La Puente Puts Away Arroyo

Warrior running back Ruben Elias

By Tim Peterson

By Tim Peterson
El Monte, CA – Ruben Elias rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and La Puente outscored Arroyo 13-0 in the fourth quarter to finish off the Knights 35-20 Friday night at B.L. Bergstrom Stadium.
La Puente Coach Brandon Roher implored his team to “Finish!” in the final quarter and the Warriors did exactly that scoring twice while holding Arroyo scoreless.
Leading 22-20, in the fourth, Joey Centeno took a pass from Ivan Vasquez and turned it into a 24 yard touchdown, weaving his way through traffic for a 29-20 lead.
After the Warriors stopped Arroyo on the next series they scored again to put the game away. Elias broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and raced untouched to the endzone for a 51 yard touchdown run with 7:33 left. That for all intents and purposes was the ball game and La Puente had indeed finished.
It was Arroyo that started. On their first possession, the Knights drove 73 yards on nine plays. Nathan Coto hit Jose Valdivia for a 40 yard touchdown strike right over the middle.
La Puente bounced right back to tie. The Warriors marched 70 yards on 12 plays. Tizoc Monarrez caught a 26 yard pass from Vasquez down to the six yard line. Two plays later Elias bolted in for a one yard score.
A bad snap by Arroyo resulted in a sack of Coto in the endzone for a safety and a 9-7 lead. When LP got the ball back they cashed in again. Vasquez found Noel Martinez for a 33 yard touchdown to cap a 98 yard drive.
Centeno out his stamp on this game on defense on Arroyo’s next series. He stepped in front of a Coto pass and returned it down the west sideline 57 yards for a touchdown and and just like that it was 22-7.
Arroyo needed a score to stay alive and got it just before halftime. The Knights drove 51 yards for a touchdown as Coto capped it with an eight yard run. On the score, Coto was popped at the line of scrimmage but stayed on his feet and bullied his way to the goal line with 27 seconds left in the first half.
Arroyo cut it to two early in the third when Peter Aholoka completed an 86 yard march with a nine yard run. The momentum had shifted when Arroyo stonewalled LP on the next series was was driving towards a possible go ahead score.
Coto dropped back to pass from the La Puente 40 and threw a short screen pass. Instead of finding its intended target, Robert Angulo leaped up and picked it off.
“He’s only a sophomore. That was a huge,” Roher said. “I told him at halftime he needed to make a play and he did.”
The Warriors took over from there scoring the last two touchdowns to wrap it up.
Vasquez completed 11 of 20 for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Centeno ran for 33 and had five receptions 55 yards and a touchdown.
Coto completed 19 of 36 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown but he was hurt by three interceptions.
It was a bounce back win for LP (1-1) after last weeks’ loss to Covina.
“Our game plan was to grind it out a little bit. Last week we didn’t have a good showing. Our offense couldn’t stay on the field so our defense couldn’t get enough rest. So that was our game plan. Grind it out and hit on the pass here and there,” Roher said.
Arroyo fell to 1-2.

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