MONTEBELLO - The Schurr High football team got run over in its season and home opener against Cantwell Sacred Heart.
Photo by Kristen Olafson
The Spartan defense was no match for Cardinal running back Jonathan Mesa, who ran for 298 yards on 28 carries and scored five rushing touchdowns as Schurr fell at home, 49-28, Friday night.
Mesa scored on runs of 14, 1, 5, 62 and 60 yards to put a dent in Schurr's morale, as the Spartans were ranked fourth in the Mid Valley Division, according to the CIF Southern Section polls.
Mesa said there was a simple formula to his success against the Spartans (0-1).
"My line was great," he said. "Open spaces and my line - that's it."
Longtime Schurr coach Ben Negrete took the loss in stride, knowing it was just one game - and the first game of the season at that. But he did say the team needs to improve in several areas if it is to be competitive this season after winning seven straight Almont League titles.
"We didn't play well," Negrete said. "We didn't tackle. We didn't do everything we were supposed to do. So, we got what we deserved."
Negrete added the team's youth came into play against Cantwell (1-0).
"We have to develop some more depth," he said. "Some of the young guys who I thought would come through didn't step up. So, we need to address that."
And quarterback Aaron Cantu had trouble hitting his receivers, with many balls dropped, adding to the Spartans' frustration. Cantu finished the game completing 12 of 25 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown.
"Our receivers are not where they need to be, so that's another area we need to work on," Negrete said. "We'll show up next week (hosting Downey High) and we'll be better."
Cantwell got on the board with 4:10 to play in the first quarter as Mesa capped a five-play, 36-yard drive with a 14-yard TD run.
After spotting Cantwell another touchdown early in the second quarter, Schurr got on the board with six minutes to play in the half. Running back Chris Chiaromonte capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Chiaromonte scored again with 3:36 left in the half when he returned a Cardinal kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 21-14 at the half.
Schurr tied the game halfway through the third quarter when defensive back Brandon Chavez intercepted a pass from Cantwell quarterback Christian Espinoza and returned it 10 yards for a score.
But the Spartans just could not contain Cantwell's running game and gave up four consecutive touchdowns to put the game out of reach.