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Bell-Jeff football opens with lopsided loss against Chadwick

Football: Guards lose shortened game, 44-6, as numbers dwindle against Dolphins.

September 21, 2013|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Burbank Leader

PALOS VERDES PENINSULA — Regardless of the outcome of Bellarmine-Jefferson High’s season-opening football game against host Chadwick, just taking the field was a victory after canceling the first three scheduled games of the season due to low numbers and a need for additional preparation.

However, despite the use of a running clock from early in the second quarter, the Guards were unable to make it to the final whistle, leaving the Dolphins with a truncated 44-6 victory.

Bellarmine-Jefferson (0-2), who took a loss via forfeit last week, started Saturday afternoon’s game with 14 players in uniform with pads. By halftime it was down to 12, and, when after covering a punt early in the fourth quarter two more Guards stayed down on the grass, first-year coach Lance Fauria called a stop to the contest with 10:30 left.

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“This is hard to do with 14 kids,” Fauria said directly after play was halted. “The game is over now because we don’t have any more subs. That’s all we can do. The kids played as hard as they can.”

Chadwick (4-0) scored touchdowns on its second and third snaps of the game. The first came after the Guards were unable to get off a punt on the game’s opening possession, giving the hosts the ball 17 yards away from points. Two plays later, Peter Mavredakis ran it in from 11 yards out.

On the Guards’ next possession, they again failed to get off a punt, this time giving the Dolphins the ball one yard from points. On the next play, Mavredakis connected with Cole Freeman for a one-yard touchdown pass.

Bell-Jeff fumbled on its next snap, but the Guards defense stepped up. John Anulat knifed through the Dolphins line to tackle the ball carrier for a five-yard loss, eventually leading to a successful 22-yard field goal.

Two plays after that, the Guards offense had its moment. Quarterback Devoughn Roberts, a basketball player who had never played football before, lofted his second pass of the game over the top of the Chadwick defense into the hands of Miles Hopkins, who had broken free behind the secondary. Hopkins, another basketball player new to football, caught the ball and outraced the trailing defenders for a 74-yard touchdown at the 1:49 mark in the opening quarter.

“It felt great to see my teammate Miles open,” Roberts said. “I just passed him the ball and saw him run for the touchdown. It felt great.”

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