SPORTS BRIEFS: Downey finds itself in CIF championship game

DOWNEY – The Downey High School football team defeated Salesian, 35-14, last Friday night at Downey to advance to the C.I.F. Southeast Division championship game. Downey (10-3) will return to the title game for the second time in the last three seasons. Downey defeated La Serna, 33-25, in 2012 to capture the title. They were defeated by Diamond Bar, 63-29, last year in the first round of the C.I.F. playoffs and look to win their second title in three years tonight.

Downey will be playing Crescenta Valley (13-0) tonight at Glendale High School. The Falcons defeated last year’s (2013) C.I.F. Southeast Division champion La Serna last week, 41-36, in a game that went down to the last minute. Crescenta Valley scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute to get the win and keep their perfect season intact.

In the Salesian game, Downey led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Downey scored another touchdown early in the second quarter and took a 21-0 lead. Salesian scored their first touchdown of the game with 2:08 left in the second quarter to cut the Viking lead to 21-7. The score at halftime was 21-7 Downey.

Downey and Salesian exchanged the ball and field position during the third quarter as neither team scored. The score remained 21-7 Downey through the third quarter of play. Downey’s Justin Huff scored on the first play of the fourth quarter and extended the Viking lead to 28-7. Salesian scored their second touchdown of the game a short time later and cut Downey’s lead to 28-14. However, Downey’s Josh Flores scored the fifth and final Viking touchdown with 1:40 left to seal the win.

Downey quarterback Trevor Hill completed 8/9 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown before he left the game in the second quarter with a right arm injury. Backup quarterback Rafeeq Rahim II finished 3/6 passing for 72 yards.

The Viking ground game amassed 415 yards on 34 carries and accounted for four touchdowns. Downey averaged more than 12 yards per carry in their winning effort. Daevon Vigilant and Justin Huff provided the one two punch that has carried the Vikings this season and in the playoffs.

Downey totaled 586 total yards against Salesian. Surprisingly, the 586 total yards gained is only the fourth highest total this season. Downey gained 627 against Mira Costa, 596 against California and 589 against Mayfair.

•••

The Warren High School boys’ cross country team took fifth place last Saturday at the C.I.F. state cross country meet at Woodward Park in Fresno. The Bears placed fifth two weeks ago at C.I.F. Finals, held at Mt. SAC , to qualify for the state meet.

The Bears had been battling illness and injuries the latter part of their season and finally returned to form for C.I.F. Finals and the state meet. Last year Warren won C.I.F. Division 1 and placed fourth at the state meet.

At this year’s state meet, Great Oak of Temecula won the state title with a score of 101. Dana Hills finished second with 107 points, Madera South finished third with 109 points, Burbank Burroughs finished fourth, also with 109 points, and Warren finished fifth with 174 points. Bellarmine finished sixth with 187 points, Loyola finished seventh with 194 points and M.L. King finished eighth with 237 points to round out the top eight team finishers.

Warren had several strong efforts. Senior Jonathan Rodriguez finished 19th overall in a time of 15:46, senior Andres Barragan finished 20th overall in a time of 15:46 (same time), senior Benjamin Gonzalez finished 21st overall in a time of 15:47. Junior Matthew Sanchez finished 51st overall in a time of 16:20, junior Bryan Pluma finished 63rd overall in a time of 16:27, junior Sergio Santana finished 86th overall in a time of 16:40 and sophomore Alex Garber finished 124th overall in a time 17:20.

Warren finished in a team time of 1:20:06 and an average runner time of 16:02.

Warren will be strong again next year when this year’s sophomores and juniors step up to compete for spots vacated by this year’s graduating seniors.

•••

The Downey High School wrestling program will be starting their 2014-15 season tomorrow at Downey. The Downey Duals will feature ten varsity teams in two pools of five split according to team rankings. The two teams with 4-0 records in their respective brackets will compete for the tournament title. Wrestling will start at 9:00 a.m. in the Downey Gym.

There will be several excellent wrestling programs participating at the Downey Duals. Selma High School, just south of Fresno, will be competing. Selma has state placers each year and placed 13th at last year’s state meet. Sultana High School will also be competing. Sultana also has state placers each year and tied Selma for 13th place last year at the state meet. Sultana won their C.I.F. Eastern Division Individuals last season. Other C.I.F. ranked teams competing tomorrow include Schurr of Montebello and Walnut.

The Vikings are the 2014 S.G.V.L. champions and are also C.I.F. Division 4 dual meet finalists. Downey lost to Bloomington 49-15 in the final at Quartz Hill. Last season, Downey also had eight individual league champions, three wrestlers who finished second and three more who finished third at league finals.

Mark Lopez (106) and Dylan Moreno (152) placed third and fourth at the Master’s Meet last season, respectively, and look to qualify for the state meet this season.

Coach Soto, his staff and wrestlers are looking forward to the start of the season and defending their S.G.V.L. title. Paramount and cross-town rival Warren will look to stop a Viking repeat.

•••

The 2014 fall sports schedule has come to a close at Warren High School and winter sports are in preparation for the start of their respective schedules.

Warren won San Gabriel Valley League titles in several sports and were competitive in the sports they didn’t win titles in. Warren took home league championships in three of the seven fall sports offered in San Gabriel Valley League play.

The Warren boys’ cross country team advanced through C.I.F. Prelims, placed fifth at C.I.F. and then placed fifth at state. The Bears placed fourth at state last year. This marks the second top five finish in a row.

The Warren girls’ cross country team are the 2014 S.G.V.L. champions. The Lady Bears finished first through seventh in all three cluster meets and advanced through C.I.F. prelims before having their season end with a ninth place finish at C.I.F. The top seven qualified for the state meet.

The Warren girls’ tennis team were the 2014 S.G.V.L. champions. The Bears finished with an overall record of 18-2 and advanced to the second round of C.I.F. Division 3 competition before being eliminated by Cerritos.

The Bears will now turn their attention to boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, girls’ water polo and wrestling. The Bears are aiming to win more league titles and add to their fall total.

 

**********

Published: Dec. 4, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 34