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San Fernando Loses Lead, Game to Banning, 25-10

The ghosts of San Fernando High’s football past resurfaced Friday night at Harbor College where the Tigers fell to rival Banning, 25-10, in the City Section opener for both teams.

The Tigers had not beaten Banning since the City Championship year of 1975 when Charles White was part of the backfield. But San Fernando looked like it was on its way to halting the losing streak when it took command early in the second quarter. The Tigers could not hold the lead, however, and the 2,500 in attendance saw Banning waltz away with the win.

“They are a real good football team,” said Tigers Coach Tom Hernandez, who is 0-4 against Banning. “But it was pretty much like we expected. We played well in the first half and knew they’d come out strong in the second half because of their depth. I’d have to say they’re just a little bit ahead of us right now, but we’ll do all right.”

San Fernando took a 10-7 lead into intermission, but Banning erased the deficit on its first possession of the second half and added two insurance scores shortly thereafter.

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The Pilots drove 80 yards in 16 plays to open the second half and took the lead for good when quarterback John Ma’ae rambled into the end zone from eight yards.

The Pilots started a drive at their 49 to open the fourth quarter but Howard McCrary intercepted a pass by Ma’ae at the 10. One play later, San Fernando fullback Vincent Hall could not find the handle on a handoff and Banning’s Shaun Herrera recovered. On the next play, Banning tailback Keith Mims scored on a 13-yard run.

The Pilots added another touchdown when Chris Griffith scored from 10 yards with 4:41 left.

“We played a good first half,” Hernandez said. “Then we started making mistakes, they wore us down and then just started ramming the football right down our throats.”

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Banning struck first, scoring on its first play from scrimmage when Ma’ae hit Lamont Shedrick with a 61-yard scoring pass.

But San Fernando came right back and tied the score with an 8-play, 64-yard scoring drive on its next possession. The Tigers got a break when, on third and nine, Banning was whistled for pass interference. Duane Crenshaw’s 17-yard gain on fourth and two from the 41 also kept the drive alive.

After Banning was penalized again--this time for a late hit on Crenshaw--quarterback Mike Wynn scored from the 12 on a broken pass play.

Banning got the ball back but Ma’ae fumbled and the Tigers regained possession on the Pilots’ 14-yard line. Four plays later, Miguel Munoz kicked a 35-yard field goal, but Banning was penalized for roughing the kicker and San Fernando chose to take the three points off the board and go for the touchdown. But the Tigers went backward from there, and Munoz was pressed into service again, kicking a 32-yard field goal.

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Both teams mounted long, time-consuming drives in the second quarter but could not score.


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