CLOSER LOOK: Notre Dame’s Ian Zamudio

Riverside Notre Dame junior RB Ian Zamudio ran for 161 yards and three TDs in Week 13.

Riverside Notre Dame junior RB Ian Zamudio ran for 161 yards in a CIF-SS Northwest Division semifinal on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.

Take a closer look at Riverside Notre Dame senior Ian Zamudio and you’ll see a player who could have had four rushing TDs in a CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division semifinal had he not fumbled short of the goal line and out of the back of the end zone.

Instead, he had just three as Notre Dame ran past Aquinas, 34-6, on onto a section title game.

“Ian has been very exceptional. He’s shown up big in big-time games, and he’s got a bright future,” Notre Dame head coach Derrick Johnson said. “It’s exciting to have a guy that can take it the distance on any given play.”

With the Titans driving early in the second half, Zamudio took a handoff left for seven yards and looked to be in for six points when the ball squirted loose and bounced around before getting out of bounds for a touchback.

It must have light his fire as he ran for 156 more yards — including two long TD runs — in as dominant a second-half performance as there’s been this season.

We caught up with Zamudio afterward.

FOMB: What was different for you in the second half?
Zamudio: “I didn’t perform well in the first half. I knew I had to do better for my line, who continues to work and block for me.”

FOMB: What’s this victory mean to you and to this team?
Zamudio: “It means a lot to us. I’m very thankful.”

FOMB: What’s it going to take to get the win the title next week?
IZ: “We’re going to have to work as hard as we always have because we have championship plans. We want to do something that hasn’t been done here in a long, long time.”

FOMB: What’s your role next week?
IZ: “I’m going to do whatever it takes. This is the opportunity we’ve been working for and we’re going to fight for it.”

The Titans (13-0 overall) play Temecula Linield Christian at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Temecula Valley High School.

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