La Jolla gets tough with Madison
By Steve Poehler
SPECIAL TO THE UNION-TRIBUNE
November 26, 2005
Robert Sagerian took the snap and took a knee. As the clock ran out,
the La Jolla quarterback then jumped into the air and pumped his
fist. The celebration began. The Vikings had pulled off an the
Sagerian connected with
receiver Chris Jones for a 27-yard touchdown strike in the third
quarter for what proved to be the winning score. The play helped La
Jolla shock the No. 2-seeded Madison Warhawks 21-14 last night in
the Division IV football quarterfinals at Madison High.
The Vikings (6-5) move on to face Valley Center, a 55-6 winner over
Coronado, next week in the semifinals. Central League champion
Madison finished 9-2.
"We came off a tough
loss against Point Loma, and we thought we were better than the 5-5
record that we had," said Sagerian, whose team tied for second
in the Western League after losing 26-6 to champion Point Loma on
Nov. 10. "Our defense kept us in it all night, and the offense
made plays when they needed to."
After a 14-14 tie at the
half, the stingy La Jolla defense took over. The Vikings shut down
the high-powered Madison offense over the final 24 minutes, holding
the Warhawks to 39 yards – 24 rushing – and 209 yards total for
Brandon Grimsley, the
section's third-leading rusher during the regular season, ran 20
times for 135 yards. The senior for both of Madison's touchdowns,
including a 95-yarder and a 1-yarder, both in the second quarter.
The Vikings also found the
end zone twice in the opening half, once on their first drive and
the other as time expired when Sagerian sneaked in from a yard out.
"We knew they were
going to be real physical, and they were," Madison head coach
Rick Jackson said. "We thought we moved the ball OK, but we had
a lot of mental breakdowns. Credit to them because they're a good
La Jolla played without
starting running back Ben Chu, who had a cyst removed from his jaw
on Tuesday. But the Vikings filled the gap with a committee of
runners, led by Philip Stewart's 74 yards, to finish with 154 yards
on the ground.
"We had little things
that we had to overcome this week," La Jolla head coach Dave
Ponsford said. "We had to kind of move some guys from receiver
in (to running back). I'm proud of the kids – they responded
Madison lost starting QB
Daniel Moreno midway through the third because of a sprained