The Chancellors advance to the CIF-City Section Division II Championship.
CHATSWORTH CA: So far the Chatsworth Chancellors Cinderella story continues for another chapter as the magic glass slippers on their feet have led them to the CIF City Section Division II Championship. Chatsworth stunned their cross-town rivals the San Fernando Tigers in a 49-28 victory.
The Chancellors were able to win successfully with backup quarterback Adam Bautista, who replaced Jesse Leon. Leon was out due to illness. Bautista was also under the weather as it relates to illness but managed to hang in for all four quarters.
The last time the Chancellors won an LA City Section Championship in Football was in 1998 when they beat cross-town rival Reseda High 34-7 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Chatsworth head coach Marvin Street was a student-athlete at the time. He played outside linebacker and defensive end for the Chancellors under legendary coach Bill Coan, who is now the current head coach at Arleta.
Coan’s Arleta Mustangs were eliminated by the Fairfax Lions in the second round by a score of 35-17 and there would not be a rematch between Street and his mentor. Coan and his Mustangs defeated his former student 15-12 in week two.
As for the San Fernando Tigers, they had a great season and a great run going into the playoffs with a 9-1 record. The Tigers got wins against Hollywood in the first round and a hard-fought battle against Roosevelt in the second round. But in the end, the Tigers ran into a brick wall known as Isaiah Rameau, who scored four of the Chancellors’ seven touchdowns including one touchdown on an interception return.
Rameau said that Coach Street had everyone on the team prepared and ready for battle. He said his goal was to show his coach that the team was worthy of being champions despite their recent off-the-field behavior problems by working hard to make those important necessary changes in their academics.
“Coach Street just told us to keep our grit and keep going and move our feet on every play,” Rameau said. “As far as off-the-field issues go, we are making a lot of progress in showing up to class on time and improving our grades. Coach Street said if we are having any trouble with any subject we should not be afraid to come to him because he can find the help that we need to succeed in our academics”.
Rameau also said that he strongly agrees with Coach Street's point of view that a championship is only as good as your hard work and grade point average that goes along with it. He said that Coach Street is 100% correct that to be a champion means to be a champion both on and off the field because championships and failure do not mix.
“Coach Street has said to us that building a championship all starts both at home, in the classroom, and on the field;” Rameau said. “This means to be in the classroom on time, keep our grades up, and set the right example that is what makes true champions in all of us”.
Rameau also credits his team for their hard work. He said for the Chancellors to bring home a championship, they must do it on defense and cut down on any mistakes that could cost them a chance at the City Title.
“I want to thank my offensive line for their hard work and dedication to getting things done,” Rameau said. “It's a fact that offense wins games and defense wins championships. Our guys on defense are the heart and soul of this team”.
Coach Street is satisfied with his team's on-field performance, however, his main focus is to make sure that his student resolves their off-the-field behavior issues and above all his students make their GPA their top priority. Street rates his team's performance as a B- because there are still improvements that need to be made.
“(Friday) was a pretty cool game. It was great for the kids and our administration who have been there before, and most of all our new principal Debra McIntyre-Scuarrino;” Street said.
“I am happy that we got over the hump when we lost to Wilson in the semi-finals by one point last year. However, I am not going to jump for joy because we are not done yet. We still have a lot of work to do to get to the next level and that is to bring home the championship”.
Street said that he would be lying if he were to say that he did not want to win a championship as a coach. However, it is important to him that his students win a championship in the right way. It all starts in the classroom by showing up to class on time, completing their necessary homework assignments on the due date, and being a champion not just on the field but off the field.
“I would be happy if my guys can win a championship,” Street said. “I just want my students to win a championship in the right way. To me winning a championship symbolizes hard work both in academics, showing up to class on time, and on the field. If you don't have any of the above, then it is not a real championship. They should not get into the habit of getting a good GPA just to play football and slack off later, they need to keep the GPA up at all times including the off-season”.
