Pardo stars for dynamic Arvin offense in 42-20 win at West

·4 min read

Sep. 23—As West High prepared to officially dedicate its field in honor of the late coach Dallas Grider, former Vikings coach Dave Titsworth recalled a motto he and Grider shared: "You got a job to do. Let's get the job done."

It was Grider's alma mater Arvin Thursday night, facing off against his longtime team West, that got the job done.

Bears quarterback Omar Pardo threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns on just 5-for-9 passing, adding two more scores on the ground, as Arvin raced out to a 22-point halftime lead and coasted to a 42-20 victory at the newly renamed Dallas Grider Field at Kilgore Stadium.

"We got some young guys and they're getting used to this varsity experience," Arvin coach Robert Riley said. "I thought our quarterback put the ball on the money today and we got a lot of big catches and so we're excited about that."

After a three-and-out on its opening-drive, Arvin scored three touchdowns in just five plays from scrimmage, including deep balls from Pardo to Jack Kasinger and Joaquin Currichi.

"I just want to give thanks to my linemen putting in a lot of work in the trenches," Pardo said. "I give all my success to them."

The Bears' defense also stopped a pivotal fake punt early, halted a 16-play drive in the red zone and forced three turnovers.

"Our defense is young but they fly around and they're not afraid to hit somebody," Riley said.

West ran the ball on its first 20 plays but ended up experiencing some of its biggest success through the air, with Jack Parks completing a 30-yard pass to David Leon to set up a 19-yard score to J'Tavious Doster. But the Vikings generally struggled to execute in Arvin territory, and so, on a night when Grider's son Chad said he wished he could ask his father whom he would root for, the Bears took home the win.

"I played for Coach Grider and for Coach (Duane) Damron at Bakersfield College," Riley said. "Nothing but respect for the West High program. You know, those guys have Arvin roots as well. There's just a lot of tradition from Arvin High School that (has) gone on to show us how to really run a quality program."

West and Arvin played contrasting styles from the get-go, with the Vikings scoring on a 2-yard run from Parks early to conclude a lengthy 10-play drive. The Bears, pinned on their own 3-yard line tied it at 7-7 immediately when Pardo lobbed one to Kasinger on a go route for a 97-yard score.

After a West punt, Arvin was pinned back deep again before some well-executed backfield misdirection set up a 72-yard touchdown run from Christopher Carlos.

The Vikings came up short on third-and-4 on a 3-yard run by Jason Harris, and snapped it to upback Julian Navarro on a punt, but he was stonewalled in the backfield and Pardo immediately hit Currichi for another score to make it 21-7. The sudden multi-possession deficit was exacerbated by an immediate Vikings fumble that gave Arvin the ball at West's 16. After six short runs, the Bears went up 28-7 just halfway through the second quarter.

West came back with the Parks-to-Doster touchdown, and had a chance to draw even closer starting a two-minute drill around midfield, but went backwards instead and punted back to Arvin with under a minute left.

Again the Bears flipped the field, benefiting from a pass-interference penalty before Pardo found Jonathan Moreno for a whopping 65-yard gain. On the very next play, Pardo looked for Kasinger on a fade route that popped up in the air, but the receiver reeled it in for a crucial touchdown.

The second half was much quieter. After West took its turn benefiting from a key defensive pass interference — this one on a critical fourth-and-12 pass at Arvin's 20-yard line — the Vikings failed to score regardless.

The Bears missed a field goal early in the fourth quarter but used a 26-yard run by Currichi to set up Pardo for a touchdown a few minutes later.

To its credit, West kept fighting, and led another lengthy drive late led by sharp passing from Parks. The Vikings punched it in with less than a minute left in the game on a fourth-and-2 toss play to Wilmer Perez. They even recovered an onside kick but Parks was picked off by Michael Garcia.

West will host North next Friday to open league play; Arvin, meanwhile, has one more tuneup against Boron Thursday before taking on the South Yosemite Horizon League.

"Anybody in this league, I think, could win it," Riley said.

Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.