By Tony Solorzano
(Covina) – A four-touchdown explosion propelled Covina to a 49-14 win over Nogales to remain undefeated in Valle Vista League play Thursday night at Covina District Field.
Senior quarterback William Livingston returned from injury to throw four touchdowns for the Colts (6-1, 3-0) as turnovers doomed the Nobles (3-4, 1-2) despite opening the game with an early touchdown.
A fumble by Gevontray Ainsworth on the Colts’ first possession allowed the Nobles to take over near mid-field. On fourth and four, quarterback Nephi Tofiga connected with receiver Michael Conchas for a 36-yard touchdown, for an early 7-0 lead. However, late in the quarter, Livingston connected with Justin Mason in what should have been a 29-yard touchdown, but Mason was brought down a yard shy of the goal line, which led to the tying score by Vinnie Venegas on the next play, erasing Nogales’ lead with 2:41 left in the quarter.
In the second, the Colts broke the game open with three passing touchdowns in a span of 3:41. First, Livingston hit Mason on a 10-yard pass with 6:50 left in the half, capping a nine-play, 77-yard drive on their first possession of the quarter, giving them the lead for good.
On their next possession, the Colts took advantage of a roughing the passer penalty against Nogales that moved the ball to mid-field, where Livingston connected with Mason on a play action across the middle that resulted in another score. The same thing happened on the next possession, this time Livingston found Peter De La Cruz for a 40-yard score.
The Nobles got back into the game on their last possession of the half, as Tofiga, after being forced from the pocket, scrambled for a two-yard rush, cutting the lead 28-14 as the half ended, but that would be the bulk of the Nobles’ scores.
In the third, Livingston threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game, this time hitting Andrew Carrillo for a 69-yard score with 9:26 left in the quarter. Venegas nearly scored a touchdown on a 52-yard punt return, however a holding penalty negated the score and in the ensuing possession, the Colts ended up punting.
The Colts had the ball as the fourth quarter began, having recovered a fumble lost by Conchas inside the Colts’ 15 with 26 seconds left in the third. After another roughing the passer again put the Colts at mid-field Venegas took a handoff from Livingston from 28 yards out to put the score up to 42-14.
On their next possession, sophomore Darren Torres took over at quarterback in addition to his duties as kicker for the Colts. He drove the Colts to the Nogales 30, where Ryan Bedford scored for the Colts with 7:38 left in the game. On the ensuing kickoff, the Nobles’ Keith Bolden fumbled the ball at the 29-yard line, which was recovered by the Colts, which combined with the running clock for the remainder of the quarter, effectively ended the game.
Livingston connected on 15 of 26 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns for the Colts. Ainsworth carried the ball 17 times for 137 yards, while Bedford carried 10 straight times in the fourth for 63 yards and a touchdown. For the Nobles, Tofiga completed nine of 19 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Bolden carried 14 times for 74 yards.
NOGALES 7 21 7 14 49
COVINA 7 7 0 0 14
8:25 – Nogales – Michael Conchas 36 pass from Nephi Tofiga Diego Lopez kick
2:41 – Covina – Vincent Venegas 1 run Darren Torres kick
6:50 – Covina – Justin Mason 10 pass from William Livingston Torres kick
3:37 – Covina – Mason 50 pass from Livingston Torres kick
2:09 – Covina – Peter De La Cruz 40 pass from Livingston Torres kick
39.3 – Nogales – Tofiga 2 run Leon kick
9:26 – Covina – Andrew Carrillo 69 pass from Livingston Torres kick
11:41 – Covina – Venegas 28 run Torres kick
7:38 – Covina – Ryan Bedford 31 run Torres kick