EAGLE ROCK — A lot has to go wrong for a team to not only get shut out, but to lose by five touchdowns.
For the La Cañada High football team, a lot went wrong against host Eagle Rock on Friday.
The Spartans committed three turnovers, had 120 yards in penalties, missed numerous tackles and gave up too many big plays in a 35-0 nonleague defeat.
“I could make a hundred excuses,” La Cañada Coach James Sims said. “They just beat our butt.”
A microcosm of the evening's mishaps could be cited in consecutive plays in the first quarter. After the Spartans' first drive stalled at midfield, the team lined up to punt, but a bad snap gave the Eagles the ball at the Spartans 31-yard line. On Eagle Rock's first offensive play, Nick Jovanelly ran the ball up the middle for a 31-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
The Eagles’ offense kept La Cañada (2-2) on its toes defensively, as the Eagles (5-0) ran a no-huddle attack, catching the Spartans off guard.
“We had no idea they'd go no huddle,” Sims said. “The pace was a little faster than we expected. A lot of missed tackles. “
Eagle Rock took a 28-0 advantage into halftime, but La Cañada finally caught a break when the Eagles fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half. The Spartans set up shop deep in enemy territory, but five plays later reciprocated with a fumble of their own.
“We were killing ourselves,” Sims said. “They never stopped us. We stopped ourselves.”
Donnie Breneman had 58 yards on 13 carries and Mario Martinez rushed 11 times for 33 yards for the Spartans.
“We didn't play as a team,” Martinez said. “We didn't come out to play. We just didn't show up today.”
Michael Soracco rushed the ball 11 times for 68 yards and a touchdown for Eagle Rock. Quarterback Vince Loera threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns.
“I told them we've got to get back to work on Monday,” Sims said. “It really has no bearing on us. It doesn't affect our playoff run, it doesn't affect our league play. These first five games are to get you better. We have to correct it, because instead of getting better we're getting worse. We have to get our act together. We just have to.”