SPHS football game moved to Thursday night | South Pasadenan

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PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | SouthPasadenan.com News | The SPHS Varsity football team faced the Spartans in La Cañada in the spring of 2021.

In a misplaced Friday night game due to a lack of officials, South Pasadena High will host a La Cañada side that is healing its wounds, after a one-sided 60-15 loss to powerful Monrovia, a sure sign that the Wildcats are the teams to beat in the Rio Hondo League this season.

Watch what lies ahead as South Pasadena High prepares for its second of five Rio Hondo League games on Thursday night. A ball club that’s sure to get to the Tigers with plenty of revenge and firepower, that’s what.

“They’re going to be excited for sure,” said South Pasadena coach Jeff Chi, acknowledging that La Cañada, next on the schedule, just lost 60-15 to league power Monrovia in his last outing. . “They’ve been playing pretty well all season so we know we can’t take them or anyone lightly.”

In a late change this week, the competition was moved from Friday to Thursday as the leagues grapple with the lack of football officials for high school games in the region.

The shortage is not ideal, Chi noted, “because we have less time to prepare, but we are doing our best to prepare. Both teams are in the same situation, so we have to live with it. “

Chi is convinced that La Cañada’s first-season defeat is just a bump in the road, as other teams in the league will soon find out that Monrovia 6-0 is clearly the favorite to take the title this season. The Spartans go into kick-off at 7 p.m. with a respectable 4-2 overall rating, over the Tigers 3-3, after a convincing 41-12 win over struggling Temple City, winless at 0-6.

“We know they’re a much better team than the score suggests,” Chi said of La Canada’s performance against the Wildcats. “For us it was a good way to start the championship season, but I know we can play a lot better. We have to improve as we go up against better teams in the league. If we don’t, these mistakes could cost us dearly. We need to focus on knowing our assignments, solving a few issues with staff situations and being aware of those little things. “

Moreover, Chi insists: “We can never be perfect, but we have to come close if we are to compete with the rest of the teams we face this season.”

The game was never in doubt as the Tigers took a 14-0 lead over the Rams after the first quarter, 34-0 at halftime. South Pasadena collected a fumble from the Rams early in the third quarter and quickly scored. With a comfortable score of 41-0, the clock worked continuously for the last two quarters. In high school football, a “walking clock” is never good for the poor lagging team.

“The second half went very quickly,” said Chi, who allowed a good chunk of his younger players to play as Temple City scored their only points of the game in the final period. “Our young guys are learning and I’m glad they had the chance to play.

Even with the decisive victory, scoring at will and not leaving the accelerator for most of the time, Chi continues to strive for perfection. “We have high expectations of our children to run on both sides of the ball,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process and we just want to keep improving every week.”

Last week, Pasadena Poly joined South Pasadena and Monrovia in the league wins column of Rio Hondo, which beat San Marino 27-19 in their league debut. Chi likes to be 1-0 in the games that matter most to her mind.

“We told the kids to enjoy the victory, but we have a tough challenge,” he said. “We’re going to keep fighting for the top spot if not the top two spots for a shot at making the playoffs. But to get there, you have to earn it. As coaches we said to the players “You have to work for this. We try to put them in the right frame of mind to keep working hard.

For the most part, just as Chi and her coaches worked out, the Rams struggled to stop the Tigers’ running game, and when it came time to throw the ball, South Pasadena quarterback Noah Aragon had plenty of targets, and Jack Riffle, South Pasadena’s best forward this season found plenty of free space once he got past the line of scrimmage with the help of his offensive line – tackles Ivan Becerra and Andrew Buenrostro, guards Thomas Carter and Matthew Takasugi and the Aidan Marrujo center. The tight end is Sawyer Fox.

Chi liked the idea that Sage Wayans, a 6-foot-7, 185-pound senior who saw a lot of action on the Tigers basketball team, saw some action catching the ball and enjoying it. of the opportunity to hold his team victory. “He’s done a really good job,” said South Pasadena coach of Wayans, who has arrived late for the football schedule and is starting to have more time on the pitch as the season progresses. . “Once he gets more playing time under his belt, we think he will be an exceptional receiver.”

Thursday’s game with Wayans in the roster should favor the Tigers in Chi’s mind. “I don’t know how the defensive backs are going to cover a 6-7, nearly 200-pound receiver,” he said. “I see we have the advantage in this department.”

A physical game between South Pasadena and La Cañada is expected, with Chi hoping the Tigers take control from the start, score a few points on the board early, add more and secure another league victory. “It will be a tough game,” he said. “We have four teams fighting for that first and second place and we would love to be one of them.”

The Tigers offense “clicks – both in the running and passing game,” Chi stressed, noting, “We’re getting a good amount of ground distance. We’ve lost a few balls in previous games, but we’ve improved a lot and our guys are catching big.

Coach claims the Tigers have one of the highest defensive lines in school history with 6-3 Fox and 5-10 Alexander Gonzalez at the defensive end, and 6-7 Dylan Feak and 6 -1 Isaiah Cooper on tackles. Wayans, with his towering height, and 6-5 James Dowd support the defenses. The bloodlines don’t grow much higher at the high school level.

“All of these guys played really well taking the passing lanes away from the quarterfinals,” Chi said. “Anytime you can force the quarterback to throw away all those upraised hands, it makes it very difficult and disrupts the timing.”


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