Heading into the delayed and shortened 2020-21 soccer season, the lingering query surrounding Chatsworth Sierra Canyon was how the Trailblazers would soak up the lack of 4 All-CIF gamers off final 12 months’s Division 1-AA state finalist.
The primary two video games — a 42-21 setback to reigning CIF Open Division state bowl champion Bellflower St. John Bosco and a 56-0 shutout of Playa del Rey St. Bernard — offered no definitive reply. Nevertheless, Friday evening’s 42-0 trouncing of powerhouse Westlake Village Oaks Christian was proof that the Trailblazers can line up reverse the elites within the Southern Part’s prime division.
Avenging a 21-14 nonleague defeat in 2019 — its solely regular-season blemish one 12 months in the past — Sierra Canyon was spectacular in all three phases in constructing a 21-0 halftime lead. By intermission Jason Jones had rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns, Virginia Tech signee DJ Harvey had a 48-yard landing catch, a sack and an interception, whereas kicker Josh Bryan, a Notre Dame commit, had 4 touchbacks and was three for 3 on further factors. Jones closed the scoring with a 62-yard scoring reception late within the third quarter.
Generally groups bond extra after a disappointing loss than a rousing win and that was the case for Sierra Canyon after its opener.
“We competed with the most effective group within the nation for a half,” Harvey mentioned of the St. John Bosco sport. “We have been being unfavorable and getting down on one another a little bit bit however the St. Bernard sport was a studying lesson. That turned us round.”
Oaks Christian (2-1) figured to have the benefit at quarterback with returner Cole Tannenbaum, however he accomplished solely six of his 13 move makes an attempt within the first half and had two passes intercepted.
Sierra Canyon newcomer Daniel Duran, in the meantime, accomplished 9 of 16 throws for greater than 150 yards within the first half and threw a 52-yard scoring strike to Harvey on the third play of the third quarter. He had amassed greater than 300 yards within the air by three quarters.
Regardless of returning 9 starters on either side of the ball, 14-year head coach Jon Ellinghouse needed to exchange graduated linebacker JD Hernandez and working again/cornerback Brendon Gamble, and cope with the lack of quarterback Chayden Peery (an early enrollee to Georgia Tech) and working again JD Sumlin, who transferred to Mission Hills Bishop Alemany.
“I used to be tremendous impressed with Daniel [Duran] and have been ever since he obtained right here,” Ellinghouse mentioned. “He’s obtained an excellent arm and he’s an excellent expertise. After the primary week, we felt we may’ve performed [Bosco] even more durable however I used to be actually happy with all the children tonight. We dominated each side of the sport.”
Ellinghouse was anticipating a aggressive sport and frightened concerning the Lions’ gifted tailback tandem of junior Derek Boyd, who already has presents from Boise State and Oregon State, and senior Semaj Freeman (Nevada and New Mexico). The 2 mixed for 13 speeding touchdowns final 12 months however have been held below 100 mixed yards Friday.
“DJ [Harvey] likes to compete and he’s what this program is all about,” Ellinghouse mentioned. “He did all of it. He’s like a son to me.”
Sierra Canyon bolstered its lineup with seven key transfers, together with 4 from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame: working again Anthony Spearman, who scored on a 10-yard run within the third quarter Friday; receiver/defensive again Elias Larry; his youthful brother Ezekiel Larry, a linebacker/defensive finish; and tight finish Henry Deakins.
Junior Amari Powell, who transferred from Sierra Canyon to Oaks Christian, changed Tannenbaum within the third quarter and drove the Lions contained in the Sierra Canyon 10-yard line, however on fourth down Powell’s former group tackled Carson Schwesinger on the seven-yard line on a pretend discipline purpose.
“I feel we’ve proven up to now this season that we will compete with any group on the market,” Ellinghouse mentioned.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Instances.