Individual Efforts Not Enough for Alemany

TIMES STAFF WRITER

If Alemany High Coach Pat Blackburn was goal-oriented, the offensive numbers in his team's opener would have been more than pleasing.

His quarterback, Adam Romandi, passed for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

His tailback Terry Barnum, rushed for 111 yards and scored once.

His wide receiver, Richard Dice, caught 11 passes for 164 yards and scored twice.

But if you can't stop the bleeding, Blackburn said, all the offensive statistics in the world don't mean much.

Despite solid performances from Alemany's superlative trio, the Indians were unable to stop Servite, falling, 31-23, in a nonleague game Friday night at Gahr High in Cerritos.

The offensive numbers weren't bad, were they, Coach?

"No, but unless you stop them you're in a shootout," Blackburn said.

Alemany has fired blanks against the Friars for three consecutive seasons. In fact, in two years plus one game, Servite has a record of 6-15, with half of the victories against Alemany.

Alemany fell behind, 10-0, in the first quarter, then battled back. After pulling to within 10-7, the Indians drove to the Servite seven-yard line with 3 minutes 30 seconds left in the half. Romandi mishandled the snap from center, however, and Servite recovered to snuff out the drive.

"That was the biggie," Blackburn said.

It might have been the biggest, but it was just one of many big mistakes by Alemany, which entered the game ranked fifth in the Southern Section Division III preseason poll.

Romandi was sacked six times for minus-54 yards and the Indians mishandled the snap from center on four occasions.

Servite essentially put the game on ice with a bang early in the second half when quarterback Josh Nelson--who completed all five of his passes for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns--hit fullback Michael Lund on a swing pass that went 13 yards for a score to give Servite a 17-7 lead with 9:17 left in the third quarter.

Romandi was sacked at the Alemany two on the Indians' next possession, giving Servite great field position at the 29 after a punt. On the next play, Lund (103 yards in 11 carries) broke through the middle to score, giving Servite a 23-7 lead.

Servite's Elphamous Malbrue, whose first name is pronounced "El Famous," gave Servite a 31-7 lead on a three-yard run with 50 seconds left in the third quarter.

Alemany outgained Servite, 211-157, in the first half but failed to capitalize on a pair of potential scoring opportunities.

In addition to Romandi's fumble at the seven, the Indians nearly scored after regaining possession in the final minute. Romandi completed four consecutive passes for 56 yards to move Alemany to the Servite 10. A motion penalty moved the ball back five yards to the 15 and time expired as kicker Travis Russell lined up for a 32-yard field-goal attempt.

After falling behind, 10-0, Alemany scored with 9:55 left in the half on a six-yard pass from Romandi to Dice to pare the lead to three.

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