South Pasadena Finishes in three-way Tie for Second Place in Football
South Pasadena High lost out on an opportunity to win the Rio Hondo League outright for the first time since 1977, but instead wound up in a three-way tie for second after dropping a 46-16 contest to visiting Monrovia Friday night.
Coupled with La Cañada’s 28-13 win over San Marino, the Tigers finished as the runner-up to unbeaten Monrovia (5-0) along with the Spartans and Titans.
The three teams representing the league in next week’s CIF-Southern Section playoffs will be Monrovia, San Marino and South Pasadena, which all play in different CIF divisions.
The Rio Hondo League is guaranteed three slots in the postseason. If all three were in the same division, Monrovia would finish first, San Marino second and South Pas third. But since all three are in different divisions, there’s no need to break a second or third place tie.
The Tigers will be representing the Rio Hondo League as a second place team in division 10. San Marino is representing the league as a second place team in Division 8 and Monrovia is representing the league as a first place team in Division 7.
“La Cañada, even though it finished 3-2 gets left out of the playoffs because the first tiebreaker is points allowed in the first half against common opponents,” explained South Pasadena High Athletic Director Greg Luna.
South Pasadena shut out the Spartans 31-0 in the first half when the two teams met in La Canada last month.
Outside of a 25-yard field goal by Justin Huff with 9:15 left in the second quarter, a 40-yard scoring pass from quarterback Adam Arellano to Jalen Ross early in the third period, and another 40-yard touchdown pass from back-up quarterback Sydney Luna Long to Ross in the closing minute of the game, all the scoring belonged to the Wildcats Friday night.
Monrovia wasted little time in getting on the board, going 75-yards in 10 plays as Wildcat quarterback Richie Schroeder punched it over from 1-yard out to put his team out in front 6-0 with 9:30 left in the first period.
The Tigers put together their best drive of the night, taking the ball down to the Wildcats’ 18-yardline, only to lose the ball on a fumble. Monrovia quickly went to work, picking up big yardage on the ground before Schroeder connected with Elijah Hall on a 36-yard scoring pass to make it 13-0 after the PAT.
The Tigers had good field position again, this time in the second quarter after a short Monrovia punt. Taking the ball at the Wildcat 33, South Pas drove it down inside the red zone where Huff made the field goal at the 9:15.
Two minutes later the Wildcats were back in the end zone as Alfonso Castillo found an opening from the Tigers’ 5, giving Monrovia a 20-3 advantage.
The Tigers drove the ball to the Monrovia 33 following the kickoff but were forced to turn the ball over on down. A 27-yard pass to Todd Smith, and two more to Castillo for a total of 37 more and put the ball on the Tigers’ 28. Castillo took it in from there after catching a short Schroeder pass and finding the end zone with 3:23 left in the second period.
The Wildcats forced the Tigers to punt and were back in the end zone when Elijah Hall broke loose for 67-yards down the left side, putting Monrovia comfortably out in front 32-3 with 52 second before halftime.
Following an interception, the Wildcats were quickly on the attack, Schroeder hooking up with Hall for a 40-yard touchdown, putting Monrovia on top 39-3 as the second quarter clock ran out.
South Pasadena quarterback Adam Arellano found Ross for early in the third quarter on a 40-yard touchdown pass making it 39-10. But it wasn’t long before Schroeder connected with Todd Smith on a 13-yard pass for the Wildcats’ final points of the game. The Tigers didn’t score again until Ross caught Sydney-Long’s long pass in the final minute.