News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

Lions Roll Eagles as Title Shot Looms

Photo by David Winchell

El Monte and Gabrielino greet each other before Friday night’s match. The Lions now own a 9-8 advantage all time in the series.

By Tony Solorzano

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By Tony Solorzano

El Monte, CA – Quarterback Brandon Martinez threw three touchdown passes as El Monte solidified their hold on the Mission Valley league as they ruined Gabrielino’s homecoming festivities with a 38-14 victory at Gabrielino’s Tongva Field.

To call the game a must win for the Lions (7-2, 4-0) was a bit of an understatement, especially with the prospect of the school’s first outright title since 1979 hanging in the balance, pending the outcome of next week’s Griffin Bowl.

“Our kids played hard tonight and Gabrielino played hard tonight,” said head coach Joel Sanchez. “We were up seven at halftime and our kids didn’t panic, they did what they needed to do to win.”

The Lions came out in the first and despite turning the ball over in their esrly possessions, took a 14-0 lead on Martinez’ first two scoring passes. Josh Morales scored on a 40-yard strike mkdway through the quarter, then with 17 seconds left Martinez connected with Adolfo Sanchez on a 30-yard score.

The Eagles cut the lead in half late in the second as quarterback Elijah Peters hit Jeremy Franco for a 38-yard score with 1:46 left in the half, sending the Eagles into the half down 14-7.

The Lions increased the lead in the third as Brian Luevano scored the first of his two touchdowns in the second half, a 16-yard run with 2:44 left in the quarter. Late the third, the Eagles began a long, 80-yard drive that culminated in a score, 37 seconds into the fourth, cutting the lead to 22-14.

For tbe rest of the quartdr,the Lions rolled the rest of the way, as both Martinez and Luevano both scored. Martinez tossed a short pass to Abel Barrajas in the flats who broke out for a 61-yard score with 9:13 left, then less than five minutes later, Luevano closed out the scoring. on a one-yard run.

Martinez threw 20 of 38 passes for 391 yards. Although he threw three scores, he was intercepted twice, but was not sacked for a loss. Martinez also led the ground game with 76 yards on eight carries. Luevano rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries, scoring twice and converting three of four two-point conversions. Barrajas caught six passes for 153 yards and his touchdown to lead the receivers.

Peters hit on 16 of 34 pass attempts, for 233 yards and his touchdown to Jeremy Franco in the loss. Carlos Monjaras led the ground game with 84 yards on 14 carries, while Cameryn Matthews caught nine passes for 104 yards.

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
Lions Roll Eagles as Title Shot Looms