Had circumstances worked out just a little different, Mike Hobbie could well have been adorned in the dreaded orange & black and hoisting the Crowley Cup over his head for the 8th consecutive season, signifying a victory for rival South Pasadena.
But San Marino got to the former Division I offensive coordinator first and the rest, as the tired old adage goes, is history. Celebrating Homecoming and playing for the Crowley Cup and Varsity Perpetual Trophy, the Titans scored early and often, blazing past over matched South Pasadena by a final score of 50-0 last Friday evening on front of a raucous crowd at Titan Stadium.
Hobbie improved his personal record to 8-0 over the rivals and San Marino has now put a little distance between themselves and South Pasadena, taking a 33-28 advantage over the Tigers. Three of the games have ended in a tie.
“It’s always nice to get a win over your rival and to win your Homecoming game,” said Hobbie, who was uncharacteristically animated after the game. During an all-team photo in front of the Crowley Cup and Varsity Perpetual Trophy, Hobbie held up eight fingers, symbolizing his eight wins over the Tigers. In fact, South Pasadena had possession of the two landmarks until; Hobbie came to town. They haven’t seen either since their last win over the Titans, a 42-20 decision in 2010.
Fittingly, it was Hobbie’s grandson who did the majority of the damage, returning from a hamstring injury that kept him side lined the past two weeks. Senior Beau Hobbie carried 28 times for 271 yards and five touchdowns and it could have been much worse if San Marino’s big lead hadn’t ignited a running clock for the fourth quarter.
Playing for injured senior Kade Wentz, junior Connor Short completed 4 of 6 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns, which were hauled in by Jake Left wich and Jackson Wendling. Left wich finished the night with 77 receiving and rushing yards and Sean Richardson caught passes for 40 yards. Short added 40 rushing yards to the offensive effort and kicker Jordan Evans made six of his seven extra points. The Titans picked up a safety for the additional two points.
Junior defensive tackle Kourosh Hassibi played another exceptional game, sacking South Pasadena quarterback Jaden Gallego twice and forcing a Gallego fumble in the end zone that was recovered by the Tigers, while giving two points to the Titans.
Hobbie also praised the offensive line of Tommy Long, Joey Brunner, Carson Giles, Nigel Landon and Alex Uriarte for a solid effort.
Middle linebacker Chris Wicke paced San Marino’s defensive effort with eight tackles, receiving assistance from Seth Matzumoto, Keaton Heimerl and Neven Yarahmadi, who bagged four Tigers a piece. Ethan Lainez played another energetic game at defensive tackle and recovered two fumbles for the Titans, who improved to 5-1-1 overall and 1-0 in Rio Hondo League play.
“I was most impressed by how our wide receivers blocked on the perimeter,” said Hobbie. “That was one of the better jobs we have done ally ear. Our offensive line also did a good job of blocking inside. I also credit our offense, which adjusted to an offense that we hadn’t seen South Pasadena run before. Connor did another good job of executing the offense and Beau played a good game. It was good to see him back out there. Having Beau makes a big difference in our running game.”
San Marino travels to La Cañada on Friday, October 5 to take on the Spartans, who have stumbled to a 105 record this season. Because of its odd number of teams, the Spartans have yet to play a Rio Hondo League game.
Hobbie doesn’t know what to expect when the opening kick off goes sailing through the La Cañada sky at7:00p.m.
“It’s tough to get a read from their video,” Hobbie said. “They have as good running back [Joe Travis] who is very capable. He runs hard and has a lot of speed. Their defensive line is another strong suit. We just need to execute what we do and not make mistakes.”
The Titans will have another by week on October 12 and return to action at Temple City on Friday, October 19. All the marbles might be on the line when San Marino wraps up the regular season with an October 26 to Monrovia. Hopefully Wentz and top wide receiver Wheeler Smith have returned to action for the season finale against the ‘Cats.