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Tigers Win Third Straight, Rout Baldwin Park

The South Pasadena High School varsity football team is maintaining a strong start this season, following a 49-14 victory over Baldwin Park in a nonleague game last Thursday, echoing its performance from the previous year.
SPHS has won three consecutive games to start the season, closely mirroring its performance from last year’s 5-0 start before facing Monrovia in its Rio Hondo League opener.
Last season’s varsity team dominated their opponents, outscoring them, 118-13, in the first three games, resulting in an impressive 105-point differential. This year, the Tigers are off to a similarly promising start, outscoring the opposition, 144-42, resulting in a 102-point differential.
“We take it one game at a time and our guys have done a great job executing on offense and defense,” SPHS head coach Jeff Chi said. “Everything is going in the right direction.”
Chi expected a challenge from Baldwin Park under first-year head coach Robert Maxie, who has a track record of success at Pasadena High. Instead, the Tigers cruised to an easy victory after taking a commanding 35-0 lead at halftime. Senior standout Jason Hong was the driving force, amassing 228 rushing yards and scoring four touchdowns on just 14 carries.
“There was a lot of hype with Baldwin Park’s team with coach Maxie taking over the program. We knew that they were going to be good competition and then the first half came around and it was 35-0,” Chi said. “Jason ran the ball really hard and got some big yardage against a pretty good defensive team. I think he is proving himself to be one of the top running backs around the area. As long as he stays healthy he is going to have an amazing season.”
Senior Sawyer Fox made two catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, and was 6-for-6 in PAT attempts. Senior Devin Robinson rushed for 33 yards and a touchdown on two carries, while senior Luke Riffle returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter that sealed the victory for the Tigers.
Junior quarterback Zachary Lee completed five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, while senior quarterback Liam Ohannesian completed two passes for 40 yards.
James Dowd had four receptions for 60 yards with six tackles and a sack, senior Elijah Garcia made a 16-yard catch and five tackles, and senior Gio Cruz had a 33-yard carry and eight tackles.
Junior David Ortega racked up 11 tackles, while senior Carlo Williams registered eight tackles. Junior David Eisenberg had six tackles and scored a PAT, while senior Harrison Farley contributed six tackles. Senior Kevin Pietrzik, senior Damian Flores, junior Jordan Rodgers and junior Alessandro Jemai each contributed four tackles, while senior Mitchell Westlake and junior Sebastian Martinez each tallied three tackles. Senior Gabriel Bomfiglio finished with two tackles, while senior Whitman Brida recorded one tackle and a sack.
SPHS (3-0 overall) will visit Hoover High in Glendale for a nonleague game on Friday at 5 p.m. before hosting Alhambra on Sept. 15. The Tigers will open Rio Hondo League action by hosting rival San Marino on Sept. 29.

SPHS football coach Jeff Chi addresses the team following their 49 14 victory against Baldwin Park on Aug 31 The Tigers have opened the season with three consecutive wins

First published in the September 8 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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