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Bad Snap Costs Sylmar in 2-0 Loss to Grant

October 17, 1987|SEAN WATERS | Times Staff Writer

Sylmar High Coach Jeff Engilman, whose Vesuvian outbursts have become legendary, could have thrown a record tantrum on the sidelines Friday and few would have blamed him.

With 58 seconds left in the Pac 8 League game, Sylmar center Chris Herrera snapped the ball from his 23-yard line over the head of punter Shawn Aleshire. The ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety, and Grant made off with a 2-0 victory in a sloppily played game at home.

Engilman's response to the deciding play, however, was mild: His hands dropped to his knees and he let out a loud scream. But he refused to place blame for the loss on his center's shoulders.

"He hadn't missed a snap all year," Engilman said.

But the coach had plenty else to be mad about. Sylmar played its worst game of the season on a day when Engilman was hoping to make his triumphant return to Grant, the school from which he was fired in 1985.

The Spartans, 2-1-1 and 1-1 in league play, outgained Grant, 73-24, in total offense but failed to cross midfield in the second half.

Sylmar running back Jerome Casey, who ran for 257 yards and scored five touchdowns last week against North Hollywood, managed only 22 yards on 11 carries.

Sylmar quarterback Rick Negrete completed only 2 of 7 passes for 15 yards and was sacked 5 times for minus-39 yards.

"Fat heads," Engilman said. "That was what I was worried about this week. We played a great game last week against North Hollywood and our team comes out like they are just going to roll over."

Quarterback Nigel Carmichael was Grant's most productive offensive player, completing 3 of 7 passes for 38 yards. He also was sacked six times for minus-56 yards.

Grant (2-2, 1-1) had been scoreless in seven consecutive quarters before the safety.

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