Photos by Tucker Judkins
The CB Richards era hit its first speed bump on Friday, October 24 when South Pasadena suffered its first loss of the season and Richards’ head coach tenure.
South Pas came roaring out of the locker room with the homecoming atmosphere behind them. Senior defensive end Max Luck slammed Titan quarterback Carson Glazier on third down to open the game with a three and out for the Tiger defense. After exchanging punts, South Pas was determined to score early on, but were stopped short at the 36 yard line with San Marino coverage going deep into the field.
On the Titans’ ensuing drive, Glazier connected with wide receiver Aiden Santino deep down the middle of the field to push the Tigers back to their own 13 yard line. Running back Michael Chan would draw first blood and put the Titans on the scoreboard first with a run into the endzone 7:15 into the first quarter.
Coming back on offense, Luck moved the Tigers up to the 50 yard line after a reception from senior quarterback Michael Partida who was back at the 20 yard line. Again, the Tigers were unable to find consistent success against the Titan defense and punted away from the San Marino 47 yard line on the fourth down. This concluded the first quarter with San Marino leading 7-0.
Coming back the second quarter, San Marino inched its way back to the Tiger end zone, where Glazier completed another pass to wide receiver Akbar Mahmood for the team’s second touchdown of the night. South Pas answered back with a 25 yard pass to a wide open junior tight end Ben Quirk. After producing little yardage in three downs, Partida kept the offense moving forward with a QB sneak to give the Tigers another first down. More trouble followed South Pas when the Tigers were pushed back 25 yards from their next first down.
On their next drive, Luck made a catch in traffic but fell short of the first down. After receiving the catch, Luck fell to the ground after sustaining an injury. He would be carried off on a stretcher and would not return.
After a South Pas turnover on downs, the Titans muscled their way to another score. The home team was determined to stop the San Marino drive, and senior Emiliano Sornoso deflect showed this with an impressive pass defense. However, Sornoso’s efforts were not enough and another touchdown against the Tigers extended the deficit to 21-0.
“We take the loss as a good thing because we played our hearts out on the field and at the top of our level but they just came out on top,” Quirk said. “There’s always adjustments to be made but I’m proud of how we played and I’ll take them to any league and any level anytime.”
In the San Marino’s next drive, senior middle linebacker Anthony Bakhshi intercepted a Glazier pass and caused the packed home crowd to explode with excitement. However, the Tiger offense, despite being set up on the Titan 19 by Bakhshi’s return, couldn’t get anything going and, after a blocked field goal, went back to the locker room down 21-0 at halftime
The Titans scored on another run to open the second half. Although another Tiger interception, this time by sophomore linebacker Jackson Totleben, reignited hope for the Tigers, the ball would be intercepted by the opposition two plays later, with San Marino scoring the last touchdown of the night, leaving the scoreboard at 35-0.
Despite the loss, the silver lining for the Tigers was their defensive play. San Marino has ravaged defenses all season long, including a 49-14 rout of the dominant Monrovia Wildcats. The Tigers held the Titans to a season-low in points scored, and played with heart and composure throughout the game, despite the score.
“It’s all about building character and bouncing back from a loss,” South Pasadena defensive coordinator Josh Underwood said. “Even though the scoreboard didn’t say it, we played well and played this team as tough as we could.”
Partida ended with 128 passing yards with Luck receiving 62. Quirk also tallied up 47 receiving yards of his own, with Sornoso accumulating 25 yards. Quirk made six tackles and assisted five with Bakhshi totaling five tackles, seven assisted tackles.
“Even though we lost, his helps our confidence as a team,” Sornoso added. “We were one of the better teams they’ve played so far so we take that out as self improvement but a loss still stings in the end.”
The 2-1 Tigers look onto their next matchup against the Monrovia Wildcats who are currently 2-1 in Rio Hondo, away on October 30 at 7:00 p.m.