By Christian Romo
Photos by Jacob Bigley
The Apaches and the Bulldogs proved Friday night that low scoring could mean high excitement.
In a game that featured a combined eight turnovers and twelve sacks, the Arcadia Apaches (4-0) outlasted the Pasadena Bulldogs (0-4) 10-0 at Pasadena High. A 29-yard touchdown pass from Apache junior quarterback Max Davila (#18) to sophomore DaMarco Moorer (#15) put the game out of reach with just over six minutes left to play in the game, and a sack by senior defensive tackle Isaiah Leon (#34) on fourth down during Pasadena’s final possession sealed the victory for Arcadia. “It feels good that [my work] pays off from practice,” Leon said of his two sacks, noting that he used his speed to make up for his lack of size when rushing the pass.
Though standout senior Raeshawn Roland (#6) returned from an injury sustained two weeks ago at Monrovia, Arcadia struggled to move the ball against the Bulldog’s stout front seven. The Apaches advanced to the red zone twice in the second quarter, but scored only three points on their first try and no points their second after fumbling an exchange on Pasadena’s 1-yard line. “That can’t happen,” said Arcadia coach Andrew Policky, “the game’s a little more comfortable if we don’t do that.”
The Apaches finally broke through in the fourth quarter when Davila found Moorer on a short pass down the middle. Moorer juked a would-be tackler after the catch and sprinted twenty yards down the right sideline, diving towards the pylon to score the game’s only touchdown and secure Arcadia’s victory.
The Bulldogs defense stifled Arcadia for most of the game, sacking Davila six times and containing Arcadia’s tailbacks. “Our defense played a hell of a game,” said Pasadena coach DeJuan Shamburger, “we knew we were going to get pressure…we were doing a lot of stunts, hitting them on the block, we were there.” Bulldog’s senior captain Alec Malloy (#19) recorded two sacks and helped plug up the Apache’s running attack, finding holes in the offensive line and bursting through for key tackles.
While Pasadena’s defense stonewalled the Apaches, the Bulldog’s offense languished against Arcadia’s pass rush, turning the ball over six times, three times on failed fourth down conversions, and allowing six sacks on Pasadena quarterbacks. “We got after them up front,” said Policky of his team’s defensive effort. “We created a lot of negative plays … got a lot of pressure on the quarterback, which caused some errant throws.”
The Bulldogs made a second-half adjustment and successfully ran the ball up the middle during their longest drive of the game, but a missed field goal ended the Bulldog’s opportunity to tie the game in the middle of the third quarter. “We should’ve been pounding the ball more,” coach Shamburger said. “I’ll take this blame. But my kids fought.”
Arcadia opens the season with four straight wins for the first time since 2007, topping the Pacific League as league play starts. Though all the wins have been close, Policky didn’t diminish his team’s accomplishment. “They go down as wins no matter how much you win them by,” he said.
The Apaches come back home to play Muir next Friday at 7, while the Bulldogs look to snap their losing streak against Burroughs next Friday in Pasadena.