Offensive futility continues in loss to Notre Dame

Loyola dropped its second Mission League game on Friday night, falling to Sherman Oaks Notre Dane, 28-7, at Smith Field. Offensive futility continued to hamper the Cubs’ quest for a victory. Loyola’s skein of ineffectiveness on the offensive side of the ball culminated in a sixth consecutive defeat.

Since their season opening win, the Cub offensive platoon has scored just 15 points (a field goal against St. Augustine, a TD against Alemany and another touchdown against an average Notre Dame squad). Defense and special teams put the other 24 of 39 total points on the board since the season opener. Loyola’s offense has averaged just 2.5 points in its last six outings. Suffice to say it has been the worst offensive drought in a six game span in decades.

The lone touchdown scored by the Cubs (1-6, 0-2) against the surging Knights (5-2, 2-0) came at the 6:26 mark of the fourth quarter when senior quarterback and team captain NATHAN PRIESTLY scampered 16 yards to the left corner of the end zone.

Aside from its woeful offensive struggles, the nadir of the night for Loyola came with 13 seconds left in the first half when the Cub defense looked like it expected Notre Dame’s quarterback to take a knee, only to watch the 6’ 3” sophomore signal caller race 63 yards untouched for a touchdown. The ensuing PAT kick upped the Knights’ insurmountable lead to 21-0 as the teams headed to their locker rooms.

Early on in the contest, it appeared as though Loyola might make a game of it against Notre Dame which entered Smith Field following a resounding 38-7 drubbing of Serra in its Mission League opener on September 28. The Cubs’ ‘Wolfpack’ defense forced the Knights to punt on their first possession. But according to exasperating form that has become habitual, Loyola’s initial offensive possession ended in a punt. Notre Dame faced a third-and-fifteen situation at its 35 yard line on its next possession, when the Knights’quarterback threw a quick screen to his tailback, who raced 65 yards for a TD at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter.

The Cubs’ next three possessions ended in a punt, interception and another punt. Notre Dame missed a 42-yard field goal and was held to a three and out by the ‘Wolfpack’ before scoring on a 25-yard pass with 5:45 left in the second quarter. It looked as though Loyola would still be in it going into halftime thanks to a scrappy effort by its defense. Then mind numbing disaster struck with 13 seconds left before intermission. Deflated would be too mild a word to describe the Cubs’ emotions at the break. 

The Knights’ scored on a fumble return set up by a sack late in the third quarter, to extend their lead to 28-0. In the search for positives in yet another disheartening defeat, one can hang his hat on Loyola’s defense pitching a shutout after intermission. Unfortunately, without help from the offense, the Cub stop unit cannot be counted on to carry the load. Having scored just two offensive touchdowns in 24 quarters, there is little reason to anticipate different results going forward. With three games remaining, Loyola will have to find a magic elixir to cure its offensive woes. 

The Cubs will travel to West Hills next Friday to take on Chaminade (2-5, 0-2), which fell to Alemany (6-1, 0-2), 31-14, on Friday.

Loyola Freshmen continue to roll - Cub Sophs tie undefeated Notre Dame

The Cub freshman football team routed Notre Dame’s frosh squad, 49-6, on Thursday at Smith Field to improve its record to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the Mission League. Loyola rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead. After its first offensive series of the third quarter, which culminated in a TD, the Cub first string gave way to the reserves. As been the case in multiple contests thus far, the fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

The Knights went three-and-out on their first possession of the game. PETE VANIS returned Notre Dame’s punt to the visitors’ 28-yard line. HARRISON ALLEN’s four-yard run for a score at the 7:23 mark of the first quarter, followed by JACKSON SHEA’s extra point kick, put Loyola up 7-0, and the rout was on.

Vanis, who had a monster outing on offense, defense and special teams, returned the Knights’ second punt of the afternoon for six points. Shea’s PAT kick put the Cubs up 14-0. An unbelievable 50-yard broken tackle run by running back TAHJ OWENS with 8:10 left in the second quarter extended Loyola’s lead to 21-0. 

Nose guard HENRY KUPIEC’s fourth down sack of Notre Dame’s quarterback at the Knights’ 31 yard line put the Cubs on a short field. Allen powered into the end zone from the one yard line at the 3:50 mark of the second stanza. Shea’s PAT boot made the score 28-0.

JACOBY KELLY made an incredible long distance circus catch of a JOE TATUM pass to set up a 17-yard touchdown run by Tatum, which put the Cubs up 35-0 at the break.

Loyola’s first possession of the second half covered 60 yards. It was culminated by an Allen 12-yard TD sprint, which extended Loyola’s lead to 42-0 with 8:42 left in the third quarter.  The Cub reserves took over for the remainder of the game. Quarterback JACK WYNPERLE’s two-yard TD run made the score 49-0 at the 7:16 mark of the final quarter. The Knights’ finally scored with 2:26 left in the contest.

it was another dominant performance by the Cubs, whose next Mission League battle will be against Chaminade in West Hills next Friday at 3:30 p.m. Loyola averages 45 points per outing to its opponents’ 14 points.

Loyola’s sophomore squad traveled to Sherman Oaks on Thursday to take on Notre Dame’s undefeated JVs. The Knights came into the game with a 6-0 record, averaging a 45-6 winning score per contest, with their offense scoring 60 or more points in two games (61-0 versus Moorpark and 60-0 against Birmingham).

A tie is never as good as a win, but in this case it almost was, given the talent of the opponent and playing on the road. 

Down 27-14 at halftime the Cubs outscored Notre Dame after intermission, 20-7, showing great grit and resolve. The squad is definitely improving week to week, which is a testament to the great job the all-alumni staff is doing.

Important game on tap this week - All-alumni Sophomore staff imbuing Cub ethos

Loyola has big game on Friday
Coming off a one-sided loss to Alemany last Friday, the Cubs' are in desperate need of wins to keep their playoff hopes alive. The challenge Loyola faces this Friday is formidable as they will host the Notre Dame Knights, one of the hottest teams in Division 2. The Knights are coming off an impressive 38-7 win over Gardena Serra.

Kickoff on Friday is at 7:00 Smith Field.

Head coach Kevin Rooney’s Knights got off to a relatively slow start to the season, losing their first non-league contest to CIF Central Coast Section powerhouse Mountain View St. Francis, 23-12, in the Bay Area, followed by a heartbreaking 35-34 setback to Moorpark in game two. There was no shame in those defeats. St. Francis is ranked thirty-first in the state by MaxPreps, and Moorpark has a 5-1 record.

In its three non-league tilts heading into last Friday’s Mission League opener against Gardena Serra Notre Dame outscored Lancaster Paraclete, San Fernando and Lake Balboa Birmingham by the cumulative score of 160-26 (average score 53-9). It was each of those teams’ worst losses of the season.

Last Friday, the Knights made a resounding statement in crushing Gardena Serra, 38-7, in their Mission League opener in Sherman Oaks.
Notre Dame is run-oriented. It was averaging over 240 rushing yards per game going into last Friday’s contest. Senior speed back Christian Grubb (5-11, 170) leads the running crew with an eye-popping 10.8 yards per carry. Powerful sophomore Anthony Spearman III (5-10, 193) is the second leading back with a 7.2 yards per carry average. The team’s per game rushing average is a robust 7.7 yards per carry.
Sophomore dual threat quarterback Cooper Meek (6-3, 185) can fling it. He has a 59 % completion rate (15 yards per completion) and averages 6.7 yards per carry on the ground. Meek’s favorite target is 6-0, 188 lb. receiver Mckel Brossard. Spearman averages 18 yards per reception out of the backfield. The Knights’ offense is led by a powerful offensive line spearheaded by senior Daniel Fitzmorris (6-2, 285).
Sophomore linebacker Jacob Moore (6-1, 195) leads a stout Notre Dame defense with 67 tackles through the first five games. Junior inside linebacker W. M. Johnson (5-11, 207) had notched 37 tackles and junior defensive back Justin Horton (5-11, 160) recorded 28 stops heading into the Serra contest.
The Knights are sold on both sides of the ball. One of the keys to the game for the Cubs will be holding Meek in check, as he is as capable hurting teams with the run as the pass. Last Friday he had 103 yards passing and 74 rushing yards. Loyola’s offense will probably need to score at least four touchdowns if the Cubs hope to notch a win.
Loyola and Notre Dame (founded in 1947 by The Congregation of the Holy Cross) first met on the gridiron in 1950. Led by two-time All-CIF running back Frank Layana ’52, the Cubs vanquished the Knights in the teams’ inaugural meeting, 37-14. Loyola, the Catholic league champion under head coach Jack Bouchard, advanced to the CIF Southern Section Large Schools playoff semifinals that season. The Cubs’ two largest margins of victory over Notre Dame were in 1963 (46-0) and 1975 (46-7). Loyola was undefeated (12-0) and won a second consecutive CIF Southern section AAAA title in 1963. The Cubs were CIF AAAA and National Champions after a 13-0 campaign in 1975.
Loyola leads the series with a 33-18 overall record.
2018 Notre Dame Record (4-2)
St. Francis (Mtn. View)    23   NOTRE DAME   12
Moorpark                         35   NOTRE DAME   34
NOTRE DAME                55   Paraclete              7
NOTRE DAME                56   San Fernando      7
NOTRE DAME                49   Birmingham        12
NOTRE DAME.               38   Serra.                   7

Loyola sophs down Alemany JVs 45-28; coached by all-alumni staff
Last Thursday, Loyola's sophomore team ran roughshod over Alemany's JV squad by a score of 45-28. The going has not been easy for the Cub sophomores who have been playing JV teams which include upperclassmen. The experience of playing older opponents will only make the players better prepared for the next level.

Loyola's sophomore coaching staff is manned entirely by dedicated Loyola graduates, each of whom has been instilling the Cub ethos of toughness and accountability.

Head coach ANTHONY HOLLY '87 (RBs, DL, Offensive Coordinator) was an All-CIF nose guard on Loyola's 1986 team which finished with a 9-3 record. Holly is one of the toughest players to have ever donned Cub Blue.

Assistant coach Fred Sainz '83 (Defensive Coordinator, WRs, Inside Linebackers) was a bruising, ball-hawking All-CIF safety on Loyola's 1982 squad that finished 9-2-1 and advanced to the CIF playoff quarterfinals. Assistant NICOLAS COTTON (QBs, DBs, Special Teams Coordinator) quarterbacked the Cubs to an 8-3 record in 2011. JEROD ADAMS '15 (RBs, Outside Linebackers) played outside linebacker for the varsity in 2013 and 2015. He is the son of longtime head basketball coach JAMAL ADAMS '90.

