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News And Notes From Press Row-Gahr Girls Flag Football Wins The Battle Of Winless Gateway League Teams

September 21, 2023

 By Loren Kopff@LorenKopff on Twitter

With every new high school sport comes a lot of lessons learned and with the CIF-Southern Section introducing girls flag football as an official sport this season, everyone involved is still in learning mode. La Mirada High was hosting Gahr High this past Wednesday at Benton Middle School with the winner walking away with its first victory of the season.

Behind a solid passing performance from senior quarterback Lorin Lewis, the Gladiators put together a 19-6 victory for their first win after three losses to begin the season. Gahr had been shutout by Warren High 45-0, lost to Mayfair High 30-6 and fell to Bellflower High 19-12 before the meeting with La Mirada.

“It’s good for the girls,” said Gahr head coach Quincy Dickens. “They just play, and they’re just trying to learn and grasp the game. They do get better every week, so I guess to finally see their work pay off is good for them.”

Gahr opened the scoring when Lewis tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to senior Aalyah Browes-Nunn. But the Matadores, who have lost to Anaheim High 25-20 and Warren 31-0, took a 7-6 lead towards the end of the first half when junior Layla Barnhart hauled in a 38-yard pass from sophomore Cynthia Wright.

After both teams combined to go three and out on the first three possessions of the second half, Browes-Nunn picked off Wright, leading to a 28-yard scoring strike from Lewis to senior Alyssa Claxton. On La Mirada’s second play of the ensuing drive, Claxton’s interception would lead to a three-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to freshman Brianna Ramirez.

Lewis was 22 of 42 for 211 yards with Claxton catching eight of those passes for 79 yards while Browes-Nunn caught five passes for 41 yards and freshman Camarra Brown-Stanton adding four receptions, all in the second half, for 49 yards. Most of Lewis’ work came in the second half when she threw for 156 yards.

“When [Lorin] first came out, we had her just toss the ball,” said Dickens. “Lorin just has a zip. Quarterback is probably the hardest position in football, and she really embraces it. She sees how important it is. She’s there every day, she wants to get better at it and works on her technique. She’s a true leader, so she’s a big help to this team.”

Wright completed eight passes for 114 yards but was picked off four times as the Matadores are scheduled to visit Mayfair on Monday while Gahr’s next game is scheduled Oct. 4 when it goes to Warren.


Los Amigos High (2-2) @ Artesia High (3-1)-The Pioneers are off to the program’s best start since the 2018 team won four of its first five games, advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division 12 finals and finished 10-4. The next season, Artesia wound up 4-7, but since then, has won a combined three games. Last time out, the Pioneers got past Ocean View High 20-17 and after blowing out their first two opponents, have played two straight games that were one-possession affairs. The heart and soul of the offense lies with the running game, especially junior quarterback Charlie Lopez who leads the Pioneers in rushing with 749 yards on 50 carries and nine touchdowns. Sophomore Josue Flores is next with 435 yards on 64 touches with six touchdowns. Lopez has also completed eight passes for 119 yards and a pair of scores.

Defensively, senior safety Joshua Campbell and senior cornerback Pablo Cruz each have three interceptions.

The Lobos were dominated by Viewpoint High 49-14 last Thursday and have alternated their wins and losses thus far. Both victories have been identical 28-27 contests while the other loss was to University High of Irvine, 21-7. Heading into the Viewpoint game, Los Amigos had 773 yards on offense. As a side note, Viewpoint will be Artesia’s next opponent.

Prediction: Artesia 42, 

Los Amigos 20.

Cerritos High (2-2) @ Westminster High (3-2)-See West Torrance High/Cerritos game story.

Prediction: Westminster 35, Cerritos 14

Crean Lutheran High (3-1) @ Gahr (3-1)-Offense has not been a problem for Gahr this season as the Gladiators posted a 48-12 win over Santa Ana Valley High last Thursday for their third straight game of scoring at least 43 points. The Gladiators have matched last season’s win total and one more win will give the program the most victories since 2017 when that team went 8-4.

