By Christopher Abdelmalek
The biggest test of the season was in front of the Argonauts of Garden Grove High School as they took on the Spartans of San Gorgonio High School in the semifinal round of the Division 9 CIF-SS football playoffs. The Spartans defense played tremendous and held on to defeat the Argos 40-27.
The game started off shaky for Garden Grove as the red-and-white went down early 6-0 on a touchdown by the Spartans running back Elijah Hall. Hall finished with three touchdowns on the ground and was a key factor in the win for San Gorgonio (10-3). The Spartans then went up 13-0 before the Argos had any sort of rhythm on offense.
Special teams kept the Argos in the game early on. Shaun Haslip took an 80-yard return on the kickoff back for a touchdown for Garden Grove. That gave a little life for the Argonaut sidelines. Defensive back Ricky Ramos had two interceptions in the first half that also helped keep the Argos in the game in the first two quarters.
The second half was a bit of a shootout. Quarterback Jacob Zazueta for the Argos launched a 61-yard touchdown pass to Haslip to take the lead 14-13 in the third quarter. Then quarterback Jordan Pachot answered with a 33-yard strike of his own to make it 19-14. After a quick three and out by Garden Grove, San Gorgonio would score again this time by Hall on the ground to extend the lead out to 25-14.
Haslip once again had a huge return on the kickoff, but was hurt on the play by a late hit out of bounds by the Spartans. Another unsportsmanlike penalty gave the Argos the ball on the 10-yard line. Two plays later running back Mike Carrillo took the ball in to make it a 25-20 game. However, the Spartans would answer back with Halls third touchdown on the ground. Carrillo would then answer again with a 1-yard rush into the end zone. At this point it was 32-27 with the Spartans in control of the game.
Another late touchdown by San Gorgonio put the game away for the Spartans. Carrillo finished the game with over 100 yards rushing and two TDs on the ground. Zazueta finished with over 150 yards of total offense as well. “Jacob came out and did a great job; he has all year” Coach Ricardo Cepeda said after the game about his quarterback.
“Coach said they were going to stop Mikey, he said you got to do what you can to keep your team in this game” Zazueta said after the game. “I just thought about that all week and it showed tonight. Every other game, if we were down, we know we could come back and we were a good enough team do that.”
Garden Grove finishes the season with an 11-2 record overall. San Gorgonio will move on to face Brea Olinda for the division title.
Pioneers take safety into the CIF finals
Western High advanced to the CIF-SS Division 11 finals next week thanks to a 35-34 win over Beaumont Friday night. The Pioneers (11-2) wrapped up the win with a safety in the final two minutes.
Next up in the finals will be Peninsula High. The date and location have not been decided.
Categories: High school sports