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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Battered and bruised Norwalk football crushed by Suburban League champion Mayfair

 

 

 

 

Norwalk High junior defensive lineman Joshua Urzua (#36) and sophomore lineman Jorge Ortiz combine to bring down Mayfair High’s Nick Adimora in last Friday night’s 48-7 loss to the Monsoons. Norwalk concluded the regular season at 6-4 overall and 2-2 in the Suburban League. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.

 

October 27, 2021

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

 

It would have taken a miracle for the Norwalk High football team to knock off Mayfair High last Friday night, then wait to see if La Mirada High finished the regular season with two wins, plus a Mayfair victory in its game tonight. If those would have worked in favor of the Lancers, then there would be a three-way tie for first place in the Suburban League.

Instead, the Monsoons remained undefeated in eight games this season and officially clinched the top spot in the league with a 48-7 victory. The loss, which dropped the Lancers to 6-4 on the season and 2-2 in the circuit, was even more painful as leading rusher, junior David Herrera, didn’t play due to a shoulder injury the previous week against La Mirada. Then, late in the game, junior quarterback Caden Barnhill was apparently hit hard and left the contest. About 30 minutes following the conclusion of the game, he was taken off on a stretcher and went to the hospital for observation. Norwalk head coach Ruben Guerrero said he didn’t know what happened during the game and didn’t see any big hits.

“It was a really tough loss for us,” Guerrero said. “After [Herrera] going down with the shoulder [injury] last week…we had two pretty good runners in our backfield and losing one of them, we were kind of hamstrung. But we told John he was going to have to take the big load.”

He was referring to senior running back Jonathan Goodloe, who struggled all night against Mayfair’s defense just to gain 98 yards on 23 carries.

The Monsoons needed one play to score on its initial possession of the game and following that, Barnhill, Goodloe and junior running back Michael Mueller combined for 54 yards on 13 plays. But for the second time in the opening stanza, Norwalk failed to convert on fourth down. Meanwhile, Mayfair had no problems scoring, even though it had the ball for 15:52 the entire game, The Monsoons scored on all seven possessions they had and had over 450 yards of offense. With Mayfair up 20-0 with 3:36 remaining in the first half, Goodloe rushed for 35 yards out of a 40-yard, five play drive, including a 22-yard touchdown, to get the Lancers back in the game with 59 seconds left in the half. But Mayfair raced down the field and needed five plays to score with 19 seconds left, a 38-yard pass from Evan Tomich to Keith DeJean, to deflate any momentum Norwalk may have had. That’s because Mayfair opened the second half on a two-minute drive that ended with Tomich going in from 18 yards out and just like that, it was 34-7.

 

 

 

 

Norwalk High junior running back Michael Mueller tries to pick up extra yardage as Mayfair High’s Joseph Aguilar tries to bring him down. Mueller picked up 22 yards on six carries as Norwalk fell to the Suburban League champions 48-7 last Friday night. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.

 

“When we went in for the score, we put a little drive together and punched it in,” Guerrero said, “We thought, all right, here we go. Maybe things are kind of going to swing in our favor a little bit; get a little bit of momentum going. We knew we needed a stop, but that drive and score right before the [end of] the half hurt us really bad.”

Norwalk ran 12 plays in the second half, gaining just 30 yards and taking 9:44 seconds off the clock. On its second drive, which lasted into the final stanza, it got as far as the eight-yard line before being stalled. In the fourth quarter, the Lancers ran six plays for 28 yards and took another 6:05 off the clock.

“They’re very athletic and very shifty,” Guerrero said. “We didn’t do a good job of breaking down and making a tackle in the open field.”

Barnhill rushed 13 times for 66 yards and junior fullback Anthony Martinez added another 30 yards on five carries as the Lancers will have to play the waiting game to see the fate of their playoff situation. Norwalk’s bye is this week, and the CIF-Southern Section will reveal which divisions all its member schools with football programs will be situated in. The playoff brackets will then be released Sunday morning.

“It’s our bye and it’s at the end of the year,” Guerrero said. “We wish we were under better circumstances. But there were a couple of games where if we would have done a better job of, we would have had a little bit of certainty. We’re going to take this time to just rest a little bit; some of us are banged up a little bit, and then play that waiting game and see what CIF has in store for everyone. Hopefully we’ve done enough for them to notice us.”

The game with Mayfair also marked the last of Suburban League action as the circuit is being disbanded with its five schools, including Bellflower High and Firebaugh High, merging with the six schools of the San Gabriel Valley League. It’s expected that the top teams from the two leagues will be in one division while the other teams will be in another division.

“From being around a long time, it is going to be something new and something having to get used to,” Guerrero said. “For so long, we’ve been used to playing [Mayfair and La Mirada], the staples of the Suburban League. It’s going to be different now, but we’re looking forward to the new challenges as well and the new things on the horizon and see what that brings for us.

