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No Hoover football comeback this time against South Pasadena

Football: Tornadoes can't score in the second half, and host Tigers go on to a 21-7 nonleague victory.

September 13, 2013|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the News-Press
  • Hoover's Earl Rivera, center, attempts to cut up field between two South Pasadena High football players.
Hoover's Earl Rivera, center, attempts to cut up… (Roger Wilson/Staff…)

SOUTH PASADENA — In its final nonleague football game of the season, Hoover High had a chance to go into a bye week leading into Pacific League play with a winning record.

Standing in its way was South Pasadena, which the Tornadoes beat in the final minutes last season. But this year, the Tigers had home field advantage on their side.

Hoover stayed with the Tigers through halftime, but the relentless running attack of South Pasadena took its toll and the Tornadoes fell, 21-7, in a game played in the bright sunshine of Friday afternoon in order to finish before the beginning of Yom Kippur at sunset.

“Our defensive scheme was good,” Hoover first-year Coach Matt Andersen said. “[We] just [need to] contain players. It’s simple to me, but obviously we didn’t do it today. They busted a lot of those sweeps on us. We practiced against that offense all week, so I don’t know why it gave us so many problems.”

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Hoover (1-2) held the Tigers in check in the first quarter, benefiting from two South Pasadena turnovers. The first ended the opening drive of the contest when the Tigers quarterback and running back botched a handoff and Tornado Aram Grigoryan pounced on the ball.

Hoover was held without a first down on its first two possessions. The second ended with a punt, but the ball went right back to the Tornadoes when the Tigers return man fumbled while trying to battle for extra yards. Hoover recovered the ball 29 yards from the end zone and on the second play of the second quarter, scored the first points of the game on a Kenneth Traquena seven-yard touchdown run between the tackles. Andres Perez then booted home the extra point and Hoover led, 7-0, with 11:50 left before halftime.

“We tried hard,” said Traquena, who led Hoover with 61 yards on 14 carries. “Some of our players didn’t execute. We’re going to get at it on this bye week and come back strong.”

However, on the ensuing possession, South Pasadena (1-1) tied the game, scoring on an 80-yard drive while repeatedly gouging the Hoover defense for big runs. The Tigers finished the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run by Heven Gomez, who also had a 22-yard rush during the drive. Gomez then kicked the PAT through the uprights and the home team knotted the second at 7.

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