Los Angeles Preps: Alex Bucio
December, 16, 2011
By Tim Haddock | ESPNLosAngeles.com
CARSON – Sierra Canyon’s Reggie Prince touched the football only three times. But he made the most of his opportunities.
Prince scored the first touchdown for Sierra Canyon and picked off a pass in the second half in his team’s 34-13 win over Le Grand in the CIF State Division IV bowl game at the Home Depot Center on Friday.
Sierra Canyon scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and erased an six-point, first-half deficit to win its first CIF bowl game in school history.
“I am extremely excited about this,” said Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse. “Now the challenge is to make this a year in and year out expectation. We have everything in place and this program is in a great place. It doesn’t get any better than this. This is the pinnacle. I’m extremely excited.”
Sierra Canyon (15-0), which started its 11-man football program only three years ago, handed Le Grand (12-1), the Sac-Joaquin Valley Division V champion, its first loss of the season.
Prince gave Sierra Canyon a 7-0 lead with a 13-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
“It felt real good getting that touchdown,” Prince said. “It feels really good to come out here and play like a team.”
But Le Grand scored the next two touchdowns to take a 13-7 lead in the first quarter. Dustin Slate scored on a seven-yard run midway through the first quarter to cut the Sierra Canyon lead to 7-6.
Le Grand took the lead on a five-yard run by Julian Nava with 49 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
“We were overwhelmed by the atmosphere in the first half,” Ellinghouse said. “Our kids were tight and our kids play great when they’re loose. Our kids were a little in awe of the atmosphere. We definitely came out in the second half and played the type of football we’re used to playing.”
Menifield scored his first touchdown of the game on a 41-yard run with 4:11 to play in the first half. Sierra Canyon took a 14-13 lead and held it until halftime.
Prince made his second big play of game, picking off a pass from Le Grand quarterback Alex Bucio on the second play of the second half. He returned the interception to the Le Grand 31-yard line and set up Danny Jordan’s first touchdown of the game.
“At halftime we were down,” said Prince, who caught two passes for 22 yards. “Everybody kept saying have fun out there, have fun. When we came back, coach told me we have to step it up and put some points on the board. When I got that interception, it just turned the game around and I felt it. It just lifted the team up.”
With Sierra Canyon up 21-13, Menifield scored the next two touchdowns. He gave Sierra Canyon a 14-point lead with a two-yard touchdown run with 5:03 in the third quarter.
He pushed the Sierra Canyon lead to 21 points with a seven-yard touchdown run with 1:35 left in the third quarter.
Menifield rushed for 137 yards in 18 carries and caught two passes for 36 yards. Preston White led Sierra Canyon in receiving with five catches for 63 yards.
Sierra Canyon quarterback Tyler Stewart threw for 163 yards and a touchdown. He was 13-for-25 passing with one interception.
Bucio threw two interceptions, one to Prince in the third quarter and the other to Brian Tucker midway through the second quarter. Le Grand committed four turnovers in the game. Tucker recovered a fumble in the second half.
The Sierra Canyon football team has come a long way in a short time and Ellinghouse said he was proud of the way his players performed in their first bowl game.
“There’s nothing better than setting a goal and achieving it,” Ellinghouse said.
December, 14, 2011
By Tim Haddock | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Sierra Canyon hasn’t been playing 11-man football for very long. The Trailblazers haven’t been playing any kind of football for very long.
Three years ago, in 2009, Sierra Canyon started its first season in 11-man fooball. Thirty-four wins and a Southern Section East Valley Division championship later, Sierra Canyon is playing for a state championship against Le Grand in the CIF Division IV bowl game at the Home Depot Center on Friday.
Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse started the football program at Sierra Canyon with an eight-man team. He said he invited the challenge of building a program from scratch, but he did admit that making the jump from eight-man football to 11-man was more difficult than he anticipated.
“It’s very different,” Ellinghouse said. “I knew we were going to be 11-man. We were a good eight-man team. It all happened real quick.”
Sierra Canyon has become a good 11-man team in a short amount of time. The Trailblazers (14-0) completed an undefeated season and will have a chance to establish a reputation as one of the best small-school teams in the state.
Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart has thrown for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns and is completing 59 percent of his passes. He has only thrown two interceptions. His passing stats have been a little low the past two games. He only threw for 111 yards against Rim of the World on a freezing night in the semifinals. He threw for 131 yards and a touchdown in the East Valley Division championship game against Paraclete at Antelope Valley College.
Running backs Xavier Menifield and Danny Jordan have gone over the 1,000-yard mark this season. Menifield leads the team in rushing with 1,382 yards and 25 touchdowns. Jordan has 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. The two combined for 314 yards rushing and six touchdowns against Paraclete last week.
Preston White has become one of Sierra Canyon’s top receivers after Julian Brooks went down midseason with a foot injury. White has 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sierra Canyon and Le Grand (12-0) are very similar teams offensively. They both have strong-armed quarterbacks, a bruising running game and talented receivers who produce a ton of points.
Sierra Canyon is averaging 46.1 points per games and more than seven touchdowns per game. The Trailblazers didn’t cool off when the playoffs started either, averaging 45.7 points per game in the East Valley Division playoffs.
Le Grand is scoring at a 58.5-points-per-game clip this season. The Bulldogs should be well-rested for the game against Sierra Canyon, too. The won the CIF San-Joaquin Valley Division V championship three weeks ago.
Le Grand coach Rick Martinez said his players have spent the past three weeks fine-tuning their play on the offensive and defensive lines.
Receiver Zachary Moreno leads the team with 1,387 yards and has scored 21 touchdowns. He is being recruited by UCLA, Sacramento State, Fresno State and San Jose State, Martinez said. Moreno is also a basketball player, tall and fast, and a protypical receiver.
“He loves the weight room,” Martinez said. “A great receiver.”
Senior quarterback Alex Bucio has thrown for 2,344 yards and 40 touchdowns. Martinez said Bucio is a very coachable player and doesn’t know how good he can be. Bucio is a converted baseball player, a pitcher and shortstop, who is only in his third year of playing football.
Running back Daniel Guizar is a dominating player on both sides of the ball. He leads the team with 1,906 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns. He also plays outside linebacker and leads the team with eight sacks. On top of all that, he has returned three kicks for touchdowns.
“He epitomizes being a bulldog for us,” Martinez said.
Expect a lot of points and some big plays on offense in this game.
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