Football: La Jolla Country Day falls to bigger Clairemont, 28-14
By Ed Piper
La Jolla Country Day’s football team, though out-sized and out-battled on the line in visiting Clairemont’s 28-14 first round CIF Division 4 playoff win Nov. 15, suffered a blow, good for building young men and the whole person. The Torreys sport a small roster including six freshmen, Eagle Scouts, the ASB president (lineman Brandon Wachs), and outstanding scholars in the classroom.
Not every program takes the route of integrity, ethics and developing scholar-athletes in these days of ninth-grade commits to college teams, parents holding their sons back a year for the purpose of gaining more physical growth and maturity to do better in sports, and families relocating purely on the basis of which public school coach will play little Johnny more this season.
So it’s refreshing to see the “school” in high school athletics ac- tually represented, though disap- pointment was visible all over the faces of Torrey players in the locker room after the season-ending loss.
Country Day tied the game 7-7 in the first quarter on a 15-yard ramble by freshman quarterback Braxton Burmeister with 4:26 left on the clock. The drive started on the Torreys’ own 30 after Darien Brown’s 20-yard kick return. It was punctuated by a 37-yard pass play to running back Cole Goldklang and another of 17 yards to Christian Hayes, another junior. Hayes grabbed six catches for 64 yards in the game, Goldklang with three catches for 52 yards on the night.
Down only 14-7 at the half, LJCD came back to tie the game on its first possession of the third quarter on a 14-yard quarterback keeper up the middle by Burmeister. During that drive from the 29, Goldklang had a reception of 15 yards and Hayes took another one five yards to the Chieftain 14 before Burmeister’s score. But the Torreys quickly surrendered a Chieftain touchdown on Clairemont’s grinding ground game aided by a pass interference call by theend of the third quarter. Clairemont racked up 291 yards on the ground on 63 carries in total, to LJCD’s 109 yards.
Burmeister displayed his athletic prowess, besides running for both La Jolla touchdowns, by rushing for 89 yards and adding another 140 yards on 15-of-27 passing for an excellent 229 total yards on offense. Senior linebacker Vincent Paolucci played his heart out in his last game in high school with 10 tackles and six assists. Freshman defensive back Brennan Goring wasn’t too shabby, either, with nine tackles and three assists. Linebacker Cody Galvan had six tackles, five assists.
Wachs, a senior said: “If you give it 100 percent, you can walk off the field with your head held high. I am so proud of our team.” An impassioned Paolucci added, “We knew it was going to be a grind and whoever had the good day was going to take it. We just didn’t turn out on top.” Joseph Brown, another senior lineman, said: “This team worked hard. We faced adversity. But we overcame that. We worked together. We became brothers. We bonded with one another. Through all that, we worked. We just worked every game.”
Commented Izaiah Poutoa, sophomore lineman: “We’ve got a lot of heart and determination. We may not be bigger. It’s a mental game.”
Said LJCD coach Jeff Hutzler: “We’ve got some great seniors … leaders in the school. We had a lot of guys with us who played four years, what we call ‘Black Stripes.’ One of our coaches said it in the locker room after the game, ‘They do things the right way.’ ”
Country Day finishes 5-6 overall, 1-3 in the Coastal South Conference. Clairemont goes to 5-6 overall, 1-2 in the Central League, and plays at Sweetwater Fri., Nov. 22, in the second round of the CIF Division 4 playoffs.
GAME STATS – Offense: Passing – Cole Burmeister 15-27, 140 yards. rushing – Burmeister 12-89 yards, Cole Goldklang 9-14 yards, Christian Hayes 1-7 yards, Brennan Goring 1-5 yards, Cody Galvan 2-2 yards. receiving – Hayes 6-64 yards, Goldklang 3-52 yards, Ben Coden 1-11 yards, Goring 3-5 yards. Kick returns – Goldklang 2-38 yards, Darien Brown 2-35 yards, Galvan 1-14 yards. 3rd down efficiency – LJCD 6/11, Clairemont 10/13. Total yards – LJCD 259, Clairemont 339. Offensive plays – LJCD 55, Clairemont 69. First downs – LJCD 21, Clairemont 26. Defense: Tackles-Assists – Vincent Paolucci 10-6, Goring 9-3, Galvan 6-5, Brandon Wachs 4-4, Izaiah Poutoa 4-2, Julian Caravantes 4-1, Will Edwards 4-1, Hayes 2-1, Joseph Brown 1-1, Will Janus 1-1.
- The Bishop’s School tennis coach, Matt Copeland, gently guides his players in La Jolla
- Francis Parker girls softball team runs over The Bishop’s School, 10-1 in La Jolla
- Water Polo: La Jolla’s The Bishop’s School and Cathedral Catholic High earn berths in CIF boys’ final
- Knights soak Vikings in boys water polo at La Jolla cross-town rivalry match
- Week in Sports: Bishop’s moves on in CIF playoffs
Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=117022