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Bell-Jeff football falls against Campbell Hall

Football: Guards show progress in 28-0 loss to Campbell Hall on Saturday night at Memorial Field.

September 28, 2013|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Leader

BURBANK — It has been a challenging season so far for the Bellarmine-Jefferson High football program, as the Guards continue to struggle with a low turnout of players and a general lack of experience. It began with three canceled games, with one going down as a forfeit, and then, after finally taking the field, a stumble resulting in lopsided defeat against a high-ranking inter-division opponent that was called in the middle of the fourth quarter by first-year coach Lance Fauria.

However, in their home opener Saturday night at Memorial Field, the Guards had an opportunity for the first time to get their feet solidly on the ground, taking on an opponent in Campbell Hall that had also lost games to forfeit and cancellation this season.

In the battle of struggling programs, it was the Vikings who came out on top, 28-0, and garnered their first victory of the campaign, but Bellarmine-Jefferson took steps forward, as this time they competed from the opening kickoff until the final whistle with the clock reading all zeros.

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“We were able to play a full game,” Fauria said. “It was close, though. The thing is with 13 players [suited up] the kids played as hard as they could.”

Bell-Jeff (0-3) was to have played Pasadena Poly on Thursday, but instead rescheduled to face the Vikings, who two weeks ago canceled their game against that same Poly squad. Campbell Hall was to have played Brentwood, but instead swapped opposition with the Guards for a more even match-up.

“I think it was a good game for both of us as opposed to playing the other two teams we were going to play,” Fauria said. “I think we got something out of this.”

Campbell Hall (1-3) pulled out ahead with two one-yard touchdown runs by quarterback Nick Friedich on its first two possessions. The first came on the Vikings’ third snap on offense and the second was set up by a 41-yard reception by one of actor James Caan’s sons, Jimmy.

The Vikings’ third possession saw the Guards defense spring to life. Bell-Jeff’s Max Belsito led the way with sacks on consecutive plays. Campbell Hall would not score again before the break.

“A lot of our players haven’t played before, so this was their first full game,” Belsito said.

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