Offensive and Defensive Line coach JOE MURRAY '78 was an offensive tackle on Loyola's nationally ranked CIF AAAA semifinalist squad in 1977. He earned All-CIF AAAA accolades and was also named a Parade All-American. Murray was awarded a football scholarship to USC, where he started for the Trojans as an offensive lineman. After his graduation from Troy, Murray played professionally for the NFL's Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts. Murray travels daily from his home in South Orange County to coach the Cub linemen.

Loyola's sophomore squad is fortunate to have these dedicated Cub grads teaching them the Big Blue way to compete.

Keeping tabs on Cubs in College Football
Former Loyola MVP MYLES BRYANT '16, who dominated at multiple positions for the Cubs during his brilliant three year varsity playing career, is replicating his Loyola exploits at the University of Washington as the Huskies' starting nickel corner. Bryant, a junior, was named Washington's defensive Player of the Week after his standout efforts in the 'Dawgs 35-7 victory over previously unbeaten BYU on Saturday.

Second half of league opening loss shows promise - Loyola freshman win thriller

High school football teams play four twelve minute quarters in a game. Since the conclusion of Loyola’s 51-7 shellacking of Fairfax in the season opener on August 24 the Cubs had not scored an offensive touchdown in 227 minutes and four seconds of game action until junior quarterback DAVIS WARREN passed to senior running back and team captain HUNTER BALLARD in the right flat for an 11-yard touchdown at the :56 mark of the third quarter in their league opener against Alemany on Friday Mission Hills. The successful venture into paydirt ended a painful 18 quarter offensive touchdown drought. 

Davis was inserted into the lineup behind center to start the second half. His quick release and accurate passes, often under pressure, seemed to energize the entire Loyola operation. Even the moribund running game found life with the passing game suddenly showing rhythm. An inspired effort by the Cub ‘Wolfpack’ defense was highlighted by a tackle of Alemany’s quarterback in the end zone to notch a safety, allowing Loyola to outscore the Warriors 8-6 in the second half.

There was optimism in the Cub camp heading into the first conference contest based on the sterling performance of the defense against Vista Murrieta the week before. Loyola had held the 29th ranked squad in California to just two field goals. Unfortunately, the Cubs fell victim to a veritable landslide of Warrior passing yards in the first half. Alemany’s quarterback threw for a staggering 385 yards in the first two quarters, helping the Warriors roll to a 28-0 lead before intermission. 

The change behind center allowed Loyola to build momentum in the second half on both sides of the ball. An offense that had been woeful for the four previous games suddenly showed promise. The ‘Wolfpack’ allowed only 62 passing yards in the second half. Whether there will be carry over as the Cubs host red hot Sherman Oaks Notre Dame next Friday remains to be seen, but the energy created by a promising second half effort against Alemany provides hope for the remainder of the Mission League campaign. The final 34-8 score does not look good, but the final 24 minutes of inspired effort did.

The race for the Mission League championship and three guaranteed playoff berths is wide open after the first week of league competition. Title favorite Bishop Amat (5-1, 1-0), ranked eleventh in the state, scored a late TD in North Hills to notch a nail biting 28-27 victory over Chaminade (2-4, 0-1), which probably played the CIF Southern Section’s toughest non-league schedule with games against state number two-ranked St. John Bosco, fifth-ranked Oaks Christian and sixth-ranked Folsom. Notre Dame (4-2, 1-0) walloped Gardena Serra, 38-7, notching a victory over the athletic Cavaliers for the first time since 2007. To make the Div. 2 playoffs Loyola will have to find a way to notch at least two wins in its final four contests.

Loyola‘s freshman football team travelled to Mission Hills on Friday afternoon for a showdown game against undefeated Alemany, which came into the contest with an average winning score of 39-9. The Warriors are huge up front with several linemen tipping the scales at over 300 pounds, a 6-5 wide receiver/ defensive end and another 6-4 defensive lineman. In addition to incredible size, Alemany possesses better speed than any squad the Cubs had faced in their first five games. But, as has been the case all season, Loyola was not intimidated by the apparent advantages possessed by the host squad.

Following an interception by Cub outside linebacker JACK WYNPERLE on the Warriors’ first possession, Loyola drove 63 yards, scoring on a 1-yard pass from JOE TATUM to TAHJ OWENS with 4:09 left in the first quarter. 

At the 6:01 mark of the second stanza the Warriors returned a punt 50 yards for a TD. A two-point conversion attempt was stuffed by the Cubs, making the score 7-6 in favor of Loyola.

With 2:29 left in the half, Owens, who had a huge afternoon running and catching the ball, powered into the end zone from six yards out. Alemany came storming back, scoring on an 11-yard pass just before halftime. The two point conversion attempt succeeded, tying the score at 14-14 as the teams headed to the locker room.

The Warriors scored first after intermission, connecting on a 33-yard pass on a third-down-and-23-yards-to-go play with 4:47 left in the third quarter, making the score, Alemany 20, Loyola 14.
JACOBY KELLY, who had an incredible outing, put the Cubs back in the lead, 21-20, with a spectacular catch of an 18-yard Tatum pass with 1:29 left in the third stanza. 

Suspense continued to build in the taut, hard hitting see-saw contest entering the final quarter. The Warriors scored on a 16-yard pass with 10:50 left on the clock. A successful two-point conversion attempt put Alemany up, 28-21.

Undaunted, Loyola came back with a vengeance, scoring on a perfectly executed 15-yard double pass with Tatum throwing to slot receiver PETE VANIS, who then connected with Kelly. The PAT kick tied the score, 28-28, with 7:33 remaining in the game. 

The tension on the field was palpable when, with just over three minutes remaining, the Warriors went for it on fourth-and-short at the Cub 48 yard line. Loyola’s defense held as the huge momentum swing turned in the Cubs’ favor. Loyola was driving successfully before an interception seemingly looked to end the Big Blue’s chances.

Shortly thereafter, though, Alemany attempted a deep pass which was intercepted by Vanis, another star of the day, setting the Cubs up with one more propitious opportunity near midfield with just over a minute remaining on the clock. The key play on the drive was another double pass, this time from Tatum who threw a lateral aerial to Vanis, who in turn threw the ball down the middle to a wide open Tatum. With 4.9 seconds remaining in the contest, and the ball on the Warriors 16 yard line, JACKSON SHEA nailed a 26-yard field goal to win the game for Loyola, 31-28.

The entire offensive line should be lauded for its effort, especially tackles  SAM YOON and JOSEPH TAYLOR. It would be difficult to name a player of the game for the Cubs, as it was a spectacular, gutsy effort by the entire TEAM which continues to impress everyone who is fortunate enough to see them compete with uncommon focus and intensity week after week. Loyola (5-1, 1-0) will host Notre Dame’s freshmen on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

Old Dominion reminds that anything is possible as "new" season begins

Loyola's "new" season starts Friday - anything is possible in wide open Mission League  
The Washington Post headline in Sunday’s Sports Section read, "From Norfolk to eternity: Old Dominion springs a glorious upset for the ages" after the winless Monarchs of Conference USA not only upset Virginia Tech, the nation's number 13th-ranked team, but poured it on the Hokies to the tune of a staggering 632 yards of total offense in a 49-35 victory that can only be described as a seismic event in FBS football. Old Dominion lost to lowly Liberty, 52-10, three weeks ago. Since their lone victory over the Monarchs, the Liberty Flames were outscored 85-21 by Army and North Texas.

What made the epic upset all the more compelling was that Old Dominion was struggling on offense until last Saturday's veritable total yardage explosion against one of the best defenses in major college football.

What does a college football game played in Norfolk, Virginia before a small crowd on a late September Saturday have to do with Cub Football? Well . . .everything. It proves that any team can get off the mat when down and turn around its fortunes notwithstanding what projections of further futility might indicate.

This Friday at Mission Hills, Loyola (1-4) will travel to Alemany (4-1) to kick off the 2018 Mission League campaign. The league is somewhat down compared to recent seasons, and the races for the conference title and playoff berths are wide open.

The Cubs have a chance to change the trajectory of their season as a "new" campaign commences this Friday. 

Below (in alphabetical order) are thumbnail sketches of each of Loyola's Mission League opponents after the non-league portions of their schedules were concluded.

The Warriors average 232 yards per game passing and 114 yards per game rushing. Sophomore quarterback Miller Moss (6-2, 190) has completed 60 per cent of his passes for 1,141 yards. Alemany’s top runner is freshman Floyd Chalk (5-9, 185), who is averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Senior DL Trevor Oioh (6-3, 240) leads the team in tackles with 31.

Most noteworthy result: 56-14 loss to Oaks Christian.

Average score: 31-16

The Lancers average 154 yards per game passing and 131 on the ground. Their top runner, Damien Moore, is lost for the season due to injury. Senior QB Blake Archuleta (6-2, 190) has completed 62 per cent of his passes for 762 yards. Senior running back Kenny Collins (5-9, 170) is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Senior defensive back Deven Jarvis (6-2, 180) leads the team in tackles with 46.

Most noteworthy results: 42-14 season opening loss to Mater Dei (was a forfeit win due to MD’s use of an ineligible player), one point loss to state top 20-ranked JSerra (21-20), 42-21 win against Cathedral.

Average score: 34-21

The Eagles, who along with Amat, have played a tough non-league schedule, average 181 rushing yards per game and 112 yards through the air. Senior QB Ryan Stevens (6-1, 180) has passed for 665 yards (58%). Alex Okuribido (6-0, 184) averages 6.5 yards per carry. Cal-bound senior linebacker Blake Antzoulatos (6-2, 202) leads Chaminade with 46 tackles.

Most noteworthy results: lost to state number six-ranked Folsom 70-34, lost to state number two-ranked St. John Bosco 56-20

Average score: 28-33.

The Knights average 241 yards on the ground and 112 passing yards per game. Sophomore signal caller Cooper Meek (6-3, 185) has completed 59% of his passes at a 14.9 yards per cometion clip and averages 6.7 yards per rush. Senior running back Christian Grubb (5-11, 170) averages a whopping 10.8 yards per carry. Sophomore RB Anthony Spearman III (5-10, 193) averages 7.2 ypc. Sophomore middle linebacker Jacob Moore (6-1, 195) leads the Kights with 69 tackles.

