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Freshman Gridders on Win Streak

Effort on both sides of the ball lead San Marino to victory in last two games.

Will Slocum, Reporter

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The Titans freshman football team is on a win streak.

The traveling Titans freshman football team (2-2) defeated the Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School Cardinals Thursday, 38-18. 

Led by freshman quarterback Andy Sutherland, The Titans’ offense was productive, and at halftime they led 26-0.  By the end of the third, they led 32-0.

Sutherland had a hand in almost every point the Titans scored. He threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two.

Head coach Matt Wilson was happy about how his team reduced mistakes throughout the game.

“Turnover free offense and a relentless effort on defense let us get a big lead,” he said.  The San Marino Titans freshman football team won their first game of the year Sept. 7 at home against the El Monte Lions, 27-20.

In their previous game, offense, defense and special teams all contributed to the win against the El Monte Lions during a game in which the Titans scored quickly, and took advantage of their opponent’s turnovers. Momentum shifts also characterized the game.

There was a different feel to how his team played against the Lions, Wilson said.

“The last two weeks we put ourselves in holes, and had to rally,” Wilson said. “For once we were playing ahead, even though we let them back in it there was a different feel, knowing that we could score quickly.”

The Titans offense got off to an explosive start, scoring quickly on the opening possession of the game on a touchdown pass by Sutherland to receiver Trond Grizzle.

San Marino suffered from a couple of turnovers after that, which resulted in touchdowns by El Monte. The Lions led at halftime, 20-13.

The Titans regained momentum at the beginning of the third quarter  on an interception by defensive back Matthew Karapetyan. The interception led to a scoring drive by the Titans to tie the game, 20-20.

In the fourth quarter with the score still even, El Monte turned the ball over on downs, when San Marino linebacker and special teams player,  Nathan Fajardo, tackled the Lions’ punter on a dropped snap. That set up the Titans with field position at the El Monte 16-yard line, which led to the game-winning rushing touchdown by running back Matthew Karapetyan.

Sutherland finished with two touchdown passes, including a 25-yarder to wide receiver Nathan Fajardo. Karapetyan finished with two rushing touchdowns.

“This win feels good because we had worked really hard all week in practice,” receiver and defensive back, Jackson Herren said. “We really came together as a team.”

The win comes after a 0-2 start by the Titans, who had lost their previous game against  Dominguez High School in a high-scoring affair, 62-43.

San Marino High School Freshmen football coach, Matt Wilson, was happy about how his offense played during that game.

“In week one, we were solid defensively, but we struggled on offense,” he said. “Against Dominguez we got the offense clicking but struggled in the other areas of defense and special teams.”

The offense did click, especially the play of quarterback Andy Sutherland.

He threw five touchdown passes during the game, two of those on deep throws to wide receiver Trond Grizzle.

Sutherland also threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Seth Ruiz on a slant route.

The other two touchdowns came on passes to wide receiver Nathan Fajardo.

The Titans biggest defensive play was on a 100-yard interception return by Matthew Karyapetain.

The Titans play Bell Gardens at home, Thursday at 3 p.m.

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Freshman Gridders on Win Streak