Justin Bernal Powers San Pedro High Football To Victory

VALLEY GLEN - It was a rough start for San Pedro High football in the San Fernando Valley.

Probably still reeling from a 7-6 loss to North Torrance in their 2018 season opener on August 17, host Grant of Van Nuys would be on the offensive for the first 7:42 of the game in taking a 12-7 lead, with the lone seven being a 73-yard kickoff return from San Pedro senior wide receiver Camren Thomas sandwiched in between two Lancer touchdowns. 

With 4:01 left in the first quarter, the Pirates' offense and quarterback Justin Bernal did not have a single possession, but once they finally got their chance to show what they're capable of, the mood of the contest changed almost immediately, and there was little Grant could do about it.

Bernal would throw for two touchdowns, and rush for two more, powering the Pirates to a 48-12 victory over Grant for their first victory of the 2018 season. 

After Grant reclaimed the lead, Bernal would drive San Pedro (1-1 overall) down the field before ending the drive with a one-yard touchdown off a sneak with 1:29 left in the first quarter, with the drive highlighted by a 33-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jesse March that put the Pirates' in the red zone. San Pedro would then score again on their next possession when Bernal threw a bubble screen on 1st & 20 to Thomas, who then shedded off a tackle with a stiff arm and outracing the secondary for a 37-yard touchdown and a 20-12 lead with 11:15 left in the second period.

The defense of the Pirates was unrelenting in forcing two punts and a turnover on downs in the second quarter, and Bernal would produce two more touchdowns on a one-yard run which followed a 54-yard pass to Thomas, and then with 44 seconds remaining in the half, he threw a swing pass to junior running back Joshua Ward who sped down the left sideline for a 27-yard touchdown, putting San Pedro ahead 34-12 before halftime.

Neither team would score in the third quarter, but the Pirates piled it on in the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run from junior fullback Alexander Prado, and another touchdown reception of 14 yards from Thomas off a fade pass from backup sophomore quarterback Dylan Kordic.

San Pedro's defense remained tough on Grant (0-2) in the second half, as junior defensive lineman Matt McCabe blocked a punt and recovered a fumble, and junior defensive end Luca Pirozzi garnered a pair of sacks. Junior WR/DB Andres Srsen made six-of-seven PAT kicks, and also deflected a pass near the goal line in the third quarter.

San Pedro (1-1 overall) will next face Long Beach Cabrillo next Friday on the road.

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