Banning fill-ins, defense enough

first_imgMARINE LEAGUE: Running back and quarterback rest as the Pilots get back on track. By David Saunders STAFF WRITER With a handful of players nursing minor injuries, Banning coach Chris Ferragamo did what few coaches would ever dream of doing – he rested his starting running back and his starting quarterback on the same night. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.That’s how much the team’s game with San Pedro next week means to him and a strong bench and a struggling opponent gave him the luxury to do so. Fullback Joel Panteau filled in for Josh Limosnero as the primary ball-carrier for a resurgent ground game, gaining 120 yards and two touchdowns as visiting Banning scored a 28-0 Marine League victory over Gardena Friday. “After Narbonne, we needed to get back to what got us here and we took out our frustration on Gardena,” Panteau said. “This win got us back on our feet.” Donald Hall chipped in 77 yards and a score on nine carries. Banning (7-1, 2-1) accumulated 293 yards rushing after amassing only 147 yards of total offense a week ago. Quarterback Michael Ponce did his part while filling in for Anthony Rodriguez, completing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Fernandez to get Banning on the board in the first quarter. “He was calm in the pocket and didn’t make many mistakes and that’s all I asked of him,” Ferragamo said. Not to be outdone, Banning’s defense dominated Gardena (0-8, 0-3), holding the Panthers to 176 yards of total offense, 62 of which came on a first-quarter option run by quarterback Keshaun Malone. Malone’s sideline scamper was the highlight of an otherwise hectic and at times, painful night for the Gardena signal-caller. While he did gain another 37 yards on six carries, the constant presence of Banning defenders in the backfield resulted in six sacks and an 5-for-14 53-yard passing performance. “He could be good if we could consistently give him time to throw,” Gardena coach Marshall Jones said. “When we can’t protect him, a lot of times there’s not much he can do other than run for his life.” Linebackers Josh Valoaga and Hanipale Suega led the charge for a Banning defensive unit, which played without starting linemen Vae Vae Etuati and Puncho Aiono. Valoaga had 21/2 sacks and Suega added two. Banning also recovered a fumble and an onside kick to start the second half. “We were really, really banged up this week. We wanted our defense to carry us and they did,” Ferragamo said. It was the team’s defense that allowed it to overcome 125 yards of penalties. “We have to cut down on all of our mistakes, but particularly penalties,” Ferragamo said. “We just can’t do that next week.” Banning scored a touchdown in each quarter and had two touchdown drives of more than 61/2 minutes. “We did what we wanted to do today,” Valoaga said. “We can’t take any team lightly.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more