Most noteworthy result: lost 23-12 to St. Francis of San Mateo of the CIF Central Coast Section.

Average score: 30-17.

SERRA (3-2)
Serra averages 298 passing yards per game and 72 yards rushing. Junior quarterback Doug  Brumfield (6-5, 200) has completed 60% of his passes for 1,480 yards (14.2 yards per completion). Six foot-three inch senior receiver Justin Lockhart is averaging 102 receiving yards per game. Running back Jaylon Armstead (5-11, 215) is averaging 6.0 yards per carry.

Most noteworthy results: lost to San Diego Cathedral Catholic 41-22, defeated L. B. Poly 29-25, lost to Narbonne 27-26.

Average score: 28-27.

Cubs in college football update
Former Loyola punter STEFAN FLINTOFT '14 was named the Ray Guy Award punter of the week as he averaged 48.8 yards per punt, with a long of 70 yards, in UCLA's game against Fresno State on September 15. Flintoft is on the Ray Guy Award Watch List. The award is bestowed on the best punter in college football at the conclusion of each season.

Time to wipe the slate clean

In its final non-league contest of the season, the Cubs traveled to Murrieta on Friday to play Vista Murrieta on the Broncos’ homecoming night. Before a capacity, highly vocal home crowd Loyola’s ‘Wolfpack’ defense put forth an impressive effort for the second consecutive week, holding the home squad to just two field goals. Unfortunately, the Big Blue’s offense was once again staggeringly ineffective. 

Unofficially, on fourteen offensive possessions the Cubs punted eleven times (with one being blocked). Two other possessions ended with interceptions, and the last time Loyola had the ball the clock ran out. Putting on a punting clinic was not what the Cubs had in mind as they took the 90 mile bus ride to the Temecula Valley.

Loyola’s offense has now failed to score a touchdown in 20 consecutive quarters. That might be the longest skein of futility in the annals of the program. Against the Broncos, the Cubs were only able to muster a handful of first downs as the scoring drought continued. Unfortunately, changes in approach developed during the week leading up to Friday’s final non-league tilt did not transform the woebegone inefficiency of the Big Blue offense.

The ‘Wolfpack’ stop unit played with great intensity throughout the fray, allowing only two field goals against a team that rolled up 34 first half points against the CIF San Diego Section’s fourth ranked team in its preceding outing. With even a scintilla of production from the offense, Loyola could have easily notched a victory. The only points relinquished by Loyola’s defense in the first half came on a 30-yard Vista Murrieta field goal at the 1:21 mark of the first quarter.

On the Broncos’ first drive of the second half Cub junior inside linebacker STEVEN ARELLANO and senior linebacker CHASE BRANIGAN combined on a jarring tackle to cause a Vista Murrieta fumble, with Arellano picking up the loose ball and returning it to Loyola’s 32 yard line. It was another frustrating three and out for the Cubs, squelching the momentum created by the turnover. After Loyola’s defense forced another Bronco punt, the Cubs took over on their 14 yard line. Another three and out ensued, and disaster struck as the punt was blocked and rolled out of the end zone for a safety as Vista Murrieta players frantically tried to corral the ball. The safety increased the Broncos’ lead to 5-0 late in the third quarter.

The teams exchanged punts three times before Loyola secured favorable field position only to have an interception returned all the way to the Cubs’ 18 yard line. Vista Murrieta kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:21 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 8-0.

The Broncos fumbled a Loyola punt following another three and out by the Cub offense. Set up for a potential game tying drive, a Cub interception quickly followed, ending the scoring opportunity. The Big Blue offense got the ball one more time with a little over a minute remaining in the game. With no time outs left, Loyola notched one first down before the clock expired.

Senior defensive lineman MARCUS AGUILAR had several sacks to pace the impressive effort of Loyola’s defensive platoon. The Cubs’ stop unit forced the Broncos to punt seven times and stuffed their lone fourth down attempt. The six points scored by Vista Murrieta wer 22 points below its season average.


Yes, the Cubs are 1-4 and struggling mightily on the offensive side of the ball, but a new season gets underway on Friday as Loyola will travel to Mission Hills to take on Alemany in the first contest of its five game Mission League schedule  The Cubs have an opportunity to erase their non-league struggles, regroup and figure out a way to move the ball on offense. While there is a lot to work on, opportunity abounds nonetheless. Some players need to step up and every member of  the team needs to make a decision that there are still plenty of goals for which to play.

Cub freshmen suffer first loss with significant aid from officials

Loyola freshman team loses heart breaker to Vista Murrieta with shocking help from officiating crew
Going into Thursday's road game against Vista Murrieta the Cub freshman team had yet to play an opponent that gave it much competition. By the middle of the first quarter of Loyola's final non-league contest against the Broncos on a hot, windy afternoon in Murrieta, it became patently obvious that the Cubs were not only playing against a depth-laden team with 90-plus members, but also against an officiating crew that clearly had an agenda that favored Vista Murrieta to the point of incredulity.

Drive-ending penalty flags were thrown against Loyola with regularity and penalties were called with equal frequency against the Cubs, keeping numerous Bronco drives alive. Approximately 14 flags were thrown against Loyola in what was the most blatantly biased officiated football contest this writer has watched in over 50 years. The Cub coaching staff was aghast at the phantom penalties conjured up by what proved to be striped-shirted opponents. Using bad official calls as a legitimate excuse for losing does not normally stand up, but in this particular case the sheer volume and times the flags were thrown left no doubt that the officiating crew had a direct impact on the outcome of the contest.

To be sure, the Broncos were the best coached opponent Loyola has played thus far this season, and the size, strength and depth of their offensive and defensive lines trumped the prowess of the Cubs' trench men in each of those categories. Without the officials' contribution to the outcome, though, a four point loss would have been another victory for Loyola, despite several costly miscues and breakdowns.

Running back HARRISON SMITH raced 69 yards for a Cub touchdown just 39 seconds into the game, and the 'Wolfpack' defense forced a three and out on the Broncos' first offensive possession. Loyola punted on its next possession after flags were thrown, and then Vista Murietta went on a flag-assisted 82-yard drive, capped by a 10-yard TD jaunt to tie the score. On their ensuing possession the Cubs coughed up the ball on their own 29 yard line, and the Broncos scored on a short run with 1:43 left in the first quarter. The Broncos missed the PAT kick to make the score 13-7 in favor of the home squad.

Loyola overcame several flags on their next possession, driving 71 yards with a 17-yard scoring pass from JOE TATUM to wide receiver PETE VANIS capping the march. A blocked PAT made the score 13-13. What would turn out to ultimately be the difference-making play of the game-when not considering the officials' role-came on the ensuing kickoff which was taken 80 yards to paydirt by Vista Murrieta's diminutive starting running back. The PAT kick made the score 20-13 in favor of the Broncos. It was looking like the bottom was falling out for Loyola when Vista Murrieta blocked a Cubs' punt on the Big Blue's next possession, with the Broncos taking over at the Loyola 30 yard line. Another officials' assisted drive ended in a Vista Murrieta TD. The Cubs' blocked the Broncos' PAT kick attempt to make the score 26-13 in favor of Vista Murrieta.

With 1:30 left in the second quarter the Cubs seized the momentum with a perfectly executed double pass for a touchdown that covered 70 yards. Tatum threw a lateral to Vanis who turned and threw a perfect pass to a streaking JACOBY KELLY. An aerial to tight end WILL ALLEN on the extra point try closed the gap to 26-21 just before halftime.

A big sack by Loyola on the Broncos' first drive of the second half forced a field goal try that was short. At the 2:15 mark of the third quarter, after several drive-interrupting flags, Tatum threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Harrison Allen. Tatum's two point conversion on a run around right end put the Cubs in the lead 29-26.

Aided by several flags, including two on fourth down plays, Vista Murrieta scored on a four yard run to pull ahead, 33-29.Loyola could not answer with barely over a minute left in the game.

The Broncos were physical up front and shuffled in talented line back-ups as the game progressed. Meanwhile, with several Cub linemen who were going both ways Loyola began to wear down during the latter stages of the second half.

A beautifully executed 70-yard touchdown sprint by Loyola running back TAHJ OWENS was one of the many huge plays nullified by penalties.

The loss stings, but the caliber of opponent is just what the Cubs (4-1) needed before embarking on the Mission League portion of their schedule next week.  Loyola fought gallantly until the end and showed great resolve throughout the contest. No predictions can be made as to how the Cubs will fare in conference play, but one thing is certain, they will be compete with uncommon physicality in each of the remaining five games.

tough schedule ahead for Loyola

Loyola’s varsity football team is in search of an elixir for what has been a dreadful 1-3 start to the 2018 season. And the silver bullet needs to be found in a hurry as the Cubs are preparing to make a 180 mile round trip on Friday to play surging Vista Murrieta (2-2) which routed the fourth-ranked team in San Diego County last Friday. The Broncos led Madison 34-0 at halftime en route to a 34-6 victory. The impressive win propelled Vista Murrieta to the number 29 spot in this week’s CalHi Sports state rankings.

Following the long trek to Murrieta, Loyola will begin its arduous march through the treacherous Mission League on September 28 with a trip to Mission Hills Alemany (4-1). Each Mission League team will be a favorite when it meets the Cubs if the rankings stay the same as they are this week. Loyola is not among California’s top 79 teams as ranked by CalHi Sports.

After drubbing Cathedral, 42-21, a team to which the Cubs lost by 23 points, league favorite Bishop Amat (4-1) rocketed up from the number 20 to the number 12 position in the state Top 25. The Lancers lost to Mater Dei by a lopsided score (but MD forfeited the win for using an ineligible player) and lost a heart breaker by a single point to number nine-ranked JSerra of the Trinity League.

Serra of Gardena (2-2) is ranked number 35 in the latest state poll, and Chaminade (2-3) is slotted at number 45, but two of the Eagles’ losses were to state top five-ranked teams, Folsom and St. John Bosco. Both Alemany and Notre Dame (2-2) are listed by ClaHi Sports among the other 29 teams receiving consideration after the top 50.

There are 18 teams in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff eligibility field, and 16 of those squads will receive playoff invitations. Loyola will have to win at least two games in conference play to be considered for a playoff invitation. Somehow the Cubs have to find a way to get the arrow pointing up, and this Friday’s final non-league contest will provide an opportunity to get the Big Blue back on track.

