Reseda Falls to Franklin in L.A. City Section Final
TORRANCE, CA -- At the start of the game, Reseda High School had an early 12-point lead over Franklin High during the L.A. City Section Division III Championship at El Camino College. The first half of the game consisted of a battle between the No. 1 and 2 seeds, but the scoreboard became difficult and emotional to look at for Reseda in the second half as the final score became 27-18 giving Franklin the Division title.
Franklin (13-1) responded to the first quarter deficit of 12-0 when they took the first lead of the game, 13-12, right before halftime. As the Regents became complacent, Franklin never looked back.
Ja'Lani Ellison (#2) helped his team open the lead just two minutes into the game after catching a 50-yard touchdown pass from Reseda quarterback Mike Martin III after just four offensive plays into the game. Martin later intercepted a pass from Franklin's Mario Bobadilla on their first drive of the game to give Reseda the ball back. Ellison scored his second of three touchdowns with a 53-yard run to put the Regents up 12-0.
Franklin's David Telles and Ellison matched each other touchdown for touchdown - both tallying a total of three touchdowns for the game. Telles put Franklin on the board in the second quarter after catching a touchdown pass from Bobadilla on 3rd and 27 early in the second quarter. With Franklin's deficit cut to 12-7, Telles struck again with a 51-yard punt return to give Franklin its first lead of the game with 1:55 left in the first half.
Reseda failed at keeping Telles down in the second half. The senior broke away from two tackles during a 69-yard touchdown reception to put Franklin up 20-12 one play into the second half. Ellison from Reseda High answered with a 38-yard score of his own with 8:28 left in the third quarter. But a failed 2-point conversion that didn't convert kept the deficit at 20-18. The kicking team for Reseda had a tough game, resulting in two missed PATs and a 34-yard field goal, which came after being in the red zone.
Heading into the final quarter of the game, Franklin's defense came out with a big stop. As Reseda's players began to look tired and fatigued and their leading rusher Carlos Hernandez sidelined from a knee injury, Franklin put its stamp on its fifth City Section title since 1989 with a Guillermo Cordova 12-yard touchdown catch in the fourth and a Daniel Celis interception return for a score. Martin's interception came after a would-be touchdown run was called back with 7:39 left in the game.
This was Reseda's first time playing in its divisional championship game since 1998.