Big Plays Lead to Maranatha’s Football Team’s First Loss of the Season
By: Matthew Leiva
Maranatha faced off against Pasadena High School in a low scoring game that featured a handful of big plays. Maranatha was coming off of a spectacular win against Glendale High School that featured the team scoring 42 points, shutting out their opponent, and giving first year head coach LaVar Arrington his first win at Maranatha. Pasadena, however, struggled in their last game against San Marino losing 42 to 7. This game originally scheduled to be played at Pasadena High School was moved to Maranatha, which gave the Minutemen some home field advantage.
Maranatha got off to a quick start as junior Jacob Moreno picked off Pasadena senior quarterback Andreas Solling with seven minutes to go in the first quarter. However, the Minutemen were hit with a 15-yard penalty during the celebration, which cost them as they were not able to move the ball. After the Minutemen punted the ball both team had some big plays, but neither team could score as both teams played good defense. Maranatha constantly had seniors Luis Saenz, Sabien Rivera and Ethan Zhou along with juniors Zach Hall, Vic Hoffman and Jacob Moreno putting pressure on the quarterback. Along with Jacob Moreno’s interception junior Bryce Vanneman intercepted Pasadena’s quarterback later in the game. At the end of the first quarter neither team had scored.
In the second quarter the Minutemen were able to take advantage of the good field position it was awarded after Pasadena went for it on fourth and eight. The Minutemen went down the field as quarterback Enrique Garza finished the drive by hitting his open receiver Jack Goodman on a post route for a 24-yard touchdown pass. The Minutemen took an early 6-0 advantage, after the missed point after attempt, with 6:40 remaining in the second quarter. The momentum did not last long. On the ensuing kickoff, freshman Mehki Fox broke off a 62-yard return that put life into the Bulldogs’ sidelines. After the defense made it very difficult for Pasadena to score they eventually did, but the Minutemen blocked the extra point. With less than 2 minutes left in the second quarter the Minutemen marched down the field and with six seconds left chose to go for the end zone instead of kicking a field goal. The Minutemen didn’t score and they went into halftime tied 6 to 6.
In the third quarter the Minutemen scored a touchdown when quarterback Enrique Garza scrambled and ran into the end zone. The Minutemen attempted a fake extra point, but they fell short. Later in the quarter Pasadena’s quarterback Andreas Solling threw a pass to one of his receivers who ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Pasadena scored on their two point conversion, which gave them a 14 to 12 lead.
In the fourth quarter neither team moved the ball effectively. However, with less than two minutes left the Minutemen started to drive down the field. Enrique Garza threw a couple of passes to Zack McClendon who was able to make a couple of defenders miss, which allowed them to gain more yardage. Unfortunately, the Minutemen were unable to convert a fourth down with 1:02 remaining in the game. Pasadena brought the pressure like they had done all night, but the offensive line gave Enrique Garza the protection he needed to find a receiver. Unfortunately the pass was under thrown and intercepted by senior defensive back Caleb Brunson. Pasadena ran out the clock and won the game 14 to 12.
After the game when asked what went wrong during the game LaVar Arrington told the Pasadena Star News that there were, “Too many penalties. Too many big plays. We tackled poorly and we executed poorly. When you put all those things into a recipe for a game, that’s not a recipe that is going to yield much success”. The Minutemen will look to get back on track when they travel to Azusa High School tonight at 7pm.