_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES ________________________         EBOOK


WEEK FIVE FOOTBALL: Cerritos goes backwards against Northwood as Dons alternate good, bad performances

Cerritos High senior Malachi Santa Anna tries to elude a would-be tackler from Northwood High in last Thursday’s non-league contest  Santa Anna would catch a three-yard touchdown pass, his lone reception of the night. But he also had a 66-yard kickoff return in the first quarter of a 51-20 Northwood victory. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer


By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

It’s been a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ season for the Cerritos High football team as the Dons went the opposite way when it hosted Northwood High last Thursday night at Dr. Hanford Rants Stadium. A week after blowing out Beverly Hills High, the Dons were dealt the same punishment by the Timberwolves, who routed Cerritos 51-20.

Cerritos has been on a roller coaster ride thus far, yielding 69 points in an opening-season loss to Western High before scoring 63 and 68 points respectively the next two weeks, followed by a 79-6 loss to Adelanto High. Against Northwood, Cerritos allowed nearly 300 passing yards and another 100 yards on the ground.

“To quote [former NFL head coach] Herm Edwards, they are who we thought they were,” said Cerritos head coach Barry Thomas. “We knew they were going to be tight; very few mistakes, crisp, right routes run and all that stuff. They’re doing the right things to make sure their deficiencies aren’t glaring. They out-detailed us.”

Each team had three possessions in the opening quarter with Northwood running 11 plays to nine from Cerritos. The difference was that the Irvine-based team was sporting a 23-0 lead just over seven minutes into the contest. The Dons finally got on the board with 2:49 remaining in the stanza when sophomore wide receiver Chaz Sanchez hauled in a 12-yard pass from junior quarterback Stacy King.

Northwood kept the pressure on early in the second quarter when Seth Locke, listed as a wide receiver, threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to starting quarterback Jaden Piazza. On the ensuing Cerritos drive, Locke picked off King and matriculated 26 yards for a score, lifting Northwood to a 37-6 advantage with 8:43 left in the first half.


Cerritos High junior quarterback Stacy King lets off one of his 32 passes against Northwood High last Thursday night. King threw for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Cerritos fell to the Timberwolves 51-20. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.


After three straight incomplete passes from King, the ‘Wolves went up 44-6 on a Piazza to Luke Demaio connection of 27 yards. Cerritos got its second score of the game with 2:05 left before halftime when King tossed a three-yard pass to senior wide receiver Malachi Santa Anna.

King completed 11 of 25 passes for 133 yards in the half, but only two in the second half. Sanchez ended the night with 57 yards on half a dozen receptions. The final Cerritos touchdown came early in the fourth quarter when junior running back Jayden Alderete rumbled for a 56-yard score. He rushed five times, four in the fourth quarter, for 112 yards while senior running back Tye Anderson had 13 touches for 99 yards.

“That’s just the character of the football team,” Thomas said of the fourth quarter. “That’s a testament to Tye, Matt Ryan and Alex Flores and Jayden Alderete. Those are our captains. Fourth quarter, no matter the score, Jayden is going to give you 100 percent. He’s not going to take a step out of bounds or hit the ground before he should. That’s just who he is.”

Cerritos (3-3) is off tonight before visiting Ocean View High on Oct. 5 for its final non-league game. Ocean View is currently 5-0, the third ranked team in the CIF-Southern Section Division 11 poll and has outscored its opponents 228-28. So far this season, the Dons have faced the top-ranked team in Division 11 (Western) and the number two team in Division 13 (Adelanto) and Northwood, the eighth ranked team in Division 12. Looking ahead, the Dons will face 6-5 League foe Artesia High, which just moved into the 10thspot in Division 12.

“When we scheduled them, we weren’t thinking cupcake,” Thomas said of his opponents. “We don’t want to schedule seven [non-league] cupcakes because then we get into league and then Artesia…they’re no cupcake, Pioneer, they’re no cupcake, Glenn is no cupcake. So, you can’t schedule that way just to get some cheap wins. There are three wins that matter, so we have to schedule for those three wins.”