Southmen Can’t Finish Titans, 31-21

By Tim Peterson, Sports Editor
October 3, 2012 • 371 views

By Tim Peterson

South El Monte, CA –

San Marino erased a seven point deficit and ran off 17 consecutive points in a fourth quarter rally to beat South El Monte 31-21 Friday night at the Swamp.

The Titans were also down 21-7 with 4:13 left in the second qaurter before scoring a touchdown with 50 seconds left in the first half to cut it to 21-14 and build momentum going into the seocnd half.

The game took a big turn in the fourth quarter. San Marino drove down to the South El Monte four yard line. From there Nick Gott took a handoff and headed for the right side. he stretched out his arm in an attempt to get the ball over the plane of the goal line but instead he was smacked, the ball popped loose and South El Monte’s Erick Zelaya fell on it at the one yard.

It was huge stop for the Eagles but instead of capitalizing, Mario Burciaga was sacked in the end zone after a bad snap on the first play resulting in a San Marino safety. On the ensuing series, Andrew Cordova ran 18 ayrds for a first down at the South 13. Two plays later, Matt Wofford scored on a seven yard run and just like that it was 23-21 San Marino.

On the very next possession Zachary Bowles intercepted Burciaga and returned it to the Eagle 19. It took five plays for the Titans to get in the end zone with Gott going in from a yard out to atone for his earlier fumble. In a matter of four minutes, the game went from potentially 28-14 South to 31-21 San Marino.

Then Wofford intercepted Burciaga one more time and the Titans ran out the clock.

“I just told them to continue to play hard and good things will happen,” said San Marino Coach Mike Hobbie about his team being down. “That’s what we preach from day one. Play hard and be smart.”

South and San Marino exchanged scores in the first quarter. Burciaga turned a quarterback keeper into a 67 yard run for a 6-0 Eagle lead. San Marino came back with a 93 yard drive highlighted by a 29 yard pass play from Wofford to Lionel Escajeda to take a 7-6 lead. Ryan Wood scored on a two yard run to cap the march.

In the second quarter, South El Monte took control. Javier Machuca scored on an 11 yard pass from Burciaga. Later in the quarter, The Eagles got good field position and marched 48 yards on seven plays with Jordan Vargas catching a one yard pass from Burciaga to give South a 21-7 lead.

Buddy McCloskey caught an 11 yard touchdown pass for San Marino to cap a 65 yard drive with just 50 seconds left in the first half to cut it to 21-14 at the break.

It stayed that way until the fourth when the Titans took command.

San Marino (5-0) opens Rio Hondo League play next week at La Canada while South El Monte will take a 2-3 record inot Rosemead to start Mission Valley League play.

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