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Tigers Continue Unbeaten Run, Rout Hoover

The South Pasadena High School varsity football team extended its winning streak by dominating host Hoover High in Glendale with a 48-15 victory on Sept. 8. Senior standout Jason Hong delivered yet another stellar offensive performance, rushing for 177 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries.
“It was nice to see Jason come out and do his thing again,” SPHS head coach Jeff Chi said. “He doesn’t get to carry the ball that much, but every time he does carry the ball, he’s making the most out of it. I think people are starting to recognize he is a force to be reckoned with.”
It was a collective team effort as multiple Tigers scored touchdowns in the high-scoring affair.
Junior James Dowd contributed significantly with five receptions for 53 yards, including a touchdown. Senior Luke Riffle made a 33-yard touchdown catch and also made a key interception on defense. Senior Elijah Garcia hauled in a pair of receptions for 31 yards, securing one for a touchdown. Meanwhile, senior Devin Robinson added a 25-yard touchdown reception.
“Right now our receiving core is solid; they have proven themselves,” Chi said. “They have good size, good speed and awesome hands.”
Chi continued to rotate all three of his quarterbacks for the second consecutive game, and each signal-caller played a pivotal role in the Tigers’ victory. Notably, junior Zachary Lee went 5 for 8 with 71 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Liam Ohannesian connected on three passes for 49 yards, securing one for a touchdown, while junior Cameron Park completed two passes for 37 yards, including a touchdown.
“We’re trying to give each quarterback an opportunity to see what they can do,” Chi said. “They’ve all done a pretty good job. Each quarterback comes in with a different skill set so we are trying to call plays accordingly.”
Senior Sawyer Fox had a 15-yard reception and was successful on 6 of 7 PAT attempts. Meanwhile, sophomore Trey Freking displayed his rushing skills, gaining 40 yards on four carries. Senior Gio Cruz made his presence felt on both sides of the ball, tallying three carries for 18 yards while contributing with two tackles and a blocked punt on defense. Junior Alessandro Jemai had six tackles and a sack while also carrying the ball twice for 18 yards.
The defensive unit saw standout performances from several players.
Senior Gabriel Bomfiglio racked up six tackles and a sack, while senior Whitman Brida added four tackles and a sack. Senior Carlo Williams, junior David Eisenberg and junior Jacob Chuang each notched four tackles, while senior Chris Han and sophomore Lucas Cornforth each made three tackles. Senior William Ku chipped in with two tackles, while senior Harrison Farley, senior Mitchell Westlake, senior Damian Flores, junior John Bruce and sophomore Tatem Mendoza each contributed with a tackle.
Chi expressed his appreciation for his coaching staff, which includes Jason Barnes, John Morant, John Fonseca, Julius Murphy, Nate Olsen and Paul Hugasian. He complimented their diligent film study and preparation, which aids the varsity squad in their weekly matchups.
“I think week in and week out, they have been doing a great job of scouting our opponents, preparing our kids and coaching them to do their job,” Chi said.
Undefeated South Pas (4-0 overall) will host winless Alhambra in a nonleague game on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. before opening Rio Hondo League action against rival San Marino on Sept. 29.

SPHS sophomores Lucas Cornforth 31 and Tatem Mendoza 19 combined for four total tackles during a nonleague game against Hoover High last week
SPHS senior Elijah Garcia had a pair of receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown in a recent nonleague game against Hoover High

First published in the September 15 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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