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Foothill, Pihl take care of business
ORANGE - The mark of a championship-caliber team is not only its ability to win games it is supposed to win, but its ability to put those particular games away as early and painlessly as possible.
Behind senior halfback Sean Pihl and senior quarterback Jack Gilchrist, No. 9 Foothill flaunted its championship makeup in a 42-14 Century League victory over El Modena on Thursday night at El Modena High.
“I thought our kids played well and didn’t let up,” Knights coach Doug Case said. “Pihl had a great game, Gilchrist had a great game, the Moss brothers showed how dynamic they can be. We have a lot of weapons and we executed well tonight.”
On a night Foothill (5-1, 2-0) put up 430 yards of total offense, Pihl (149 yards rushing on 17 carries) and Gilchrist (195 yards passing on 12 completions) combined for five of the visitors’ six touchdowns.
“I thought our kids played well after we got smacked in the face,” Case said. “Our kids learned pretty quickly that we have to be up for all 48 minutes.”
After receiving the opening kickoff, El Modena (2-4, 0-2) picked up seven first downs as part of an 18-play drive that culminated in a 4-yard TD run by Brandon Dagenais.
It took Foothill just over a minute to respond to the Vanguards’ 9-minute, 28-second scoring drive as Pihl took the Knights’ second handoff of the evening 54 yards for the score.
“We stressed during the week that we’d have to play tonight’s game before we play next week’s game (against Villa Park),” Case said. “I think that once the game got going and we saw that El Modena wasn’t going away, our kids pulled up their bootstraps and got after it.”
Foothill would score on its next two possessions -- both on short runs by Pihl -- to take a two-touchdown lead into the break.
Jarrell Moss and Julian Moss caught touchdown passes on subsequent possessions in the third quarter to effectively put the game away.
Dagenais finished with 68 yards rushing for the Vanguards.