The regular season comes to an end tonight for five of the other area teams. Here’s a brief at the other games.

Cerritos High (4-5 overall, 2-0 in the 605 League) @ Artesia High (2-6, 2-0)-The stakes will be at its highest as one of these teams will be crowned league champion by 9:30 p.m. Both teams have won two in a row and both teams have won the league title within the brief three-year existence of the league prior to this season. Artesia won it in 2018, defeating the Dons 56-26 on the last game of the regular season while Cerritos knocked off the Pioneers 30-6 this past April in the abbreviated football season. Before 2018, the last time Artesia had won a league championship was 1992 and for Cerritos, the last time it won a league championship in a full season was 2001 when the Dons finished in a three-way tie for the top spot in the Suburban League.

For the Pioneers, who edged Pioneer High 18-17 last Thursday, it took the fifth game of the season at Valley Christian High before they scored more than a touchdown. After being shutout in three of the first four games, Artesia has scored 83 points in the last four games. The main offensive threats are senior quarterback K’Len Williams, senior running back Erin Moses and sophomore wide receiver Pablo Cruz.

Cerritos has also been blanked three times this season, but unlike Artesia, has more offensive threats and has scored over 50 points in its two league contests. Senior quarterback David Sagun, who passed for 123 yards and threw three touchdowns in a 52-31 win against John Glenn High last Thursday, has close to 700 yards on the season. Junior running back Quincy Monreal (95 carries, 274 yards) and senior running back Connor Defrain (31 carries, 236 yards) are the main ground gainers with senior all-purpose guy Mateo Martinez also in the mix. Martinez has 148 receiving yards, 147 rushing yards and 66 kickoff and punt return yards. The Dons are averaging close to 87 passing yards a game and almost 111 rushing yards a game.

Paramount High (2-6, 1-3 in the San Gabriel Valley League) @ Gahr High (1-5, 1-4)-The long season for the Gladiators comes to an end provided there is a game. They didn’t play their scheduled game at Warren High last Friday and had previously cancelled two other games within the first three weeks of the season. The only points Gahr has scored came in a 40-13 win against Lynwood High on Oct. 14.

This will be a game to see which defense is better as Paramount has allowed 253 points while Gahr has yielded 269 points. The Pirates are on a three-game losing streak, having been outscored 107-13 in those contests.

Pioneer High (1-7, 0-2 in the 605 League) @ John Glenn High (2-7, 0-2)-Glenn has shown that it can put points on the scoreboard, having scored over 30 points in three games. But the Eagles have one win to show for it and besides senior running back Iona Young, who has the ability to rush for 150-200 yards whenever he steps foot on the field, there isn’t much offensive support. Pioneer began the season on a four-game losing streak before blanking Compton Centennial High 14-0 on Sept. 24.

Firebaugh (1-8, 0-3 in the Suburban League) @ La Mirada (5-4, 2-1)-The Matadores, like Norwalk, will have to wait to see what division it will be placed in as Firebaugh had to cancel the contest. La Mirada still finishes in second place, a half-game ahead of Norwalk and most likely a game and a half behind Mayfair.

Maranatha High (1-7, 0-3 in the Olympic League) @ Valley Christian High (7-1, 3-0)-The Defenders should go to town on Maranatha, having scored over 40 points in four straight games and five times this season. V.C., which blasted Heritage Christian High 62-26 last Friday, is more of a rushing team with senior Rocco Caldarella leading the way with 638 yards on 58 carries, followed by junior Major Brown (384 yards, 44 carries) and senior John Nelson (250 yards, 21 carries). But the Defenders also pose a triple threat in the quarterback department as Caldarella, senior Logan Lemonnier and junior Kaden Struiksma could finish the regular season with over a combined 1,000 yards.

Maranatha has lost seven straight contests and is led by freshman running back Miles Omalley, who has gained 858 yards on 131 carries and scored eight touchdowns. He has accounted for 73 percent of the rushing yardage and all but two touchdowns on the ground.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Of the four area teams who played in the first round of the CIF-SS playoffs on Oct. 21, none of them were victorious. In Division 3 action, Orange Lutheran High swept Valley Christian 25-15, 25-18, 25-15 on the Lady Defender’s home court. V.C., which tied for second place in the Olympic League, wrapped up the season at 18-13. In Division 4 action, 605 League champion Cerritos (24-5) fell to Walnut High at home 25-23, 16-25, 9-25, 18-25 while Chadwick High swept Gahr 15-16, 25-10, 25-14. The Lady Gladiators, who finished in tie for third place in the SGVL, end their season at 11-14. In Division 7, Coachella Valley High eliminated Suburban League runner-up La Mirada (12-19) 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-8.

 

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