By Pat Turner
Four games remain in District 28-6A football and the playoff race is getting interesting.
While league-leader O’Connor (6-0, 5-0) was helping its cause with a 30-28 last-second win over Brandeis (4-2, 3-2), Warren and Brennan improved their post-season chances.
Warren (5-1, 4-1) zipped to a 35-15 win over Jay (3-3, 2-3) and Brennan rolled to a 51-0 victory over Marshall (2-4, 1-4).
Despite the loss to O’Connor, Brandeis (4-2, 3-2) is still in the hunt one for one of 28-6A’s four playoff positions.
In addition, Stevens (3-3, 2-3), Taft (3-3, 2-3), Jay (2-3) and Clark (2-4, 2-3) still have shots but they’ll need to win their remaining games and get outside help.
Warren, which has won three straight league contests after opening with a 14-7 loss to O’Connor, received another strong offensive-defensive combination in getting the edge over Jay.
The Mustangs put up more offensive yards (329) than Warren (310) but finding the end zone was difficult as the Warriors came up with three turnovers while receiving the usual stout play from Cameron Williams, Davare Harrison, Eli Huron and Traquan Banks.
Offensively, the Warriors got things rolling on the second play of the game when quarterback Anthony Cisneros, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 141 yards, connected with Christian Allen for a 62-yard touchdown pass.
A fumble recovery by Huron set up Warren’s next touchdown. Cisneros hit Jonathan Segovia on a 27-yard pass, before Samuel Stanford, who rushed for 1241 yards, capped the drive with a 2-yard run.
Jay appeared to have a scoring opportunity when Kenny Vigil picked off a Warren pass later in the period. However, Banks foiled that plan with an interception.
Warren upped their lead to 21-0 after John Dinsmore recovered a mishandled punt by Jay at the Mustangs’ 5. Stanford took the snap and was headed into the end zone but lost the ball in the process. However, lineman Joshua Narro saved the day by falling on the fumble for the Warren touchdown.
Jay finally got something going later in the quarter by pushing its way to the Warren 15. The Mustangs came away empty-handed as Warren’s defense put up the stops.
The Warriors struck again at the beginning of the third quarter on Cisneros’ 12-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Elder.
Jaylin Hastings, who rushed for 190 yards on 28 carries, got Jay on the scoreboard with a 1-yard touchdown dive, but Warren countered with Te’lem Turner’s 11-yard touchdown sprint.
Jay got its last touchdown on Jonathan Huron’s 10-yard run.
This week, Warren plays Taft and Jay takes on Stevens.
Brennan 51, Marshall 0
Brennan racked up 447 yards offense and broke things open in the first half with a 44-0 lead.
The Bears shined in the passing game once again as Jordan Flores completed 8 of 9 passes for 163 yards and touchdowns to Jonathan Saldeen (5 yards), Anthony Gonzales (34 yards) and Jordan Smith (40 yards).
Much of the passing heroics occurred in the second quarter. Prior to that, the Bears built a 17-0 lead in the opening frame. Special teams got into the act immediately. Jonathan Swisher booted a 35-yard field goal and Darryon Tolefree followed with a 67-yard punt return.
Joshua Lopez added a 24-yard scoring sprint. The ground attack also produced a second-quarter touchdown on Javon Grimes’ 17-yard scamper.
Javon Hopkins closed out the scoring with a 43-yard strike to Gonzales in the fourth period.
The Bears were also sound on defense, holding Marshall to seven first downs and 114 yards offense while forcing five turnovers.
Stevens came up with enough clutch plays to squeeze out a victory over Clark in a tight defensive battle.
The Falcons struck first when Josh Ramirez found Gabriel Flores open for a 56-yard touchdown pass.
Clark responded quickly, putting together a productive drive capped by David Santos’ 6-yard touchdown run for a 7-7 tie.
Stevens broke the deadlock in the second quarter with Clarence Lee’s 5-yard touchdown. A 23-yard field goal by Michael Pena at the beginning of the fourth period upped the Falcons’ lead to 17-7. However, the Falcons had to hold off a late Clark comeback bid.
The Cougars pulled within 17-10 on Alan Rodriguez’s 30-yard field goal with 48 seconds remaining. Clark, which used an onside kick to open the door for its 25-21comeback win over Marshall prior to two the open week, tried to produce the same magic. However, Stevens made the key plays to wrap up the victory.
Taft 30, Holmes 14
Taft kept its post-season hopes alive by using a 13-point second-quarter burst to rally past the HHuskies.
Holmes (0-6, 0-5) owed a 14-10 lead after the first quarter on D.Q. Haney’s 3-yard touchdown run and Rodolfo Castillo’s 9-yarder.
Carlos Herrera, who hurled a 66-yard touchdown pass to Brandon King in the first quarter, got the Raiders going in the second period.
After Bryan Medina’s 33-yard field goal brought Taft within 14-10 at the end of the opening period, Herrera, who passed for 128 yards, hooked up with JC Alarcorn on an 8-yard TD toss and scored on a 1-yard run at the end of the half.
The Raiders got a little breathing room in the fourth quarter on Divonne Tilden’s 1-yard scoring dive.
For images of the game you can click here https://echosportszone.pixieset.com/