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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW :Top two football teams in 605 League prepare for rare home postseason games


By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

The CIF-Southern Section football begin tonight and for a pair of area teams, the long droughts are over, and in a big way. Artesia High, winners of the first 605 League championship, has not been to the playoffs since 2008 while John Glenn High, the second place representatives from the 605 League, has not played an 11thgame since 2002. As a bonus, both are ranked in the top four in Division 12. Here are quick previews of tonight’s games, both scheduled for 7:30 kickoffs.

Ramona (7-3) @ #3 Artesia (7-3)-This one will be a good first round test for both teams who love to run the ball, and they do it well. If you haven’t heard of seniors Travys Davis and Heder Gladden, then you must have not been following Artesia football this past season. Gladden, who is also the quarterback, led the Pioneers with 1,523 rushing yards and scored 21 times while Davis gained 1,254 yards and found the end zone 13 times. Add another 799 passing yards and 12 touchdowns and this makes the Davis-Gladden tandem as one of the best, if not the best, the Artesia program has seen. Gladden has scored multiple touchdowns in six games including five against Westminster High on Sept. 7 while Davis has also had a five-touchdown performance, which came last Friday against Cerritos High in a 56-26 win. When he’s not throwing to Davis, count on senior wide receivers Marcel Bowman and De’Jon Major to get into the action. The Pioneers have averaged just under 450 yards per game while averaging 42 points per game

But the Rams can score as well. The third place representatives from the River Valley League scored 374 points and are led by Donte Roby Jr., who led the team with 1,187 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Brian Alvarenga is second on the team with 761 yards on the ground with 11 touchdowns while Brandino Osayande picked up another 309 yards and eight touchdowns. Osayande is also the team’s quarterback and threw for 1,122 yards and 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He completed 79 passes to seven different receivers with David Cornejo catching 35 of them for 482 yards The Artesia offensive line will have its work cut out as Ramona’s defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 25 times with Elias Rocha leading the way with seven and a half.

Both teams have not played any common opponents. This is Ramona’s fourth straight season of having a winning record. Before that, the Rams went a combined 21-91 from 2004-2014. This is Artesia’s best regular season record since 2008, its first home playoff game since 2005, a 26-24 loss to Aliso Niguel, and the program’s 23rdplayoff game since 1976. Artesia has reached the second round just five times, the last coming in 1994. In addition, this is Artesia’s first league championship in football since 1992.

The winner of this contest will face the victor of the Hawthorne High/Rio Hondo Prep game in the quarterfinals and an Artesia win against Ramona will send the Pioneers on the road for that game.

#4 Glenn (6-4) @ Nogales (5-5)-Despite finishing in second place and going on the road for the first round, the Eagles managed to lock up the No. 4 seed in Division 12. Glenn has put together its best record in over 20 seasons. The last time the Eagles made it to the postseason, they went in with a 4-5-1 overall regular season mark. Just like its 605 League rivals from Artesia, Glenn is run-happy and relies on the legs of junior running back Edwin Udengwu, who posted 1,706 yards and 24 touchdowns. When he doesn’t have the ball, senior quarterback David Sanchez will be the next best yard-gainer, both on the ground and through the air. Sanchez rushed for 776 yards and found the end zone 11 times while throwing for 1,548 yards and 16 touchdowns. His favorite targets are senior wide receiver Tim Stevenson (57 receptions, 886 yards, nine touchdowns) and junior Bobby Sanchez (15 receptions, 202 yards, one touchdown). The Eagles are coming off a climatic 28-26 win at Pioneer High last Friday in which they trailed 19-9 at the half.

Nogales High finished in a tie for first place in the Montview League with Workman High and went 4-1 in league play. The Nobles are coming off a 21-7 loss at Gladstone High, which finished in a tie for fourth place at 3-7 overall and 2-3 in the circuit. Nogales doesn’t score much (213 points) which poses a problem because the Eagles, who are close to 400 points, have eclipsed the 40-point plateau five times, winning them all.

Through nine games, the Nobles had rushed for 1,991 yards and passed for 1,291, which when combined, are barely above the output from just Sanchez and Udengwu. Both teams also did not play a common opponent. The winner of this contest will face the winner of the Banning High/Xavier Prep game on Nov. 9. Should Glenn beat Nogales, the Eagles will host the second round game.

GIRLS TENNIS

For Cerritos, it was a case of new league, same results. The Lady Dons won the Suburban League from 2002-2017, losing only two league matches during that time. This season, Cerritos captured the 605 League crown by going undefeated in 10 matches. Cerritos (13-3 overall) began the Division 3 playoffs with a home match against Pacifica High out of Garden Grove this past Wednesday. A win would send the Lady Dons into today’s second round match on the road against either Hart High or Louisville High.

Also, in Division 3 action, Whitney High (13-8) visited two-loss Serrano High this past Wednesday. An upset by the Lady Wildcats will send them into today’s second round match against the winner of the Rancho Cucamonga High/Rancho Mirage High match.

In Division 4 action, Gahr High was blasted by La Mirada High 15-3 in a wild card match this past Tuesday. The Lady Gladiators wrapped up the season at 9-10-1.

In Division 5 action, Valley Christian High (10-8) entertained fifth seeded Westminster High this past Wednesday with the winner facing the survivor of the Heritage High/Summit High today.

BOYS WATER POLO

Cerritos went 16-10 overall and won all three 605 League matches in the regular season and that performance garnered the Dons to a No. 4 seed in Division 4. Cerritos defeated Laguna Hills High 13-6 this past Tuesday and hosted Esperanza High on Nov. 1. Should the Dons win that match, they will either visit Yucaipa High or host Sonora High.

 

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