Pierce jumped out to a 45-0 lead early in the second half and cruised to its first postseason victory since the 1984 Potato Bowl.
For the second straight week, Pierce jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead. However, unlike last week when the Brahmas needed a blocked extra point to hold on for a 24-23 win over LA Valley, the Brahmas (8-3) just kept scoring against San Bernardino Valley (7-4) and ended up winning in a rout.
Johnson earned MVP honors for his spectacular performance, but it was linebacker Brandon Reeves who set the tone for the night when he blocked SBVC's first punt attempt, giving Pierce the ball at the Wolverine 27. On the very next play, Hakeem Cartwright scored on a 27-yard run on an end around to give Pierce a lead it would hold the rest of the night.
After a (successful) SBVC punt, Pierce quickly pushed its lead to 14-0 when Johnson threw a slant pass to Damon Julian, who turned it into a 75-yard touchdown pass just over five minutes into the game. After another SBVC punt - also not blocked - Pierce increased its lead to 17-0 when Steven Sandoval booted a 27-yard field goal.
A week ago, Pierce jumped out to an identical 17-0 lead after one quarter, but eventually allowed LA Valley to get back in the game and nearly pull even. There was no danger of that happening again, however, and it started with Reeves' second blocked punt of the night. This time the loose ball bounced into the end zone where George Garcia fell on it for a touchdown that made it 24-0.
And that was just the beginning. When Pierce got the ball back, Exavier Johnson threw another slant pass to Julian, and the result was another long touchdown, this one good for 68 yards. That made it 31-0, and SBVC had yet to cross midfield.
Finally, late in the second quarter, SBVC entered Brahma territory. But after reaching the Pierce 15, the Wolverines tried a halfback option pass. On the play, Kristin James was hit as he threw, and Pierce's Jonathan Tinajero made the interception at the 15. A penalty backed the Brahmas to their own 9, but on the next play Johnson threw a pass down the right sideline to Thomas Asaije, who caught the ball and outraced the SBVC secondary for a 91-yard touchdown pass that made it 38-0 at the half.
To begin the second half, there was little doubt as to the game's outcome. But just in case SBVC had thoughts of a comeback, Pierce scored on its first drive after taking the second half kickoff, pushing the lead to 45-0 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Daniel Lopez.
After that, the teams combined for seven more touchdowns, but the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt. SBVC finally got on the board when Roman Neville threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Cody Smith, but Pierce answered with Johnson's fourth touchdown pass of the night, a 37-yarder to Tyrone Harris. James scored on an 11-yard run for SBVC to make it 52-14 after three quarters. Lopez scored his second touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard run that made it 58-14.
SBVC scored the final three touchdowns of the game, the first on a 3-yard run by James with 8:37 left. Then Neville threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Donte Turner-Lewis. And fullback Otis Edwards scored on a 1-yard run with 1:49 left, by which time the Pierce players were primarily concerned with dousing their coaches with icewater on the sidelines in celebration (at least four dousings were performed).
For Pierce, Johnson finished 15 for 23 for his 428 yards and 4 touchdowns. Julian was honored as Offensive Player of the Game for his 5 catches for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns. Asaije also reached the century mark with 100 yards on 2 catches including one touchdown. Lopez rushed for 46 yards and 2 touchdowns on 16 carries. And Reeves earned Player of the Game honors for his two blocked punts.
For SBVC, Neville completed 18 of 35 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. James rushed for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries. Turner-Lewis led all receivers with 9 catches, good for 137 yards and a touchdown.
