By Christopher Abdelmalek
This has been a special year for many different reasons, and one of the biggest being the gift of playing football despite all the delays and disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic.
For the final time in this unprecedented and shortened spring season, the Garden Grove Argonauts played host to the Katella Knights at Michael Monsoor Stadium in Garden Grove on Friday evening. This would be the final game in Big 4 League action as well and a chance to put a win in the column for either team. The home team prevailed on Senior Night, 28-14, over the visitors.
The win puts the Argonauts with a break-even 3-3 mark on the season and a 1-2 record in league play. But more importantly, it solidifies third place in the league for them. “That’s a tough little league that people don’t really think about,” said Grove coach Ricardo Cepeda.
The game started with a bang as Jordan Sanchez took a punt back early in the first quarter 63-yards to the end zone to put the Argos up 7-0. Sanchez also did all the extra points in this game as well and went a perfect four for four.
After a few back-and-forth possessions between the Knights and the Argos, Czaln Lobaugh went behind the center and took the snap and ran for a touchdown just seconds into the start of the second quarter. The 6’1’’ senior was a dual-threat on offense and defense for the home team. He finished the game with just under 10 tackles as well as over 80 yards of rushing.
Running back Gabriel Dawson of Katella was outstanding in this game on as well as the Knights finally got on the board late in the second quarter with an inside rush from just inside the 10-yard line to pull the visitors closer at 14-7. With under two minutes in the half, they kicked off to the Argos and pinned them back at the 20-yard line.
The red and white’s junior quarterback Vany Rodriguez was off to a shaky start the first half despite the lead and the ball. His decisions seemed to be one step behind, making some bad reads which lead to a first-quarter fumble and two second-quarter interceptions, including one with one second left in the half and driving into the end one.
However, Cepeda rallied his players at halftime and they came out and played traditional Argonaut football. With a heavy dose of running to start the third quarter, the home team caught the defense off guard with a play-action pass from Rodriguez to Jason Bruce for 33 yards for their second touchdown of the night to increase the lead to 21-7.
Not to be outdone again, Dawson and quarterback Daunte Bell and wide receiver Donovan Arrington did all they good to keep the Knights in the game with a long drive of their own which resulted in Dawson scoring his second touchdown of the game and bringing it to a one score game 21-14.
Rodriguez on the other hand, wanted to send his seniors out with a win. On the very next series, he dropped back and found Bruce again for a touchdown. This time on a deep cross that Bruce took for 80 yards and the score. The Argos lead 28-14 at that point and it was time to turn up the defense.
Big stops from Lobaugh and fellow seniors Sean Florian and Andrew Dinh forced the Knights to have to drop back and pass. This led to the only big mistake from Bell as he threw an interception to Sanchez after getting them close to the red zone with just under three minutes left in the game. The Argo’s ran the clock out and finished the game with a final of 28-14.
Cepeda was proud of his players and what they were able to accomplish this season. “I feel like we are getting our program back to the direction where we were, we are improving every week,” he said. This season was like any other, and the players and coaches understood that and took that to heart, and cherished every second they could on the field.
Here are Friday night area high school football results. They will be posted as they are available.
- Santa Ana 36, Orange 34
- Marina 41, Segerstrom 7
- Western 55, Century 0
- Rancho Alamitos 22, Beckman 14
- Edison 56, Huntington Beach 8
- Westminster 27, Laguna Beach 21
- Garden Grove 28, Katella 14.
- Ocean View 48, Montclair 35
- Loara 30, Santa Rosa Academy 8
Categories: High school sports