Los Angeles Preps: Alex Alvarez
December, 10, 2011
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
MONTEREY PARK -- Derwin Henderson looked over his left shoulder, then over his right. The South East coach promptly pulled the hood of his sweatshirt over his head, knowing exactly what was coming next.
Nothing like an icy bath to kick off the celebration.
Henderson and top-seeded South East captured the City Section Division II championship Friday afternoon with a 51-34 victory against second-seeded Marshall at Weingart Stadium on the campus of East Los Angeles College. South East (13-1), in only its seventh year of existence, shattered its previous school record of eight wins.
The disbelief was evident on junior quarterback Jonathan Santos’ face. He passed for 317 yards and five touchdowns, and added a season-high 135 rushing yards and another score to pace the explosive Jaguars attack.
“I wouldn’t trade him for the world,” Henderson said.
Highly regarded Robert Lewis, the Southern Methodist-bound tailback who had 2,004 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns heading into the game, had difficulty finding running lanes but made his presence felt in a different way. He caught a 24-yard touchdown and returned an interception 36 yards for a score in the second half to help Eastern League champion South East pull away.
“Back in February Robert could have left to any other school he wanted, but he stuck around, stuck with me,” Henderson said.
Santos’ 71-yard touchdown pass to Ramone Smith was the dagger, making it 38-20 early in the fourth quarter. In the stands, newspaper scraps fluttered in the air, serving as makeshift confetti.
“This is everything,” said Santos, who fell just 31 yards short of 3,000 for the season. “Since I was little this is what I’ve been dreaming about. We never thought it’d be reality.”