Spartans get back on track, 42-0

When the La Cañada High football lined up against Blair on Friday night, it became clear early on the game was going to get out of hand.

Blair looked lost on both offense and defense and the Spartans took advantage, shutting out the Vikings for a 42-0 Rio Hondo League victory.

The victory improves the Spartans to 4-4 overall, 1-1 in league.

"A win like this is definitely going to be a confidence-builder," La Cañada Coach Dan Yoder said. "We had identified some of the things we had done wrong against Temple City last week, and some of those things [we] improved on tonight."

Bad snaps proved costly for Blair. The Vikings' first drive turned into points for the Spartans when a bad snap out of the shotgun sailed into Blair's end zone and went through the back of the zone for a safety.

La Cañada was up 2-0 before it even touched the ball on offense.

The ensuing kickoff put the Spartans in great field position, and six plays later, La Cañada running back Daleep Sandhu rushed for a three-yard touchdown, giving his team a 9-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.

Sandhu finished the game with 28 yards and two rushing touchdowns. However, it was Kevin Stoner who racked up the most rushing yards for the Spartans, finishing with 10 carries for 85 yards.

The scoreboard got a workout as La Cañada scored on six of its eight drives, only failing to pick up points from a missed 38-yard field-goal attempt and a late fumble.

Quarterback Scott Gray put up the most points, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 83 yards.

Gray first scored when he danced around defenders for a 37-yard touchdown run, which pushed the lead out to 15-0. On the next drive, he hit tight end Jay Kolina with a two-yard touchdown pass and a 22-0 lead.

Gray added his third score on an eight-yard run, giving his team even more breathing room, 35-0.

Offense didn't come as easy for Blair. Five of its eight drives ended without points. The three exceptions were the safety and two turnovers.

"It was about time we had a game like that on defense," said Spartans' defensive back Michael Arkfeld, who came up with an interception. "We stopped the run and the pass. We just did our jobs."

The Vikings were only able to manufacture a total of 66 yards against the La Cañada defense. Blair was never a threat to score, only managing to move the ball past midfield once, getting to La Cañada's 41-yard line.

History repeated itself with 5:35 left in the fourth quarter. The Vikings lined up in a shotgun formation with their backs to the end zone and another snap went right over the quarterback's head. This time defensive lineman John Moon recovered the loose ball for the Spartans, giving them another touchdown, ending the scoring, 42-0.

The Spartans control their own destiny going forward. If they win their last two games against San Marino and Monrovia, they will be guaranteed a playoff spot.

"It helps knowing that," said Matt Algeria, a linebacker for La Cañada who came up with two sacks against Blair. "It puts a little more pressure on us, makes us work a little harder in practice and makes us play the entire game all the way through."

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