Pop Warner Wrap Up, Sunday, Oct. 18
While the Archers don’t keep score – the game is more recreational and instructional at their 5-year-old and 6-year-old level – they do keep track of great performances, and there were several on Sunday.
No. 88 Logan Quinsey had a long run that got the crowd on its feet. No. 7 Chris Garcia featured a nice inside running game. No. 99 Frankie Herrera skillfully kept the offense moving forward throughout most of the game and scored on a quarterback keeper. Jordan Moya Gonzalez also ran the ball well for the Archers.
On defense, there were several good efforts. No. 44 Zack Miley was in on several tackles, as was Kennedy Pucci, who made a touchdown-saving tackle when he tripped up a Dragon runner after a long chase down the left sideline.
For the Dragons, Devon Gandy and Javon Wimberley made an outstanding one-two running punch that kept the Archer defense on their toes.
“Week by week, we see improvement,” said the coaches. “They are developing. You saw a couple of good runs and some nice tackles; they’re only going to get better.”
The best game of the afternoon featured a seesaw struggle between the La Verne San Dimas Centurions and Pomona, with the Centurions finally prevailing, 19-13.
The Centurions got on the board first, launching a long 80-yard drive that featured a perfect mix of running and passing. Rushing the ball consistently well were Frederick Padilla and Ryan Cheyne. Through the air, quarterback Andrew Reichenfeld hooked up with receivers Justin Parker and Samuel Fecteau, who made a fingertip grab of a pass to keep the drive alive at the 14-yard-line. From the 3-yard-line, Reichenfeld ran it in behind a strong offensive line surge.
After missing the extra point, the Centurions remained on offense after successfully executing an onsides kick and retained the ball throughout the entire first quarter.
When the Pomona offense finally got its hands on the ball early in the second quarter, it answered with six points but missed the extra point to knot the score at 6-6.
That’s when quarterback Reichenfeld took control leading the Centurions on a second scoring drive, this one traveling 50-yards, highlighted by completions to Arturo Corona, Fecteau and Parker. Again Richenfeld ran it in, aided by the offensive line’s strong forward push. The Centurions led at the half, 12-6
With 39 seconds left in the third quarter, Pomona again answered with a 15-yard touchdown and closed out the quarter making the extra point to take a 13-12 advantage with the final quarter left to play.
The Centurions, seemingly stopped about midfield, resorted to a successful fake punt when Corona threw the ball to Fecteau for a first down to keep their drive alive. Then quarterback Nick Gasparo started handing the ball off to Padilla and Jesse Varela for solid gains before he carried the ball into the end zone for the Centurion’s third quarterback sneak. This time, the Centurions completed the extra point.
“Our fake punt pass has been good for us all season long,” said head coach Steve Sizemore about the game’s most pivotal play.
The problem the Centurions faced is they might have scored too soon, leaving 7:03 remaining in the fourth, so they onside kicked again and retained possession and then ran out the clock with their strong running game.
Although the Centurion’s passing game has been their bread and butter for most of the season, coach Sizemore was impressed with their running game, too. “The running is starting to come together, added Sizemore. “We’ve been working on it a lot. Our linemen have been doing good and our backs are starting to do better.”
Opening up the holes have been center Jesse Toro, tackles Blake Lowary and John Dellapenna and guards Matthew Arteaga and D.J. Label.
Matthew Madrid, the Spartans punter, had a long boot called back on a penalty, and that error set the tone for a long afternoon against the high-powered and top-ranked Fontana Gators at Glenn Davis Stadium on Sunday.
The Spartans kept the Gators out of the end zone the entire first quarter, but Fontana finally got its high-octane offense in gear en route to a 39-0 victory over La Verne San Dimas.
Still, the Spartans played hard with spirited play from speedster Xavier Wilson, Dylan Flores, De’Andre Belin, Gary Theard, Matthew Madrid, Caleb Franzen and a host of others like Derek Shay, a standout on defense.
“We’re young,” coach Dave Flores said. “It’s tough facing an opponent that fields three different teams in our division compared to our one.”
It was also good to see young De’Andre Belin, Jr. run hard and play defense for the Spartans. He seems to have fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered two seasons ago, flashing some of the signature moves of his father De’Andre Belin, Sr., who still holds many Bonita High School rushing records and led the Bearcats to the 1999 CIF title. Sadly, Sunday marked the 5th anniversary of senior Belin’s murder that still remains unsolved. Belin, Jr.’s grandmother, Laddie, said she is overjoyed to see her grandson playing on the same field where her son set so many records, although she admitted it has been extremely emotional at times to look back, adding that tears have flowed both privately and publicly, especially when Jr. was first suiting up for those first few games to carry forward the Belin name and tradition on the Bonita gridiron.
The entire Bonita and La Verne community salutes the Belin family for their long-time support of the Pop Warner and Bonita High School football programs and for the privilege to watch their sons perform on Sundays and Fridays.
The La Verne San Dimas Barbarians under head coach Victor Arteaga might have played the last Sunday game of the day at Bonita’s Glenn Davis field, but their fans were the loudest on the sunny afternoon.
One of the reasons … they welcomed back honorary captain Noah Ramos, who has been sidelined with something called, aplastic anemia (see story under Lifestyle), which he has been using all his strength, power and community goodwill to fight.
They were also energized by the running of No. 5 Jaamal Barnes, who scored on two long touchdown runs for the Barbarians. Although the Barbarians would eventually fall to the Upland Bandits, 30-13. Barnes flashed his future potential with his nifty moves and breakaway speed. Running back Tyler Kinslow also came on late, running over would-be tacklers. No. 22 Ray Gaeta also had a fourth quarter interception that helped the Barbarians mount another late attack.
For Upland, Almanie Bishop scored on three long rushing touchdowns, and looks as if he’ll also be a top future back and someone for scouts to keep tabs on in our local area.
Away Games — La Verne San Dimas Romans 36, Rancho Cucagomonga, 12.