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2011-11-09 / Sports

LaVilla ends playoff hopes

By Eric Smith
Express Sports Editor

Charlotte Trojan Nick Luna makes a nice grab as a LaVilla defender tries to knock the ball loose. Charlotte’s season has come to an end. 
EXPRESS PHOTO BY J GARCIA Charlotte Trojan Nick Luna makes a nice grab as a LaVilla defender tries to knock the ball loose. Charlotte’s season has come to an end. EXPRESS PHOTO BY J GARCIA The LaVilla Cardinals came out and set the tone early, in what was a fight for a 3rd place playoff spot. The Cardinals were able to jump out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, before the Trojans knew what had hit them. At the end of the night, it was a tough loss to end the 2011-2012 season. Charlotte finishes the year with a 5-5 (0-3) record.

“We are not happy or satisfied as a program in how we finished. We know we started playing decent out of the gate, but we began to hold ourselves back,” stated first year Head Coach, Mark Salinas.

The LaVilla offense proved to be trouble for Charlotte from the start. They were led by stud RB Ricky Cantu, who scored five touchdowns thanks to 15 carries on 225 yards on the night.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to three straight touchdowns courtesy of a 70-yard passing play, an 11-yard Cantu run and a 7-yard Cantu run.

Charlotte was able to get on the board after that, as Isaac Santos hit Nick Luna for a 27-yard pass play for their first touchdown of the game. The PAT failed, but Charlotte had cut the lead down to 21-6 with 3:44 to go in the quarter.

LaVilla pulled away after that, as they went on to score two more first quarter touchdowns and two second quarter touchdowns, which resulted in a demanding 48-6 lead at the half for the visiting squad.

In the second half, Charlotte was able to score three touchdowns compared to only two by the Cardinals, but it was a little too late.

Charlotte used a 3-yard Santos TD, a 37-yard pass play from Santos to Kalup Guerrero and a 15-yard Tyler Cantu run to try and make this one respectable.

At the end of the night, it was LaVilla who cruised to a 63-26 victory over the Trojans at Trojan Field. It was official, the Trojans would not advance to the playoffs for a second straight season.

The Cardinals finished the game with an impressive 503 total yards of offense, 414 of which came via their rushing game and 89 that came through the air. The Trojans finished the game with 296 offensive yards, 119 of which came on the ground and 177 through the air.

Coach Mark Salinas speaks on the loss: “Offensively, we had kids that refused to quit. Our skilled kids played well. Defensively, younger kids were able to get some experience under their belt,” stated Salinas when asked about the positives he saw in the contest.

Coach Mark Salinas had the following to say when he was asked what went wrong against LaVilla.

“Offensively, we did not do a good job of blocking. We did not tackle on defense and we just didn’t play aggressive enough to win. We did not play good for 48 minutes,” stated Coach Salinas.

The Trojans did finish a game better overall than last season, but did not pick up a district victory as they did last season.

“As a program, we are not satisfied. Losing Jose Rodriguez did something mentally to our kids. Our staff tried everything to get them to move forward, but his loss hurt us pretty good, mentally and physically. We just never got back up after the LaPryor game. On the other hand, we were able to compete. A good program needs to have some good off-seasons. This is where tough games are going to be won, and we are moving into our off-season ASAP and our younger kids are ready for the challenge,” stated Salinas.

Trojans will lose ten seniors: The Trojans will lose the following seniors- Nick Luna, Isaac Santos, Jose Rodriguez, Tyler Cantu, Kalup Guerrero, Joe Salazar, Edwin Castilleja, Rey Sambrano, Trey Zuniga and James Luna.

“Wow, what a big loss. We will miss them, as they had a good athletic ability and most of all, they were good kids,” stated Salinas.

Looking forward, according to Salinas, the key is going to be how much they achieve in the off-season and how much faster and stronger they get.

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