The Broncos (2-2) appear to be hitting on all cylinders after their impressive victory over highly regarded San Diego Madison last Friday. Vista Murrieta is averaging 180 yards per game on the ground and 111 yards through the air. Senior quarterback Michael Jimenez (6-2, 200) is a talented field general. The Broncos’ run game is powered by the threesome of senior Theo Gearring (5-9, 175, 6.7 yards per carry), who was named the Player of the Game against Madison; junior Robert Coleman (6-0,180, 5.7 yards per carry); and junior Raqueal Wagstaff (5-8, 195, 7.6 yards per carry).

The Broncos ‘ top wide receiver is blazing fast senior Alex Hill (5-8, 170, 20.1 yards per catch). Senior wideout Rickie Johnson (6-3, 175, 14.4 yds. per reception) is a tall, reliable target.

Among the standout players on Vista Murrieta’s defensive platoon are senior outside linebacker Samuela Mo’unga ((6-0, 215), who leads the Broncos with 38 tackles; senior OLB/DL Nathan Bolton (6-3, 215, 24 tackles); and senior outside linebacker Brock Berry (6-0, 195), 23 tackles). Junior corner Tyreese Shakir (5-10, 170) is one of the best athletes the Cubs will see for the remainder of the campaign.

In addition to the Madison win, the Broncos have an impressive 38-35 victory over Los Alamitos. Vista Murrieta lost 42-17 to an outstanding Orange Lutheran squad and fell to powerhouse Norco 30-27 before last Friday’s demolition of state-ranked Madison.

The Cubs do not match up very well with the Broncos on either side of the ball, at least based on what has transpired in the last three games for Loyola. It is imperative that the Cubs establish a running game. If Loyola cannot control the clock and play solid defense the prospects for a celebratory bus ride back to Los Angeles do not look promising. Vista Murrieta is talented, disciplined, fast and physical. It is probably the best team the Cubs have faced to this point. That being said, the Big Blue might just need a trip away from home to spark a turnaround.

Loyola and Vista Murrieta have never met in football. The Broncos have won CIF titles at lower divisions, and are chomping at the bit to defeat a storied program from Los Angeles in the schools’ first encounter.

Struggles continue for Loyola in loss to Valencia, rough road ahead


Cub senior NICHOLAS BARR-MIRA’s second quarter punt soared so far into the night sky it seemed to be reaching toward Heaven, a veritable metaphor for an uplifting moment that could potentially spell the turning point in what has been an exceptionally frustrating season thus far for Loyola. The booming kick would travel 63 yards from the line of scrimmage and pin the visiting Valencia Vikings inside their own 10 yard line. Down only 3-0, surely it was a sign that momentum was about to turn in the Cubs’ favor. Unfortunately, the potential change of tide for Loyola evaporated as Valencia moved the football out of harm’s way and ultimately scored a touchdown on a 14-yard pass with just 47 seconds left in the first half. It was another of many lost opportunities in the last three games that could have been seized upon by the Cubs to redirect their fortunes. With the inability to convert the good result to their benefit, the repeated specter of futility once again ominously raised its ugly head.

The offensive woes that plagued Loyola against San Diego St. Augustine and Cathedral in the previous two contests continued unabated as the Cubs fell, 17-7, to a middling Vikings team at Smith Field on Friday night.

Every Loyola offensive possession of the game ended in a punt, except for two unsuccessful 50-plus yard field goal attempts. And adding insult to injury, two of the punts were blocked by Valencia. The Big Blue offense has not scored a touchdown in 12 quarters. Other than Barr-Mira’s 63-yard punt, the only other highlight of another maddeningly subpar night came with 57 seconds left in the fourth quarter when senior defensive lineman SCOTT KASE caused a fumble, picked up the loose ball and raced 54 yards for a touchdown to make the final score, Valencia 17, Loyola 7.

The Cubs’ ‘Wolfpack’ defense played aggressively until the end. With no help from the offense, the 17 points allowed to a team that was averaging 29 points per game was a positive. Senior team captains HUNTER BALLARD (running back/corner), MARCUS AGUILLAR ( defensive line), and Kase (offensive line/defensive line) continue to be leaders with their tough, physical play.

Heading into its final non-league contest at Vista Murrieta which crushed Madison, the number three-ranked team in the CIF San Diego Section, by a score of 34-6 on Friday, Loyola is faced with many difficult questions, positive answers to which are looking more and more difficult to find.

The Cubs still have a chance to retool and batten down the hatches. It will take an all out team effort to redirect the trajectory.

Freshman team continues to dominate, demolishes Valencia, 56-13 - Vanguard tailgate before Varsity game tonight - Former Cub was leading FBS in rushing

Loyola freshman team rolls to 56-13 rout of Valencia
Loyola's freshman team keeps believing it will be challenged, but the results-namely Big Blue domination-continue to be the same. Heading into Thursday's fourth non-league game of the 2018 campaign at Smith Field the Cub coaching staff was impressed with Valencia's defense and the play of the Vikings' defensive line in particular, based on the scouting they had done. So it was felt that Valencia would provide Loyola's freshman squad its most competitive game of the season thus far, but the perceived talented Vikings  squad didn't put up much of a fight. The Cubs led at halftime, 42-7, in yet another dominant first half performance. Loyola's reserves played all but one play of the second half, and the fourth quarter was played with a running clock as it has been in the final stanza in each of the Cubs' preceding victories.

Loyola's 'Wolfpack' defense plays fast and aggressively, and the offense seemingly makes big plays at will. That template was no different on Thursday. The Vikings were bigger up front on both sides of the ball and appeared to have an impressive array of skill position players, but the Cubs, as usual, were not fazed. At the 8:15 mark of the first quarter, quarterback JOE TATUM threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to PETE VANIS. Calvin Cardenas's PAT kick put Loyola up 7-0.

With 3:44 left in the first quarter, HARRISON ALLEN ran the ball in from one yard out for the Cubs' second TD to up Loyola's lead to 14-0.The TD toss was preceded by a beautifully executed 32-yard fourth-and-long pass from Tatum to wide receiver JACOBY KELLY. After Valencia failed on a fourth down play in their own territory, Tatum again quickly found a streaking Kelly on a seam route for a 41 -yard touchdown. With 1:44 left in the first quarter the Cubs led 21-0.

Tatum scored himself on a perfectly executed 43-yard quarterback keeper around left end at the 8:50 mark of the second stanza to make the score, Loyola 28, Vikings 0. 

Shortly thereafter Kelly, who also starts at safety, stripped the ball from a Vikings' receiver at the Valencia 35 yard line. Tatum threw another perfectly placed pass to Vanis who caught it in stride before being tripped up at the two yard line. Tatum carried in from there to up the Cub lead to 35-0.

An interception by Loyola's JACKSON SHEA set up a 35-yard TD sprint by Allen with 2:25 left in the half to make the score 42-0. Just before intermission Valencia got on the board with a seven-yard TD pass to make the score, Cubs 42, Vikings 7.

Loyola received the second half kickoff, and on the first play from scrimmage, Tatum connected with Vanis on a 46-yard strike down the visitors' sideline to make the score 49-7. From that point on the Cub reserves played the remainder of the game.  Loyola's WILLIAM BLAIR returned a Valencia fumble 55 yards for the Cubs' final tally. The Vikings scored on a 10-yard pass late in the fourth quarter. The final score was Loyola 56-13.

While the exploits of Loyola's offensive platoon were impressive to say the least, the effort of the Cub 'Wolfpack defense is equally laudable. Linebacker PATRICK SODL may have had the hit of the day. Linebacker JACK SHOEMAKER was also a big stopper. Six-foot-two-inch JACK WYNPERLE, the Cubs' back- up QB was a stalwart at defensive end as was JUSTIN MURRAY at the other end post. Albeit undersized, HENRY KUPIEC, who doubles at center and nose guard is one of the toughest members of a tough team. Two-way lineman HARRISON MILLS is as good as they come, and fellow two-way trench man JOE TAYLOR punishes his opponents. Six-foot-four-inch two-way tackle ETHAN "SAM" MOON is also showing big time ability.

Loyola (4-0) travels to Murrieta Valley next Thursday for what is expected to be a challenging contest. Loyola has outscored its first four opponents by the cumulative score of 208-32 (average score: 52-8).

Pre-game for tonight's varsity game against Valencia
Loyola's varsity football team is hoping to get back on the winning track versus Valencia. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. at Smith Field. The usual pregame gathering will be at 5:00 p.m. at Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca located at the southwest corner of Dewey Avenue and Pico Boulevard (2648 Pico Boulevard, just north of Loyola's Dewey parking lot).

The Loyola Gridiron Vanguard is having a tailgate in the courtyard of Rupert Hall this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. for current members and those who have recently joined the organization. If you are a member that wants to attend,and have not as yet sent your RSVP, it might still be possible to RSVP. It is suggested that you contact Pat Girardi at Loyola.

Cubs in college football update
It was reported that former Cub All-CIF running back NICO EVANS '14, a redshirt senior at the University of Wyoming, was the leading rusher in the FBS after the first two games of the season. Unfortunately because of an upper body injury, Evans will be sidelined for two weeks.

Loyola takes on high scoring Valencia on Friday, adjustments in the works - Undefeated Cub freshmen play at home today - Keeping tabs on Cub grads in Pro and College football

Loyola seeks to rebound against Valencia Friday at Smith Field
After two consecutive defeats by a combined total of 41 points, it was not exactly back to the drawing boards for the Cubs' varsity football team, but the staff has made adjustments in a number of areas this week as Loyola prepares to take on a Valencia squad which is averaging 37 points per game. The Vikings have the same 1-2 win-loss record as the Cubs, so both teams are in desperation mode in their quest to even their records at .500.

