Football: Belmont wins first City Section Division III championship

Sentinels win first title

Led by running back Isaiah Chatman, Belmont capitalized on four Hollywood turnovers to win the City Section Division III championship at Cerritos College and earn a berth in a CIF regional bowl game next week. 

The 24-7 victory gave Belmont its first City football title in the school's 93-year history.


Chatman rushed for 31 times for 142 yards and quarterback Andrew Trujillo completed six of 12 passes for 98 yards and one touchdown.

"We made good tackles in the backfield and the secondary did its job," said defensive back Keiyon Johnson, who had two interceptions. "This feels amazing to make history. Coach said no one can ever top what we've done. Others may match it, but we're the only ones to do it the first time."

On the third play from scrimmage, Johnson intercepted a pass by Hollywood quarterback David Rothenberg and returned it 17 yards. The Sentinels drove 53 yards in 13 plays, scoring on Trujillo's one-yard sneak on fourth and goal.

Belmont drove to the Sheiks' 7-yard line on its next possession but came away with no points after Trujillo dropped a fourth-down pass from Joshua Arias in the end zone on a halfback option.

On Hollywood's ensuing drive, Tyree Moore was stopped four yards short of a first down on a fake punt, giving Belmont the ball back at the Sheiks' 28-yard line. Erik Diaz kicked a 24-yard field goal,  extending the Sentinels' lead to 10-0 with under two minutes left in the second quarter.

Hollywood answered on Rothenberg's 37-yard touchdown pass to Max Peranidze to cut its deficit to 10-7 at halftime. Rothenberg completed nine of 16 passes for 175 yards.

Belmont recovered a Rothenberg fumble at Hollywood's 8-yard line and Trujillo threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Arias to extend the Sentinels' lead to 17-7 with 2:11 left in the third quarter.

An interception by Carlos Castillo set up a two-yard scoring run by Diaz to put Belmont ahead 24-7 with 5:37 remaining in the game. Johnson's second interception with 3:42 left clinched the victory.

The teams met Oct. 30 to decide the Central League title and Belmont prevailed 7-6.

Peranidze caught six passes for 156 yards for Hollywood, which was seeking its first City title since 1927.

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