It took them awhile, nearly three weeks to be exact, but good fortune finally came South Pasadena High’s way Thursday night as the Tigers found the win column in football, turning away Marshall of Los Angeles on the road, winning soundly 42-0.
With the victory, the Tigers improved to 1-2 while Marshall, on the losing end of a 63-0 contest to Mary Star of the Sea in its first encounter, fell to 0-2 on the season.
Throughout the week leading up to the contest against the Barristers, South Pasadena coach Jeff Chi talked about the importance of cutting down on mistakes and turnovers, a key factor in why the Tigers struggled in their first two games – losses to Lincoln (37-20) and Boron (33-14)
Mission accomplished this week as the Tigers raced out to a 28-0 lead at the half and took off from there. “It always feels good to be on the winning side,” said South Pasadena High coach Jeff Chi after it was over. “I’m just glad the kids worked hard during the week and came out with the win.”
Tigers’ running back Jack Riffle had a big night, “scoring on the ground, catching passes,” said an upbeat Chi, before saying he had four touchdowns in the game. “He had a huge game for us.”
The coach also signaled out the play of South Pasadena quarterback Noah Aragon who “distributed the ball to a lot of different receivers and played well,” said the Tigers’ coach, also crediting the defense for holding its own in keeping Marshall off the scoreboard.
Chi said his team was told all week that while non-league games are important, there’s more at stake starting next month.
“The ultimate goal is to be successful in league,” said Chi, who now has more than a full week to prepare his club for the team’s fourth non-league game when the Tigers travel to play Heritage Christian of Northridge on Saturday, September 11.
Following that contest, the Tigers wind-up the preseason with a home game on September 17 against Alhambra in anticipation to the league campaign which gets underway on October 1 against Temple City, and includes in ensuing weeks Temple City, La Canada, Pasadena Poly, San Marino and Monrovia.
For now, however, Chi, smiling when the final seconds ticked down on the clock, can finally exhale with some relief after a pair of troubling defeats when miscues and blunders helped to upend his team.
“It feels great, I’m happy with our performance but we’ll back on the field soon preparing for Heritage Christian,” said Chi. “This was a good victory, but we still have a lot of work to do.”