Among the adjustments made by Loyola's staff this week is having some of the more talented players play on both sides of the ball. The Cubs are hoping the changes made will lead to better production on both sides of the ball. While Valencia has been productive on offense as it has always been under head coach Larry Muir, the Vikings have relinquished an average of 32 points in their first three non-league contests of the season. Loyola hopes to find running lanes and open receivers against what looks to be a less than stellar Vikings' defensive group.
A Look at the Vikings
Long a Santa Clarita Valley football powerhouse, the Valencia Vikings advanced to the 2017 CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship game last fall where they lost a heart breaker to Oaks Christian, 21-19.
Head coach Larry Muir’s crew is hoping for another run at the title this time around, but the loss of some key contributors from the 2017 finalist squad is proving tough to overcome three games into the 2018 campaign. Last fall the Vikings’ averaged 52 points per game and are looking to replicate those big scores again this season. Valencia has already put up 58 points against Silverado of Victorville in game two and 38 last Friday in a tough loss to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon. In an opening 17-14 loss to Las Vegas Arbor View, though, the Norsemen only scored two touchdowns.
The Vikings have traditionally been a prolific passing team, and this year is no exception. Senior quarterback Davis Cop (5-11, 180) is a gifted athlete-he is also a starter on Valencia’s baseball team-who has thrown for 807 yards and is averaging a robust 15.2 yards .

The player the Norsemen were counting on to propel the running game is senior Oregon-commit Jayvaun Wilson (6-2, 210), but he has been sidelined by an injury suffered before the season got underway. His absence has hurt the Vikes’ rushing attack, but a  running back-by-committee rotation has been effective. Among the backs who have been pounding it on the ground is senior Luring Pailaii (6-2, 225) who doubles as a stellar starting linebacker. Junior Jake Santos was the leading ball carrier through the first two games, but suffered what was reported as a possible knee injury against Sierra Canyon. Santos was averaging 5.9 yards per carry before the injury. Junior Nick Pham (5-8, 180) showed toughness running the ball last week.
Valencia has a solid cadre of excellent players, including 6-2, 295 lb. senior center Tanner Miller and senior corner Joshua Doyle (5-11, 175). Muir lists his linebacker corps as one of the team’s strengths. The Vikings, suffered another huge personnel loss during the summer when senior University of Oregon-commit Mykael Wright, a star wide receiver and defensive back, who had 55 receptions for 1,317 yards and 18 TDs for Valencia’s CIF runner-up squad in 2017 and was named the Foothill League’s Player of the Year, transferred out of the school. Wright’s transfer and Wilson’s injury have been tough challenges to overcome for the defending Foothill League champs.
The Vikings will likely try to air it out early and often, so the Cubs will need to put pressure on Cop. Loyola’s secondary, which is shorthanded as a result of injury to one of its better players, must play with ball hawking intensity. The Cub secondary will need help from the front seven, because if Cop has a lot of time to throw it could be a long night for the Big Blue.

Loyola must establish productive balance offensively in order to notch a win against a wounded but unbowed Valencia squad. Both teams are 1-2 and will be looking to right their ships.

The Series
Valencia was established in 1994. It is a relatively new school compared to Loyola, the original version of which commenced operation in 1865, some 153 years ago. The schools have played one another in football five times.  
The first meeting between the Cubs and Vikings on the gridiron was in 2009. Valencia recorded its lone victory against Loyola by a 35-14 score. The Cubs beat the Vikes, 39-24, in 2010; 28-10 in 2011; 24-14 in 2012; and 39-20 in 2013.
Loyola leads the series, four games to one.
Arbor View (NV)   17   VALENCIA   14
VALENCIA             58   Silverado    35
Sierra Canyon.      44   VALENCIA  38

Loyola freshmen (3-0) host Valencia at Smith Field today at 4:00 p.m.
It was expected that Loyola's talented freshman team would be tested for the first time last Thursday against Cathedral's frosh-soph team. As it turns out, the Phantoms proved to be no match for the Cubs, who led 49-12 at halftime.

Valencia probably has the best and most disciplined defense Loyola has faced thus far, so a competitive game may be in the cards today. Kickoff at Smith Field is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.  The Cub freshmen play with uncommon passion and intensity. If you can find a way to make it to Smith Field this afternoon, it will be well worth the effort.

Keeping up with Loyola grads in college and pro football
Thirty-seven Loyola graduates are playing college football, and three are on NFL rosters (two starting). Here are some updates on the exploits of Cub grads in college and NFL football.

Former Loyola defensive back DAVID TOLBERT '16 was named the Pioneer League's Defensive Player of the Week after his outstanding effort for the University of San Diego Toreros in their road game last Saturday against U.C. Davis. Tolbert had five tackles, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss.

Loyola grad, CHRIS CONTE '07, an All-CIF Division I defensive back for the Cubs who was one of the standout players on Loyola's 2005 CIF Southern Section Division I championship team, was the second leading tackler for Tampa Bay in the Buccaneers' 48-40 season opening win over the New Orleans Saints last Sunday in the Crescent City. Conte is the starting free safety for the Bucs.

Former Loyola All-State defensive back MYLES BRYANT '16, the MVP on the Cubs' 2015 team that finished the season ranked 17th in the state, is continuing his impressive career at the University of Washington. Bryant, who starts at nickel corner for the Huskies, is the second leading tackler after two games with 13 total and eight unassisted stops. He has also recorded one tackle for loss, a sack and two passes broken up.

DAVID LONG '16, an All-State first team, All-CIF Div. I and  Army All-American corner for the Cubs in 2015 has five tackles, including three solos, and a pass broken up, as a starting corner for the University of Michigan after two games.

A standout All-League offensive lineman at Loyola, COLEMAN SHELTON '14, was a three-year starting All-Pac-12 offensive lineman at the University of Washington before joining the San Francisco 49ers this summer. Shelton ended up making the practice squad of the Tennessee Titans.   

Cub grad STEFAN FLINTOFT '15 is UCLA's starting punter. He is averaging an impressive 44.4 yards per punt on 14 boots for the Bruins through two games.

Loyola suffers another tough loss, looks to rebound against Valencia, Cub freshmen continue to roll

The cliche “ugly win” is often used to describe a team’s less than picture perfect victory. But a win is a win regardless of whether it merits style points. Unfortunately, the Cubs’ 30-7 loss to Cathedral before a huge crowd at Smith Field on Friday night was an “ugly loss”, and the second deflating defeat of such variety in as many weeks. No one who follows local high school football put much stock in Loyola’s 51-7 season opening win over a weak Fairfax team, but it is unlikely anyone foresaw what was to unfold in the two contests following the opener.

The Big Blue has not scored a single offensive touchdown on a scrimmage play in eight quarters. A brilliant tackle-breaking 94-yard kickoff return by senior captain HUNTER BALLARD in the second quarter on Friday, and a fumble return for a touchdown by junior outside linebacker DOMINICK BELISLE against St. Augustine in game two are the only touchdowns tallied by the Cubs in their last two outings. The offensive anemia which is plaguing Loyola appears to have a number of etiologies, thus making the treatment plan all the more challenging  The ‘Wolfpack’ defense has also had its own problems. The Phantoms averaged 4.6 yards per carry on the ground, and a mind boggling 26 yards per pass completion. Heading into this Friday’s tilt against a good Valencia squad, there is a sense of urgency in the program as to how to cure the malaise that has afflicted the Big Blue. At this point, the squad is in desperate search of a win-any win-“ugly”or not.

Ballard’s scintillating long distance kickoff return late in the second quarter against Cathedral pulled the Cubs within seven points of the Phantoms, and appeared to create some momentum for Loyola as it headed into the halftime break, down 13-7.  The spark ignited by Ballard’s sprint to the end zone was extinguished by the Phantoms’ physically dominant defense throughout the second half. A strip fumble on a sack was returned for a Cathedral score to effectively end any comeback bid by the Cubs. For the second consecutive week Loyola was unable to sustain its running game despite the determined, gritty efforts of Ballard and senior running back SPEED FRY, who had several big gainers late in the contest. In both losses, the offensive line has had difficulty against bigger, stronger defensive fronts with blitzing linebackers creating numbers mismatches. Loyola’s passing game has not fared much better.

Among the positives during the last two outings has been the outstanding kicking and punting efforts of senior captain NICHOLAS BARR-MIRA. Barr-Mira possesses truly elite talent. Unfortunately, when the best element of a team's performance is the kicking/punting game, the prospects for winning are not good.

The good news is that the Cubs have two non-league contests remaining before the battles in the Mission League commence. Expect head coach RICK PEDROARIAS and his staff to find cures for Loyola’s current ailments, and for the players to redouble their effort and commitment.

The prediction here is that Loyola will bounce back and right the ship against Valencia. The Vikings are also 1-2, so Friday’s tilt will be a referendum battle for both teams.

It is way too early to predict the final outcome of Loyola’s freshman football campaign, but if the first three games are any indication of the true prowess of what is unquestionably a talent-laden first year squad, the remainder of the season holds great promise.

On Thursday at Smith Field, the Cub freshmen pumelled Cathedral, 49-12. That was also the score at halftime, after which the reserves played for the remainder of the contest. The Phantoms opened the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown. Undaunted, Loyola drove 80 yards for a TD on its first possession, capped by a 10-yard pass from quarterback JOE TATUM to running back TAHJ OWENS. Shortly thereafter PETE VANIS raced 60 yards after fielding a Phantom punt to make the score 14-6 following CALVIN CARDENAS’s PAT kick. At the 4:32 mark of the first quarter, running back HARRISON ALLEN  bolted 14 yards for a TD,  Tatum followed up with a 33-yard scoring jaunt of his own. The Cubs led 28-6 at the end of the first quarter. 

JACOBY “CO” KELLY took a short pass from Tatum 53 yards to paydirt just seconds into the second quarter, and just like that the score was Loyola 34, Cathedral 6. The Phantoms answered with a 35-yard touchdown pass. It was the first TD the tough, swarming  first string frosh defense had relinquished in three games.

Tatum’s ten-yard scoring pass to Vanis and Owens’ four-yard TD scamper, following a Vanis interception, closed out the scoring for the Cubs.

The Loyola freshman team (3-0) hosts the Valencia freshmen on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at Smith Field. The Cub frosh are a talented, spirited, close knit squad that is fun to watch. The Cub have won their first three games by the average score of 51-6.

On Saturday Loyola’s sophomore team suffered a heartbreaking, 42-40, defeat to the Cathedral JV team, which included varsity players. The Cubs were ahead 32-20 at one point before the older Phantoms pulled out the win.

Loyola hosts undefeated Cathedral at Smith Field

Full house expected for Friday's showdown with Cathedral
Two years ago two long time Los Angeles Catholic school rivals, Loyola and Cathedral, met at Smith Field in the renewal of a rivalry that had been on hiatus for 45 years and that began 91 years ago. The Phantoms hung on for a 21-19 win as the Cubs missed a long range field goal attempt as time expired. Last season Loyola downed Cathedral 17-7 and its prolific sophomore quarterback Bryce Young, who has since transferred to and is currently the starting quarterback at Mater Dei, at Southwest College behind a terrific scheme and flawless execution thereof by the Cubs' 'Wolfpack' defense. The 2016 showdown was played before a packed house. A huge crowd is expected this Friday.

