Temple City (4-3, 2-0) and Monrovia (4-3, 2-0), which always seem to be factors in the Rio Hondo League chase, will play for sole possession of first place next week while the Spartans, whom many felt were the preseason favorites, dropped to 5-2 and 1-1. “We don’t make a big secret about what our strengths are,’ Mooney said afterward. “One of the things we had to do was keep their offense off the field. We felt our strength was our guys between the tackles, and we felt we could push them around a little, and it worked.’ Tsai, who opened the game carrying the ball on 10 of the Rams’ 11 possessions, scored on a two-yard run to give the Rams a 7-0 lead. He was responsible for 78 of their 79 yards on the drive. “You have to give my lineman credit tonight,’ Tsai said. “They opened up big holes for me. We wanted this game really bad, and now we’ve got a shot at league.’ The Spartans played without starting quarterback T.J. Trumbo, whose back spasms had lingered over from last week. And leave it to Tsai to do the rest. The senior rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Rams to a 35-15 victory over the Spartans, which sets up a huge meeting next week against Monrovia. LA CANADA — When Temple City High School’s “Sushi’ Tsai is able to get his wheels rolling and arms pumping, he looks like a monster truck in the Rams backfield. Temple City coach Mike Mooney had a feeling the Rams could flex their muscles against La Canada High on Friday, which was ranked No. 3 in Division X, so he turned the game over to his 5-foot-7, 165-pound back. Back-up quarterback John Ondrejcka struggled, completing 7-of- 15 passes for 84 yards with two interceptions. Running back Lavelle Peterson, who was in and out of the game with a sore ankle, managed two rushes for 111 yards and two touchdowns, but for the most part, he was bottled up. After the Rams jumped to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, Peterson scored with 11:55 left in the second quarter to cut it to 14-6, and then David Hopkins booted a 27-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-9 at the half. After the Spartans fell behind 21-9, Peterson scored on a 23-yard run to make it 21-15 with 9:32 left in the fourth quarter. The Spartans followed with an onside kick, but the Rams recovered, and scored three plays later, capped off by Tsai’s 20-yard touchdown run to make it 28-15. Rams wide receiver Dwight Broadnax had two touchdowns, hauling in a flee-flicker from Sammy Yu in the first quarter, and later grabbing a 14-yard touchdown pass from Ricky Arredondo to close out the game. After all of the Rams’ heart- breaking losses last year, and their 0-2 start this season, the satisfaction on Mooney’s face was apparent. “When we had two tough losses early in the year, we felt like we had all the bad luck out of our system,’ Mooney said. “We felt if we could just stick to the mission, that things would work out, and they’re starting to turn that way for us.’ Fred J. Robledo can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!