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La Cañada High football can't slow down San Marino

Football: Spartans surrender 34 points in second half of 55-7 defeat to Titans.

October 18, 2013|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Sun

SAN MARINO — The La Cañada High football team was one of three squads to begin Rio Hondo League play with a victory last week, joining San Marino and the Monrovia. Those two schools, both ranked in the top four of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division, were also the Spartans’ next two opponents.

First up came the Titans, who hosted the Spartans on Friday night with both looking to stay perfect in league. However, San Marino, ranked No. 4 in the division, blew the game open in the second half en route to a 55-7 victory in which the Titans scored every time they had the ball on offense.

“[The Titans] are loaded on that side. San Marino is a good football team,” La Cañada Coach James Sims said. “But we didn’t even give ourselves a chance. We came out in the second half and did not give ourselves one chance. So we’ve got to go back to the drawing board.”

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La Cañada (3-4, 1-1) kept the game close in the first half, trailing by just two touchdowns. The Spartans used a run-based attack and gutsy play calling to keep the ball away from the Titans, who did score on each of their three first-half possessions, to go into the break up, 21-7.

With 1:02 left in the second quarter, La Cañada, with the ball at its own two-yard line, lined up to punt on fourth down. Punter Michael Selsor, who earlier in the quarter had thrown an incomplete pass on a fake punt, stood at the back of the end zone. The snap sailed back to Selsor and the fake was on again. The sophomore threw a 24-yard completion to Trent Bauer for the surprise first down. The move did not end in points, but denied the hosts the chance to score again, meaning a 14-point game at the break.

“I knew where we were and the tempo of the game and that if we gave the ball back to San Marino they were going to score to go up 28-7 and really deflate us,” Sims said. “I knew they were going to send the house to block it. Some big cojones, right?”

By way of the completion to Bauer, Selsor came out of the first half as his team’s leading passer. Then, in the second half, Selsor took over at quarterback for senior Robbie Fuelling. Selsor’s first possession in the position was a rough one. It started with a sack and ended without a first down and a punt by the sophomore from the Spartans’ end zone.

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