TORRANS In the first half of Friday’s Pioneer League meeting against the South, West Torrance only managed to get three first downs on offense.
No matter what they said during the break, the Warriors worked in the second half (3-4, 2-0).
Western defense fired southern quarterback Matthew Espinoza five times and held off the attack until just four of the first falls. Meanwhile, West’s offense began snapping, rushing 202 yards and making four touchdowns in Friday’s 28-7 win.
Senior Cameron Juarez was leading with 110 of his 142 yards after halftime, scoring two touchdowns, while senior Noah Meyer converted five fourths down and scored two touchdowns.
“In the dressing room, the coach told us that he knew we were a better team, we were just nervous and a little cocky after our big win last week,” Meyer said. “We sort of ended up at half-time and started playing in the second half. Our defense really blocked them in the second half. ”
South (5-2, 1-1) put together a good first drive to kick off the game using a mix of runs and passes, ultimately completing the jump on Espinoza’s 25-yard pass to touch Caleb Kerekes and taking him 7-0 ahead. …
From that point on, both teams struggled to get anywhere in the first half, until South gathered a drive that took them West 4 with less than three minutes to play in the first half. However, after the false start of the Spartans, the fourth and one game turned into the fourth and sixth. After the penalty kick, Espinoza tried to find Kerekes at the back of the end zone, but interrupted him with a powerful dash from the west.
In the first leg of the second half, West looked like a completely different team that quickly went 55 yards in three games, Juarez scored and tied the score 7-7.
West forced south at the end of the third quarter, and five rallies later, after converting two quarters of the Meyer’s runs to get inside the 15-yard line, the elder bulldozed into the end zone in the first game of the fourth quarter to put West to 14- 7.
Things continued to go badly for South as Espinoza was sacked two more times in the Spartans’ next race, leading to another two-yard touchdown for Meyer after he converted two more fourths down. Meyer’s second touchdown boosted the Warriors to 14 from 3:52 before the game, and moments later Juarez added a 10-yard touchdown exclamation mark to freeze the victory.
“We just closed after the break and I started to really pick up momentum,” Juarez said. “Our defense was amazing. This is good, especially considering that this is my last year. But we must continue. “
Southern coach Matt Mischler was disappointed with his team’s efforts to lose.
“They just wanted more. They played harder than us in the second half, ”Mishler said. “You have to give them their due. They came and played four quarters with inspiration, and we didn’t. We are a young team, we have a young defender, but no excuses. We just played better the rest of the way. ”