Nov 30, 2012 1:56 AM by Andrew Masuda

Mission Prep plays for first CIF title Friday at Rio Hondo Prep

The Mission Prep football team continues its quest for history and its first CIF title in the Northeast Division championship game against Rio Hondo Prep in Arcadia. The top seeded Royals are 11-1, while the #2 Kares are 11-1. Mission crushed the Kares in Arcadia 47-14 back on August 31. The Royals are playing in their first CIF title game since 1964, while the Kares, the defending champions, are seeking their thirteenth.

The winner is likely to receive a bid to the CIF Regional Playoff Bowl for Division IV where a spot in the CIF State Bowl Game will be on the line.

The Royals are coming off a 54-26 semifinal home win over Salesian. Senior quarterback Tyler Baty completed 8 of his 15 passes for 186 yards and 5 touchdowns. Patrick Laird ran for 198 yards on 12 carries and 2 touchdowns. The junior also caught one TD pass. Joey Hall caught 4 passes for 101 yards and 3 first half touchdowns. Andrew Da Rosa had 2 sacks and caught a 49 yard touchdown pass. The Royals have won their three playoff games by a combined score of 144-48.

For the season, Baty has thrown for 2,766 yards and 43 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions. Hall leads the state with 22 touchdown catches to go with two more touchdowns on kick returns. He has 52 catches for 1,214 receiving yards. Michael Cardwell leads the Royals with 1,301 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Patrick Laird, a junior, has 892 yards and 12 TD on the ground to go with 26 catches for 507 receiving yards and 7 more touchdowns. Laird is averaging 14 yards per carry.

Rio Hondo Prep cruised by St. Monica 42-14 in the semifinals. The Kares are making their 21st appearance in a title game since 1972 and are the defending Northeast Division champions. They've won 12 CIF titles overall. Junior running back Nate Tayco ran for a season-high 246 yards with 3 touchdowns on 29 carries last week. He scored on runs of 34 yards, 4 yards and 1 yard. Senior quarterback Colby Rivera threw for one touchdown and Jake Holguin finished with 1 interception and 1 TD catch. Rivera has thrown 19 touchdown passes this season for almost 1,300 yards. Tayco has racked up 1,492 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns.

Back on August 31, the Royals won 47-14 in Arcadia in their second game of the season. Baty threw for 286 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Rivera threw for 219 yards and 1 TD. The Mission defense recovered 3 fumbles and limited Rio Hondo to 80 yards on the ground, while the Royals rushed for 169 yards led by Michael Cardwell, who had 145 yards on 17 carries. Joey Hall caught 5 passes for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Royals carried a 27-7 lead into halftime.



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