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Loyola Takes First Step in Stride

Division I: Cubs roll over A.B. Miller, 34-13, face Long Beach Poly next.


After losing and tying the last two games of the regular season, Loyola took out its frustration on A.B. Miller Friday night and at the same time showed the Rebels what it takes to win in the playoffs.

Using a tough defense and a mistake-free offense, the Cubs defeated the Rebels, 34-13, in the first round of the Southern Section Division I playoffs at Colton High School.

The Cubs (9-1-1) allowed only 72 yards in the first half, holding Miller (9-2) to 31 yards passing.

"We played big in that first half," Loyola Coach Steve Grady said. "Defensively, we played that offense about as good as you can."

While the defense shut down the Rebels, the Cub offense was led by the near-perfect play of quarterback Chris Peterson.

In the first half, Peterson was seven of 11 passing for 87 yards and a touchdown, as well as a rushing touchdown, when the Cubs jumped to a 28-0 lead.

In the second, he didn't throw a pass but ran for a 35-yard score. He finished with 76 yards and two touchdowns in six carries.

Joining Peterson was running back Taylor Williams, who had 12 carries for 62 yards and a score as the Cubs rushed for 220 yards.

"We knew we had to come out well and we knew we had to score a lot of points," Peterson said. "We executed brilliantly, and I just went with whatever worked."

For the Rebels, nothing worked offensively in the first half. Quarterback Sean Lanzaratto was only three of seven, and finished seven of 18 for 92 yards. Jerimiah Cockheran caught six of the passes for 72 yards.

But the running game was not able to take the pressure off.

"Their defensive quickness eliminated our option," Miller Coach John Tyree said. "We never touched a linebacker."

Jeff McGarity, the Rebels' No. 1 running back, had 85 yards in 21 carries. Lanzaratto led the Rebels with 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 12 carries.

His first score opened the second half, cutting the Loyola lead to 28-7. But the Cubs answered right back with a five-play, 74-yard drive, capped by Peterson's 35-yard run.

At the end of the game, the Loyola fans chanted, "We want Poly! We want Poly!" That's who the Cubs will get Friday in the second round. Long Beach Poly, the defending Division I champion and the No. 2 team in the nation, will play the Cubs in a rematch of last year's Division I semifinal.

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