South Delivers Gabrielino First Loss, 22-9
October 17, 2012 • 551 views
By Joe Torosian
South El Monte, CA –
South El Monte made a pair of first quarter touchdowns stand up, and scored a late one for effect, in its 22-9 victory over Gabrielino on Friday night in Mission Valley League play.
Two things happened early. First quarterback Levi Wells hit Jordan Vargas with a short pass that Vargas turned into a 13-yard touchdown as he bulled into the endzone. Agustin Pinto drilled the extra point and it was 7-0 Southmen
The other thing that happened on that play? It was the first time in six games, the then 6-0 Gabrielino Eagles, had trailed in a game.
It didn’t get better a little over a minute later when Pablo Ocegueda returned a punt 60-yards to paydirt and Erick Zelaya added the two point conversion to make it 15-0.
Unable to mount a running game, Gabrielino went to the pass. The deep pass and failed to advance the ball. All five of its first half possessions ended with punts, and earned just one first down not from a referee’s flag.
In the second half South fumbled on its first play from scrimmage and Gabrielino was able to turn it into a 30-yard field goal by Eddie Garcia.
Still struggling offensively GHS was able to put pressure on South. The home team’s first four possessions of the second half all ended in punts.
With 7:07 top play the deep ball finally paid off for Gabrielino. Quarterback Elijah Peters rolled right, pumped faked down field to Jeremy Franco and then threw back across the field to Cameryn Matthews for a 46-yard touchdown. The extra-point was botched on the hold, and the score was 15-9 South.
The defenses held the offenses each to a three and out on the next possessions, but South’s fifth possession of the second half proved to be the back breaker.
Another excellent punt return by Ocegueda put his team in business at their own 47 with 3:48 to play.
An offside penalty advanced it to the Gabrielino 48. Eric Garcia went five more yards for the first down. Two plays later Wells hit Garcia with 5-yard pass that set up a third down and five at the Gabrielino 38.
Dropping back to pass, with great protection, Wells waited for Javier Machuca to cross to the center of the field before connecting with him. Machuca, the South El Monte word for “lightening”, turned up field and covered 19 yards before being stopped.
Garcia carried the ball for 8-yards to the Gabrielino 11 before being stacked up for a 2-yard loss on second down. On third and two Wells drilled Vargas again for a 7-yard gain and first and goal at the six.
With 41 seconds left on the clock, Wells faked the option pitch and sliced through the Gabrielino defense for the exclamation point. The point after was made and South was back in the MVL hunt.