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scene in the Southland | SOUTHERN SECTION REPORT

Loyola Players Enjoy a Home-Style Trip

September 14, 2000|GARY KLEIN

Loyola's first overnight trip in Steve Grady's 24-plus seasons coaching the Cubs featured a somewhat unusual postgame activity for high school football teams.

After Loyola and San Francisco St. Ignatius knocked each other around in a 42-7 Loyola victory at Kezar Stadium last Friday, Cub players shook hands with their opponents--then met their opponents' families and retired for the night to their Bay Area homes.

The teams and families gathered for a brunch and Mass Saturday before Loyola returned home that evening.

"It turned out to be a great experience for our players," Grady said. "I thought we might lose a little bit of focus making a trip like that, especially when it's Game 1, but it worked out fine. We'll do the same sort of thing with our kids' families when they come to play us here."

Grady said Loyola had previously traveled as far north as Santa Barbara and as far south as El Centro, but always returned the night of the game.

Matt Ware passed for 145 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cubs against St. Ignatius.

Loyola will need Ware to be at his best Friday night when it plays Harbor City Narbonne for the first time in a tough intersectional game at Pierce College.

Narbonne beat Encino Crespi, 49-14, in its opener as Latrel Smith rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown, and Marcus O'Keith rushed for 116 yards and caught a touchdown pass.

Narbonne is well aware of the momentum fellow City Section school Crenshaw gained last season when it shocked Loyola, 7-6. Crenshaw used the preleague victory as a springboard in its run to the City final.

Grady said Loyola will be tested against Narbonne.

"This is going up four or five levels from the team we played last week," Grady said. "I saw tape of Narbonne's game and they are awfully explosive. They have speed and size, and they are a physical team."

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