Crean Lutheran knocked off Northwood High 28-7 last Friday and have scored 50 points in its last two games after putting up 40 and 43 points respectively to begin the season. Quarterback Jeremiah Finaly has completed 72 percent of his passes for 822 yards and eight touchdowns. Four players have each caught 10 of his 77 passes and all but two touchdowns while on the ground, Justin Dominguez has rushed for 406 yards on 60 carries, finding the endzone four times.

Prediction: Crean Lutheran 38, Gahr 21

John Glenn High (3-2) @ Glendale High (5-0)-This game was played on Sept. 21 and after getting blown out by Norwalk High two weeks ago, the Eagles took their frustrations out on a bad Mark Keppel High squad, 64-8, last Friday. Mark Keppel has given up 105 points to both Artesia and Glenn this season. Junior running back Tuiono Tuifua scored on a 29-yard interception return, a 50-yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Luis Vergara and a 50-yard touchdown run. Glenn has matched its win total from two seasons ago but will face a big test against the Nitros, who have yielded an average of 11 points per game.

Glendale eased past Verbum Dei Jesuit High 35-8 last Thursday for its fourth straight double-digit win. Quarterback Jonathan Wells has passed for 871 yards and seven touchdowns while the Nitros have rushed for 820 yards and 11 touchdowns. Alfred Intriago leads in rushing with 435 yards on 79 carries and five touchdowns. Protecting Vergara will be crucial as Glendale has sacked opposing signal callers 18 times from 10 players, led by Alexander Shirvanian’s four sacks.

Prediction: Glendale 28, Glenn 24

Locke High (0-4) @ Norwalk (2-2)-The Lancers came up short against Linfield Christian High last Friday, falling 22-20. Norwalk led 14-0 early in the second quarter and were still up by two at the half before seeing the Lions score 10 points in the third quarter. Junior running back Papo Lieataua scored from a yard out with seven minutes remaining in the game, but the two-point conversion failed and a missed field goal ended the game. Norwalk has two blowout wins by 61 and 36 points, but in the two losses, the margins have been seven and two points. This will also be Norwalk’s homecoming game.

This has the makings of another blowout win as the Saints, who were blasted by Hawthorne High 54-0 last Friday, have scored only 20 points this season. Locke hails from the Metro League of the CIF-Los Angeles City Section and the five teams in that league have a combined mark of 5-18.

Prediction: Norwalk 54, Locke 7

 Last week’s predictions: 5-1

Season to date: 24-5


Artesia swept Pioneer High this past Tuesday to improve to 6-6 overall and 2-2 in the 605 League. The Pioneers will host Oxford Academy on Friday and Glenn on Tuesday while Gahr was swept by Warren 25-22, 25-15, 25-22 this past Tuesday, falling to 14-8, 1-2 in the Gateway League. The Gladiators traveled to Paramount High on Sept. 21 and will be home to La Mirada on Thursday.

La Mirada continued to have a stellar season, defeating Downey High 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21 this past Tuesday, moving to 12-5, 2-0 in the Gateway League. The Matadores went to Warren on Sept. 21 and will participate in the Kennedy Tournament on Saturday before entertaining Paramount on Tuesday.

Also having a solid season is Norwalk, which improved to 15-8 overall, 2-1 in the Mid-Cities League following a 25-14, 25-18, 25-21 win at Firebaugh High this past Tuesday. The Lancers went to Dominguez High on Sept. 21 and will travel to United Christian Academy on Friday as well as Santa Fe High on Monday before hosting Lynwood High and Bellflower on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

Valley Christian High swept Maranatha High this past Tuesday, improving to 10-8 overall and 1-1 in the Olympic League. The Defenders will host Heritage Christian High on Monday before going to Whittier Christian High the next day.

Whitney High dropped a four-set affair at Oxford Academy this past Tuesday to move to 7-12, 3-1. The Wildcats are now in a second place tie with their former Academy League rivals, and a game ahead of Artesia, which sits in fourth place. Whitney goes to Cerritos on Friday and hosts Pioneer on Tuesday.