After Cerritos posted its first win since 2010 last week against Ocean View of Huntington Beach, Norwalk was going to be a stern test. The Dons were a bit in over their heads as Norwalk improved to 5-0 with a 56-0 running clock victory.
It wasn’t so much that Norwalk beat Cerritos — that was expected. It was the business-like approach the Lancers took that made us take notice. Little celebration after touchdowns and crispness on offense was a theme and it’s something coach Jesse Ceniceros said his young team learned in the CIFSS Southeast Division playoffs last season.
“We’re more mature this year and are taking it one game at a time,” Ceniceros said. “We learned alot losing in the playoffs to Downey by three points. One of our main goals is to remain healthy.”
The Lancers’ faithful has got to like their team’s chances this year, especially with all-state candidate Rashaad Penny back in the fold. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior touched the ball seven times against Cerritos and scored four touchdowns. He opened the scoring by hauling in his only reception on the night for a touchdown and finished with 164 total yards of offense.
“He practices hard and is not a prima-donna,” said Ciniceros, who told Cal-Hi Sports Penny is a full qualifier and took an unofficial to UCLA last weekend.
“We’re playing with alot of heart and we come out knowing were going to give our best effort playing smash mouth football,” Penny said. “I put the team goals before my personal ones. We getting great blocking up front from our line, which is mostly juniors. Our goal is to win a CIF championship.”
Norwalk is a prime contender for the CIFSS Southeast Division title, but it will be interesting to see how the Suburban League plays out with talented La Mirada beginning the season 0-4, albeit against tough competition. As for a potential Division II SoCal regional state bowl berth, the Lancers would need to go 14-0 and probably get some help from Serra of Gardena moving into one of the open division slots.
Those scenarios, however, don’t mean much right now to a focused team that doesn’t seem to be looking too far ahead.