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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Cerritos trying to find the positives from long season, get trounced by Troy on homecoming

 

Cerritos High sophomore running back Kalib Moran cuts through the Troy High defense in last Thursday night’s 49-6 setback. Moran gained 77 yards on 14 carries and caught two passes from senior quarterback Dylan Burton for 16 yards. PHOTO COURTESY OF CERRITOS HIGH YEARBOOK STAFF.

 

September 22, 2022

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

Offensively, the young Cerritos High football team is holding its own midway though the season. Defensively, head coach Brad Carter believes it will get better despite the Dons allowing at least 35 points in four of their games and the combined record of their opponents being 12-13.

Last Thursday night on homecoming night, Cerritos was in a funk on both sides of the ball, and it showed in a 49-6 loss to Troy High, sending the Dons to 1-4 into their bye week.

“They just controlled us in the middle; we couldn’t really get anything going inside offensively or defensively,” said Carter. “They were just pounding us, so we wanted to try to spread them out. We got some quick passes out there, but they were really good. They’re very strong and fast and it makes it tough when they’re flying around. We tried to switch it up and get some positive plays.”

The Warriors scored on all six of their first-half possessions, building a 42-0 halftime lead as they ran 22 plays and gained 280 yards of offense. Meanwhile, the Dons fumbled on the second play of their first drive and had a bad snap on a would-be punt go for a 17-yard loss at the end of the first quarter. Signs of some momentum were clear in the second quarter when Cerritos was stalled at fourth and one from its 47-yard line after an eight-play drive.

The best drive of the game for the Dons came after a Fischer Huss 53-yard score made it 35-0. Beginning at its five-yard line, Cerritos was about to punt on fourth and four before the Warriors were called for being offside. Then a 74-yard pass play from senior quarterback Dylan Burton to sophomore running back Kalib Moran was called back because of offsetting penalties. Instead of first and goal at the 10, it was second and 10 from the Cerritos 16, and they never recovered from that for the remainder of the half.

“[The officials] said there was a hold, but my thing was there’s the letter of the law and the spirit of the law,” said Carter. “It was our first play of the [drive] and I thought they could have eaten the flag there. But they disagreed and it was unfortunate we had a penalty on that play.”

By halftime, the Dons had negative yardage on the ground while Burton, who threw the ball 14 times, completed nine passes in a row for 44 yards. Knowing that the running clock would be used the entire second half, Carter’s halftime speech was plain and simple.

“We said the game is 0-0, we’re trying to score a touchdown and we’re trying to get a stop,” said Carter. “You can’t laminate on the score. Obviously, they were better tonight. We were trying to get some positives. We went down [the field] and scored at the end of the game, which was positive. Every team, every coach…they’re going to find themselves on the wrong side of one of these. So, you have to find the positives from these.”

Cerritos got on the board with 4:37 remaining in the game when Burton scored on a 10-yard run, which was setup by a 30-yard gain from Moran. Stymied in the first half, Moran finished the game with 77 yards on 14 carries as he continues to shine as an up and coming player.

“He is a really good football player,” said Carter. “He just has to work on staying positive to the highs and lows of the game. But in terms of running and catching and tackling, he’s a special player.”

While the Dons are enjoying their bye, Carter added that the team needs to find a rhythm offense and create turnovers on defense to be successful in the second half, which begins with a visit to Chino High on Sept. 30, followed by the renewal of the city rivalry with Gahr High on Oct. 6.

“They call it preseason for a reason,” said Carter. “We learned a ton, and I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think I really realized how young of a team we really are. We have a really core group of sophomores and juniors that are learning how to play varsity football. But I just told them I’m really confident we’re going to finish the second half strong.”

In other football action:

Artesia High (0-3-1) @ Los Amigos High (3-1)-Artesia is coming off a 46-5 loss to Valley Christian High last Friday as the offense continues to struggle. In four games, the Pioneers have scored three offensive touchdowns, all against Marquez High in a shortened game, one defensive touchdown, against Garden Grove High, and five points against the Defenders.

Los Amigos doubled up Viewpoint High 28-14 last Friday for its second straight win. The Lobos aren’t an explosive offensive team, having scored 77 points. But defensively, the Lobos are sound and have yielded 16 points a game.

Prediction: Los Amigos 24, Artesia 10.

Gahr (0-4) @ Crean Lutheran High (4-0)-For the fourth time this season, Gahr scored a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough in a 14-7 loss to Santa Ana Valley High last Thursday. The game was played at Norwalk as all four games for the Gladiators, which have been home games, have been played at other sites. Gahr has another daunting task as it goes to East Irvine to face a Saints team that knocked off Laguna Beach High 35-37 last Friday and has now scored 151 points while allowing 48.

Quarterback Gavin Rogers has completed 51 passes for 749 yards and 14 touchdowns while running back Eli Bray has picked up 360 of the team’s 490 ground yards and has scored four touchdowns.

Prediction: Crean Lutheran 42, Gahr 7.

El Rancho High (3-2) @ Norwalk High (5-0)-See Glenn @ Norwalk game story.

Prediction: Norwalk 35, El Rancho 21.

Last week: 5-0

Season to date: 21-7-1

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Scheduled matches for the upcoming week are Artesia visiting John Glenn High today and Cerritos on Tuesday, Cerritos, Gahr, Valley Christian and Whitney High all competing in the Bellflower Tournament today and Saturday with Gahr also visiting Mayfair High on Tuesday, Glenn hosting Whitney on Tuesday, La Mirada High visiting Dominguez High on Tuesday before going to Norwalk on Thursday and Norwalk hosting Bellflower High on Tuesday.

 

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