LOS ANGELES -- Its bid for an undefeated season ended in splashing
Puddles of water formed at the worse possible time for the
Bellarmine-Jefferson High football team Friday night, and it had no
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
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
“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
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
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
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
“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.