Donta Abron Jr. leads Upland past Loyola, 38-23
They call Upland running back Donta Abron Jr. the “A-Train.”
Why? “It’s hard to bring me down,” the senior explained.
Loyola would agree after watching Abron’s 26 carries for 195 rushing yards — including 148 in the second half — and four touchdowns in Upland’s 38-23 homecoming win Friday.
Behind Abron, and a ground game that gained 318 yards, the Highlanders (5-0), who entered the game ranked No. 20 by The Times, executed a simple game plan against the Cubs (4-1), previously The Times’ No. 17 team.
“Jump ahead and then wear them down,” said Abron, who is averaging 158.2 rushing yards per game this season.
That happened in the second quarter, and by halftime Upland, which came into the game averaging 46.3 points, led, 28-10, an impressive figure considering Loyola’s stingy defense had only allowed 35 total points all season.
Upland led largely behind three first-half rushing touchdowns by Abron, two of which came after costly fumbles by Loyola.
“I told him after halftime that he was going to break one,” Upland Coach Tim Salter said.
And Abron did, speeding 80 yards down the left sideline with 2:51 left in the third quarter to ice the win.
“We wanted to come out and show everybody we mean business,” Abron said.
It would be hard to argue otherwise.
Upland senior running back Marques Mosley rushed for 72 yards in four carries.
“We missed tackles we usually make,” Loyola Coach Mike Christensen said.
Loyola junior running back Cameron Walker rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in 20 carries, and quarterback Nicolas Cotton was 15 for 23 for 181 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
“This is probably our biggest preseason win since I’ve been here,” said Salter, who’s been with Upland since 1994.
But, Salter added, the Highlanders still have league play, which begins Oct. 14 at Etiwanda.
Las Vegas Bishop Gorman 31, Servite 28: Klein Fielden kicked a 39-yard field goal with 1:03 left in the fourth quarter to give Bishop Gorman, the top-ranked team in Nevada, a victory over The Times’ top-ranked team.
Servite (4-1) scored 20 unanswered points to take a temporary lead in the second quarter before tying the game in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run and subsequent two-point conversion carry by Mana Pauu.
Domain Mora scored touchdowns of 10 and seven yards and teammate Connor Beavans kicked two field goals for the Friars, who suffered their second loss in 31 games.
Times staff writer Austin Knoblauch contributed to this report.