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CIF LA City Section Division 3 football preview: Marquez the heavy favorite

Marquez is loaded with returning seniors and has benefited from a new weight room program.

LA City Section Division 3 football will look quite a bit different in 2019.

After winning last season’s CIF LA City Section Division 3 championship 52-20 over Fremont, Santee is moving up to D-1. Also leaving D-3 are runner-up Fremont and quarterfinalists Chatsworth and Manual Arts.

Among the favorites in 2019 is senior-loaded Marquez, who likely stands to improve after making the quarterfinals last season. Rudy Fortiz is in his first year as their head coach, but he was already an assistant coach last season, and has 32 years of coaching experience. And he has a ton of talent to work with, with nine starters returning on both sides of the ball.

The Gladiators employ a rush-heavy offense, and are returning their plethora of playmakers, some of whom both rush and receive. Leading rushers Armando Guardado (812 yards), Joe Vasquez (647), Devin Vega (426), Juan Gonzalez (252), and Oscar Hernandez (187) are all returning. Dual-threat starting QB Erick Salas is returning as well. He passes fairly infrequently, but when he does, his efficiency is great, as shown by his QB rating of 121.9. Top receivers Andrew Molina, Jorge Barajas, and Francisco Amezcua all return as well. Aldo Sanchez stars on the offensive line.