigers held a 48-0 advantage over Blair. As the game wound down, many Tiger substitutes with limited game experience had a chance to play. Junior running back Ken Iwane completed a 55 yard dash to give the Vikings no chance at a last-minute touchdown and the Tigers began to run the clock down their next possession.
“Knowing that we played almost every single player on our roster, I guarantee us that we’ll win against San Marino next week,” junior running back Ken Iwane said. “We’re all prepared for homecoming night against them and this win was a rehearsal for what’s about to happen.”
“[In the end] it’s a team sport and we want to see everyone have fun and play because that’s what football is all about,” Hwang added.
The Tigers face off against the San Marino Titans next Friday in South Pasadena’s homecoming game on October 23. The previous year the Titans took a 53-14 win over South Pas.