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Guards up and running early in opening win

Jim Riggio

With almost everyone returning from last season, the

Bellarmine-Jefferson High football team knew it possessed an offense

that could rack up yardage.

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The Guards looked primed and ready to go Saturday for their season

opener against visiting Compton Centennial at Burroughs’ Memorial

Field.

And the offense led the way.

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Bell-Jeff executed a fine running attack against the outmatched

Apaches, coming away with a 46-14 nonleague victory.

“Last year, it worked well, and this year we’ve perfected it

more,” junior Derek Leiphardt said of the Guards’ offense.

Leiphardt, who scored three touchdowns, was heavily involved in

the team’s double wing-T offensive scheme, which involves multiple

handoffs that caused Centennial problems all game.

The Guards -- who also have the ability to pass the ball with

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6-foot-3, 220-pound senior quarterback Brendon Doyle -- elected to

use their running attack most of the game.

“If he fakes well, nobody knows who has the ball,” Bell-Jeff

Coach Rolando Aguirre said of Doyle. “Brendon fakes so well and

[opponents] have to see whether he still has it or not.”

The Guards, who lost in the first round of the CIF Southern

Section Division XII playoffs last season, had 375 rushing yards,

with Leiphardt gaining 130 yards and fellow juniors Adrian Anetema

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gaining 107 and Joey Diaz coming through with 79 yards.

Bell-Jeff opened a 34-0 halftime lead, as Leiphardt had touchdown

runs of 46 and 21 yards in the first two quarters.

Anetema scored in the first half on runs of 11 and two yards and

Doyle scored on a five-yard run.

Aguirre was pleased with Doyle’s composure under the Centennial

pressure.

“He’s a general,” Aguirre said. “He’s been groomed for this

position since his sophomore year and now he’s a senior. He’s a

presence for us both on offense and on defense.”

Doyle, who also plays safety, was an All-CIF punter in 2002.

Centennial, which went 1-9 last season, opened the second half by

surprising the Guards, as Maurice Stewart returned the kickoff 91

yards for a touchdown.

“I thought Compton Centennial was very competitive,” Aguirre

said. “They never quit.”

But Bell-Jeff came back and scored on just its second play from

scrimmage on the ensuing drive, as junior Matt Magallon got great

blocking and was able to run 44 yards into the end zone untouched

along the right sideline.

The score remained 40-6 until late in the fourth quarter, when

Centennial quarterback William Randle pushed across the goal line

from a yard out.

Randle also ran in the two-point conversion.

However, the Guards answered right back, as Leiphardt eluded

several tacklers to return the kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.

While Bell-Jeff’s offense was impressive, its defense showed it

might need some fine tuning, as Centennial rushed for 221 yards --

led by William Brown, who had 100 yards in 14 carries.

“We have some things to fix,” Aguirre said.

The Guards host Oxnard Santa Clara at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a

nonleague game at Memorial Field.


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