A Southern Night! Eagles Crash Lions Party with 33-20 Victory
By Joe Torosian, Sports Writer
November 8, 2012 • 424 views
By Joe Torosian
El Monte, CA - It felt like it was going to be a coronation. El Monte had its story book season, its unmatched offense, its home field, its crowd, and was ready to have placed on its head the undisputed crown of the Mission Valley League.
Except the half-blood brother from the South, that shares its name, showed up to claim a piece of the throne.
South El Monte got two monster strikes from Levi Wells to Javier Machuca and dominating defensive line play for four quarters to upset the Lions on Thursday night, 33-20, for a share of the MVL title.
In a game like this a defensive performance should standout, but in light of El Monte’s offense being something truly special this season the Southmen’s performance was extraordinary.
El Monte had 14 possessions.
Three ended with touchdowns.
Four ended with a turnover on downs.
Two ended with punts (If you are familiar with the EMHS offense in 2012, then you know they liken punting the ball as something akin to going to the DMV)
…and Brandon Martinez was sacked seven times.
After being stalled on their first three drives, the Lions took advantage of a South El Monte fumble. Angel Salazar’s recovery put the offense in business at the Eagles eight after late hit penalty was tacked on. Three plays later Martinez hit Josh Wu on a 6-yard touchdown pass. Bryan Luevano blasted in for the deuce and it was 8-0 with 4:09 to go in the first.
Two minutes later, facing a third and nine from the Lions 47, South El Monte’s Wells went deep down the center of the field to Machuca (the South El Monte word for “Fast”), who split the EM secondary for the touchdown. Agustin Pinto added the extra-point and it was an 8-7 game.
These back to back scores would be followed by another set of back to back scores in the second quarter as the game broke down between one quarterback running for his life and another getting just enough time to go downfield.
The Lions Martinez finished 21 of 39 for 269 yards two touchdowns and five interceptions. South’s Wells went 20 of 32 for 285 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked four times, but other than the first quarter fumble he did not turn the ball over.
Leading by a point, 8-7, El Monte moved the ball across midfield but a throw was tipped, the Eagles Aaron Saavedra picked it off and returned it to the Lions 35.
Wells began to moved his team closer to the goal line and converted a third and 15 by going 21-yards to Erick Zelaya. Three plays later Leo Artiaga went in from a yard out and the Eagles were up 13-8. The point after was wide left.
Martinez immediately brought his team back by going 80-yards in nine plays including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Abel Barajas. The try for two was missed, but EM was back on top 14-13. The drive was highlighted by Adolfo Sanchez’s 44-yard reception. The talented slot receiver finished with five catches and 115 yards on the night. By contrast the Southmen held Barajas to four catches for just 37 yards and the lone score.
South matched the 80-yard drive with one of its own culminating with Pinto’s 30-yard field goal that gave the lead