Thursday, October 28, 2021

Damien Soccer wins close at the end, stops Oaks Christian

LA VERNE — The Damien football team had already slipped two close games against traditionally strong Southern California teams, losing two points to Loyola last week and Orange Lutherans in overtime.

The Spartans didn’t let that happen again on Thursday night.

Freshman Steven Chavez scored a 4-yard run with a 3:17 in the third quarter and it proved to be the difference in Damien’s 28-23 win over Oaks Christian in a nonleague game.

It was a win the Spartans (2-2) desperately wanted after a 41-38 overtime loss last week.

Damien’s coach Matt Bechtel said: “We don’t take wins lightly and we knew going into the season that the schedule was going to be tough.” “I was proud of the way our players played tonight. I thought we dominated the game and we made a few mistakes which put the game closer to what it should have been. “

The Spartans ran for 216 yards in the game, with almost half of those yards coming in the second half.

Chavez rushed for 110 yards in the final two quarters and ended the game with 122 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns. His TD run in the third quarter helped the Spartans extend their lead to 28-20.

“We wanted to get the ball down his throat,” Chavez said. “We woke up in the second half, we found our offense and found our groove.”

Spartans quarterback Dylan Gutierrez had a productive night, completing 9 of 13 passes for 114 yards.

“We came back with some vengeance and thought we might have that (Orange Lutheran) game,” Gutierrez said. “We had the mentality to come and smash their faces.”

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The Lions (0-5) got a big performance from quarterback Cole Tannenbaum. The 6-4 senior completed 19 of 37 passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns. Junior running back Johnny Thompson was the leading rusher with 72 yards on 19 carries.

The Lions had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the last leg of the fourth quarter. However, Tannenbaum missed adding on a 32-yard pass to Jalen Lewis in the end zone.

Damien scored in his early possession when Gutierrez pulled off a six-play, 53-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run at 8:17 for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Oaks Christian reacted quickly to his early possession with a 16-play, 75-yard drive, culminating in a 7-yard run with Johnny Thompson in the end zone in the opening game of the second quarter that gave the Spartans a 7-6 lead. reduced from

The Spartans put together a clock-feeding drive of their own with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that lasted six minutes with Freeman and 6:04 for a 14-6 advantage in the second quarter Scored a TD.

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