HomeSportsTitans ‘Takeover’ Control Of Own Playoff Destiny

Titans ‘Takeover’ Control Of Own Playoff Destiny

Junior Andy Sutherland sprints downfield on his way to another big gain. Sutherland made plays catching and running the ball for the Titans, who defeated La Cañada 42-7 Friday night.

Each year, someone at San Marino High School’s ASB concocts a catchy phrase to slap on t-shirts and paint on signs in the buildup to Homecoming, and the 2019 version couldn’t have been more prophetic.

“Titan Takeover,” declared just about everything within a ½- mile radius of the campus last week, culminating in a one-sided 42-7 conquering of La Cañada on Friday night in front of the largest, most-engaged crowd of the season. With the win, San Marino improved to 3-6 overall and 2-1 in the Rio Hondo League but—perhaps most importantly—the Titans now have the possible key to second place and an automatic playoff bid in their own hands.

Senior linebacker Seth Matzumoto outperformed his own high standards, receiving credit for 14 tackles during the contest. But Matzumoto’s most important contribution may have taken place on te opening possession, when he intercepted La Cañada quarterback Brandon Reece on the Spartans’ second play from scrimmage.

Three plays later, Totan quarterback Connor Short connected with junior wide receiver and future QB-hopeful Andy Sutherland on a 14-yard scoring play to give the Titans a 7-0 lead.

San Marino’s defense held again, and the offense embarked on an eight-play drive that culminated in a 13-yard touchdown run by junior tailback Nick Singhal to give the Titans a 14-0 advantage.

A muffed punt snap by La Cañada set the table for the Titans again and Matthew Karapetyan cashed in from the six to extend the lead to 21-0 as the first quarter drew to a close.

The Spartans cut the advantage to 21-7 but that only seemed to make the Titan defense mad. Singhal scored two more touchdowns, Short cashed in on an eight-yard run and kicker Jordan Evans was six-for-six on his extra points as the Titans offensive and defensive fireworks matched those soaring over Titan Stadium as halftime. With San Marino building a 35-point lead, the entire fourth quarter was played under a running clock in a nod to retired Coach Mike Hobbie, who loved the rule.

Singhal ended the night with 98 rushing yards on 13 carries and the three scores. Karapetyan carried 10 times for 63 yards, Short rushed six times for 69 yards and Sutherland even got into the fun, carrying twice for 19 yards.

Short was seven of 11 for 83 yards, four of which ended up in the sure hands of junior Trond Grizzell, who tallied 34 receiving yards. Sutherland caught two for 26 yards, Karapetyan snagged two for ten yards and Michael Prappas picked up 12 yards on his only catch of the night.

Senior defensive linemen Kourosh Hassibi and Seth Canul, both seniors, thoroughly disabled La Cañada’s ground attack, picking up seven and eight tackles, respectively.

Junior Nathan Fajardo made yet another noteworthy contribution, intercepting a pass, recovering a fumble and making three tackles. Senior defensive back Chris Leung played his finest game of the campaign, making three tackles and negating receivers he was assigned. Junior Jackson Herren forced a fumble and made two stops.

The Titans enjoy a bye week that accompanied the spot once occupied by Blair, eith the Titans returning to action on Friday, November 1 when Temple City comes calling in the final regular season contest of the year. Kickoff at Titan Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m. and after a 1-6 start—thanks to one of the toughest schedules in school history—San Marino can clinch a playoff spot and second place finish in the Rio Hondo League with a win over the Rams.

Junior Matthew Karapetyan augmented the Titans’ offense with tough runs. San Marino has a bye this week, but hosts Temple City on Friday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. Daryl Chan Photos

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