Prep football notes: Venice High uses defense to improve to 5-2

A man stands holding his baseball cap while other people stand on either side of him along a football field.
Angelo Gasca, in his 23rd season as Venice’s head football coach, has his team at 5-2 and 2-0 in the Western League.
(Craig Weston)

In 23 years as head coach at Venice High, Angelo Gasca has been known for producing All-City quarterbacks. Who knew that Gasca also had a love for defense? The Gondoliers recorded their second shutout of the season on Friday night, improving to 2-0 in the Western League and looking like the No. 2 team in the City Section with a 26-0 victory over Westchester.

“We have some really good, fast players on defense,” Gasca said.

Gasca has three two-way players who have been three-year starters and is calling them the three R’s — Rashawn Jackson, Robert Lamar and Romeo Signore. Jackson had a punt return and reception for touchdowns. Lamar scored a touchdown and was dominant at linebacker. Signore was a top tackler at linebacker.

Venice’s defensive coordinator is Iggy Porchia, who played for Venice and UNLV. The Gondoliers have given up seven points in their last three games.


Venice is 5-2 overall and would appreciate having a rematch with the City’s No. 1 team, unbeaten San Pedro, which defeated the Gondoliers 20-7 on Sept. 1. Venice is expected to add two top offensive linemen by Week 9, making the Gondoliers very much in the mix for the Open Division championship. They will play Palisades on Oct. 28 for the league title.

Scoring record: Norco and Murrieta Valley shattered the Southern Section record for most points scored in a game when Norco prevailed in overtime 77-76. The old record was Bloomington defeating Artesia 82-62 in 1994.

Norco’s Kalani Kaleiwahea scored the winning two-point conversion in overtime. The score was tied 69-69 at the end of regulation. Tyler Dudden of Norco passed for seven touchdowns and rushed for 174 yards. Bear Bachmeier of Murrieta Valley passed for nearly 400 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 147 yards and five touchdowns.

Celebration in Valencia: West Ranch (8-0) is headed to its first Foothill League championship after a 23-16 victory over Valencia. Tyler Scott, a transfer from Mission Hills Bishop Alemany coming back from a torn ACL, made his season debut, rushing for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

Lights went out: Crenshaw was trailing King/Drew 12-6 when the lights went out at L.A. Southwest College with one minute left in the fourth quarter. When they came back on, Crenshaw scored to force overtime before King/Drew pulled out an 18-12 victory, improving to 5-2.

Power in West Hills: Chaminade is 7-0 after a 65-34 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Quarterback Javance Tupouata-Johnson completed 18 of 25 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown. The Eagles end the regular season with games against La Puente Bishop Amat, Chatsworth Sierra Canyon and Gardena Serra.

Biggest impact: Santa Ana Mater Dei’s 17-7 win over Bellflower St. John Bosco means that the Monarchs (7-0) are in the driver’s seat to win the Trinity League championship, earn the No. 1 seed for the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs and, most importantly, avoid playing Corona Centennial in a potential semifinal matchup. The Monarchs received a huge performance from junior safety Jeilani Davis, who had 10 solo tackles and 13 overall.