A Trio of Star Juniors Has Glendora in CIF Division 5 Semifinals Friday Night; Jacob Gonzalez, Xzavier Ford, Cade Marshman Lead Tartans Against Palos Verdes
By Brian Reed-Baiotto/Photos by Dan Munson:
There are a number of reasons for optimism as Glendora heads into Friday’s CIF-SS Division 5 semifinals against Palos Verdes.
They’ll be playing on familiar ground when they host the Sea Kings at Citrus College.
Glendora is 6-0 in 2018 home games.
GHS (11-1) also enters the semifinal round on a 10-game win streak.
Furthermore, the Tartans are much more balanced offensively than are the Sea Kings, who overwhelmingly rely on their ground game.
While there are a host of key and talented players that produce mightily for first-year coach Brandon Rohrer’s program, there are three very skilled juniors that lead the way.
GHS quarterback Jacob Gonzalez, running back Xzavier Ford and receiver Cade Marshman have all turned in remarkable seasons through the first 12 games.
And if Glendora is to make its first title-game appearance since 1989, the Tartans will need a big Friday night from each of these three, as well as their entire roster.
The Palos Verdes defense allows an average of just 12 points per game, and they’ve surrendered just 13 total points in two playoff victories over. Harvard-Westlake and Aquinas, respectively.
Glendora’s offense averages 37 points each Friday night, and through their first two postseason wins (Burbank & Apple Valley), the Tartans have scored 106 points.
Gonzalez is having a special and defining junior season at quarterback.
And as well as he’s played, Gonzalez is actually better known for his play at shortstop and on the mound for coach Dan Henley’s baseball program.
His baseball exploits eclipse even that of his stellar contributions in running the Tartans’ offense.
Gonzalez was an early commit to play baseball at the University of Mississippi in 2021.
Through 12 games, he’s completed 129 or 238 passes for 1.951 yards.
Gonzalez has thrown for 25 TD’s, but as important, he’s only been picked 5 times. He’s also scored once on the ground.
Xzavier Ford has been nothing short of phenomenal for GHS.
The junior has carried the ball 207 times for 1,908 yards.
Ford’s rushing total (in yards) is 13th best in the entire southern section and his 9.2 yards per carry average is seventh best.
Ford averages 160 yards per game and he’s tallied 23 of the Tartans’ 26 rushing TD’s in 2018.
He’s surpassed the 100-yard (rushing) mark in 9 of GHS’ first 11 games and his long run of the season is 85 yards.
Ford also has one receiving TD and has accumulated 2,081 all-purpose yards, and he enters Friday’s semifinal just 92 yards shy of the magical 2,000-yard mark.
Then comes Cade Marshman.
The Tartans’ junior, it could be argued, gives GHS the most balanced effort each week.
Marshman has 60 catches for 1,005 yards and 12 TD’s, which is third best in the Palomares League.
He averages 84 receiving yards per game and 17 yards per catch.
But Marshman is also huge on the defensive side of the ball.
His team-leading 5 interceptions is tied for best with Bonita’s Aalias Williams and Ayala’s Andrew Aguilar among Palomares League defenders.
Marshman’s 61 tackles are fifth best among the Tartans, as he trails Will Freking (109 tackles), Michael Galindo (82), Jacob Guerrero (70) and Hunter Heflin (67).
Noah Castillo (7 sacks), Hunter Heflin (6.5) and Chad Osier (4) have combined for 17.5 of Glendora’s 33.5 sacks thus far.
As mentioned, the PV offense doesn’t ask much of its passing game.
Palos Verdes (9-3) quarterbacks Jake Jellison and Ben Davidson have combined for 1,079 total yards through the air.
The Sea Kings duo has just 9 TD passes in 2018 and they average less than 100 yards through the air.
Junior running back Ryan Wilson, though, leads an impressive rushing attack.
Wilson has gained 1,220 yards and he’s scored 15 of the Sea Kings’ 27 rushing TDs.
Julian Alessi has 35 catches for nearly 700 yards, and the Palos Verdes junior has all 8 of his program’s receiving TD’s this season.
The Palos Verdes-Glendora winner will face off next weekend against the Lawndale-St. Paul victor in the CIF-SS Division 5 championship.
By the Numbers:
MaxPreps State Ranking:
Palos Verdes 70; Glendora 86
CIF-SS Division 5 Ranking:
Palos Verdes 8; Glendora 5
Palos Verdes 325; Glendora 447
Palos Verdes 153; Glendora 282
Most Points Scored in a Game:
PV: 50 vs Compton Centennial; GHS: 56 vs Burbank
Most Points Allowed in a Game:
PV: 36 vs Culver City; GHS: 48 vs Roosevelt
Rushing Yards Per Game:
Palos Verdes (205); Glendora (190)
Passing Yards Per Game:
Palos Verdes (90); Glendora (165)
PV- Bay League champion; GHS- Palomares League champion.
Palos Verdes (5-0); Glendora (5-0)
Current Win Steak:
Palos Verdes 9; Glendora 10
2018 Glendora Schedule-Results:
August 16: Glendora 41, Damien 28
August 24: Roosevelt 48, Glendora 21
August 30: Glendora 21, Charter Oak 7
September 7: Glendora 24, Los Altos 14
September 14: Glendora 42, West Covina 7
September 28: Glendora 45, Ayala 38
October 5: Glendora 41, Claremont 38
October 12: Glendora 45, Alta Loma 14
October 19: Glendora 35, Colony 13
October 25: Glendora 28, Bonita 7
November 2: Glendora 56, Burbank 35
November 9: Glendora 48, Apple Valley 33
November 16: Palos Verdes vs GHS at Citrus College at 7
2018 Palos Verdes Schedule-Results:
August 23: Corona del Mar 28, Palos Verdes 6
August 30: Narbonne 34, Palos Verdes 10
September 7: Madison 21, Palos Verdes 10
September 14: Palos Verdes 37, Culver City 36
September 21: Palos Verdes 42, Newbury Park 0
September 28: Palos Verdes 42, Mira Costa 18
October 5: Palos Verdes 50, Compton Centennial 0
October 15: Palos Verdes 10, Redondo Union 3
October 19: Palos Verdes 36, Leuzinger 0
October 26: Palos Verdes 28, Peninsula 0
November 2: Palos Verdes 42, Harvard-Westlake 6
November 9: Palos Verdes 12, Aquinas 7
November 16: Palos Verdes vs Glendora at Citrus College at 7
CIF-SS Division 5 Semifinal Game Info:
Who: Palos Verdes (9-3) vs Glendora (11-1)
When: Friday at 7
Where: Citrus College
Prices: Adults ($10); Children w/ID ($5)
Gates Open: 5:30 p.m.
Gates Open: 5:30 p.m.