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Sylmar Sheds Troubles in Rout of Chatsworth

September 21, 1996|MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CHATSWORTH — When Sylmar High football Coach Jeff Engilman watches the game film of the Spartans' 41-14 victory over Chatsworth on Friday night, a smile might cross the face of the cantankerous leader.

Especially if he fast-forwards past the first series.

Playing its second game without Engilman, who was suspended for the first two weeks because of illegal contact with a transfer, Sylmar initially resembled the team that was blown out by Taft, 30-6, last week.

Penalties and blown coverages led to a 7-0 Chatsworth lead in the nonconference game. But unlike last week's debacle, when the Spartans turned on themselves, Sylmar (1-1) kept its cool.

A smooth-running attack featuring tailback Errol Bowen complemented timely passes by Chris Cervantes. And a stifling defense dominated the game in the second half, holding Chatsworth to 59 yards.

"This game was real important to us," said Cervantes, who completed 10 of 12 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. "This game decided the direction of our season."

Bowen (18 carries, 123 yards, two touchdowns) ran effectively, doing most of the work on two 12-play scoring drives.

Chatsworth (1-1) kept pace with Sylmar in the first half. Travis Winn threw scoring passes to LaRon Buckner (24 yards) and Ryan Martinez (three yards) to give the Chancellors a 14-13 lead at the half.

But by the beginning of the fourth quarter, both Buckner and Martinez had left the game with injuries.

Winn completed 11 of 24 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns with one intereception. Buckner caught five passes for 103 yards.

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