After four consecutive road games, Schurr High School will play its first home game of the season Friday when they entertain Whittier in a nonleague football game. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“Playing at home will be a unique thing for us,” said Schurr Coach Ben Negrete, whose team will play only three games at Schurr this season.
Friday’s game should have been the Spartans’ second home game of 2008, but their Sept. 19 home game with Downey was moved from Schurr to Downey because of a power outage.
The Spartans lost the chance to play at home and then lost the game to Downey (17-13) to start the season 0-2. They defeated Hacienda Heights Wilson (31-28) the next week and then lost to California (14-7) last week to drop to 1-3.
“We were coming off a victory and we didn’t get better,” Negrete said in assessing the loss to California. “We’re still making too many penalties.”
Schurr was penalized 12 times for 130 yards, six of which were for personal fouls.
“My main goal is to see us play a game without making a lot of mistakes,” Negrete said. “If we can do that, we’ll be a pretty decent team.”
Whittier (1-3) has lost three straight since defeating Bell Gardens (33-30) the first week of the season. The Cardinals have since lost to Warren (42-14), Roosevelt (17-14) and Paramount (21-13).
Despite hurting themselves with penalties, the Spartans put up a late rally against California. Down 14-7 with 3:07 remaining in the game, Schurr started its final series at its own 20-yard line. Quarterback Ricky Mendez led the Spartans on a drive to the California 29. But the Spartans came up inches short on a fourth-down play with 23 seconds left.
With the victory, California remained unbeaten (4-0).
The Condors built a 14-0 halftime lead, scoring on a 60-yard pass play and a nine-play, 52-yard drive.
Schurr cut the lead to 14-7 on its second possession of the second half on Nick Castillo’s one-yard touchdown run that ended an 11-play, 55-yard drive. Schurr had only 61 rushing yards with Castillo gaining 48 yards on 11 carries.
“Our running game was sporadic and it seemed that because of the penalties we were always facing first and 15 or second and long,” Negrete said. “We couldn’t get any momentum going.”
Negrete praised the play of Mendez and wide receiver Carlos Arredondo.
“Mendez did a pretty good job and did some good things out there and Arredondo had a pretty good game,” he said.