On Friday Loyola is looking to rebound from a sub-par effort last Friday against San Diego St. Augustine. In the 28-10 loss to the Saints, the Cubs faltered in virtually every area save for the kicking game. The Phantoms meanwhile made short work of Carson, downing the Colts, 41-0. As a result of Loyola's loss and Cathedral's win, the Phantoms took over Loyola's spot (no. 22) in this week's Los Angeles Times Top 25 rankings.

The Cubs will need to elevate their game substantially if they hope to pull off a victory and build some momentum.

A look at the Phantoms
First-year varsity head coach Anthony Jefferson has brought a smash mouth element to the Phantoms’ program. Featuring a spread passing offense for many years, Cathedral has rolled to a 3-0 record with decisive wins over Banning (41-14), Arcadia (33-10) and Carson (41-0), with big yardage coming from its power running game.
Senior running back Terence Simon, Jr. (6-0, 230), a bruising downhill rushing beast, is averaging 7.9 yards per carry, while his speedy backfield mate Brandyn Jordan, 5-9, 176, is averaging 5.8 yards per tote.
Junior quarterback Jared Haywood (6-0, 185) delivers the ball with efficiency (58 % completion rate). His favorite target is senior receiver Alex Franco (6-0, 185),who is averaging 15.7 yards per reception. The Phantoms average 199 yards on the ground and 167 yards passing with a big, physical offensive line making it all possible.
Cathedral relinquished just 24 points in its first three outings. In a word the Phantom defense is suffocating. It is led by major college recruit Stephon Wright, a 6’4”, 280-pound defensive end who wreaks absolute havoc. He has a team-leading 24 tackles, including 10 solo stops, in the first three contests, including six tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Logan Applewhite (6-0, 208)  (17 tackles and eight tackles for loss) possesses speed and brings the wood with intensity.. Junior outside linebacker Nick Veloz (6-0, 189) is another tough defender.

Last season the Cubs devised a brilliant game plan to stymie Cathedral’s aerial circus. This time around, Loyola will have to find a way to slow down the Phantoms’ power running game. 
The Cubs will also have to figure out how to gain yardage against a stout Cathedral defense. The last time the schools met at Smith Field the game came down to the wire. The outcome may come down to the final seconds once again.

The Series
In 2016 Loyola and Cathedral renewed a rivalry that began in 1927, when 1901 Venice Boulevard was surrounded by a spattering of houses and more than a few bean fields. To give some further perspective, in 1927 the first transcontinental phone call was made from New York to London, Calvin Coolidge was President, Charles Lindbergh made the world’s first transcontinental flight, The Great Depression had not yet afflicted the country, and Los Angeles City Hall was a year away from completion.
Nestled near Chavez Ravine, Cathedral High School had been christened by Archbishop John Cantwell in 1925, just two years prior to the inaugural skirmish between the Cubs and Phantoms on the gridiron. Indeed, the first known game between Loyola and another Catholic school, Villanova Prep of Ojai, was played just three weeks before the Cubs took on Cathedral. Coach Larry Devlin was Loyola’s head coach when the Cubs downed the Phantoms, 19-0. The following season, Loyola recorded the most lopsided victory, 46-0, in a series that spanned 47 years (the teams did not play in five of those seasons). The schools were longtime members of the venerable Catholic League that was reconfigured and re-named the Del Rey League in 1968. Prior to the 2016 contest the schools had not played one another in football since 1973, some 45 years ago. The downtown-adjacent institutions will be playing with a dramatically different skyline as a backdrop since their first encounter in the Roaring Twenties. Seventy-two years ago, Loyola two-time CIF Large Schools Player of the Year, running back Al Pollard, led the Cubs in a memorable, hard fought 19-14 victory over Cathedral en route to the Catholic League championship and CIF Large Schools playoff finals.

There is a connection between Cathedral graduates and Loyola. Recently retired Loyola Spanish Department chair Bill Sanchez, who spent more than 50 years as an instructor at Loyola and also served as head coach of the varsity basketball and golf teams, is a Cathedral grad. Dr. Lalo Diaz has been the head coach of Loyola’s cross country program for more than two decades and has led the Cubs to six state championships. He is also a graduate of Cathedral. The late Greg Wells, a 1969 Cathedral grad served as Loyola’s head track and field coach for many years and was the steward of three CIF title squads. Loyola’s track is named in his honor. Wells served for many years as the defensive coordinator of the varsity football program.

Some don’t know the story of how the Phantoms came by their nickname. Cathedral was built on the site of the old Calvary Cemetery which was relocated near the turn of the 20th Century. You can bet that some ghosts of yesteryear will be out for this one. 

The Cubs lead the series 31-12-1. Last season Loyola won, 17-7, in impressive fashion behind a dominant defensive performance at Southwest College. In the 2016 tilt the Phantoms held on for a 21-19 upset victory.

Loyola's freshmen play today at 4:00 pm., Cub sophomores play Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at Cathedral
Loyola's freshman team (2-0), which has outscored its first two foes by the combined score of 103-7, will host Cathedral's Frosh-Soph team today at 4:00 p.m. at Smith Field. The Phantoms are expected to give the Cubs their stiffest test of the season thus far.

The Cub sophomore squad (1-1), which routed St Augustine 43-0 last Friday, will travel to Cathedral Saturday morning to take on the Phantoms' JV team at 10:00 a.m.

Pre-game festivities Friday
Loyola supporters will gather at Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca (2648 Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90006) located at the southwest corner of Pico and Dewey Avenue, just north of Loyola's Dewey parking lot at 5:00 p.m. before the Cubs vs. Cathedral contest.

Loyola takes step back against St. Augustine

Maybe it was false confidence after their season-opening 51-7 victory over outmanned Fairfax. Maybe it was the expectation of an easy outing after defeating the Saints 41-0 last fall in San Diego. Maybe it was simply a llack of focus. But whatever the reasons were, the Cubs did not appear ready to bring their A-game against a physical St. Augustine squad in their home opener at Smith Field on Friday. The visitors hit three big plays in the first half to stake themselves to a 21-0 lead. For the first 24 minutes the Big Blue offense was stuck in neutral.

On the second play of the game, the Saints’ 6’ 5”, 240 lb. tight end was uncovered and raced 81 yards after a shirt pass reception for a touchdown, which unfortunately for Loyola set the tone for a forgettable performance in game two. The final score was St. Augustine, 28, Cubs 10.

Loyola’s lone touchdown came on a fumble return by junior outside linebacker DOMINICK BELISLE in the fourth quarter. Senior kicker NICHOLAS BARR-MIRA kicked a 30-yard field goal late in the third period. After Belisle’s TD play, the Cub ‘Wolfpack’ defense got a stop and momentum appeared to be tilting in Loyola’s favor, but the Cub offense could not close the deal on its ensuing pissession. Adding insult to injury, late in the fourth quarter the Saints tight end again scored on another long distance catch and run. He finished the night with 204 yards on just five catches.

The list of Loyola’s failings was long according to the coaching staff. Subpar blocking, missed tackles, assignment miscues, six fumbles (one lost, ending a drive), dropped balls, and penalties, all combined to the ugly loss.

Make no mistake about it. St. Augustine (3-0) is good football team, and for the first half at least played more physically than the Cubs, who dropped to 1-1 in the win-loss ledger. But Loyola was and is capable of a much better effort than that exhibited on Friday. Henceforth, significantly better efforts will be necessary in every remaining game if the Big Blue is to reach any of its preseason goals.

The going does not get any easier for the young Cubs, who will face undefeated Cathedral (3-0) this Friday. The Phantoms are another physical football team. Six of the Cubs’ remaining eight opponents are ranked in the Los Angeles Times’ top 25. Cathedral claimed the number 22 spot that had been occupied by Loyola.

Last Thursday at Smith Field, Loyola’s sophomore team ran roughshod over St.Augustine, 43-0. CHARLES COLLINS had three rushing touchdowns for the Cubs, including runs of 61 and 32 yards; quarterback NICOLAS MORALES threw a 42-yard scoring pass to JEFFREY JOHNSON; FINNEGAN POWELL scored on a long distance pick six. Loyola led 36-0 at halftime.

Every Cub team member played in the second half which was played with a running clock. Loyola’s ‘Wolfpack’ defense completely shut down the Saints’ offense, relinquishing only 30 net yards.

Loyola’s freshman football team traveled to San Diego on Saturday morning, and got back on the road in a joyful mood after a dominating 55-0 blowout win over host St. Augustine.

Inside linebacker PATRICK SODL started the scoring avalanche for the Cubs with a pick-six on the second play of the game. It was his first of two interceptions. On Loyola’s first offensive possession, running back HARRISON ALLEN took a sweep 65 yards for a TD. 

Among the other offensive scoring highlights for the Cubs: quarterback JOE TATUM’s 60-yard aerial to JACOBY “CO” KELLY who caught the ball in stride; another 25-TD toss by Tatum to Kelly; a five-yard TD pass from Tatum to running back TAHJ OWENS following a 39-yard catch by Kelly; and a seven-yard touchdown run by Owens, set up by a 60-yard reception by Kelly.

Loyola’s freshman team (2-0) has defeated its first two foes by the combined score of 103-7

Loyola routs Fairfax, 51-7, in opener

Loyola opened the 2018 football season on Friday with a one sided, 51-7, victory over mistake prone Fairfax at the Lions’home field on a balmy evening.

It was not a perfect performance - in fact the Cub coaches graded the initial effort with a “B” - but Loyola showed that it will field a significantly better offensive squad this fall than last season. The play of senior quarterback NATHAN PRIESTLEY was nearly flawless. The six-foot, four-inch field general, who attacked his off-season rehab from a campaign-ending injury suffered last fall, demonstrated that he is full go. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown, with six different receivers hauling in his accurate aerials.

Priestley’s co-captain, senior running back HUNTER BALLARD, picked up where he left off in 2017, rushing for 78 yards in just seven carries (11 yards per carry), scoring three touchdowns of 40, two and five yards. Fearless sophomore wide receiver CEYAIR WRIGHT saw his star status take off as he took a handoff on a Wing-T play and raced 55 yards for a TD. He returned also returned a kick off 72 yards for six points.

