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Engliman Loses No Sleep Over Loss of the Streak

Coach Jeff Engilman was rebuilding on Saturday.

His Sylmar High football team had lost to Kennedy on Friday night, snapping a state-record 69-game winning streak in league play.

Wasting no time, Engilman went right to work. First up--cementing bricks around the new windows in front of his house.

Life continues.

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“It’s not the end of the world by any means,” Engilman said.

Engilman actually began to repair the Spartans’ psyche on the bus ride back from the 21-20 loss.

“I told them they get mourning time on Saturday and Sunday,” Engilman said. “Monday, they better crank it up. I better see some fire in their eyes.”

Engilman said Sylmar players and assistant coaches were understandably upset. He was amused, however, to hear some Kennedy supporters offer apologies.

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“A couple people from Kennedy said, ‘Hey, we’re sorry,’ ” Engilman said. “I said, ‘Why are you sorry? You played a great game.’ ”

The Spartans’ next game is against Reseda, which was the last team to defeat Sylmar in a league game 10 years ago.

“I was getting ready to do it again next week,” joked Coach Joel Schaeffer of Reseda.

“Naturally, I have thoughts [on the streak ending] because we were a part of it. We’ve been involved in it. It just so happens that it can’t go on forever.”

The Spartans (5-3, 2-1 in league play) set the record last week with a victory over Van Nuys.

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Sylmar wasn’t the only team that saw a streak end.

Quartz Hill broke an 0-16-1 winless streak in the Golden League, defeating Palmdale, 49-28, on Friday night.

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Jeff Williams and Joe Lopez each rushed for over 100 yards for the Rebels, who had not won a league game since defeating Ridgecrest Burroughs, 34-0, in 1995.

“Long time deserved,” said Williams, a senior. “It gives us a little boost.”

Quartz Hill (3-5, 1-2) will need the momentum. Next Friday night, the Rebels play at league front-runner Highland (5-3, 3-0).

“It’s nice to win a league game finally, but we’ve got two weeks left,” Williams said. “We’ve got to keep practicing hard.”

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Fox Sports Net 2 certainly didn’t envision this.

At the beginning of the season, the Chatsworth-Taft game looked like a good idea as one of the network’s weekly Thursday night games.

Taft was defending City champion. Chatsworth had quarterback Matt Cassel, who had committed to USC.

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But the teams have combined to win six games this season.

Chatsworth (2-6, 1-2) was shut out by Cleveland, 61-0, two weeks ago and has had trouble protecting Cassel.

Taft (4-4, 3-0) started 1-4 and has shown signs of life only recently.

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As if Hart needs more offense.

The Indians, averaging 41.1 points per game, have found yet another big-play receiver, Garrett Fuller.

Fuller, a senior, has scored on touchdown receptions of 55, 88 and 88 yards in the last three games. He also scored on a 49-yard interception return.

It’s easy to confuse Fuller with accomplished receivers Chris Ciccone and Jared Bazar.

All three are seniors in the 6-foot, 180-pound range. Ciccone (No. 25), Bazar (No. 27) and Fuller (No. 28) all wear similar jersey numbers.

And they all know how to find the end zone. Bazar has nine touchdown receptions, Ciccone and Fuller each have six.

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Notre Dame can take a deep breath. It finally gets another shot at a quality Catholic-school opponent.

A 24-21 loss last month to Alemany still feels like yesterday to many of the Knights, who could make amends with a victory against St. Francis (8-0, 1-0) in a Mission League game Friday at Notre Dame.

“I think right now our whole team is angry that we lost that game,” said defensive lineman Travis Johnson.

“We played horribly and still almost won that game.”

Johnson outlined another reason why Notre Dame (7-1, 1-0) wants to win this one: St. Francis beat the Knights two years ago, 28-24, when Johnson was a sophomore.

“It’s a revenge game for me and several of the other guys,” he said.

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From victory to defeat. All in 28 seconds.

Newbury Park scored what appeared to be the winning touchdown with 41 seconds left Friday night in a nonleague game against Irvine.

Quarterback Cameron Merrill of the Panthers threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to L. Ray Hawkins for a 25-22 lead.

But after a long kickoff return by the Vaqueros, quarterback Mike Ricci of Irvine completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Eric Patton with 13 seconds left.

Final score: Irvine 29, Newbury Park 25.

“We didn’t block, tackle or play catch with any consistency,” said Coach George Hurley of Newbury Park. “We’ll spend some time on the [game] film and we’ll get there.”

The Panthers (4-4, 3-1) better hurry. In two weeks, they play Thousand Oaks in a regular-season finale that could be for second place in the Marmonte League.


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