Palos Verdes leads local teams into CIF football championships
by Randy Angel
After pleading with Palos Verdes head coach Guy Gardner, quarterback Jake Jellison received approval to try a trick play.
Trailing host Glendora by one point with just over two minutes remaining and facing a 3rd-and-7 from the Tartan’s 9-yard line, Julian Alessi received a pitchout but stopped and threw back to Jellison in the end zone for the score, giving PV a dramatic 26-21 win.
Senior Luka Kielbasa sealed the victory with an interception at the PV 40-yard line to thwart Glendora’s final attempt for a comeback.
PV (10-3) will take on third-seeded Lawndale (11-2) in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 championship game on Friday, marking the first time PV has played for a title since 2012.
Jellison passed for 152 yards and one touchdown for PV while Alessia had five receptions for 112 yards and one touchdown, and running back Ryan Wilson rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
Lawndale is led by a ferocious defense that has allowed only 7 points in three playoff wins while the Cardinals’ offense has scored 93 points in the postseason.
Since its league opener, a 34-7 victory over Culver City, Lawndale has allowed a mere 26 points in seven contests.
The PV defense is led by Keenan Fyles (6-0, 180), Naki Fahina (6-1, 255) and Tuli Tuipulotu (6-2, 215).
PV and Lawndale have faced three common opponents this season with Lawndale holding the edge in winning margins. PV lost to Narbonne 34-10 and beat Culver City 37-36 and Leuzinger 36-0. Lawndale also lost to Narbonne 27-14 and defeated Culver City 34-27 and Leuzinger 66-6.
In Division 11, Peninsula (9-4) reached the championship round for the first time since 1997 with a 28-7 victory over Hemet.
Running back Ethan Han led the charge, rushing for 173 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries.
The Panthers will take on host Western (11-2), a 35-34 winner over Beaumont, for the title on Friday.