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Sage suffers first loss

Pasadena Poly proves to be too much, as Lightning fall behind early, drops to 5-1 in nonleague play.

October 08, 2010|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

NEWPORT COAST — Dr. Drew Pinsky watched the action Friday night at Sage Hill School.

Pinsky, the radio and television personality, was happy to sit in the stands watching the game without too much fanfare. He doesn't have as much advice to dish out on the football field.

His son Jordan, a senior center for visiting Pasadena Poly, dished out plenty.

Poly dominated in the trenches, rushing for 370 yards and handing the Lightning their first loss of the season, 35-14, in the nonleague game.

On a night when Sage Hill senior Taylor Ross set the school's single-season record for rushing yards, it was Poly's senior tailback, Blake Edwards, who did most of the damage. Edwards finished with 275 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries.

"Sage Hill, we knew they were a good team," Edwards said. "But you know, our line came out today and we just dominated. Our line, our fullback [Yusef Burpee], we were really physical. They just pushed up front and opened up the holes."

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Poly (3-2), ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division poll, never trailed. And the Panthers defense also did the job against the rushing attack of Sage Hill (5-1).

Ross, who now has 1,120 yards for the season to break Keya Manshadi's 2005 mark, still finished with a season-low 112 yards Friday night. He did have a 30-yard touchdown run out of the Wildcat formation — Sage Hill's only offensive touchdown of the night — but the Lightning were unable to get into a rhythm for much of the game.

Sage did tie it up at 7-7 in the first quarter on a heads-up play from junior Taylor Petty. Many of the players on the field stopped playing when Poly quarterback Hunter Merryman's throw into the flat hit the ground, but the play was actually ruled a lateral. Petty picked up the live ball and scored.

But two second-quarter drives stalled in Panthers territory, and Poly had a 21-7 lead at halftime.

"The things that we've been doing to win ballgames, we didn't do them tonight," Sage Hill Coach J.R. Tolver said. "We didn't capitalize on opportunities that we had, we didn't do a good job as a defense stopping the run and making tackles. We didn't do a good job as an offense taking advantage of some of the things they gave us. That's all it comes down to.

"[Poly] is a good football team, but they're not 21 points better than us. It's just a matter of us taking advantage of every opportunity we have."

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