Huntington Park took a 225-mile, 31/2-hour bus trip to play Vincent Memorial in a CIF state championship Division 6-A regional bowl game on Saturday. Let's just say things went a lot smoother for the home school.
Vincent Memorial (12-2) took advantage of seven interceptions, including four from Ramiro Cuevas, to roll to a 40-18 victory over the City Section Division II champions at Calexico High.
Huntington Park quarterback Victor Molina was picked off by Herman Olivas on his first pass of the game and was intercepted four times in the first two quarters as the Spartans fell behind 34-12. Huntington Park finished with eight turnovers. Vincent Memorial quarterback Eduardo Valenzuela had touchdown passes of 19 yards to Andres Bryan, 22 yards to Olivas and 31 yards to Juan Pablo Ruiz in the first half.
Huntington Park fought back from a 13-0 deficit, closing to 13-12 in the first quarter on a James Rossum 32-yard touchdown pass from Molina and Bey'Jon Lee's five-yard touchdown catch.
Rossum caught four passes for 113 yards. Molina passed for 209 yards.
Vincent Memorial was too physical for the Spartans in the second quarter, getting a one-yard touchdown run from Daniel Rizzo, a 16-yard touchdown run from Emilio Abizaid and another TD pass from Valenzuela, who passed for 174 yards.
Molina was taking too many chances throwing the ball into coverage, and the Scots came up with three more interceptions in the second half.
About half of the Scots' players live in Mexicali in Baja California and cross the border into Calexico to attend the high school that's part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. Many have dual citizenship and are bilingual. And they can play football.
Crenshaw advanced to the 4-AA championship with a 13-10 win over Oceanside El Camino. The Cougars came up with a defensive stand. Rayshawn Williams caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Isaiah Johnson.