Top-seeded Servite blows past L.B. Wilson
CERRITOS – Servite scored three touchdowns in the first six minutes of Friday’s opening round of the CIF-SS Pac-5 playoffs against Wilson of Long Beach.
It was efficient and precise. And ultimately all the top-seeded Friars needed to advance past the Bruins, 41-3, at Cerritos College.
The Trinity League champion Friars (10-1) will play Tesoro next week after the Titans upset Edison, 16-14, on Friday. Wilson ends its season at 5-6.
“I thought we played well in every phase of the game,” Servite coach Troy Thomas said.
“We weren’t as sharp offensively as we’ve been, but when you get up early like that guys tend to relax a little bit.”
After winning the toss the Friars marched 66 yards in six plays, a trek which included a 16-yard run from Manaitovini Pauu and a 39-yard catch and run from quarterback Cody Pittman to tight end Ainslie Johnson. Running back Andrew Moore capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Pittman, who played five series before being lifted late in the third quarter for Neil Pauu, finished 10 of 16 for 152 yards and a touchdown.
With the offense having played its part, the Friars’ defense and special teams got into the act.
Linebacker Garrett McKay blocked a punt following Wilson’s four-play opening drive. Garrett Airey recovered the ball and ran 30 yards for a touchdown.
“We saw a couple of things on their punt team and we thought we could get after that,” Thomas said. “When you get punt blocks for touchdowns the score starts going up fast.”
Five plays later, safety Connor Hoffman snagged an errant pass from Bruins quarterback Brett Harper and returned it 39 yards for the Friars’ second non-offensive score in a two-minute span.
The quick start seemed to deflate the Bruins, who were held to 142 yards on 58 plays. They also committed two turnovers and were sacked four times.
Even when they strung together a decent series of plays, Servite snuffed out the drive, forcing a 20-yard field goal from Raymond Hinsley.
Wilson’s drive chewed up nearly nine minutes between the first and second quarters, but they were still down, 21-3, and the Friars quickly answered back.
Two consecutive completions by Pittman moved the ball inside the Bruins’ 35, and after the teams exchanged penalties, the All-County candidate found running back Manaitaovini Pauu in the flat for a 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-7.
On the play, Pittman scrambled right, turned and found Pauu behind the play without a defender near him. Pauu sprinted up the left sideline before bowling over a Wilson defensive back at the 2 and powering into the end zone.
Servite backup running back Andrew Zamarron led the team in rushing with 71 yards on 10 fourth-quarter carries. He scored on an 11-yard run with 4:23 left.