Photo Credit: Olu Athletics
After a tough loss In Arizona, the Lancers host their homecoming matchup against an equally rated Sierra Canyon High School. It was a top ten matchup in the state of California, with both looking to solidify themselves on top of the highly competitive state. The Trailblazers ranked #4, and Orange Lutheran ranked #6 in the state; MaxPreps labeled the game as one of their games of the week.
Coming into the game, the Lancers were already dealing with injuries, with starting quarterback TJ Lateef and Senior runningback Brayden Henson both out for the game, putting a strain on the offensive game plan. Sophomore quarterback Alex Medyn earns his first start in a must-win for the Lancers. The Offense came out firing, with Medyn completing a big pass to Freshman receiver Nico Bland for 27 yards. However, OLu couldn’t capitalize on it, punting the ball to Sierra Canyon. Junior defensive lineman David Tonumaipea records his first sack of the season, but the Trailblazers fire right back, getting the first down. Quickly after, the Trailblazers running back breaks a long run, putting them into the red zone, where they are able to finish off the drive with the first score of the game, but a blocked kick by senior defensive back Nico Marchello holds them to six points. An interception thrown by Medyn and multiple punts brought an end to the first quarter.
As the punts continue between the two teams, the Orange Lutheran offense gets the ball at midfield and starts their drive off in a great position. They quickly take advantage of the field, with a long run from junior running back Steve Chavez putting Orange Lutheran on the 5-yard line. The Lancers quickly turn that run into a score, with Chavez finishing the drive off with a 5-yard rushing touchdown, but a blocked kick holds the Lancers to six points, tying the game. The Trailblazers return the kick and start a drive of their own, with a 31-yard run putting them on OLu’s side of the field, and soon after, launch a 33-yard touchdown pass, bringing the score to 13-6. The Lancers get the ball back on the 20 in their territory, but an injury to quarterback Alex Medyn puts a halt to any plans the Lancers had, with the drive quickly leading to a punt. With the punts continuing for the rest of the quarter, Sierra Canyon is able to get an excellent return, getting the ball in opposing territory with time winding down. Seizing the opportunity, the Trailblazers are able to get another score as the second quarter nears an end, extending their lead. With the Lancer offense unable to produce anything before time expires, they exit the half down 20-6
Coming out of the half, the Trailblazer offense starts the half with a solid drive, capped off by a 15-yard rushing touchdown, extending their lead to 27-6. The Lancer Offense attempted to fabricate a drive of their own but could not make out anything, giving the Trailblazer the ball back after a turnover on downs. Sierra Canyon, unable to do anything this time, punts the ball back to the Lancers, but after some attempts to further their drive, the Lancers punt the ball right back to the Trailblazers, ending the third quarter.
A big sack by junior linebacker Armando Figueroa fired up the Lancers at the start of the fourth quarter and forced yet another punt. Still, after gaining some momentum, the Lancers failed attempt on fourth down gave the ball directly back to the Trailblazer. Sierra Canyon fired up from their defensive stand, drove down the field, and continued to build on their lead, raising it to 34-6. With the Lancers getting the ball pack, a ball was picked off by Sierra Canyon and returned for a touchdown, extending their lead to 40-6. The Lancers got the ball right back and started to drive down the field, but the clock ran out before they could get anything, with the game ending 40-6, with the Trailblazers coming out on top.
At the midseason point, the Lancers are ranked 51 in the nation, with league play right around the corner. Junior quarterback TJ Lateef leads the team with 590 yards and five touchdowns to three interceptions, with one touchdown on the ground. Running back Steve Chavez has 444 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, with 63 yards in the receiving game. Junior receiver Tyler Hennessy leads the team with 28 receptions and 345 receiving yards, with one receiving touchdown. Junior defensive lineman Kellan Tagoa’i leads the team with 44 tackles, while also having 12 TFLs and two sacks on the year. Sophomore Talanoa Ili leads the team with three sacks, and Junior Auma Jenning leads the team with 13 TFLs, while also boasting 36 tackles to the season. Senior Wes Barksdale leads the team with his lone interception, as it’s the only interception of the year for the defensive unit. The Lancers travel to JSerra this upcoming Friday to open league play, coming off the bye week, hoping to make a statement win against a strong league opponent.