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1ST ANNUAL L.A./O.C. SO CAL PREP BOWL: Artesia’s Davis, John Glenn’s Sanchez shine for L.A. All-Stars in loss

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

 

WHITTIER-The game may have a new name and the format may be slightly altered, but it’s still an all-star football game for some of the Southland’s best seniors. What was once called the 605 All-Star Football Classic is now the L.A./O.C. Southern California Prep Bowl, and nine area players were part of the event last Friday night at Pioneer High.

Representing Artesia High, the defending 605 League champions last fall and Division 12 runner’s-up were Marcel Bowman, Travys Davis, Heder Gladden and Leroy Gladden. The other five area players-Eduardo Barajas, Allen Parrish, David Sanchez, Jourdhin Smith and Tim Stevenson-all graduated from John Glenn High, which finished in second place in the 605 League.

“Growing up, I’ve always been taken care of by my dad,” Davis said. “So, I’ve always had mini-camps. I’ve played in all-star games before for the USA games. But I think this atmosphere is way better than the USA games because you know everybody and played against everybody. Just being on the same team, being friends and going through practices is just amazing.”

 

 

TRAVYS DAVIS, who just graduated from Artesia High, picks up some yardage in one of his seven carries in last Friday night’s 1st Annual L.A./O.C. Southern California Prep Bowl. Davis gained 33 yards in his team’s 14-6 loss to the O.C. squad. Davis will be attending Aurora University in the fall. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.

 

Cerritos College

“It was a great opportunity to get out here; to be one of the first John Glenn players to attend this game,” Sanchez said.

Davis, who will be attending Aurora University in Illinois, and Sanchez, were part of the L.A. squad that featured 20 players from the Moore League seven from the Suburban League and six from the San Gabriel Valley League, among others, had big plays in a 14-6 loss.

 

JOHN GLENN HIGH recent graduate David Sanchez attempts a pass in last Friday night’s 1st annual L.A./O.C. Southern California Prep Bowl. Sanchez was getting help from Artesia High’s Travis Davis, who was blocking Anthony Antolin of Huntington Beach High. Sanchez, who will be playing for Cerritos College, completed four of five passes for 27 yards in a 14-6 loss to the O.C. team. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.

 

On the first play of the game, Stevenson hauled in an eight-yard reception from Bell Garden High’s Augustin Velasquez Jr. That would be followed by Davis having his team’s first carry, a nine-yard gain. Two plays later, a fumble would lead to the O.C. team scoring the game’s first touchdown.

The L.A. team would get on the board in the second quarter as Davis and Sanchez, who will be playing at Cerritos College, had a big say in it. After four running plays from Marcos Nottingham of Long Beach Wilson High and a reception to Qu’Juan Campbell of Millikan High, Bowman caught a 15-yard pass from Sanchez in between a pair of runs from Davis totaling eight yards.

Later in the drive, Sanchez had a two-yard run before Skyler Warner of La Serna High booted a 35-yard field goal with 5:31 remaining in the first half. Davis would have another touch in the half, a seven-yard reception that led to Warner’s 28-yard field goal with 12.2 seconds remaining.

“Learning the plays is the easiest part,” Davis admitted. “Just getting the timing down is a little harder because everybody is off tempo a little bit. The quarterbacks have to connect with the receivers; running backs have to connect with the linemen. When everything comes together, it’s just fun to do.”

“It was knowing their speed and from watching film and playing against them; knowing how they run their routes,” Sanchez said. “It was kind of the same routes we ran at Glenn.”

The only offensive action from any of the area players in the third quarter came from Stevenson, who hauled in a five-yard and an eight-yard pass from Christopher Venegas of Warren High. Leroy Gladden, who will be attending Long Beach City College along with his brother, Heder, did have a tackle in the O.C.’s opening drive of the third quarter. Two plays later, Ocean View High’s Noah Hickman iced the game with a two-yard run.

Defense would own the fourth quarter as the two teams combined for four straight punts and three of those drives were three and outs. On one of those drives, Sanchez went one of two for a yard and Davis was pushed back for a 14-yard loss.

“It was a very exciting opportunity to learn something new and just to come back to football and play instead of having to wait until August,” Sanchez said.

With 3:25 remaining in the game, Davis and his team tried moving down the field for what they hoped would be a game-tying touchdown. On second and seven from the L.A. 48-yard line, Davis picked up 22 yards and six yards on consecutive carries. Then Bowman hauled in a four-yard reception from Velasquez Jr. But the squad was unable to pick up any of the final 17 yards needed for a touchdown.

“Honestly, just going through the plays, you get a little cold,” Davis said. “When you get back [into the game], you get heated up just watching your friends play. So, that energy gives me energy and I just play better off them.”

Even tough his team lost, Davis still had a big smile on his face because he had a chance to play a high school game one final time.

“Since we’re all childhood friends, just having this last game is very memorable and we’re able to cherish this,” Davis said. “It actually hit my heart right now because this is the last time we’re playing together.”

 

 

 

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