It was a Hollywood ending for a Hollywood sequel. Over 89,000 people packed the Los Angeles Coliseum Saturday to watch the long-awaited return of the Rams to Southern California, and the event did not disappoint. After being slapped around by a Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboy team in the first half, the Rams staged a stirring rally in the second half to win 28-24.
Hollywood loves an underdog and an unknown becoming a star. That role was filled admirably by Sean Mannion, a second-year player from Oregon State. After Case Keenum and number one draft choice Jared Goff impressed not, Mannion came in and led the Rams down the field to three touchdowns.
He ended up with a stat line of 18-for-25 for 147 yards. He threw one interception. In doing so, he might have revived an old Los Angeles Rams tradition: a quarterback controversy.
Since the Rams are not likely to expect Goff to become the full-time starter immediately, the possibility that Mannion will leapfrog Keenum as the signal-caller emerges when the regular season starts on Sept. 12 against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. And if he continues to do well, who knows? Hollywood loves the idea of “You went out there a no-one, and you came back a star!”
Coaches like to talk about going the distance. In the case of Edison’s Dave White, that means going all the way to Hawaii. The Chargers will open their 2016 football season a bit earlier than the rest of Orange County when they play Baldwin High of Maui this Saturday.
The Chargers were 7-4 last season, winning the Sunset League title but getting knocked out of the CIF-SS playoffs 30-17 by Rancho Cucamonga. The Bears were 9-4 in 2015 and won the Maui League title before losing their first round playoff game.
Pohai Lee’s team is no stranger to playing Orange County teams – the Bears came to the OC last year to face Mission Viejo and lost 63-7. In 2014, Edison traveled to Hawaii and beat the Bears 49-10.
Baldwin comes into the game with Edison with one contest under its belt, having lost the season opener 38-14 to Kamehamaha High. The Chargers, ranked 431st in the nation by Maxpreps.com, are considered the favorites over the Bears, ranked 3622nd in the U.S.
If you have a ghoulish sense of curiosity, you might wonder if the Angels – having lost 10 games in a row – were headed for their worst season ever. The answer is: not yet. Through Sunday’s games, the Halos had a 49-68 record, which is a .419 winning percentage. The worst season in team history was perhaps in 1994, when the team was at .409, winning only 47 games in a strike-shortened campaign. So the official full season record (1968) is .414 when the Halos won 67 games.
Thus the Angels need to win another 19 games out of the remaining 45 contests to avoid that infamy. Stay tuned.
Monday Morning Coach is a weekly feature of the Tribune.