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Strong effort isn't enough for Tesoro
BELLFLOWER - Given the whirlwind of adversity Tesoro has had to deal with the last couple weeks, you really had to admire how spirited the Titans played in the opening round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs.
From losing three consecutive South Coast League games, to losing their head coach, to assuming their season was over even after last week's nonleague victory, Tesoro (7-4) came out on Friday night and traded blows with third-seeded St. John Bosco of Bellflower.
In the end though, the Braves scored 21 consecutive points in the second half to overpower the Titans, 38-17, at St. John Bosco High.
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"I'm proud of our kids for playing through all the adversity of the past week," Tesoro interim coach John Hall said. "They responded well tonight. We came out a little flat in the second half, but Bosco is a hard-nosed team and we gave it to them in the first half."
Senior halfback Nate Tago finished with 108 yards on 20 carries.
"Nate is an amazing football player," Hall said. "He's our workhorse. When our quarterbacks struggled this season, he took on a huge burden of the offense and did it without any complaints.
"Some college is going to be very happy to land that guy."
With the score all square at 17, St. John Bosco (7-4) scored on its first two possessions of the second half — a 6-yard TD run by Lonell Woodhouse and an offensive fumble recovery in the end zone by receiver A.J. Holman — to surge ahead for good.
"These kids deserved this playoff game," Hall said. "They were disappointed after losing to San Clemente because they thought their playoff chances had diminished, but we've come together as a family since then and we played for each other tonight."
With an impending offseason to find a new head coach, Hall — a strong candidate if he chooses to apply — shed some light on his future with Tesoro.
"I've never really wanted to be a head coach," Hall said, "but I've built relationships with these kids over the last six years, so I think they'll see it as fitting if I apply. I never wanted to be in this position, honestly. It's a lot of administrative stuff and that sort of took the fun out of it for me."
Braves halfback Darren Walker ran for 110 yards on 18 carries, including a 7-yard scoring run.