Last Sunday, on a rainy and cold afternoon at St. Francis High School, the La Cañada Gladiators hosted the inaugural Lou Enterante Jr. Bowl Game.
Named in honor of past La Cañada President Lou Enterante Jr. who passed away in 2003, the proceeds and donations from the game will be used to fund a scholarship that will assist with the tuition of a Gladiator football player who is accepted at St. Francis High School.
In addition, the Lou Enterante Bowl game was also the first confrontation between teams from the San Gabriel Valley Junior All American Football Conference, in which the Gladiators participate, and the Orange Country Junior All American Football Conference.
Squads from the Mona Park Buccaneers traveled to St. Francis to play their Gladiators' counterparts. Also participating in the bowl game were the Chargers from Charter Oak.
All four of the games were competitive and exciting, and despite the nasty weather, all the squads had their diehard supporters battling wind and rain.
By far the most exciting game of the afternoon was the Junior Midgets' 6-0 victory over Charter Oak.
This game witnessed some outstanding defense by Matt Zilinsky, Daniel Alamillo, Ryan Martinez and Ryan Rue.
The final game of the day featured the San Gabriel Conference Champion and undefeated Gladiators' Midget squad square off against a Mona Park Buccaneer team that finished 8-2 to take third place in the Orange County Conference and also possessed an outstanding ground attack.
The Gladiators' offense continued to rack-up points. Quarterback Rob Paton threw his 17th touchdown pass of the season and Evan King scored two touchdowns on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, the Gladiators' defense garnered its seventh shutout of the season, holding the powerful Buccaneer offense to just two first downs the entire game.
Defensive end Mike Ryder scored his second TD of the game when the Buccaneer quarterback was hit in the end zone and Ryder intercepted his errant pass. The final score was 30-0.
The Midgets finished the regular season with a 7-0 record.
The Gladiators won their playoff games against El Monte and East L. A. by a combined score of 57-8.
Next up for the Midget squad is the Super Bowl against the Orange County Champions, the Inglewood Sentinels, on Jan. 28, 2005 at Warren High School in Downey.