Los Angeles Preps: Adam Sanchez

No. 16 Bishop Amat 28, No. 14 Crespi 14

October, 21, 2011
ENCINO -- Rio Ruiz is known as a baseball player, first and foremost. More than a few scouts project him as a first-round draft pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Friday night, however, the senior from La Puente Bishop Amat played the part of football player. And then some. Ruiz completed 19-of-25 passes for 236 yards and pair of touchdowns to guide the visiting Lancers to a 28-14 Serra League victory over Crespi.

“Every week, this is what we get from Rio, he's a gamer,'' Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty said. “We know baseball is his first priority, we have no problems with that. We're just happy to have him around during football season. We'll go as far as he takes us.''

That was apparent from start to finish against the Celts (6-2, 1-1), no. 14 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings. Ruiz was on point for the No. 14 Lancers (6-2, 1-1).

“Baseball is my first love, but I'm a competitor, that's why I play football,'' Ruiz said. “Tonight, I would not have been able to do anything without my offensive line. They rewarded me with time, I rewarded them with touchdowns. Things worked out good for all us.''

The fact the Celts had four turnovers didn't help their cause.

Crespi's Corey Peoples suffered what appeared to be a stinger at the 5:49 mark of the fourth quarter. A 30-minute delay followed because of the injury. He had use of his lower extremities, but was taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital as a precautionary measure.

Once play resumed, Bishop Amat scored again. Jalen Moore took off on an 18-yard touchdown run to extend the advantage to 28-14 with 5:14 remaining in the game.

When all was said and done, Moore had 157 total offensive yards.

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No. 8 Bishop Amat 38, Venice 35

October, 6, 2011

VENICE -- Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty trusted the process, which included giving Jalen Moore his carries. And more carries. And then some more.

The senior tailback rushed for 214 yards in a whopping 38 carries Friday night, scoring three touchdowns to help the Bishop Amat Lancers fend off a pesky Venice team, 38-35. Moore's final score gave Amat a 10-point lead with 2:11 to go. It took Venice only 52 seconds to respond, with standout receiver Gabriel Marks hauling in a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it a three-point game.

The Lancers covered up the onside kick and Moore, rather fittingly, milked the clock with a handful of bruising runs.

When informed that he had 38 carries on the night, Moore's eyes got big.

"I like that. No, I love that," he said.

Hagerty did too.

"Gosh," Hagerty said. "I just know he runs the ball hard. He's our guy, I guess. He always comes up big for us. Thank God we have him."

Amat (5-1), the No. 8 team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings, was in trouble when it trailed 21-7 late in the first half. Marks, verbally committed to play at Southern Methodist, lined up behind center, in the wildcat formation, and blew through a hole for a scintillating 89-yard score that gave the Gondoliers (1-4) a two-touchdown edge.

The large Amat crowd was silent but it was as close as Venice got to the upset.

Moore scored from five yards out with 36 seconds remaining in the first half to give his team momentum heading into the locker room. Receiver Adam Sanchez tied it, 21-21, early in the third quarter on his second reverse run of the game.

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Football: No. 1 Servite 49, No. 7 Bishop Amat 14

September, 9, 2011

NORWALK -- Cody Pittman says he's hungry but, judging by how he looked Friday night, the senior quarterback might be selling himself a bit short.

Starving seems more appropriate.

Pittman threw for 139 yards, ran for 75 more and had three total touchdowns, leading top-ranked Servite to a 49-14 drubbing of Bishop Amat at Cerritos College. The Friars did what the Friars do, feasting on a helpless opponent by controlling the trenches.

"When we come out and play our game," Pittman said, "this should be the outcome against most of these teams we've got coming up. ... I want to get back to that point that we were at last year. I want to prove to everyone that last year [against De La Salle] was an upset, that we can bounce back from it."

The Lancers, a trendy Pac-5 Division sleeper pick and the No. 7 team in ESPNLA.com's Top 25 football rankings, were supposed to give Servite a tough test. It never truly materialized, with the Friars (2-0) pulling away to a 28-7 halftime lead. A noticeable amount of Bishop Amat fans filed out of the stadium at the start of the fourth quarter when things appeared meager, but what else did they expect?

"Well, I don't know exactly what went wrong," Lancers coach Steve Hagerty said. "I'll have to look at [the tape] and see. I think they're physically better than us up front, bigger and stronger. Our kids are fighting the good fight but sometimes it's not the best thing."

There wasn't much doing on either side of the ball for Amat (1-1). Senior quarterback Rio Ruiz was just 8 of 17 passing for 73 yards, throwing for a touchdown but, also, two interceptions. One of his picks set Servite up nicely near the goal line, the other came inside the red zone when the game was still within reach.

Amat's only score of the first half was a beauty, with Ruiz hitting Adam Sanchez for a 31-yard touchdown on a crucial fourth and 12. Ruiz beat triple coverage, hitting a diving, sprawling Sanchez in the back of the end zone. The touchdown made it 14-7.

It was all Servite from there.

Friars tailback Charlie Etiaki eased his way through monstrous holes, running for 114 yards on just nine carries. He had two touchdowns, one through the air and another through the ground. Andrew Moore also approached the century mark and had a score.

"The running attack starts with our offensive line and they were getting a push," Pittman said. "When you have that and you have the running backs that we have, it's going to be unstoppable."

Seventh-year coach Troy Thomas was all smiles after the game, complimenting his defense for the job it did against Ruiz and tailback Jalen Moore (20 carries, 73 yards). And, perhaps most notably, the Friars proved they're capable of returning to the Home Depot Center come December, maybe for a rematch against Northern California powerhouse De La Salle.

"We don't really gear ourselves to winning a championship or anything like that," Thomas said. "We're just trying to be champions in our lives. We believe champions win championships. When you do that, then you have a chance in the end."

And, if Pittman has anything to say about it, a little hunger won't hurt either.