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Bishop Amat Is Roused by Its Running Game

November 25, 2002|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

Even though second-seeded Los Alamitos will be the favorite in its Southern Section Division I quarterfinal against La Puente Bishop Amat on Friday, it won't mean a thing if the Griffins can't put the clamps on the Lancers' rejuvenated running game.

Bishop Amat (6-5) has averaged 391 yards rushing the last two weeks in victories over Santa Margarita and Redlands, sparking an offense that needed resuscitation in a five-game losing streak in midseason.

"We played them and they were on a five-game losing streak," Los Angeles Loyola Coach Steve Grady said. "I thought, 'How could they get going again?' They went from a regular offense to running a wing T the week before playing us."

"They're doing some good things with that offense."

Three Bishop Amat runners gained more than 100 yards each, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and the Lancers converted 10 of 12 third-down opportunities in a 42-35 double-overtime playoff victory over Redlands. Six of their eight drives ended in touchdowns.

"Our blocking has really come through," Coach Mike DiFiori said.

Tailback Chris Seals, who has tremendous acceleration, has averaged 162 yards in the last two weeks. Fullback Jonathan Robinson has put together consecutive 100-yard games, and fullback Andrew Soto had a game-high 152 yards and four touchdowns against Redlands. He scored both overtime touchdowns on one-yard runs.


It took two nights, two sets of uniforms and some portable lights to get it done, but Los Angeles Roosevelt won its first City Section Championship Division playoff game since 1973 with a 14-11 quarterfinal victory over San Pedro last week.

The start of the game Thursday, was delayed 1 hour 20 minutes while school personnel worked at turning on a bank of lights. After finally getting underway, the teams were scoreless with 6:39 left in the first half when the lights failed.

"The [original] lights had been rusted through so badly that they had to be torn down," Roosevelt Coach Jose Casagran said. "The [school] district told us that we would have new lights but not for this season. They said they would rent us temporary lights ... but they didn't contract the companies for the whole season.

"Once we made the playoffs, they had to call out people to run the lights, and in a miscommunication, they thought the game was Friday and the guy didn't show up."

The schools' principals agreed the game would be resumed at Roosevelt if the school could prove, by Friday noon, it would have working lights.

"We really felt like we played two games," Casagran said. "I've never seen anything like that."


Richard Irvin of Pasadena Muir passed for 520 yards in a 52-38 loss to Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula in a Division III game. Irvin's single-game total is the fourth-best in section history.

The record is held by Doug Baughman of Garden Grove Bolsa Grande, who passed for 564 yards against Westminster La Quinta in 1996.


Matt Engle of El Segundo threw for 320 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-22 victory over San Marino in a first-round Division X game.

Engle has 44 touchdown passes this season, the fifth-best total in Southern Section history. Robert De La Cruz of Los Angeles Cathedral has the top two marks of 63 (1999) and 62 (1998). Kyle Boller of Newhall Hart is third at 59 (1998), and Chris Czernek of Newbury Park is fourth at 45 (1995).


The stellar high school football career of Huntington Beach Edison's Tommy Grady ended when he was helped off the field in the third quarter Friday after being sacked for a 10th time in a 30-7 playoff loss to top-seeded Long Beach Poly.

Grady, who a year ago passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns against Poly in a 42-28 loss in the Division I title game, completed seven of 16 passes for 44 yards on Friday.

And one year after throwing for 33 touchdowns with only three interceptions, he finished his senior season with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

"It was tough," said Grady, who is headed to Oklahoma in the fall. "It didn't go how we wanted it to, not winning and not doing as good as we thought we would."

Edison finished 4-7 and was in the playoffs as a fourth-place at-large team. But the season was not without lessons.

"Whether you're on a good or bad team, you have to keep working as hard as you can," he said. "It made me tougher, mentally and physically."

Staff writers Ben Bolch, Dan Loumena and Eric Stephens contributed to this report.

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