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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Sylmar, Engilman Go Quietly, 29-0

City football: Coach hints at retirement after Spartans trounced by Banning in quarterfinal.

November 26, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

SYLMAR — The score was about as definite as can be, 29-0, Banning High over Sylmar.

What can't be said with the same certainty, but what appears to be true, is that the City Championship quarterfinal game was the last one for legendary Coach Jeff Engilman of Sylmar.

Engilman, who coached the Spartans to City 4-A championships in 1992 and 1994, said as much Wednesday night after Sylmar was shut out for the first time since 1993.

"I've done everything, you know," said Engilman, in his 12th year at Sylmar. "Some things get a little old and I've told the kids this might be it, but a lot of people have tried to talk me out of it. I haven't made my complete decision."

Engilman, 48, has contemplated retirement several times the last few years, but it appears to be a strong possibility this time.

"We knew this was it," said Corey Neal, Sylmar's senior running back. "He told us this was his last year and we had to bone up and make him happy. But it didn't happen."

Engilman told the team this would be his final season after the Spartans' game against Hart in the third week of the season, Neal said.

Before arriving at Sylmar, Engilman coached at Manual Arts for eight seasons, winning 3-A titles in 1983 and 1984.

Banning (9-3) is making a strong case for its 11th title and its first since 1985.

The Pilots outgained Sylmar, 409-160, and held a 19-0 halftime lead.

The Spartans (8-3-1) got burned on two first-half passes, the first a 39-yard pass play from Mike Garrison to Mike Cockrell down the left sideline with 4:15 left in the first quarter.

Another big play by Cockrell, a 49-yard play, helped set up a one-yard keeper for a touchdown by Garrison as the first half ended.

Sylmar had just turned the ball over on downs at the Banning 29-yard line, Neal getting stopped two yards short of a first down.

Sylmar was outgained in the first half, 247-80.

Chris Howard of Banning had 204 yards and two touchdowns in 25 carries, including a 78-yard touchdown with 4:54 left to play.

Cockrell had four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Neal had 25 yards in 13 carries and Sylmar was held to 48 yards in 26 rushes.

"They beat us up front," Engilman said. "It's as simple as that. That's unusual for us. But when you get whipped up front like that, you just get whipped."

Banning, which beat Roosevelt in the first round, 56-0, has allowed one touchdown in three games.

"I really feel we have the best defense in the City," Coach Chris Gutierrez of Banning said.

Banning plays Westchester in a semifinal game next Friday.

Noah Albiston of Sylmar completed eight of 16 passes for 112 yards with an interception.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

CITY SECTION DIVISION PLAYOFFS

* Reseda 44, L.A. Jordan 6

* Van Nuys 26, Eagle Rock 24

* Chatsworth 24, Belmont 6

Page 13

* Football Summaries

Page 14

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