FOOTBALL | SPHS Homecoming Game Postponed

Contest will resume at 3:30 p.m. on Monday after lightning puts it on hold with just over seven minutes to go in the second quarter

PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | | SPHS Homecoming 2018 postponed due to lightning and rain

Lightning was the winner of the game Friday night between South Pasadena High and visiting Temple City.

With 6:58 left in the second quarter, officials stopped the action as flashes from a distance in the south end Solari Stadium postponed the contest.

South Pasadena had the ball on second and seven from its own 33 when the referee halted play.

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The game will be resumed at 3:30 p.m. on Monday. “I’ve never experienced this before,” said Tigers’ coach Jeff Chi. “I guess the refs are going the extra mile to protect the kids. It’s a good thing. We don’t want to have our players struck by lightning.”

PHOTO: Estaban Lopez | | South Pasadena and Temple City will resume play on Saturday morning following a delay in the action after lightning was seen in the south end of stadium on Friday night. The game will resume Monday at 3:30pm

Temple City jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first time it had the ball, going 55 yards in 13 plays, capped off by a two-yard run by Samuel Jackimowicz with 3:23 left in the first quarter.

Two possessions later, the Rams were driving again, this time taking the ball down to the Tigers’ 20 when South Pasadena came up big defensively, stopping Temple City on fourth down. Rams’ quarterback Alex Vera fumbled the snap before Tiger players steamrolled him to stop the drive.

Minutes later, lightning struck in the distance, stopping play. The homecoming show, normally reserved for halftime, started during the delay.

A sudden downpour, coupled with bolts of lightning, then sent the crowd scurrying for cover as officials ended it just after 8 p.m.

South Pasadena High Athletic Director Greg Luna said in a text: “The rule states that the game can’t resume until there is 30 minutes without lightning.”

In the best interest of the players and fans, South Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Geoff Yantz called the decision by officials to stop play the right thing to do.

The bolts in the sky kept coming and a restart time was nowhere in sight. “There was quite a bit of it out there,” said the superintendent said of the lightning. “They did the right thing, absolutely.”

During the quick and abbreviated Homecoming ceremony senior Hyurk Ju Lee was crowned king and the fireworks went off.

“So much goes into preparing this event, it’s too bad said Yantz, adding tongue-in-cheek. “We would have won.”

SPUSD President Jon Primith, sitting next to Yantz in the stands, added: “I thought it was genius. They lit the fireworks just as the thunderstorm hit. The students had a great (homecoming) performance going on, but I guess we’ll get it again.”

The backdrop of lightning against the fireworks made it a spectacular show.

Like Yantz, Primuth agreed, “I’m sure we would have won.”

He’ll have a chance to find out Monday afternoon.

The Tigers will resume play with their spread offense when the games gets underway again. “We didn’t execute the ball too well,” he said of South Pasadena’s effort. “We ran the ball well on our first drive so I think we’re confident we can run the ball.”