With almost everyone returning from last season, the
Bellarmine-Jefferson High football team knew it possessed an offense
that could rack up yardage.
The Guards looked primed and ready to go Saturday for their season
opener against visiting Compton Centennial at Burroughs’ Memorial
And the offense led the way.
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
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
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
“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.