Spartans head to third straight D-VI finals

Alonso Acevedo has 27 carries for 228 yards and three touchdowns in semifinal 27-6 win

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
STRATHMORE – The top-seeded Spartans are headed to their third straight CIF Division VI Valley Championship after defeating the No. 5-seeded California City Ravens 27-6 on Friday, Nov. 9.

“This is a testament to the sheer will power of this team,” Strathmore head coach Jeromy Blackwell said. “They have been living in the shadow of last season for far too long.”

Each year the Spartans (11-1, 5-1) seem to have big production from a tailback the further they get into the playoffs. This time it is from Alonso Acevedo. He had his biggest night against the Ravens (7-4, 4-0) rushing the ball for 228 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.

Acevedo’s first touchdown was on a five-yard run which capped off the Spartans’ opening drive. From there, not only he, but the entire Spartan offense went silent for the rest of the first half. What kept them out of the end zone was the Ravens’ defensive linemen who were getting lower then the Spartans’ offensive linemen. That was allowing too much pressure into the Spartans’ backfield, disrupting the running lanes.

During halftime, Blackwell made all the necessary adjustments and the Spartans offense did not miss a beat in the second half. Acevedo added his second and third scores of 36 and 45 yards, respectively, to put Strathmore ahead 21-6.
In the fourth quarter, Trace Pugh added a one-yard rushing score with two minutes left in the game.
The Spartans are as sound as can be on offense, but they might not have won as many games if it were not for what their defense has done. In their last four games, Strathmore has not allowed two scores in a game. Included in that list is a shutout win over Granite Hills last month.

The Spartans have a good chance of starting a dynasty this Friday night, Nov. 16, against the No. 6-seeded Sierra Pacific Golden Bears at 7 p.m. The last time these two East Sequoia League opponents met, Strathmore beat Sierra Pacific 53-7. Blackwell knows all too well that an opponent is always harder to defeat the second time around.

“Sierra Pacific has made strides after their loss to us and then to Lindsay the next week,” Blackwell said. “We’ve got some work to do in order to get ready.”

Sierra Pacific is coming off a 25-20 win over the second-seeded Orange Cove Titans last Friday.

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