La Serna captures Del Rio League title
By Eric Terrazas
WHITTIER – La Serna High School, which captured its second consecutive Del Rio League crown by defeating El Rancho 43-8 on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, will open its postseason run Friday, Nov. 15 against Burbank’s Burroughs High in a CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division first-round game.
The Lancers (8-2 overall, 5-0 league), who advanced to the divisional championship game the last two seasons, enter the playoffs as the No. 3 seed. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at California High.
In their victory over El Rancho (6-4, 4-1), the Lancers jumped out quickly to a 6-0 lead when sophomore running back Anthony Garcia scored on a 9-yard run during La Serna’s opening drive.
La Serna then seized control by scoring 30 points in the second quarter. Junior running back Kevin Ramos extended the Lancers’ lead by delivering a 7-yard scoring run. Senior quarterback Frankie Palmer’s successful two-point conversion pass to Garcia put the Lancers ahead 14-0.
The Lancers then scored touchdowns on their next two possessions, with the first coming on Garcia’s 7-yard run. After senior defensive back Tony Ceron intercepted El Rancho quarterback Ryan Araujo’s pass, the Lancers took possession at their 46-yard line. Two plays later, Ramos scored on a 54-yard scamper. Junior quarterback Enrique Pacheco’s successful two-point conversion run gave La Serna a 29-0 lead with four minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Palmer’s 6-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver D’Andre Sanchez closed the first half’s scoring.
Garcia finished with 85 yards and three touchdowns rushing – with the third coming on a 15-yard run which gave La Serna a 43-0 advantage.
Ramos added 103 yards and two scores on seven carries.
The Dons, who finished in second place in the league standings, will visit Dominguez (7-3) in a CIF-SS Southeast Division first-round game slated for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. Dominguez took second place in the San Gabriel Valley League.
In other Del Rio League action during the final week of the regular season:
SANTA FE 28, CALIFORNIA 14
Santa Fe (6-4, 3-2) secured a CIF-SS Southeast Division playoff berth and the league’s third-place spot with a victory over the Condors (4-6, 2-3) on Friday, Nov. 8.
The Chiefs begin their postseason journey at Diamond Ranch (9-1), the champions of the Hacienda League. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.
California finished as the Del Rio’s fourth-place team.
WHITTIER 48, PIONEER 28
The Cardinals (4-6, 1-4) concluded their regular season on a high note.
It marked the sixth consecutive defeat for the Titans (3-7, 0-5).
SERRA 56, ST. PAUL 10
A difficult season ended for the Swordsmen (1-9, 1-4), which emerged with a fifth-place league finish.
Serra (10-0, 5-0), with the Nov. 8 triumph, captured the Mission League crown.
WHITTIER CHRISTIAN 60, CERRITOS 44
The victorious Heralds (6-4), who finished Olympic League play last week with a 2-2 mark, wrapped up their 2013 season with a Nov. 8 victory over Cerritos (2-8).
Heralds senior quarterback Ryan Esslinger accounted for five touchdowns, throwing for three and running for two. Esslinger, who completed 20 of 24 attempts for 273 yards, ran for 83 yards on nine carries.