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Guards suffer first loss

LOS ANGELES -- Its bid for an undefeated season ended in splashing

fashion.

Puddles of water formed at the worse possible time for the

Bellarmine-Jefferson High football team Friday night, and it had no

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recourse to fight through a steady downpour.

Bell-Jeff surrendered 20 second-quarter points and dropped a 20-14

Santa Fe League road game to L.A. Salesian.

Further hindering the Guards (7-1, 1-1 in league) was the fact

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they committed three turnovers and lost running back Derek Leiphardt

to a right knee injury in the fourth quarter. Leiphardt finished with

162 yards of total offense, but didn’t return for Bell-Jeff’s final

two drives.

“Our running game is our strong point,” Bell-Jeff Coach Rolando

Aguirre said. “Then you lose Derek, and we’re unable to get a grip.

“Salesian didn’t make any mistakes, and both teams played well.”

Salesian (4-4, 1-1) capitalized on a Bell-Jeff mistake and

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parlayed it into the winning touchdown. Bell-Jeff running back Matt

Magallon fumbled at the Salesian 14-yard line, and Onei Bernardez

scooped up the ball and returned it 86 yards with 3:10 left in the

first half.

Bell-Jeff -- ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division XII --

took a 6-0 lead on the game’s first possession when quarterback

Brendon Doyle scored on a 1-yard run to cap an 80-yard drive.

Salesian took a 7-6 lead six seconds into the second quarter on a

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31-yard pass from quarterback Jon Clayton to Patrick Hernandez.

The Guards, who are off to their best start in the school’s

59-year history, scored on the ensuing possession when Doyle threw a

16-yard pass to Leiphardt to make it 14-7.

Leiphardt had a 60-yard touchdown called back because of a holding

penalty.

“That was a crucial point,” Aguirre said. “Then they come back and

get 14 points.”

Ankle injuries have suddenly become the norm for the Guards, who

competed without Adrian Anetema. Aguirre said the junior running back

injured his ankle Wednesday during practice. He will miss at least

one more game and will be reevaluated, Aguirre said.


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