Street also said that it would take the power of parents, and teachers to lead his students to the path of being champions. Street said he is also satisfied with the leadership that is taken by Isaiah Rameau and Benjamin Gomez, who are making sure that their peers are making it to class on time.
“The greatest championship for me is to see my seniors in their caps and gowns and to graduate with high achievements,” Street said. “My message to the community of Chatsworth, our teachers, parents, and students is that the championships all start at home and in the classroom as well as on the field. I know what it is like to win a championship. I have been there before as a student. I want to win a championship that says in writing that we did it with hard work both in the classroom, with their GPA, and on the field. If my students fail in the game of life l then I have failed as a coach and teacher. Their success in the classroom is my success and when they succeed then that means I did my job both as a coach and educator”.
In the first quarter, both Chatsworth and San Fernando battled back and forth for the first eleven minutes. Then the Chancellors got on the board with 52 seconds on the clock when Isaiah Rameau ran in with an interception to give Chatsworth an 8-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Under three minutes into the second quarter, with 9:24 on the clock, Chancellors Adam Bautista scored a touchdown giving Chatsworth a 15-0 lead.
Two minutes later the Tigers’ Isaiah Castro ran in for a 35-yard touchdown. San Fernando made a successful two-point conversion to get the Tigers back in the game. The Tigers struck again with 57 seconds left in the quarter when Castro ran in from 35 yards for his second touchdown. San Fernando converted the two-point attempt and the Tigers took a 16-15 lead. With 2.5 seconds on the clock, the Chancellors would strike again when Angelo Romo ran in for a 50-yard touchdown to help Chatsworth regain the lead with the score of 22-16 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Tigers' defense had trouble controlling the Chancellors offense. Halfway through the quarter, Rameau scored a goal-line touchdown, giving Chatsworth a 29-16 lead. The Chancellors did not stop there. Two minutes later, at 4:23 on the clock, Bautista got a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown. At that point, Chatsworth took a 35-16 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Chatsworth would quickly score again at the start of the fourth. Rameau punched in another goal-line touchdown with 11:49 on the clock to give the Chancellors a 42-16 lead. San Fernando would answer back almost immediately when Castro scored a 25-yard touchdown 11 seconds later. The two-point conversion was no good and the score stood at 42-22 in favor of the Chancellors. San Fernando would get the ball back quickly on a fumble. With 3:45 on the clock, Castro scored his fourth touchdown on a pass into the end zone and the two-point conversion was no good and the score was 42-28 in favor of the Chancellors.
Chatsworth would seal the deal when Chancellors Rameau scored another touchdown with 3:25 on the clock and that would be it, as Chatsworth moved on to the CIF-City Section Division II Championship.
San Fernando head coach Charles Burnely said he is still proud of his guys despite falling short. He said that things just did not go their way and they had no answers in stopping Isaiah Rameau.
“We just could not put things together when we needed to;” Burnely said. “I don't know what went wrong but we knew that Isaiah Rameau was going to be the main factor and our defense just could not stop him”.
Burnely said he also blamed the referees for their loss against Chatsworth. He said Chatsworth did not beat his team, it was the referees that beat them”. Burnley put it simply that the referees were way off on their poor decision-making.
“The referees made a lot of bad calls against us along with poor officiating on their part;” Burnely said. “There were a lot of bad calls against us that were not right and there were a lot of penalties that Chatsworth made that were not called. Then again that is part of football because referees do make mistakes so I will leave it as it is”
Burnley has declined to file a complaint to the CIF officials about the referee's officiating even though the film will show that the referees made a lot of bad calls. The only thing he can do now is to have his returning students ready for next season.
“My Guys will be back,” Burnely said. “We will be working hard during the off-season and become better than ever. Our coaching staff will be working during the off-season to make plans for next season and correct the mistakes that will help us become a better team.”
The Chancellors will face the Fairfax Lions on Saturday, November 22 at 2:00 pm at Los Angeles Valley College. Fairfax defeated previously undefeated Maya Angelou Phoenix 27-26 to advance to the CIF City Section Division II.
All Images Courtesy of VST Intern Benjamin Becher