Gloomy weather didn’t stop quarterback Brandon Reese and the La Cañada High football team from lighting it up in front of the Spartans home crowd.
It was all smiles on the Spartans sideline in the final nonleague game of the season Friday.
Everything clicked on both sides of the ball for La Cañada, and it was the perfect morale-booster for a team that had struggled the last two games.
As the Spartans marched toward the cheering crowd at the end of the game, coach Jason Sarceda couldn’t help but smile watching his team celebrate a 43-15 win Friday against Pioneer in the final nonleague contest before heading into Rio Hondo League play.
“It’s just a good feeling to have everyone back, playing at our full potential,” Sarceda said. “We had a lot of guys miss practice last week, which hurt us so it was a different team this week.”
The offensive line gave Reese all the time he needed to throw for 244 yards on 17-of-22 passing, finishing with three touchdowns. Receiver Dezin Delgatty caught seven passes for 196 yards, adding three touchdowns.
“Our defense killed it; we had guys stepping on the line and in the secondary,” Reese said. “Everyone played at full cylinder.
“It’s good momentum heading into next week.”
La Cañada’s defense set the tone with an impressive turnover on the first drive. As soon as Reese got the ball in his hands, it was smooth sailing for the Spartans. He got his team on the board at the 10:07 mark of the first quarter with a four-yard quarterback keep after driving downfield.
The Spartans’ defense was pumped, but would come back with a little too much energy giving up a 76-yard rushing touchdown by Titans’ quarterback Nathan Ruano. It was a crowd-silencer, but the defense would lock in from there.
“Giving up easy plays like that hurts us in the long run,” Sarceda said. “I’m glad we were able to move past that and lock up on defense.”
Fortunately for La Cañada, Reese delivered a 45-yard touchdown pass to Delgatty to take a 14-7.
The defense was focused this time around, forcing back-to-back turnovers with the help of a Delgatty interception.
Reese perfected the two minute drill, driving the ball down the field to score on a 27-yard passing touchdown to Delgatty.
The second half was the Delgatty show, as he did it all for the Spartans. He combined for an interception, a receiving touchdown and a 72- yard kickoff return for a touchdown — all in the third quarter.
“My mindset is whatever I can play and go 100%, I am going to do it will all of my ability,” Delgatty said.
The only offense from the Titans came from Ruano. He rushed for another touchdown and threw a five-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 43-21.
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