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Bell-Jeff spins winning combo against Webb

September 22, 2004

Grant Gordon

Derek Leiphardt never looked back, and neither did the rest of the

Bellarmine-Jefferson High football team.

On the first play of Saturday's nonleague game at the Webb School

in Claremont, Leiphardt followed a gaping hole all the way to a

touchdown.

While the play spelled a quick end for the host Gauls, it was

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merely the beginning of a big day for the Guards, en route to a 40-6

victory on the road.

The win allowed Bell-Jeff -- ranked No. 7 in CIF Southern Section

Division XII -- to begin the season 3-0 for the second straight year.

"It was a good way to set off [the game]," said Leiphardt, a

senior running back who rushed for 127 yards in just eight carries,

an average of 15.8 yards a carry.

"[Six-three, 225-pound lineman] Jake Nelson was there, so I just

followed him. It was a pretty big hole."

In all, Leiphardt tallied 20 points, scoring on the kick return,

as well as on runs of 25 and 31 yards. He also had a two-point

conversion.

After taking a 6-0 lead on the opening play of the game, the

Guards scored on their next three drives, going a perfect

four-for-four in first-half possessions.

Running back Joey Diaz proved the beneficiary of a flawed Webb

game plan early on, scoring two of his team's four first-half

touchdowns.

"They prevented Leiphardt and [Adrien] Anetema from hitting

outside," Bell-Jeff Coach Rolando Aguirre said. "So we hit them up

the middle with Joey."

Diaz's success opened up the outside, and Bell-Jeff's three-headed

monster of a backfield flourished, as it has in every game this

season. In all, the Guards churned out 305 yards on the ground.

Leiphardt's 127 yards was a team-high, but Diaz rushed for 96 yards

in nine carries and Anetema carried 10 times for 77 yards.

"That's what we've been doing since my sophomore year," said Diaz,

a senior and three-year varsity player, of the team's rushing attack.

After Diaz rumbled in for a 21-yard score in the first quarter and

a 14-0 lead, the Guards went aerial for their next six points when

quarterback Matt Magallon hit John Fitzgerald for a 66-yard scoring

strike early in the second quarter.

Magallon completed all three of the passes he threw, hitting

Fitzgerald each time for 110 yards.

"We have to be successful throwing the ball, too," Aguirre said.

"We just can't run it."

After Diaz closed out the first half with a five-yard jaunt into

the end zone, the Guards flirted with a shotgun formation -- in

contrast to their usual three-back set -- to begin the third quarter.

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