Lagarde hits milestone as North routs West, Serra’s fast finish tops Chaminade

TRIPPING OUT—North Torrance ballcarrier Khyran Burday is tripped up by West Torrance’s Ryan McBride in last Friday’s key Pioneer League football game. The Saxons routed the Warriors 47-14. (Photo by Joe Snyder)

By Joe Snyder

North Torrance High quarterback Trevor Lagarde enjoyed his nearly four-year stint and climaxed the regular season by throwing his 100th career touchdown pass as the Saxons rolled over crosstown rival West Torrance 47-14 in a Pioneer League finale last Friday at North.

Lagarde’s milestone TD pass completion went to wide receiver Phillip Curtis that gave the Saxons a 34-7 lead with 5:39 left in the third quarter.

Following the play, Lagarde raced all the way to the stands and gave the ball to his mother. Lagarde continued to have a strong showing by completing 20 of 31 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns.

With the win, North ended the Pioneer League in second place behind Lawndale, which captured its fifth consecutive league title, with a 4-1 record. The Saxons are 8-2 overall, but will have their hands full in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division VI playoffs as they visit No. 2 seed Oak Park in Agoura Hills Friday at 7 p.m.

The Saxons are in the division with the Cardinals, who also don’t have it easy as they visit No. 4 seed Loyola in Los Angeles. Culver City, which finished third behind champion Palos Verdes and runner-up Manhattan Beach Mira Costa is also in Division VI and is on the road at El Dorado High in Placentia.

For the second consecutive time and in their second consecutive Pioneer showdown a week earlier at home where North lost in its 14-13 overtime loss to Lawndale, the Saxons scored on their first drive that was culminated by a 20-yard scoring pass from Lagarde to Lozano Hanbyoul.

The Warriors, who placed third in league at 3-2 and are 5-5 overall, tied the game at seven when Ernesto Hernandez scored from three yards out.

North took the lead for good on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Lagarde to Khyren Burdy with 45 seconds remaining before halftime.

The second half saw the Saxons dominate West. Lagarde tossed his third TD pass of the game to Burdy for a 21-7 advantage with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. A 34-yard scoring run by Will Pineda gave North a 28-7 lead with 6:11 re- maining before Lagarde’s milestone TD pass to Curtis.

The fourth period saw the Saxon defense get into the act when Addison Beckner recovered a fumble and rumbled 40 yards for the touchdown as North extended its lead to 40-7 with 2:39 left in the game. The final part of the game had a wild finish. That’s because the Warriors’ Justin James sprinted the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a TD cutting the Saxons’ lead to 40-14. North, though, came back with its 85-yard scoring kickoff return of its own by Dylan Wil- liams for the final score.

With the third-place finish in Pioneer play, West is playing in Division IX as it opens at Laguna Blanca High in Santa Barbara for a 7 p.m. first round gameFriday at 7 p.m. If the Warriors can win, they could face top seed La Quinta High from La Quinta on Nov. 11.

Serra’s fast finish tops Chaminade

In Serra High’s first three Mission League football games, the Cavaliers may have had doubts of even making the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

It started when the Cavaliers had to forfeit their 13-7 win in their league opener on Sept. 30 at Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks due to use of an ineligible player but bounced back to de- feat La Puente Bishop Amat 27- 21 in Serra’s homecoming game on Oct. 7. A week later against a hot Sierra Canyon team from Chatsworth on Oct. 14 at Serra, the Cavaliers made several critical mistakes in their 35-21 loss that left them 4-4 overall and 1-2 in Mission play and having to win both of their final league games to ensure a playoff spot, or, at least, one of those in order to apply for an at-large spot. Serra responded well. The Cavaliers made their move by winning at Mission Hills Alemany 28-12, then a big win over host Chaminade 32-23 last Friday in West Hills.

