(Pasadena)- Bonita landed early blows, put Muir on the brink, but it wasn’t until the fourth round (quarter) when Giomani Johnson scored three times to deliver the knockout blow and advance the Bearcats to a 49-25 victory and the Southeast Semifinals.
At the end of three quarters the Mustangs, bad as they performed, were only one play away at the start of the fourth quarter. Down 24-18, they made several plays but so did Bonita’s Johnson.
Johnson’s (17-135-3Tds) 6-yard touchdown run opened the scoring in the fourth.
A nice kick-off return, followed by a 39-yard pass to Karl Holmes, and landed the Mustangs at the Bearcat 16. After converting on fourth down for the second time when Howard Vaughn went in from 1-yard it became a 30-25 game.
An onside kick recovered by Sam Hutchins gave Muir the ball back at the Bonita 47, but a near miss down the sidelines to Holmes on first down was soon followed by Eric Mikity’s sack of Davis on third down. Under pressure with 3:16 to play the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs when another deep pass was just missed. A helmet was slammed to the ground and another unsportsmanlike penalty was given to the Mustangs.
Bonita took over at the Muir 30, two plays later Johnson went 29-yards for the back breaking score.
The extra point was added another penalty for roughing the kicker was given and Muir started deep in its own territory again.
After another turnover on downs Johnson took full advantage covering 20-yards on three plays before scoring his third touchdown with 27 seconds remaining.
On the game’s final kick-off a series of laterals landed the ball in the end zone where the Bearcats Cameron Griffith recovered for the final score.
In a contest marred by 30 penalties, it was Bonita drawing first blood on a 42-yard field goal by Brandt Davis.
Seven minutes later Matt Gelalich scored on an 9-yard run and it was 10-0.
With holes and injuries along its offensive line the Mustangs’ offense never got settled and came to rely on the turnover or big play, and it was a fumble recovery at the Bearcats 35 that lead to their first score. Traveion Yates pounded his way in from 4-yards at the start of the second period, but a bad snap sabotaged the point after and it was 10-6.
After Cody Mckenzie forced and recovered a Jeff Davis fumble, Bonita was back in business at its own 41 with 4:38 to play in the half.
Garrett Pendleton (14 of 29 153 yards 2Tds) engineered a 59-yard drive on 7-plays and capped it with and 8-yard slant to Austin Venegas. While it might not have been Pendleton’s best night since returning from an injury at mid-season, he again showed he could make the plays when he had to. This drive was keyed by 17-yard completion to Garrett Horine on a third and eight.
Refusing to go away Muir pulled to within one score, 17-9, with a 42-yard field goal by Jorge Castro.
Castro added another field goal to make it 17-12 half way through the third, but Pendleton led his team on another long scoring drive.
The 84-yards covered took nearly four minutes off the third quarter clock, second and third and long situations were converted with passes to Zach Brungard, while the Mustangs did their part by providing personal foul and offside’s before Horine caught a 4-yard pass from Pendleton to press the lead to 24-12.
Kevon Seymour covered 500-yards of turf on the ensuing kick off before cutting back a final time and finding a corner that led him to the Bonita 26. Moments later Yates scored on an 18-yard run and the stage was set for Johnson’s big fourth quarter.
Bonita, in the semifinals for the first time since 1999 when they won CIF, improved to 11-1 and will host La Serna next Saturday night. For Muir, which finished the season 7-5, they failed to advance beyond the second round for the 13th consecutive season.