Saturday, November 27, 2021
Nov. 27, 2021

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La Center routs Seton to set up showdown for Trico title

Cepeda accounts for four TDs, including one on defense, in a 61-14 win

By , Columbian Sports Editor

With fall temperatures dropping and the football stakes rising, La Center is right where it wants to be.

The Wildcats are one win from the Class 1A Trico League title. La Center made sure of that Friday with a 61-14 win over Seton Catholic.

That sets up a winner-take-all showdown next Friday between La Center and Castle Rock, which both enter the final game of the regular season unbeaten in league play.

But to get there, La Center had to take care of business at Seton Catholic.

“I felt like all week we were focused and locked in,” La Center quarterback Darren Cepeda said. “The guys did a great job of watching Hudl (film). We executed very well.”

Cepeda scored the game’s first points while on defense, returning an interception 24 yards for a touchdown.

From there, the elusive 180-pound senior beat Seton Catholic’s defense with his arm and legs.

Cepeda rushed for 141 yards on just 10 carries, including touchdowns of 32 and 25 yards. He also threw for 177 yards and a touchdown.

“I’m usually just reading whatever the defense gives me,” Cepeda said. “If the coverage is good, my secondary option is to scramble.”

La Center outgained Seton 156-18 in the first quarter, but only led 13-0 due to two lost fumbles.

But the dam broke in the second quarter, where the Wildcats scored 35 points to take a 48-6 lead into halftime.

La Center ended up outgaining Seton Catholic 520-218, including 298-26 in rushing. Jalen Ward had two rushing touchdowns and 61 yards on just six carries.

“Our run defense was phenomenal today,” Cepeda said. “It helped set up the pass defense. We all clicked together after some missed plays. It all became good at the end.”

La Center (5-2, 3-0) enters next week’s showdown in Castle Rock with its losses coming to Kalama (ranked No. 2 in Class 2B) and Eatonville (ranked No. 2 in Class 1A). The winner of Friday’s game will host a Week 10 postseason game while the loser will play on the road.

Seton Catholic (2-6, 1-3) can still earn the league’s third postseason bid if it beats Fort Vancouver next week.


La Center 13 35 7 6—61

Seton 0 6 0 8—14

First quarter

LC – Darren Cepeda 24 interception return (Ben Rembisz kick)

LC – Jalen Ward 13 run (kick failed)

Second quarter

LC – Andrew Kysar 9 run (Lane Roberts pass from Cepeda)

LC – Cepeda 32 run (Rembisz kick)

LC – Ward 4 run (Rembisz kick)

LC – Levi Giles 24 pass from Cepeda (Rembisz kick)

SC – Dax Clifton 15 pass from Joe Callerame (pass failed)

LC – Cepeda 25 run (kick failed)

Third quarter

LC – Kaiden Faul 45 pass from Garrett Maunu (Rembisz kick)

Fourth quarter

SC – Lance Stuck 50 pass from Callerame (Callerame run)

LC – Isaac Chromey 15 run (kick failed)

Individual Statistics

RUSHING – La Center: Jalen Ward 6-61, Darren Cepeda 10-141, Andrew Kysar 3-25; Lane Roberts 2-11; Garrett Maunu 4-(minus-9); Tru Feldman 1-4; Isaac Chromey 2-65. Seton Catholic: Jacob Williams 4-10, Joe Callerame 6-(minus-8), Jack Callerame 1-1, Sean Emberlin 4-23.

PASSING – La Center: Darren Cepeda 10-18-177-0, Garrett Maunu 1-2-45-0. Seton Catholic: Joe Callerame 14-29-283-3, Sean Emberlin 1-2-9-0.

RECEIVING – La Center: David White 3-73, Levi Giles 3-70, Jalen Ward 2-15; Colby Hylton 1-14, Davari Grauer 1-5, Kaiden Faul 1-45. Seton Catholic: Lance Stuck 4-92, Nathan Beaver 3-54, Ryan Stuck 1-2, Sean Emberlin 1-12, Dax Clifton 6-48.