Banning overpowers Locke

Banning overpowers Locke


y By Vincent D’Angelo

Banning moved on from last year’s season of adversity by starting this one with a dominating 48-8 victory Friday night over Locke at Gardena High.

Banning quarterback Damian Satete scrambled 40 yards, setting up a first-and-goal situation at the Locke 10-yard line with his team up, 7-2, after one quarter.

On the next play, running back A.J. Tuitele scored the first of his three touchdowns. Banning never looked back, thanks to gaping holes created by the offensive line.

“Everything starts with the offensive line,” Satete said. “The only reason why we score is because of them.”

Banning’s linemen pushed Locke defenders back with each snap, and Satete and Tuitele capitalized. Tuitele’s first score started a string of 35 unanswered second-quarter points for the Pilots.

Satete scored from one yard out on Banning’s most dominating drive of the game: six plays for 53 yards. Tuitele ran the ball on four of those plays, gaining 40 yards.

“We said from day one of practice that our line was going to carry us this year,” Tuitele said. “We told them that every practice.”

Sandwiched between another Tuitele touchdown, from three yards out, and yet another Satete 1-yard score, linebacker Chris Garrison picked up a Locke fumble and ran it 20 yards for a touchdown. When the dust settled, Banning scored five touchdowns in an 8:58 span before the half ended, mercifully, for Locke.

Garrison and the Banning defense also dominated, holding Locke to 42 total yards. Locke quarterback Marcus Johnson was on the run throughout, completing only 6 of 18 passes for 51 yards, and was intercepted twice.

“Our linebackers set the whole pace for the game,” Banning coach Ed Lalau said. “We were trying to contain Locke’s speed and keep everything in front of us, (and trying) not to let them get the opportunities to bring the ball downfield with big plays.”

Tuitele regained the form of his sophomore year when he gained more than 1,400 yards, leading Banning to the L.A. City Championship. In his first game of his senior year, the Oregon-bound back played only one half, rushing 15 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns.

Satete attempted only three passes, but had 62 yards on five carries and the two touchdowns. Banning ran for 225 yards overall.

“Our kids have been through a lot,” Lalau said, referring to the death of offensive lineman Jonathan Diaz who collapsed during practice last year. “This is their coming-out year.”

Copyright Copley Press Inc. 2002

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