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Venice Beats Loyola to Put City on Map

September 20, 2003|Peter Yoon;Eric Stephens

Venice scored a major victory Friday night, but it was a bigger triumph for City Section football.

Venice held off a fierce rally by Los Angeles Loyola to hold on for a 17-13 victory over the Cubs at Santa Monica College.

It was vindication for City Section schools, which have long been an afterthought compared to Southern Section schools in the heirarchy of Southern California high school football. It was a more convincing statement considering the team Venice defeated.

Loyola, a four-time major-division champion that is ranked No. 6 by The Times, is no ordinary Southern Section team. It is traditionally one of the best and most respected teams in the Southland.

"This is a huge win for our program and for all of City football," said Coach Angelo Gasca of Venice (2-0), which is ranked No. 19. "I grew up knowing a lot about Loyola. I knew what we were facing tonight."

Loyola (1-1) trailed, 10-0, at halftime and 17-0 after Byron Ellis scored from two yards with 7 minutes 19 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Cubs stormed back and pulled to within 17-13 with 7:01 left in the game when Trason Bragg scored on a two-yard run.

Loyola's defense forced Venice to punt after three plays on its next possession and took over at the Venice 30-yard line after a poor punt with almost five minutes to play.

Two plays later, however, Venice linebacker Oton Garcia stripped the ball from Bragg and Erick Lobos recovered the fumble for Venice with 4:39 left. The Gondoliers picked up two first downs and ran 12 plays to run out the clock.

Beau Davis completed 16 of 26 passes for 199 yards and receiver Ryan Graves caught four passes for 126 yards for Venice. Ellis had 104 yards rushing and two touchdowns in 21 carries.

Scott Deke completed 12 of 22 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown for Loyola. Bragg had 103 yards rushing in 19 carries.

Peter Yoon


L.A. Fremont 21, San Pedro 20 -- Curtis Johnson threw a third-quarter touchdown pass to Danny Williams to give Fremont the lead and the Pathfinders survived a late Pirate comeback at San Pedro.

San Pedro (1-1), which defeated L.A. Jordan last week, appeared ready to tie the score when Ronnie Barber busted through the middle for a 12-year touchdown run with 2:16 remaining. But Ibraham Moreno pulled the tying point-after try wide left.

"It should have been a tie game," San Pedro Coach Mike Walsh said. "It was a great game. Both teams played pretty evenly."

Fremont (2-0) took its final lead when Williams hauled in a 29-yard pass from Johnson over his left shoulder as he was under tight coverage. San Pedro had tied the scores at 14-14 earlier in the third when quarterback Dustin Garneau hooked up with Darrell Bullock on a 49-yard scoring pass.

Johnson, a junior, looked like a poised veteran in his second start as he completed 14 of 22 passes for 150 yards.

"He was nails," Fremont Coach Pete Duffy said. "He's getting better with every snap."


La Mirada 14, L.A. Crenshaw 12 -- Kyle Gran had a 55-yard touchdown run and helped stop a late two-point conversion attempt by Crenshaw in helping the Matadores to a victory in a defensive struggle at Crenshaw.

Crenshaw cut into La Mirada's 14-6 lead in the fourth quarter when Rickie Collins scored on a three-yard run with 6:47 left. However, Gran pressured quarterback Anthony Moore on the conversion try and forced an incomplete pass.

Crenshaw (1-1) got the ball back with 2:10 remaining, but Gran intercepted Moore's pass at Crenshaw's 38-yard line to clinch the victory for La Mirada (1-1). Gran rushed for 112 yards in 20 carries. He also had an 18-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.

-- Eric Stephens

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