Cub varsity shows promise against Sea Hawks
Loyola's 2017 varsity football team got its first taste of interscholastic competition at Smith Field in a controlled scrimmage against Redondo Union on Friday under the lights. The Cubs made some assignment mistakes early but found their footing after their first defensive and first offensive series, ultimately downing a Sea Hawks team that will vie for its League crown, 31-20.
The biggest improvement compared to recent seasons was the Cub 'Wolfpack's' suffocating run defense. Inside linebacker JACK FITZGERALD continued the bone jarring style of play he exhibited in the intrasquad scrimmage on August 12. Two-way junior lineman SCOTT KASE was stout at D-tackle, and also stood out on the offensive line along with center TY MAHAR.
On offense, junior running back SPEED FRY sprinted for 145 yards in 10 carries, including a broken field 50-yard TD jaunt. Senior receiver ALEX JOHNSON showed off his impressive skill set, scoring on a beautifully placed MILLER MOSS pass and taking back an interception 40 yards for a touchdown. Junior quarterback NATHAN PRIESTLEY exhibited his talent with multiple completions to senior team captain DAKOTA SMITH (recently listed by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best receivers in the Southland) and junior wideout ALEX BLAKE. Senior MICHAEL GRAVES displayed his powerful running ability, bulling into the end zone from four yards out for a TD.
Junior kicker NICHOLAS BARR-MIRA proved his value yet again, converting all of his extra point attempts and a field goal.
it was a good start for Loyola, but the squad is still very much a work in progress. There is a lot to like about the Cubs.
This Friday the Cubs open their regular season slate with a non-league tilt against Fairfax at Smith Field at 7:00 p.m. Fairfax has a crew of fast skill position athletes, and a talented quarterback who recently transferred from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
Loyola sophomores dominate Redondo
Head coach RIC FLORES and his all-alumni staff had their sohomore
charges ready to play against Redondo's JV team on Friday afternoon at Smith Field. The Cubs dominated the scrimmage, shutting out the Sea Hawks four touchdowns to none.
The most impressive performance was turned in by a swarming 'Wolfpack' defense that played fast and hit with ferocity. Flores lauded the play of his linebacker corps led by NIKKO GONZALEZ, CUTLER CLIFFORD, STEPEN ARELLANO and CARTER LINK. He also praised the effort of defensive tackle BRENDAN PERNECKY.
On the offensive side of the ball, Flores liked the hard running of MARIANO UY and Link. He also lauded quarterback ANTHONY ARNOU and a great catch made by wide receiver MICHAEL JONES.
The physicality with which the cub soph squad competes is impressive. Their first non-league game is against Fairfax on Hernandez Field this Thursday at 3:15 p.m.
Cub freshmen shut out Redondo
Head coach JOSH AHN and his staff got to see the Loyola freshman team compete against someone other than themselves for the first time against Redondo Union in the first of three scrimmages on Friday afternoon at Smith Field.
The Cubs showed that they will be a team with which to be reckoned en route to a two TD - 0 shutout of the beach city visitors.
Quarterback JACKSON DADICH connected with receiver DREW ROZELLE, who made a great run after catch to score the Cubs' first touchdown. Quarterback NICO MORALES connected with receiver TREY MORA on another TD throw.
Running back NOAH BUSTOS showcased his speed and quickness in gaining big yardage, behind good line play spearheaded by tackle MAX MIRKIN.
Corners CEYAIR WRIGHT and ALEX GIRALDO both had interceptions for Loyola.
The Cub freshman will travel to Villa Park for their first non-league game on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.