T’birds FB Putting Parity Argument To Test

By HARVEY M. KAHN
Featured Writer / HarveyMKahn@aol.com

YUCAIPA (Calif.) — Yucaipa High School’s football team put to rest any thoughts of CIF-Southern Section parity as it jumped on an overwhelmed Palmdale for a 42-7 home win in the opening round of the Division 6 football playoffs.

By halftime, Yucaipa’s Cade Gorrell had rushed 10 times for 238 yards and two touchdowns, and Nathan Martinez ran for two more and threw for another as the lead swelled to 35-0.

Yucaipa improved to 10-1 and travels to Lancaster on Nov. 18 to play small school power Paraclete Catholic, who is ranked No. 5 in D-6. YHS owns the No. 2 seed. Paraclete (7-4) earned its quarterfinal game after a 62-14 win at small school Nipomo.

Gorrell piled up his yardage by following simple counters and quick hits up the middle. Gorrell quickly accelerated on runs of 69, 65, and 59 yards. Before being replaced after three carries early in the third quarter, his totals were 259 yards on 13 carries.

Martinez totaled 200 yards passing and rushing by playing in the first half. Backup quarterback Keo McChesney rushed six times for 98 yards including a 66-yard score to make it 42-0 with five minutes left. Gavin Norris caught six passes for 75 yards and a scoring reception.

Dressed in street clothes for No. 17 seed Palmdale was University of Washington recruit Nathaniel Willis, and blue chip running back Richard Newton.

According to Palmdale assistant Kevin Nadonza, the team had to start junior varsity quarterback Justin Catano due to injuries to starter Marcel Miller and his backups.

“No excuses. They beat us. Yucaipa was very talented. We learned,” Nadonza said.

Catano’s backup, linebacker John Ward, was more efficient by completing 4 of 7 passes for 96 yards and a 7-yard score to Dazhon Sanders. Ward completed a 40-yard pass to Entonio Washington to the 1-yard line as the horn blew to end the half. In his backup role, Washington carried 25 times for 156 yards and had four receptions for 72 yards.

YHS coach Justin Price considered it his team’s best rushing game of the season, and called Gorrell “a man possessed.”

Price said his team also played its best defense of the season in the first half, but noted that Palmdale was without players they had scouted.

Price expects his game at Paraclete to be the most difficult challenge of the season.

“We have never seen such a shifty running back as Paraclete’s (), and it will not be easy to contain their offense,” Price said.

    Yucaipa would be projected to have an easy time with Paraclete, a Los Angeles version of San Bernardino Aquinas. The winner will play either Fontana Summit or Lawndale at a location pending a coin flip.

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