Senior captain SCOTT KASE anchored the defensive line with 12 tackles, including one sack. Head coach Rick Pedroarias was pleased with the efforts of senior safeties PATRICK LARSON and ALEX BLAKE. The head man also lauded a great catch and broken-tackle run by senior tight end OSAZE ODIASE. Senior kicker NICHOLAS BARR-MIRA was perfect on all of his PAT attempts, booted an 18-yard field goal and pounded six of seven kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. The offensive line did not allow a sack, which was a point of emphasis leading up to the game. Pedroarias noted that tackling in general needed to improve, but it should be noted that this was the first time in decades that the Cubs did not play another school in a tune-up scrimmage before their first contest.

By any measure, Fairfax is the worst team Loyola will face this season, but Loyola showed it will have a dangerous passing game to go along with its prowess running the ball. The level of opposition ratchets up significantly starting on Friday night as the Cubs host San Diego St. Augustine (2-0) at Smith Field.

Ballard started Loyola’s scoring landslide, sprinting 40 yards to the end one at the 9:57 mark of the first quarter. A little over three minutes later he bulled into the end zone from two yards out, and the rout was on. Wright scored next for the Cubs on a 55-yard sprint to pay dirt with 3:46 left in the first quarter. Priestley completed a 40-yard scoring strike to Odiase with 1:43 remaining in the first stanza. Barr-Mira ‘s PAT kick made the score 28-0.

Fairfax, which was plagued by sloppy, undisciplined play all night finally put a scoring drive together, culminated by a six-yard fourth down TD pass at the 8:50 mark of the second quarter. Wright raced 72 yards for a TD on the ensuing kickoff. The half time score was 35-7 in favor of Loyola.

After intermission Ballard plunged into the end zone from two yards out for his third TD of the night. Barr-Mira’s PAT kick made the score 42-7 with 5:28 left in the third quarter. Barr-Mira kicked an 18-yard field goal with a minute and eleven seconds left in the third to up the score to 45-7. By that time reserves were taking over for the Cubs. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock as the Big Blue’s bench was cleared. Running back JAKOB DUCHESNEAU bulled into the end zone from one yard out with 29 seconds left in the game. No extra point was tried. The final score was Loyola 51, Fairfax 7.

Loyola’s freshman team defeated Crespi’s frosh-soph team, 48-7, in an afternoon game played at Smith Field on Thursday. There were many big time plays by a large contingent of skilled athletes. The Cub freshman team looks to be in store for a successful campaign. 

Loyola prepares for physical St. Augustine squad this Friday - Cub grad rushes for over 200 yards at Wyoming

Competition ratchets up exponentially for Loyola on Friday
Loyola renewed an old rivalry against San Diego St. Augustine in 2014 in the first varsity football game played on campus since 1949. The Cubs prevailed in a barn burner, 42-35. This Friday a big, physical Saints squad will travel to 1901 Venice Boulevard for the twelfth meeting between the two Catholic schools that first competed on the gridiron in 1928.

Longtime Saints coach Richard Sanchez, who built St. Augustine into one of the preeminent prep football programs in the CIF San Diego Section (two CIF titles and three runner-up finishes) moved on to coach the defensive backs at San Diego State. A familiar face has taken over the program, and all indications are that seven-year Saints assistant Joe Kremer is the right man for the job.
Kremer inherited fourteen starters, seven on offense and seven on defense, from last fall’s Western League title team. Adding to that core group of experienced players is newcomer Walter Pongia (6-3, 319), a massive two-way senior offensive tackle/nose guard. Other prime time players are junior tight end/defensive end Michael Ambagtsheer (6-4, 240) and blazing fast junior wide receiver/defensive back Tyson McWilliams (6-2, 170). 
In its season opening, 35-0, victory over Bonita Vista on August 17, St. Augustine successfully ran the off tackle power play over and over behind a massive, powerful offensive line which averages 291 pounds from tackle to tackle. Among the big boys up front are senior Shayne Waldaphel (6-6, 285) and sophomore guard Tangia Pangia (6-1, 329). The Saints’ offense is not one dimensional. though, as junior quarterback Angelo Peraza (5-9, 160) is an athletic speedster who completed 67 per cent of his passes last season.
A stout defense is led by powerful sophomore nose guard Christian Gaeta (6-1, 270), aggressive senior linebacker Will Simon (6-0, 184), junior safety Travis Hall (6-1, 190), Ambagtsheer and McWilliams.

One of the reasons for optimism this season in the North Park neighborhood that St. Augustine calls home is that the members of undefeated 10-0 2017 JV squad have joined the varsity ranks.
The Saints have the advantage of having played two games (with run- dominant wins over Bonita Vista (35-0) and Santa Fe Christian (46-0)) coming into tonight’s contest But Loyola has the home field advantage. The contest stacks up as a heavy weight bout. The Cubs will have to figure out a way to slow down St. Augustine’s power running game, and will need balance on offense. Loyola may have the advantage in the kicking game.

The Cubs and Saints renewed a rivalry in 2014 that began 90 years ago. Loyola won the 2014 contest, 42-35, in the first home game played on campus since 1949. In 2015 the Cubs trekked to San Diego Mesa College where Loyola held on for a 23-20 victory after the Saints scored three times late in the final quarter. St. Augustine got the best of the Cubs at Loyola in 2016, pulling out a 17-14 victory. Last fall at Morse College in San Diego the Cubs ran roughshod over the Saints, 41-0.

Loyola and St. Augustine first played in 1928, with the Saints recording a 25-0 shutout of coach Larry Devlin’s Cubs. The 1928 Loyola team’s lone loss was to St. Augustine. The Cubs overall record in ‘28 was 7-1-2. In all but one of the ensuing ten contests Loyola defeated its Augustinian rival, which is located near Balboa Park in San Diego. Entering tonight’s contest, the Jesuit school in Los Angeles holds the bragging rights with a 9-2 series lead.

In 1945, head coach Bill Sargent’s Cubs shut out the Saints 26-0. The ‘45 Loyola team finished the campaign with a 7-1-1 record, which included an impressive 27-13 victory over state power Bakersfield. St. Augustine forfeited the 1946 game for reasons unknown. Bill Sargent’s ’46 Loyola squad, led by CIF Large Schools Player-of-the-Year Al Pollard, dubbed by the Los Angeles sporting press as the Loyola Express, completed the season with a 10-1 record and made it to the school’s first CIF Large Schools championship game, before bowing, 7-6, to Alhambra. It was Sargent’s last year as Loyola’s head coach. His four-year record was an impressive 25-5-2 (81%). In 1947, first-year head coach Jack Bouchard’s Loyola squad downed St. Augustine 27-6 in game four. In his second year at the helm of Cub Football in 1948, coach Bouchard guided his Cub team to a 27-18 win over the Saints. Loyola finished the ’48 campaign with an 8-1 record. The Cubs won the 1949 contest 35-0, and in 1950 Loyola’s CIF Large Schools semifinalist club de-canonized the Saints, 25-13, in the fifth contest of the season. Bouchard’s overall record in his six years as the Cub head man was 39-13-2 (74%).

There is a significant connection between Loyola and St. Augustine. St. Augustine’s president, Ed Hearn, was a well-respected and beloved football coach, teacher and administrator at Loyola from 1971 through 1991, before he moved on to take over the job as principal at Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield and later at Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit secondary school in Phoenix. Coach Hearn made an indelible mark on Cub Football. Among many of his contributions, he established the Loyola Samurai weightlifting program in 1981.

Cub grad Nico Evans '14 has career night in first start for Wyoming
NICO EVANS '14 was a star running back at Loyola. In 2013 he earned All-CIF Pac-5 honors and also was named the Most Valuable Offensive Back in the Serra League after rushing for 1,686 yards and 20 touchdowns. Evans, who is one of the best to ever play the position for the Cubs, accepted a scholarship to the University of Wyoming.

For whatever reason, Evans never got the opportunity to start for the Cowboys until last Saturday. His hard work and dedication paid off in a big way as the redshirt senior romped for 204 yards in 25 carries and scored two touchdowns in Wyoming's 29-7 season opening win over New Mexico State in Las Cruces. Evans broke numerous tackles throughout the game. Do not be surprised if he earns a chance to make it in the NFL if his combination of speed and power as displayed Saturday continues throughout the fall.

Evans's teammate at Loyola, safety ADAM PILAPIL '14, also matriculated to Wyoming. Pilapil started out as a safety for the 'Pokes but switched to outside linebacker in 2017. He saw exetensive playing time in Saturday's victory.

There are 37 former Cubs competing in collegiate football this year.

Loyola pregame festivities Friday
Before Friday night's home game Loyola parents, alumni and supporters will gather at 5:00 p.m. at Las 7 Regiones De Oaxaca, which is located at the southwest corner of Dewey Avenue and Pico Boulevard (2648 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006), just north of the Dewey parking lot.

Cub Football - Loyola routs Fairfax, 51-7, in opener

Loyola opened the 2018 football season on Friday with a one sided, 51-7, victory over mistake prone Fairfax at the Lions’home field on a balmy evening.

It was not a perfect performance - in fact the Cub coaches graded the initial effort with a “B” - but Loyola showed that it will field a significantly better offensive squad this fall than last season. The play of senior quarterback NATHAN PRIESTLEY was nearly flawless. The six-foot, four-inch field general, who attacked his off-season rehab from a campaign-ending injury suffered last fall, demonstrated that he is full go. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown, with six different receivers hauling in his accurate aerials.

Priestley’s co-captain, senior running back HUNTER BALLARD, picked up where he left off in 2017, rushing for 78 yards in just seven carries (11 yards per carry), scoring three touchdowns of 40, two and five yards. Fearless sophomore wide receiver CEYAIR WRIGHT saw his star status take off as he took a handoff on a Wing-T play and raced 55 yards for a TD. He returned also returned a kick off 72 yards for six points.

Senior captain SCOTT KASE anchored the defensive line with 12 tackles, including one sack. Head coach Rick Pedroarias was pleased with the efforts of senior safeties PATRICK LARSON and ALEX BLAKE. The head man also lauded a great catch and broken-tackle run by senior tight end OSAZE ODIASE. Senior kicker NICHOLAS BARR-MIRA was perfect on all of his PAT attempts, booted an 18-yard field goal and pounded six of seven kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. The offensive line did not allow a sack, which was a point of emphasis leading up to the game. Pedroarias noted that tackling in general needed to improve, but it should be noted that this was the first time in decades that the Cubs did not play another school in a tune-up scrimmage before their first contest.

