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Prep Football : Bishop Amat Gives Esperanza a Night to Forget With 45-14 Victory

Times Staff Writer

It was over almost before it began.

Bishop Amat High School scored 4 touchdowns in a little more than 12 minutes and stunned previously unbeaten Esperanza, 45-14, Friday night in front of 3,500 at La Puente.

Bishop Amat’s final tuneup before beginning its quest for a fourth straight Angelus League title was strictly no contest as the Lancers built a 38-0 lead at halftime and coasted to their fourth victory in five games.

Esperanza (4-1) committed four critical turnovers in the opening half and its kicking game self-destructed. Esperanza came into the game having allowed an average of only 5.5 points per game, but went away another victim in Bishop Amat’s dark, dingy Kiefer Stadium.

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Bishop Amat earned its 33rd victory in its past 34 regular-season games with three long plays in the first half that left Esperanza dazed. Jeremy Smith returned a punt 63 yards to set up one score and then returned another punt 59 yards for a touchdown.

Robert Razo, a converted wide receiver playing only because starter Motu Ili was injured, scored on a 77-yard run and gained 108 yards in only 12 carries. It was that kind of a night.

“If you would have told me the final score was going to be 45-14, I would have told you, ‘You’re crazy,’ ” Bishop Amat Coach Mark Paredes said. “When we played them last year, it was a slugfest.”

Score this one a knockout. Bishop Amat held a 38-0 lead before Esperanza got a first down and the Aztecs didn’t come close to scoring until the final quarter when Bishop Amat had its second-string players on the field.

Afterward, Esperanza Coach Gary Meek chalked up the lopsided loss to one of those nights that even good teams can experience.

“The kicking game really hurt us,” Meek said. “They must have scored 24 points when our kicking game broke down. Everything snowballed on us. It was one of those things. We got behind, and you don’t want to do that against a team like Bishop Amat.”

Esperanza was guilty of interceptions, fumbled snaps on attempted punts, fumbled handoffs on simple running plays and even a fumbled fair-catch attempt.

Esperanza finally got untracked in the fourth quarter when quarterback Keith McDonald led the Aztecs on an 80-yard scoring drive that featured 16 plays and, more importantly, kept the ball away from Bishop Amat.

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Reserve tailback Jason Bond scored the Aztecs’ first touchdown on a 10-yard run. Later, McDonald teamed with wide receiver Jay Sostarich on a 43-yard touchdown pass, but it was far too little, too late.

McDonald was sporadic in the opening half but settled down and played well. He completed 7 of 18 passes for 79 yards, but the Aztecs’ usually potent ground game managed just 85 yards against Bishop Amat.


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