MONTCLAIR, CA; (09/28/2013): After a series of rough games in the preseason (0-4), the Varsity Jaguars opened league play with a 28-15 victory over the Garey Vikings last night. WR/FB Robert Butanda had a huge game, rushing for three touchdowns, including an 87-yard punt return on special teams. Although Butanda coughed up three fumbles, two which led to turnovers, he still managed to rush for 177 yards on 17 carries (Avg. 10.41 yds/carry). His huge rushing numbers sent him to the top of the Mt. Baldy League stat sheet with 291 rushing yards so far this season. Colony's Devin Imbach is less than 20 yards behind Butanda. His three TD's and two 2-point conversions also made him the overall League scoring leader with 40 points so far this season. Late in the game, Butanda went down with a leg cramp but after returning, he was still able to put points on the board.
With starting QB Edgar Murillo still nursing a knee injury sustained during last week's loss to Alta Loma, Offensive Coordinator Bo Hust called upon sophomore QB Cameron Poe to lead his offense. Poe was solid, completing four of nine attempts for 45 yards, all into the hands of Butanda. RB/DE Stephon Randolph, who led the league in sacks coming into the game, extended his lead by sacking Garey QB Rigo Salcedo twice. On offense, Randolph rushed for 70 yards on 15 carries (Avg. 4.67 yds/carry).
With Murillo on the sidelines, rookie kicker Jonathan Sanchez, who was a part of the 2013 CIF D4 Championship Soccer Team, was called upon to show his strong leg. Sanchez put three kickoffs inside the 10 yard line including a 59 yard boot. The play of the game came on a Sanchez kick-off. Garey returner Chris Jackson ran about eight yards up the middle when he was run over at full speed by the Jaguars' Julio Mendez. Jackson never saw him coming and was leveled on the play. The Jaguars celebrated and Jackson pounded the turf in frustration. It was arguably the best hit of the year so far.
Next week, the Jaguars will travel to Chino for an away game against the Cowboys. As with the Vikings, this will be the last time these two teams will meet as both Chino and Garey will leave the Mt. Baldy League after this season. Chino is coming off a Friday night 41-0 rout of the Montclair Cavaliers. Fortunately for the Jaguars, WR Christian Beltran, DL Gerardo Semerdjian and LB Anthony Fuentez will all be off the injured list and ready for play.
King Danny Martinez
Queen Andrea Gutierrez
ONTARIO, CA; (09/13/2013): To say that the Varsity Jaguars Football Season has gotten off to a rocky start would be akin to saying an erupting volcano was simply the earth burping. The young team, whose hopes really relied on some key players and a support group that would help the strong, but young underclassmen, have has to endure with key starters watching from the sidelines. So far, the Jags have opened to an 0-2 pre-season with injuries taking their toll on the squad.
Just as he was coming off a broken foot injury, the league's 2012 receiving leader, WR Christian Beltran (#13), suffered a tear in the webbing of his fingers which will sideline him for a couple more weeks. Big 6'2" Lineman Casey Zendejas (#54) who sat out the first two games nursing a broken leg, re-broke the same leg in the same place just three days after returning and will be out until two games into league play. The league's leading tackler LB Anthony Fuentez (#6) who has played while recovering from a shoulder injury is questionable for the Nogales game with a minor hand injury, and LB Ricky Medina (#22) and RB Ronald Robison III (#3) will sit out tonight's game for administrative reasons.
"We just can't get a break," Head Coach Ron Stocking said. "Too many starters are out and it hurts." On the depth charts, the Jags have back-ups, although most are young and unchallenged under the Friday Night Lights. Fortunately for Ontario, they still have three weeks until league play begins and can hopefully heal from their wounds.
Butanda would run another one in from 6 yards out and the Stephon Randolph's two-point conversion would end the Jaguars' scoring at 15. In the end, the Bruins claimed victory, 22-15. Questions arose regarding two specific scoring chances which both went Bloomington's way.
The Jaguars (0-2) will need to be much better when they play against the Nogales Nobles (0-2) next Friday in La Puente. The Nobles also lost tonight falling to the South El Monte Eagles, 38-6.
MIRA LOMA, CA; (08/23/2013): As was expected, first-time Varsity Quarterback Edgar Murillo had a very strong start as the Jaguars kicked off their pre-season with a four-way scrimmage on Friday. Ontario's Jaguars and Perris' Panthers faced off against Jurupa Valley's Jaguars and Granite Hills' Cougars. Murillo looked very good as did Offensive Coordinator Bo Hust's new offense. The offensive line provided the necessary protection to allow Murillo the time needed to pass for two touchdowns and when needed to scramble and advance the ball.
At the outset, nerves were obvious but that only lasted about four plays. After that, he beamed with confidence as he handed off to FB Ricky Medina, who scored and RB Ronald Robison, Jr., who carried well. With WR Christian Beltran out, the Jags looked to veteran receiver Robert Butanda and rookie reciever Alfonso Bueno to stabilize the Jag's passing game. Both answered with touchdowns. Butanda's touchdown came with a Granite Hills Cougar firmly in tow. The Jags defense struggled a bit, but Defensive Coordinator Donald Martin was quick to accept responsibility for the minor issues seen. "I take full responsibility," he told the team. "We'll work through our issues and then it will be up to you!" After the varsity scrimmages, Head Coach Ron Stocking seemed pleased with the outcome. "They looked good. We have some things to work on, but overall I thought we played well." After witnessing the last four years of scrimmages, it was clear that this year's showing was the best by the Jags in that same time period.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Freshmen took on Granite Hills. Freshmen Head Coach Lupe Nieves led his offense using a surprising newcomer at the helm. QB Mekhi Zinnerman was excellent in the pocket. He scrambled for huge yardage, while moving in and out of defenders seemingly at will. On defense, the Freshmen Jags have great talent in the big middle linebacker, Omar DeLaRosa. DeLaRosa was active in nearly every defensive play and has the size to be dangerous to Jaguars opponents during his high school career.
At the JV level, last year's Freshmen QB Cameron Poe, now a sophomore showed why he's held his position. After leading the JV squad down to the one yard line before turning the ball over on downs, Poe was able to scramble for large gains, using the sidelines as his own personal corridor. Sophomore RB Jalen Coleman also showed great strength hitting defenders hard and proving to be a difficult carrier to tackle.
All in all, it was a good outing for the Jaguars. It will most certainly get better as the injured Jaguars return over the next couple of weeks. Starters, Christian Beltran, Anthony Fuentez, Casey Zendejas, Jason Lara and back-ups Darron Culver and Manuel Vargas were all sidelined with injuries and unable to contribute in Friday's scrimmages. Next week, the Jaguars open their preseason in Covina against Northview.