L.A. Pierce Brahmas 58
San Bernardino Valley Wolverines 36
Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 6 pm - John Shepard Stadium, Woodland Hills
American Division Championship Bowl
P - Cartwright 27 yd run (Sandoval kick) 13:15 (7-0)
P - Julian 75 yd pass from E.Johnson (Sandoval kick) 9:48 (14-0)
P - FG Sandoval 27 yds 2:32 (17-0)
P - Garcia recovered blocked punt in end zone (Sandoval kick) 13:43 (24-0)
P - Julian 68 yd pass from E.Johnson (Sandoval kick) 8:52 (31-0)
P - Asaije 91 yd pass from E.Johnson (Sandoval kick) 2:13 (38-0)
P - Lopez 1 yd run (Sandoval kick) 12:58 (45-0)
SB - C.Smith 44 yd pass from Neville (Owens kick) 11:58 (45-7)
P - T.Harris 37 yd pass from E.Johnson (Sandoval kick) 11:27 (52-7)
SB - James 11 yd run (Owens kick) 5:57 (52-14)
P - Lopez 6 yd run (kick wide right) 10:19 (58-14)
SB - James 3 yd run (pass incomplete) 8:37 (58-20)
SB - Turner-Lewis 35 yd pass from Neville (James pass from Neville) 6:19 (58-28)
SB - Edwards 1 yd run (James run) 1:49 (58-36)
First Downs: Pierce 17 (8 rush, 9 pass), San Bernardino 21 (8 rush, 10 pass, 3 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Pierce 38-122, San Bernardino 34-145
Passing Yds: Pierce 428, San Bernardino 224
Comp-Att-Int: Pierce 15-25-1, San Bernardino 18-36-1
Return Yds: Pierce 69, San Bernardino 188
Sacks-Yds: Pierce 2-12, San Bernardino 1-10
Fumbles-Lost: Pierce 3-0, San Bernardino 2-0
Penalties-Yds: Pierce 16-141, San Bernardino 10-56
Time of Possession: Pierce 29:47, San Bernardino 30:13
Rushing: P 28-Lopez 16-46, 80-Cartwright 1-27, 13-J.Johnson 5-26, 3-E.Johnson 3-19, 29-Travers 6-13, 18-Julian 1-9, 33-Pearson 1-2, 7-Berhe 2-(-13), team 3-(-7); SB 29-James 25-134, 20-Edwards 2-8, 1-M.Smith 1-3, 11-Neville 5-2, 22-Schul 1-(-2)
Passing: P 3-E.Johnson 15-23-1-428, 4 TDs; 7-Berhe 0-2-0-0; SB 11-Neville 18-35-0-224, 2 TDs; 29-James 0-1-1-0
Receiving: P 18-Julian 5-227, 8-Asaije 2-100, 6-T.Harris 3-70, 24-Ingram 2-17, 7-Berhe 2-16, 28-Lopez 1-(-2); SB 17-Turner-Lewis 9-137, 29-James 4-14. 8-C.Smith 2-54, 89-Amaro 1-11, 9-Freeman 1-6, 20-Edwards 1-2
Interceptions-Ret Yds: P 23-Tinajero 1-0; SB 2-Irvin 1-0
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: none
Sacks-Yds: P 64-Anaya 1-6, 92-Durr 1-6; SB 34-MacLeod 1-10
Punters: P 60-Goldman 3-30.3 avg; SB 22-Schul 6-38.5 avg + 2 blk
Kick Returns: P 80-Cartwright 2-34, 10-Diaz 1-3; SB 1-M.Smith 5-95, 17-Turner-Lewis 4-78, 8-C.Smith 1-15
Punt Returns: P 41-Reeves 2-23, 13-J.Johnson 1-8, 4-Bowman 1-1, 18-Julian 1-0
Missed FG: none
Notes: MVP: Exavier Johnson. Offensive Player of the Game: Damon Julian. Defensive Player of the Game: Brandon Reeves. Reeves blocked 2 punts, the first of which set up Pierce's 1st TD. It was 31-0 before SBVC crossed the 50, and when they did Tinajero intercepted James' halfback option pass. SBVC tried an onsides kick after its 1st TD but Diaz recovered for Pierce. Goodman attempted Pierce's last XPA. Both teams entered 7-3; Pierce was ranked #12 in South and SBVC was ranked #15. This is Pierce's first home postseason game since the mid 1980s and its first postseason win since the 1984 Potato Bowl.