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Saints Sports

Saints Beat Bonita

Posted Monday, October 13, 2008 by Fred Robledo

LA VERNE - It doesn't matter who it plays or how big the stakes are, San Dimas High School's football team is running past everyone, including its pesky archrival.

Saints running backs Nico Barbone and Daniel Joseph turned the 36th annual Smudge Pot against Bonita into their own personal showcase on Friday.

Barbone rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns, and Joseph rushed for 219 yards and two touchdowns as the Saints rolled past the Bearcats 50-33 in front of an estimated 6,000 at Bonita High.

The Mid-Valley Division's top-ranked Saints (5-0) remained undefeated and


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continued on their history-making march, beating the Bearcats (3-2) for the second consecutive year to improve their Smudge Pot series record to 19-6-1 since it started in 1972.

"It's history, but it's the beginning of our history," Saints coach Bill Zernickow said. "I came here to be here a long time. This is what it's all about, winning games like this."

The Saints rushed for nearly 300 yards in the first half alone, finishing with 454 yards on the ground against a Bearcats

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defense that had fits all night trying to slow them down.

"You couldn't ask for anything better; our offensive line played their hearts out, they never quit," Barbone said. "We have big goals and this was one of them, to keep the trophy."

Bearcats quarterback Terry Paradez threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns, completing eight passes to Derrick Price, who had 120 yards - but they simply couldn't keep up with the Saints, who answered every time the Bearcats got close.

"They're very impressive, obviously a very good offense," Bearcats coach Eric Podley said. "Give them credit; they're very efficient and make few mistakes.

"They scored too often and too quickly for us to keep up. I don't envy the rest of

Running Back Daniel Joseph runs through the Bonita defense during Friday nights game at Glenn Davis Stadium in La Verne, October 10, 2008.
(John Valenzuela/Staff Photographer)
the Valle Vista League trying to stop that."

Joseph scored on 67- and 42-yard runs, and finished with 282 all-purpose yards, but it was Barbone's punishing style, especially in the second half, that finished off the Bearcats.

"That kind of happens when you're a great football player," Zernickow said of Barbone. "He was great, but we had a lot of guys who were great for us tonight."

Joseph's 67-yard touchdown run gave the Saints a 22-8 lead with 7:08 left in the half. But Paradez led the Bearcats right back, throwing a 21-yard TD pass to Doug Griffith with 3:41 left, then an eight-yard TD pass to Ryan Barnes with 35 seconds left, tying the score 22-22.

But Joseph wasn't done. After a 23-yard run, he followed with a 42-yard touchdown run with 10 seconds left in the half to give the Saints a 29-22 lead.

Bonita's Evan Highley kicked a 35-yard field goal to cut the Saints' lead to 29-25 with 3:24 left in the third quarter, but that's when Barbone took over.

Barbone scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth and then, after San Dimas got the ball right back on a turnover, he scored again less than a minute later on a 15-yard run with 11:42 left to give the Saints a commanding 43-25 lead.

"This is the greatest feeling ever," Barbone said. "You couldn't ask for anything better than this."

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