Not only did Serra, which is 6-4 overall after going 3-2 in Mission play, make the playoffs, but the Cavaliers enter the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs as the top seed after being ranked 11th in the overall Southern Section by Maxpreps, behind the cutoff point of the top 10 who play in the prestigious Di- vision I, led by top seed and the United States’ No. 1 ranked team Santa Ana Mater Dei along with other powers in No. 2 Bellflower St. John Bosco, third ranked Co- rona Centennial and No. 4 Long Beach Poly. Poly defeated the Cavaliers 17-3 in non-league onAug. 26 at Long Beach City College’s Veterans Stadium. Serra opens at home against Norco, the third-place team from the Big Eight North League, Friday at 7 p.m. Norco is in the league with powerful Corona Centennial, which won that league and head coach Scott Altenberg knows that it will be no pushover. Last year, Norco played in Division I and the Cavaliers won Division III, enroute to the CIF-State Division IA crown. If Serra defeats Norco, it could take on Sierra Canyon, again, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 11.

Against Chaminade, which won its first eight games of the season before losing its final two and is, along with two other Mis- sion League teams (Sierra Canyon and Bishop Amat), in the Division II playoffs, Serra scored on its opening drive on a 3-yard run. Rhaney accounted for 72 yards rushing just on that one touchdown drive.

The Eagles encountered with their big running back, Jaelon Barbaria, on their first drive. On their first offensive play, Barbaria sprinted for an 84-yard TD ty- ing the game at seven.

Chaminade (8-2, 3-2) led 23-20 but the Cavaliers took the lead for good on a 60-yard scoring pass from sophomore quarterback Jimmy Butler to running backCameron Harris-Williet.

The Eagles attempted to rally back behind the passing of quarterback Jivance Tupouata- Johnson and the running of Barbarian. Chaminade drove to the Serra 17-yard line but that was where Johnson’s pass attempt was deflected by Anay Harper and intercepted by Tanu Sosa. Sosa completed the 85-yard play for a pick six to finish off the Eagles.

Chaminade still enters the playoffs as the second seed, behind the Cavaliers, as it hosts San Clemente Friday at 7 p.m. Ocean League champion Inglewood is seeded third as it starts at home against Apple Valley, a team Serra routed 31-3 for the Southern Section Division III title last season.

GHS shows good effort in loss to rival Carson

Gardena High’s football team closed out the Marine League by playing very hard but it came up short as it lost to host Carson 14-7 last Thursday at Los Angeles Harbor College.

Turnovers, though, continued to plague the Panthers, who had six of them; two of those leading to both of the Colts’ touchdowns. Their first was set up by an interception off Gardena sophomore quarterback Isaiah Kim by Kameryn Herst as he sprinted 51 yards for a pick six and Carson had a 7-0 first quarter lead.

Later in the first period, Kim was, again, intercepted and the Colts started their drive at the Panther 45-yard line. It took seven plays that ended with a 5-yard TD run by Brendan Fautua.

Gardena got things going in the second half. Kim threw passes to senior wide receiver Maurice Henderson of 57 and 21 yards and the Panthers were at the Colt one-yard line. That’s where Xavier Grant completed the drive and Gardena was within one touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, the Panthers drove deep into Carson territory but, for the fourth time in the game, Kim was intercepted by Kyren Pallau ending the drive as the Colts held on for their second league win against two losses and improved their overall record to 5-5.

Both teams are playing in the CIF-L.A. City Section Division I playoffs, which came to a surprise for Gardena, which finished the Marine at 0-4 but had an overall record of 6-4. The Panthers are seeded 11th in the 16-team bracket and travel to No. 6 Mervyn Dymally in South L.A., the Metro League champion which is 8-2 overall for a 7:30 p.m. first round game on Friday. The two teams played in non-league last year with Dymally shutting out Gardena 22- 0. They did not play each other this season.

Carson is also in Division I as the second seed as it hosts No. 15 Hamilton Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Colts defeated the Yankees in non-league earlier this season. Hamilton finished fourth in the Western League. Narbonne, which edged the host Panthers 22-21 on Sept. 30 and took fourth in league, is seeded 10th and it visits No. 7 Westchester, the third-place team from the Western League.

As expected, Marine champion San Pedro and second place Banning are in the prestigious Open Division. The Pirates (10- 0 overall and 4-0 in Marine) will host a 9-1 Eagle Rock (No. 8 seed) team that is expected to not be any pushover. The Pilots are seeded third as they are at home against No. 6 Roosevelt High from East L.A. The Roughriders have a win over Carson in their season opener on Aug. 26 at Harbor College.