Bears edged by Don Lugo in season-opening thriller

 Warren High quarterback Chris Venegas threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns against Don Lugo last week. Photo courtesy Chris Venegas Sr.

Warren High quarterback Chris Venegas threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns against Don Lugo last week. Photo courtesy Chris Venegas Sr.

DOWNEY -- The Warren High School football team was defeated by Don Lugo last Friday night 37-36 at Warren. 

Warren will travel to Kaiser of Fontana on Friday night to play the Cats. The Bears tied Kaiser at Warren 15-15 last season.

The tie to Kaiser last season was the only tie for either school. Kaiser finished last season with an overall record of 3-7-1 and were 3-2 in Sunkist League play. The Cats were defeated by Yorba Linda 45-12 in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 8 playoffs.

In the Warren/Don Lugo game, the Conquistadores jumped out to an early lead on the Bears and led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Bears answered back in the second quarter and took an 8-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

Warren exploded in the third quarter and outscored Don Lugo 21-8. The Bears led 29-15 at the end of the third quarter. The Conquistadores outscored the Bears 22-7 in the fourth quarter, including a late touchdown, and held on for the 37-36 win.

Bear quarterback Chris Venegas completed 18/32 pass attempts for 296 yards and had four touchdown passes. Venegas also ran the ball 10 times for 62 yards. Warren running back Nikko Fierro-Tuala carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards and had one touchdown. Bear receiver Robbie Colenzo had seven catches for 154 yards and Desmond Carnes had four catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bear defense was led by Diego Garcia’s five solo and five assisted tackles and Cam’ron Chatman’s six solo and three assisted tackles.

Coach Lara, his staff and players are all looking forward to the Kaiser game tonight and getting their first win. Kaiser lost to Glendora 42-20 last week in their season opener.  


■ The Downey High School football team was defeated by Santa Margarita last Friday night 56-0 at Downey. The Vikings fell to 0-1 on the young season and are still in search of their first win. 

Downey will travel to the College of the Canyons in Newhall on Friday to play Hart. The Vikings were defeated by Hart at Downey last season 30-20. The loss to Hart last season was the only regular season loss the Vikings had before their playoff loss to Charter Oak.

In the Downey/Santa Margarita game, Santa Margarita jumped out to an early lead on the Vikings and never looked back. The Eagles led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and took a 35-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

Santa Margarita picked up where they left off in the third quarter and led 49-0 at the quarter came to a close. The Eagles added a fourth quarter touchdown and came away with the 56-0 win.

Coach Williams knew this would be a challenging game based on how well Santa Margarita finished last season and the fact that so many underclassmen were coming back.

Viking quarterback Kijjon Foots completed 11/20 pass attempts for 130 yards and had one interception. Foots also ran the ball eight times for 60 yards. Downey running back Baraq Ross carried the ball 13 times for 43 yards. 

Three Downey receivers caught nine of Foots 11 completions. Christopher Atkins caught three passes for 47 yards, Nicholas Whitney caught three passes for 29 yards and Noah Skobis caught three passes for 13 yards.

Coach Williams, his staff and players are all looking forward to the Hart game tonight and getting their first win. This will be the season opener for the Hart Indians.  


■The St. John Bosco football team traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida last week to play the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders and were defeated in overtime, 9-3. 

The game was a defensive contest that saw both defenses contain opposing offenses. It was a game of field position as each team converted on a field goal as regulation play came to an end.

In the Bosco/Aquinas game, the Raiders kicked a field goal in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead. St. Thomas Aquinas led 3-0 after the first quarter of play. The two teams exchanged the ball and field position during the second quarter with neither team scoring. The score remained 3-0 St. Thomas Aquinas going into the locker rooms at halftime.

The Braves scored their three points in the third quarter and evened the score at 3. The score at the end of the third quarter was 3-3. Little changed in the fourth quarter and regulation play ended in a 3-3 tie. The two teams were set to decide the outcome in overtime. 

Simply put, the Raiders were able to score a touchdown in overtime and the Braves were not. A defensive stand at the end sealed the win for St. Thomas Aquinas and gave the Raiders the hard fought win.

Coach Negro, his staff and players were certainly disappointed with the outcome of the game. The Braves will now turn their attention to Garces Memorial of Bakersfield. This game will be played at Mission Viejo High School tonight. Garces Memorial enters tonight’s game 0-1 after being defeated by Bakersfield Christian 23-14 last week.

 Photo courtesy Dani Moreno

Photo courtesy Dani Moreno

■ Former Warren High School cross country and track and field standout Dani Moreno has returned from Premana, Italy where she competed for team U.S.A. in the World Trail Running Championships. 

Moreno helped lead the United States to a second place finish behind host country, Italy.

I had the opportunity to chat with Dani this week and ask her some questions about her experience in Italy. Dani said she left on the Tuesday before her Saturday race on August 6. Her flight stopped in New York and then continued on to Milan, a total of 15 hours.  

Dani didn’t know what to expect once she arrived. She said it was “surreal.” Moreno also commented on what it meant for her to wear the Team U.S.A. uniform. She also mentioned how unique the feeling was for her to see national uniforms as opposed to high school or college uniforms.

When asked about what she remembers most, Moreno mentioned the experience that she gained, particularly running against the most elite runners in the world from 10 different nations. She described Italy as “majestic” and absorbed everything she could. Moreno was frustrated during her run due to an ankle sprain she sustained early on. She battled through that pain and was the fourth American woman to finish.

Dani will next be competing in the U.S.A. Trail Half Marathon in Hayward, Wisconsin on September 30. She is excited for the opportunity to continue doing something that she loves. Moreno concluded by saying that she would love to see more women participating in and competing in long distance trail running.