By any measure, Fairfax is the worst team Loyola will face this season, but Loyola showed it will have a dangerous passing game to go along with its prowess running the ball. The level of opposition ratchets up significantly starting on Friday night as the Cubs host San Diego St. Augustine (2-0) at Smith Field.

Ballard started Loyola’s scoring landslide, sprinting 40 yards to the end one at the 9:57 mark of the first quarter. A little over three minutes later he bulled into the end zone from two yards out, and the rout was on. Wright scored next for the Cubs on a 55-yard sprint to pay dirt with 3:46 left in the first quarter. Priestley completed a 40-yard scoring strike to Odiase with 1:43 remaining in the first stanza. Barr-Mira ‘s PAT kick made the score 28-0.

Fairfax, which was plagued by sloppy, undisciplined play all night finally put a scoring drive together, culminated by a six-yard fourth down TD pass at the 8:50 mark of the second quarter. Wright raced 72 yards for a TD on the ensuing kickoff. The half time score was 35-7 in favor of Loyola.

After intermission Ballard plunged into the end zone from two yards out for his third TD of the night. Barr-Mira’s PAT kick made the score 42-7 with 5:28 left in the third quarter. Barr-Mira kicked an 18-yard field goal with a minute and eleven seconds left in the third to up the score to 45-7. By that time reserves were taking over for the Cubs. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock as the Big Blue’s bench was cleared. Running back JAKOB DUCHESNEAU bulled into the end zone from one yard out with 29 seconds left in the game. No extra point was tried. The final score was Loyola 51, Fairfax 7.

Loyola’s freshman team defeated Crespi’s frosh-soph team, 48-7, in an afternoon game played at Smith Field on Thursday. There were many big time plays by a large contingent of skilled athletes. The Cub freshman team looks to be in store for a successful campaign. 

Cub Football - Loyola opens at Fairfax on Friday, Cub Freshmen and Sophomores play Thursday

Loyola opens at Fairfax Friday
A Look at the Lions
Loyola kicks off the 2018 football season at Fairfax on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in a non-league game against the defending CIF Los Angeles City Section Western League champion Lions. ranks Fairfax as the fifth best team in Division I of the Los Angeles City Section entering the 2018 campaign, and for good reason. The Lions return eight starters from their 2017 squad that finished with an impressive 9-3 record. Fairfax downed league rivals University 41-0 and Hamilton 54-7, and routed non-league foe West Adams 45-0, in offensive explosions which are expected to carry over this fall.

Two team captains lead Fairfax's pass-heavy offense. Senior quarterback Scott Harris is accurate in getting the ball to a corps of very good wide receivers, led by senior captain Andrew Cox (6-1, 190). The offensive line is massive with players weighing in at an average of 280 pounds.

The Lions' defense returns just three starters, and depth is a concern with a 40-man squad. The big play-maker on the stop unit is senior team captain Kendrell Ross (6-1, 190), who is reported to have clocked a 4.5 forty yard dash.

The Cubs' young secondary will be tested early and often by a Fairfax offense that throws the ball about 70 per cent of the time. 

Loyola's new offense under the coordination of head coach Dr. Ricardo Pedroarias '84 has a chance to get out of the blocks fast. the Cubs should have a decided advantage on special teams. Loyola trounced the Lions 52-7 in last season's opener at Smith Field.

Cub freshman team debuts on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., sophs follow at 7:00 p.m.
Loyola's freshman team opens the season on Smith Field on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in a non-league game against Crespi Carmelite (the Celts are no longer members of the Mission League; they are now members of the Angelus League). There has been quite a bit of buzz about the talent on this year's Cub freshman squad. Crespi will be playing some sophomores due to purported low numbers on its freshman squad, so Loyola's frosh should be well tested in game one tomorrow afternoon.

Fairfax informed Loyola last week that it did not have sufficient numbers to field a JV team, so the Cub sophomore team had to scramble to find an opponent for its first contest. Lo and behold, longtime arch-rival Bishop Amat's JV team had an opening and the Cub sophomores will play the Lancers under the lights on Smith Field following the conclusion of the freshman game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Cub Football - 37 former Cubs playing collegiate football

Thirty-seven Loyola graduates are currently playing college football
Loyola may have more former football players competing in the collegiate ranks than any high school in the state. Without a doubt, it has to be one of a handful of schools with so many athletes competing at the college level.

Here is the list of former Cub players on 2018 collegiate football rosters:

CHRIS BROWN ‘14: USC, starting left guard,  3d team preseason All-PAC-12

KEATON DARNEY ‘14: Syracuse, OL, special teams
NICO EVANS ‘14: Wyoming, starting tailback to start season
STEFAN FLINTOFT ‘14: UCLA, starting punter
ADAM PILAPIL ‘14: Wyoming, LB
AARON CASTILLO ‘15: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, OL
JACK DIXON ‘15: College of the Holy Cross, LS
TROY DIXON ‘15: Lafayette College, LB
CHRISTIAN RECTOR ‘15: USC, starting DL, 1st team preseason All-PAC-12
MYLES BRYANT ‘16: Washington, starting DB, 3rd team preseason All-PAC-12, All-PAC-12 hon. mention in '17, co-winner of Earle T. Glant Tough Husky Award in '17
TEDDY GALLAGHER ‘16: Coastal Carolina, LB
DAVID LONG ‘16: Michigan, starting corner, All-Big-10 hon. mention in '17, second best player in FBS in yards per pass allowed in 2017
TIM ROGUS ‘16: University of Chicago, OL
JOSIAH SHEFFIE ‘16: Occidental College, DB
DANIEL TOLBERT ‘16: Univ. of San Diego, starting DB
DAVID TOLBERT ‘16: Univ. Of San Diego, starting DB
NOAH UTLEY ‘16: Army-West Point, OL
SINJUN ASTANI ‘17: San Jose State, DL
CADE MOFFATT ‘17: Claremont McKenna College, DB
SEAN O’MALLEY ‘17: Lafayette, starting QB
DEAMIL AGUILAR ‘18: Univ. of La Verne, DB
TY MAHAR ‘18: Colby College, OL
DAKOTA SMITH ‘18: South Dakota, OLB
BRAYDEN UTLEY ‘18: Baylor University
TOMMY VANIS ‘18: University of California at Berkeley, LB

Extra Points
UCLA senior punter STEFAN FLINTOFT '14 is on the Ray Guy Award Watch List; he averaged 42.3 yards per punt last season . . . USC junior defensive lineman CHRISTIAN RECTOR '15 is on the Ted Hendricks Award Watch List; 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks for the Trojans in 2017, 2017 All-PAC-12 second team.

Loyola Blue-White scrimmage prepares Cubs for season opener Friday

Loyola Blue-White scrimmage serves as final tuneup for Friday's road opener against Fairfax
Loyola's final day of fall camp culminated with the annual Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage which was played in hot, humid conditions on Saturday afternoon at Bob Smith Field before a large contingent of supporters.

Head Coach Rick Pedroarias, in his second campaign at the helm of Cub Football, was pleased with the overall play of his defense, and he lauded the play of several offensive players. The scrimmage involved basic plays and did not include most of the offensive or defensive playbooks as it was presumed that coaches from future opponents were in attendance.

Among the headliners on Saturday were senior quarterback NATHAN PRIESTLEY (6-4, 210) and senior running back HUNTER BALLARD (5-10, 180). Priestley displayed quick feet, superior decision making, good escapability and accuracy throwing the ball. Sophomore receiver CEYAIR WRIGHT (5-10, 165) made an acrobatic, leaping touchdown catch of a long distance Priestley aerial, thrown off a scramble. Wright made several other key grabs. Ballard looked outstanding at running back, showing  a good combination of speed, power and elusiveness. Senior running back SPEED FRY also demonstrated explosive play-making ability, and juniors STEVEN ARELLANO (5-10, 191) and CARTER LINK (6-0, 185) ran hard inside the tackles.

Pedroarias applauded the efforts of senior right tackle EA'SUS JIMENEZ y WEST (6-0, 250) and junior left tackle SAM DOMINGUEZ (6-3, 240). The starting guard spots and the center position have not yet been solidified. Five players are in the mix for the three starting posts, including senior guard MATT ALONZO (5-10, 205), senior guard ALEX FEOLA (6-0, 220), junior center NICK ANDERSON (6-0, 265), senior guard DANNY DIXON (5-11, 265) and junior center SHAYNE STROYKE (6-4, 303). The play of senior tight end DAVID ANAWALT (6-0, 205) caught the coaches' eyes, both in the blocking and receiving phases of the game.

Pedroarias and Defensive Coordinator Mike Gilhooly complimented the physical play of junior inside linebacker STEVEN ARELLANO (5-10, 191). The aggressive efforts of senior outside linebacker DAVID ANAWALT were also lauded.

Senior inside linebacker MARCUS AGUILAR (6-0, 215), senior defensive tackle SCOTT KASE (6-2, 230) and senior safety ALEX BLAKE (6-1, 195) were recognized as key leaders of the 'Wolfpack' stop unit. Pedroarias and Gilhooly positively noted the inspired, physical efforts of senior nose guard COLE MILLER (5-9, 180). Gilhooly is happy with the strides being made by senior safety PATRICK LARSON (6-0, 190) and the skill displayed by sophomore corner CEYAIR WRIGHT.

On Friday the Cubs kick off the season on the road against the CIF Los Angeles City Section's sixth-ranked squad, the Fairfax Lions. Fairfax likes to throw the ball, so Loyola's pass defense will be getting an early test.

Fairfax is located at 7850 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Cub Football notes
The prediction here is that Loyola's offense will be much improved this fall . . . The Cub freshman team appears to be one of the best fielded in the last 15 years as there are a number of skilled play-makers who showcased their skills in an entertaining Blue-White scrimmage on Saturday morning . . . Thirty-six Loyola grads are currently playing college football . . . Former All-League tackle COLEMAN SHELTON ‘13 is currently listed as the third string right guard for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. If the all-Pac-12 lineman who starred at Washington makes the squad, there will be three Cubs playing in the NFL this season. ANTHONY BARR '10  is an All-Pro linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings and CHRIS CONTE ‘07 is a starting safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. . . Loyola is currently ranked 24th in the Southland by the Los Angeles Times