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Spartans football looks to build toward next season

Football: La Cañada will look to end its season on a high note with a road win over Blair Friday.

October 30, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Jadon Henry, left, and the Spartans will look to build some momentum into the 2013 season with a win over Blair Friday night.
Jadon Henry, left, and the Spartans will look to build… (Libby Cline )

Things haven’t played out as planned or hoped for the La Cañada High football team this season, but the Spartans hope to get the ball rolling in the right direction heading into 2013 and the second year under coach James Sims.

La Cañada has a good chance to do so Friday at 7 p.m. in its Rio Hondo League and season finale, as it travels to Muir High to take on a Blair team that’s been going through greater struggles in its first season under coach Johnny Lopez.

The Vikings didn’t have much offseason preparation under Lopez, who was hired July 20, and have gone winless — 0-9, 0-4 in league — as a result heading into their 2012 finale. Blair has experienced running clocks nearly every game, with its closest loss on Aug. 30, the second game of the season, in a 17-point loss to Marshall Fundamental at home, 31-14.

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“It's very important [to get a win this week] because we are playing a Blair team that is really struggling this year so to lose to them would be devastating to our program,” Sims said. “It's important to build toward next year and get a win.”

La Cañada (1-8, 0-4) won its season opener over Alhambra, 17-7, and has proceeded to drop its next eight games. It also hasn’t come close to a victory, outside of its win over the Moors, with last week’s 44-26 loss to Temple City being its closest to a win since nonleague play when it also fell to Eagle Rock (25-7) and Glendale (21-3) by 18-point margins.

Sims said La Cañada’s key to victory will be cutting down on its turnovers, as it comes into Friday losing the turnover battle, 21-9.

The Spartans turned the ball over three times via fumble in last week’s loss to the Rams and turned the ball over four times against South Pasadena, 35-8.

“Our big thing is turnovers,” Sims said. “You look at some of our scores and they’re bad, but not if you just take away the turnovers. We lose by 18 to Temple City, but it's all the turnovers. Against South Pas, we lost 35-8, but we were able to drive on them — we had 350 rushing yards — but we had four turnovers in the red zone. Without those, it could have been a different game.”

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