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Parrots Have A Bad Day Against The Knights PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Terry Sun Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 03:23

Poly Is No Match For Unbeaten View Park In City Division III Final

The Parrots of Poly High will find much to appreciate about their 2013 football season, finishing tied for second in the East Valley League, reaching their City Section football championship game in 23 years, and discovering a walkon coach who can inspire and who wants to be there for more than a couple of years.

But the Parrots should also use this season as a learning experience, on how far they still have to go to become a dominant team in their division.

View Park of Los Angeles aptly and crisply demonstrated how wide that gulf still is, battering Poly, 46-13, in the Division III championship final at Birmingham High on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The undefeated Knights (14-0, including two forfeits) won their third Division III title in the last four years and fifth City championship since 2008 (the other two eight-man titles) by zeroing in defensively on what the Parrots do best on offense – mainly give the ball to running back Deshonte Jones – and unleashing a variety of runners that wore down the Poly defense to a nub.

None was more damaging than Cameron Griffin, the 6-3, 218-pound senior who has verbally committed to UCLA. Griffin rumbled for 136 yards and three touchdowns – including a 76-yard romp midway through the second quarter – on a mere eight carries.

Also contributing were Julian Smith, a senior, who had 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries; quarterback Luis Medearis, a senior, who completed five of eight passes for 95 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown toss to Daniel Bell. On defense View Park also got a 103-yard interception return for a touchdown by Keenan Jones

View Park made another point about being the big boys of this small division. The Knights went for two-point conversions after every score, and were stopped just once.

Poly (9-5) kept it close for a half. Jones, a senior who rushed for 187 yards on 24 carries had two long runs in the first quarter – a 56-yarder on his second carry of the game, and another 56-yard burst late in the quarter. The latter run would set up Jones' nine-yard touchdown run five seconds into the second quarter. Although the Parrots missed the extra point, they were only trailing 8-6.

But that was as close as Poly got. The Parrots wouldn't score again until there was 1:16 left in the game, on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Scott Diaz to Erik Manriquez. In between, the Knights scored 38 unanswered points.

"They're primarily a running team," View Park Coach Robert Ambers said of Poly. "We felt if we could get up on them early that would take them out of their game, and they would have to throw the ball."

On this day, at least, the shortcomings of the Parrots' offensive schemes were exposed and magnified. After Jones' two big first quarter runs, the Knights defense gave up only two more runs of nine or more yards to him.

"We saw film on (Jones) and saw he was their go-to guy," Ambers said. "We wanted to key on him and make them beat us another way.

"Early on they were running off tackle, and our cornerbacks were going to the outside. We told them to look inside first and we started to contain him."

And Diaz, a senior, had a forgettable day passing, completing only 10 of 28 attempts for 116 yards. He was sacked once and picked off twice.

"We didn't come out and execute, and do what we were supposed to do," Parrots Coach Jose Campos said. "I tip my hat to View Park. They have a good team and, like I said before, they're still under the radar and I know they're trying to establish that they can come up and play at the upper levels.

"(This game) has brought out where we want to be in the future. We can definitely build on this. I know it was predicted that we'd come in fifth in league; we were in a three-way tie for second. Nobody predicted we would go all the way to the final. But here we are.

"We just didn't come out the winners today."

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