Los Angeles Preps: Kyron DeFour

LA North: Five things from the weekend

November, 1, 2010

1. Alemany coach Dean Herrington was a bit critical of his team after a 31-14 win over Loyola. His offense turned the ball over three times and came out a little flat to start the second half. Fortunately for Alemany, Loyola wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnovers. But Loyola running back Jared Baker broke off the biggest play of the game, scoring on an 88-yard run on the second play of the second half. Herrington did say after the game that he is happy with the way his defense is playing. Alemany gave Loyola a chance to get back in the game late in the fourth quarter when Kyron Defour fumbled at midfield. Alemany defensive linemen Akeem Gonzales and Sergio Figuerora came up with big plays on the ensuing drive. They each sacked Loyola quarterback Nick Cotton and sent Loyola back to its own 40 yard line. On Loyola’s last play of the game, Alemany chased Cotton out of the end zone for a safety. The defense for undefeated Alemany turned it up when it mattered against Loyola.

2. Valencia has shown a couple chinks in its armor against its past two Foothill League opponents. In the game against Hart, Valencia was trailing 14-3 at halftime. Running back Steven Manfro scored on two long touchdown runs in the fourth quarter and the Valencia defense held Hart to three points in the second half. Against Canyon two weeks ago, Valencia trailed three times in the first half before finally pulling away in the fourth quarter. The lapses have given Saugus some confidence, or perhaps delusions of grandeur. Saugus has yet to play Valencia and at 2-1 in league play, they have a shot at winning the Foothill League championship. It would take an upset win over Valencia when the two teams meet on Nov. 11. Saugus has to play West Ranch before its game with Valencia. There’s no chance Saugus is looking past West Ranch. No chance.

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VAN NUYS -- Big plays came in bunches in the football game between undefeated Alemany and injury-plagued Loyola at L.A. Valley College on Friday night.

Alemany, the No. 7 team in the ESPNLA.com top 25 rankings, made the most of its opportunities, stretching the field with long passes and coming up with clutch defensive plays, in a 31-14 Serra League win over Loyola.

Alemany quarterback Vernon Adams threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns. One of his touchdowns was a 65-yard pass to Kyron Defour. Adams also hit Corey Sims with a 50-yard pass that set up Alemany’s first touchdown of the game.

“We got some big plays with the passing game,” said Alemany coach Dean Herrington. “They were pretty aggressive on defense. We made some big plays on them.”

Loyola running back Jared Baker scored on an 87-yard run in the third quarter. The Loyola defense forced three turnovers, two on interceptions but could not turn them into scoring opportunities.

“We didn’t capitalize on the turnovers,” said Loyola coach Mike Christensen. “We didn’t do anything with them after we got them.”

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LA North: No. 12 Alemany 36, Taft 26

September, 24, 2010
MISSION HILLS -- Alemany's Saladin McCullough had one important responsibility during the waning moments of Friday's intersectional football game against visiting Woodland Hills Taft and that was to hold onto the ball.

Rest assured, the senior didn't fumble. In fact, he turned what was supposed to be a rather basic running play off the end into an exciting 24-yard touchdown run with less than five minutes left on the fourth quarter clock to essentially clinch a 36-26 victory over the Toreadors.

"I was trying to stay inbounds, chew up some clock, and there was no way I was going to cough up the ball in that situation, our coaches would've been all over me,'' McCullough said. "Once I saw the hole, I hit it and took off down the sideline. No one was going to catch me from behind.''

The highlight reel run by the determined McCullough gave Alemany (4-0), No. 12 in ESPNLosAngeles.com's Top 25 rankings, a 36-20 lead and all but ruined any hopes Taft (1-2) might have had at making a comeback.

The Warriors weren't satisfied with a three-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Accordingly, Jericho Richardson scooped a Taft fumble and returned it 52 yards for a score to extend the advantage to 30-20 with 10:52 left in the game.

Cisrow McClain scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:44 remaining in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for Taft. The damage had already been done by Alemany, which came up with big play after big play.

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