SOUTH PASADENA — Both teams moved the ball well.
And both teams made big plays.
But only one squad could hold on to the pigskin.
Benefiting from a bevy of turnovers, the South Pasadena High School football team defeated La Canada, 21-6, at home on Friday in a Rio Hondo League tilt.
La Cañada turned the ball over five times.
"We're bend, don't break," said South Pasadena (5-2, 2-0 in league) Coach Marty Konrad. "We'll give up a big play, but we'll bounce back."
In the Tigers' five wins this season, the defense has allowed fewer than nine points per game.
The Spartans (1-6, 0-2) committed two turnovers in the first quarter. Late in the second, quarterback Matt Jones found the end zone on a four-yard run for a La Cañada 6-0 lead at the half.
"We talked about doing your job," Konrad said of what his team discussed in the locker room at halftime. "First half, guys weren't doing their job."
The Tigers came out firing in the third quarter. Quarterback Joey Harmon found Telanto Harvey streaking down the sideline on a play-action pass for a 40-yard touchdown strike and a 7-6 lead.
"It was designed right for him," Harmon said. "He made a nice catch."
Harmon, just a sophomore, finished nine for 15 for 133 yards and a touchdown.
"Every game I get more comfortable, more experience under my belt," Harmon said. "I've had a couple of rough games, but I've learned from my mistakes and am getting better."
South Pasadena took control of the game in the fourth period when Sean Magill scored on runs of 29 and 17 yards. He finished with 89 yards on 11 carries.
Nathan Lee carried the ball six times for 69 yards and Justin Cornford had four grabs for 54 yards in the winning effort.
Despite three interceptions, Jones played inspired football in seeing his first action in three weeks after having his appendix out. Jones finished with 264 yards of total offense, including 13 for 25 for 166 yards and three interceptions through the air, and eight carries for 98 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
"As far as his performance tonight, I was really proud of him, I thought he played really well," La Cañada Coach Dan Yoder said.
Grant Owen had five catches for 93 yards for the Spartans.
All told, the Spartans tallied 20 first downs, but couldn't capitalize because of the five turnovers.
"We had some unfortunate things happen," said Yoder, whose team has now lost five straight. "That cost us a lot of momentum. It's hard to win when you turn the ball over."
"I felt really good about tonight. We moved the ball in both phases of the offense. We've got to iron out some of those kinks."