(Citrus College) – Bonita scored 14 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter to break open a close game and went on to beat San Dimas 40-20 Thursday night in the 40th annual Smudgepot.
The Bearcats led 10-6 at halftime and then came out smoking in the third quarter. Toure McCulley returned the third quarter kick off 89 yards down to the San Dimas five yard line. From there Cameron Griffin punched it in for the score to put Bonita up 17-6.
Austin Venegas picked off San Dimas quarterback Shawn Kennedy on the ensuing possession to set up Bonita at its own 48. Five plays later Garrett Horine took a pass from Tanner Diebold and rumbled 19 yards into the endzone to make it 24-6.
Denzel Mitchell coughed it up on the Saints next possession and the Bearcats cashed in again when Brandt Davis booted a 23 yard field goal and with 4:44 left in the third it was suddenly 27-6 Bonita, a deficit from which the Saints never recovered.
“There was definitely a huge momentum shift in the third and it started with that play,” said Bonita Coach Eric Podley of McCulley’s kick off return. “I was happy we were able to capitalize on it.”
The Saints were stopped in fourth down on the following series. Bonita took over and marched 49 yards in eight plays to go up 33-6 early in the fourth. Horine scored again, this time from ten yards out and he ran over a couple of San Dimas defenders in the process.
San Dimas made a fourth quarter run but it was a classic case of too little too late. A short punt and return put the Saints in business at the Bearcat 30. Kennedy capped a five play drive with a 13 yard touchdown run.
After Dillon Corona recovered an onside kick, he scored himself five plays later on a 12 yard run with 5:21 left to cut it to 33-20.
Bonita put the Smudgepot trophy on ice on the following series. Bonita decided to hit a pooch kick which McCully grabbed and ran down to the San Dimas 39. Stopped short on the first three downs the Bearcats lined up for a punt on fourth down but instead Seth Ballentine faked it and lobbed an eight yard pass to Victor Magallanes for a first down at the San Dimas 29.
After a personal foul penalty moved the ball 15 yards, Reggie Turner did the rest with a 12 yard jaunt up the middle to give the Bearcats a 40 spot on the board.
“We kind of took our foot off the pedal there in the fourth quarter. We were good in the third but we played sloppy in the fourth,” Podley said.
The Saints dominated early in the contest but were unable to cash in. They were stonewalled at the one yard line on their opening possession when Kennedy was stopped on fourth down.
Griffin broke off a 36 yard run and Diebold scrambled 18 yards to set up a Brandt Davis 30 yard field goal to give Bonita a 3-0 lead.
Devonte Brown outran the Bonita secondary for an 88 yard touchdown to give the Saints a 6-3 lead. A San Dimas two point conversion attempt failed.
Bonita regained the lead on the next possession when Reggie Turner’s 25 yard run set up a three yard TD romp by Griffin. Bonita took the lead into the break and then exploded in the third.
Brown was lightning for the Saints rushing for 157 yards on just eight carries. He also caught three passes for 28 yards.
Griffin and Turner combined for 150 yards rushing and three scores for Bonita. McCulley broke San Dimas’ back with two huge kick returns, an interception and a fumble recovery.
And for the second straight year the Smudgepot stays in Bonita.
B 0 10 17 13 40
SD 0 6 0 14 20
B 7:40 Davis 30 yd FG
SD 7:21 Brown 88 yd run (2 pt failed)
B 2:04 Griffin 2 yd run (Davis kick)
B 11:40 Griffin 5 yd run (Davis kick)
B 7:24 Horine 19 yd pass from Diebold (Davis kick)
B 4:44 Davis 23 yd FG
B 11:17 Horine 10 yd run (Kick failed)
SD 6:53 Kennedy 13 yd run (Corona kick)
SD 5:21 Corona 12 yd run (Corona kick)
B 3:55 Turner 12 yd run (Davis kick)