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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ROUNDUP

Out of their league, San Juan Capistrano JSerra has done just fine

JSerra is 0-14 since the Trinity League was formed three years ago. The Lions are 5-0 entering its league opener Friday -- but they were also 5-0 last year before going winless in league play.

October 11, 2009|Ben Bolch

Weird-but-true fact about the only unbeaten football team in the Trinity League: It's the only team never to win a league game.

San Juan Capistrano JSerra High is 0-14 since the league was formed three years ago, including five forfeits. The Lions were shut out twice last year and lost their five league games by a combined score of 184-23.

JSerra is 5-0 entering its league opener Friday against Santa Margarita, but that record might trigger an uh-oh alert on campus -- the Lions were also 5-0 last year before going winless in league play.

Coach Jim Hartigan, who won two Southern Section titles at Santa Margarita and a Central Section title at Clovis West before coming to JSerra before the 2007 season, admits that parents and boosters are getting antsy.

"It's time to take a step a forward with our program and get a Trinity League win or two," Hartigan said Saturday.

The Lions may finally have the talent to get it done. Senior quarterback Bobby Brown leads an option attack that also features standout receivers Jonavaughn Williams and Nick Thomas. The five starting offensive linemen who were sophomores last season are now experienced juniors.

Hartigan said it's not surprising that JSerra, which played its first varsity season in 2007, has struggled against the likes of Santa Ana Mater Dei and Anaheim Servite.

"You're playing against programs that have a lot of rich tradition from players to coaches and a history of championships," he said. "We obviously don't have that kind of talent yet or that kind of history.

"We're hoping if we can win some games that some of the younger kids and families are thinking JSerra is a valid choice to go and play football. You have to build a program from the ground up. It starts with kids going to your youth camps and wanting to be a JSerra Lion."

Victories against your biggest rivals don't hurt either.

Twice as nice

Los Angeles Roosevelt Coach Javier Cid figured there was no way his team could sneak up on L.A. Jordan again.

"I know they didn't overlook us," Cid said, "because all their coach had to do was remind them, 'These guys got us last year.' "

Make that two years in a row. The Roughriders upset the Bulldogs, 14-12, after a fourth-down pass fell through a Jordan receiver's hands in the end zone in the final minute.

A pair of Bulldogs turnovers proved pivotal. The first came on a fumbled kickoff to start the game, and the second was a second-quarter interception that Roosevelt defensive back Jonathan Mariscal returned inside the Jordan 10-yard line. The Roughriders scored off both turnovers.

"A lot of credit goes to our defense," Cid said. "We managed to hold them to two scores and shut them down in the second half. That was the deciding factor."

What's the point?

Hollywood Bernstein Coach Darrell Divinity might want to give David Krystowiak, his counterpart at Irvine Crean Lutheran South, a pep talk.

Last year, in its first varsity season, Bernstein didn't win a game -- or score a point. The Dragons were outscored 522-0.

Bernstein finally broke through Sept. 18 in a 34-17 loss to L.A. Eagle Rock.

Playing in its first varsity season, Crean Lutheran South has lost by scores of 44-0, 67-0, 47-0 and 65-0.

But, as Divinity can attest, things do get better. It just might take a while.

--

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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