San Pedro opens football season with dominating win over St. Anthony

San Pedro players prepare before Thursday's season opener against St. Anthony.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

There was no stopping receiver/defensive back/kicker Robert Sarmiento of San Pedro. Ditto for quarterback Aidan Jackson and running back Roman Sanchez. And the offensive and defensive lines were dominant.

That sums up how impressive the City Section title favorite Pirates were on Thursday night during a 42-0 win over St. Anthony in a season football opener at St. Pius X-St. Matthias in Downey.

Perhaps San Pedro should just be thankful with playing a game considering the number of City Section teams having to drop out of openers. Among the games canceled for Friday are Hamilton-Washington Prep, Narbonne-Reseda, Dorsey-Fairfax and Crenshaw-Westchester. Westchester has agreed to play at Fairfax. Narbonne is hoping to pick up Hamilton.

San Pedro coach Corey Miller, understanding the changing environment because of coronavirus testing, said, “I used to say one day at a time. Now it’s one hour at a time.”

At least the Pirates had something to be excited about with their opening performance. Sarmiento had a 24-yard field goal, a long punt return, a 19-yard touchdown reception and made three conversion kicks. Jackson, a 250-pound quarterback, ran for a touchdown and threw for two. Sanchez ran for two touchdowns, including a 44-yard run.

St. Anthony was making its debut under first-year coach Raul Lara, the former Long Beach Poly head coach who won four Southern Section Division 1 championships with the Jackrabbits. Lara was a late summer hire, so it’s going to take a little time for St. Anthony to get better while facing a tough nonleague schedule.


The big advantage San Pedro showed was its line play on both sides of the ball. Jackson had lots of protection from the offensive line and on defense, linemen Nick Fernandez and Jerry Witty, a pair of juniors, were causing havoc, along with linebacker Benjamin Watson.