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South Pas Finishes Nonleague Run Unbeaten

The South Pasadena High School varsity football team continued its impressive run by starting the season with a five-game win streak, mirroring its success from the previous season. The Tigers most recently dominated host Alhambra 46-7 in a nonleague contest on Sept. 15.
The quarterback tandem of junior Zachary Lee and senior Liam Ohannesian delivered an efficient offensive performance. Lee completed 6 of 7 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown while Ohannesian completed 7 of 9 passes for 81 yards.
“One highlight of the game was that our quarterbacks did a better job of passing the ball compared to the previous games, so we had a better-balanced attack on offense,” SPHS head coach Jeff Chi said. “It was nice to see because that is what we’ve been striving for since the beginning of the season.”
Standout senior Jason Hong led the running game with another outstanding performance, carrying the ball 20 times for 135 yards and four touchdowns.
“Alhambra’s goal was to not give Jason any big plays,” Chi said. “He might not have done all the big plays like in the previous game, but he got us key first downs and a couple touchdowns for us as well.”
Senior Sawyer Fox, who went 3-for-5 in PAT attempts and finished with five catches for 85 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
“Initially, the receivers were well-covered, so [Lee] extended the play by running around in the backfield,” Chi said about Fox’s scoring play. “Our receivers had to adjust to the scramble and our quarterback was able to throw it down deep. I think the secondary was a little lost at that point and he took advantage of it.”
Senior Elijah Garcia scored a 50-yard rushing touchdown on his lone carry of the game while adding a pair of catches for 15 yards. Meanwhile, sophomore Trey Freking rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown on two carries.
Junior James Dowd had five receptions for 65 yards, senior Gio Cruz had two carries for 25 yards with nine tackles on defense, and senior Devin Robinson had two carries for 15 yards.
Senior Carlo Williams racked up nine tackles, while juniors Alessandro Jemai and Jordan Rodgers each tallied five tackles. Junior David Eisenberg recorded four tackles and an interception, while sophomore Diego Loera contributed three tackles. Senior Harrison Farley scored an extra point and added a tackle, while senior Damian Flores, senior Whitman Brida, senior William Ku, senior Luke Riffle, senior Mitchell Westlake, junior John Bruce and sophomore Miles Goodrich each had one tackle.
“One thing that I have noticed watching film over and over again is our defense has done a great job in terms of tackling,” Chi said. “We rarely miss tackles because our defensive guys are in a position to make those tackles.”
SPHS completed its nonleague schedule boasting a flawless 5-0 record. After a bye this week, they will kick off Rio Hondo League action by hosting rival San Marino (4-1 overall) on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. Despite the Tigers’ challenging track record against the Titans over the last decade, with only one victory in nine meetings (excluding the pandemic-shortened 2020 season), Chi emphasized that past matchups and nonleague records become irrelevant when league play begins.
“It’s a rivalry game and it’s always unpredictable. It’s about who’s focused, who’s energized and who’s making the plays on Friday night that is going to determine who wins,” Chi said. “It’s going to be a very intense, high energy and physical type of game and if we don’t match what San Marino brings, it’s going to be a long night for us.”

Tigers senior Sawyer Fox seen here in a game earlier this season had five catches for 85 yards including a 46 yard touchdown to help the Tigers beat Alhambra

First published in the September 22 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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