Bell-Jeff shines in second half

FOOTBALL: Guards hold Salesian scoreless in final two quarters to earn a 28-13 win in their Santa Fe League opener on the road.

October 20, 2007|By Jeff Tully

EAST LOS ANGELES — With a bye last week and a break from competition, Bellarmine-Jefferson High football Coach Rolando Aguirre didn’t know what to expect from his team in its Santa Fe League opener Friday against Salesian.

The coach was hoping his Guards would be able to wipe away the cobwebs and start the league campaign with a solid performance.

Although Bell-Jeff appeared a little out of sync early in the game, it snapped out of it and handed the host Mustangs a 28-13 loss at Keegan Stadium.


The win was the fourth straight for the Guards (6-1), who are ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division.

Bell-Jeff’s only blemish on the season came with a 21-14 nonleague loss to Flintridge Prep on Sept. 15.

Aguirre said the week off likely led to some early problems with his squad.

"Our timing was off early in the game and we just weren’t as sharp as we have been in other games," Aguirre said. "We were just a little off with some things.

"But that’s because we haven’t played in a week. You can’t really do much hitting against each other. The only thing you can really do is a lot of conditioning."

Despite the early problems, Bell-Jeff didn’t lack any offensive spark in the first half. Moreover, the team’s defense came up with some big turnovers and stuffed the Mustangs (1-7, 0-2 in league) on several key third- and fourth-down plays.

Bell-Jeff senior running back Jorge Chaidez paced the offense with a torrid ground attack. He found the end zone twice in the first two quarters with scoring runs of 13 and two yards.

Junior running back Bronson Ketchum added a two-yard score of his own in the second quarter.

Salesian was able to keep the score tight before the half, as Eric Biddle and Christopher Hernandez scored touchdowns to make it an eight-point game, 21-13.

The second half is where the Guards really shined, as they held the Mustangs scoreless.

"We made some adjustments at halftime and we moved some guys around," Aguirre said. "That helped us big time. We gave [Salesian] some looks that they probably weren’t expecting."

Ketchum scored his second touchdown of the night — this time from six yards — at the 10:18 mark of the third quarter.

Chaidez was a workhorse for the Guards, gaining 209 yards in 29 carries. For the season, Chaidez has gained more than 1,300 yards and has scored 18 touchdowns.

Chaidez, Ketchum and the rest of the Bell-Jeff backfield benefited from an offensive line that continually beat its Salesian counterparts off the ball and created big holes. Kevin Concepcion, Artemio Davila, J.P. Hribar, Adam Cepero, Alex Ayala and Barry Ayala did fine work on the line.

"I had never seen Salesian play this well in any of their games all season," Aguirre said. "They really came out and hit us hard. I give them a lot of credit for playing as well as they did."

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