By Matt Schuler
(La Canada)- The Monrovia Wildcats football team was so eager to begin league play against La Canada that they schedueled the opener for a Thursday.
Or at least it seemed that way after the defending CIF champions accounted for seven touchdowns and over 450 total yards of offense on their way to a 47-2 victory over host La Canada Thursday night in their Rio Hondo league debut.
Marquise Bias was a workhorse on the ground, Blake Heyworth was effective through the air, and the defense didn’t budge in an all-around performance by the Wildcats.
Heyworth completed 12 out of 20 pass attempts for 252 yards and three scores and managed the game with his arm for Monrovia.
“He’s got poise, hes got a nice touch…. he’s a great young quarterback,” said M-Town HC Ryan Maddox of Heyworth. “He does something exceptional with his ball, its a great weapon.”
La Canada had two opportunities to capitalize off turnovers, but failed to covert a pick and forced punt into points.
The lone highlight for La Canada besides a some good runs by Kyle Herron, was when Monrovia’s long snapper snapped the ball over the punters head in into the end zone for their only two points on the night, making its 33-2 with 2:22 to play in the third.
Bias, who had three touchdowns on the ground, rushed for 152 yards on 10 carries and took pressure off Heyworth throwing the football.
“We worked really hard in the preseason and in the begining of the year we struggled to run the ball,” said Maddox. “That’s been a focus each week. Our offensive line is been really committed to run the football and get that part done for a balanced offense, and we did that well today.”
De’Shawn Ramirez and Alec Fox each caught a touchdown sling from Heyworth, although his favorite target of the night was Anthony Craft. Craft caught 7 of Heyworth’s 12 completions for 80 yards.
Ramirez, who finished with over 100 yards receiving, displayed his play making ability when he took a 3 yard swing pass 61 yards to the house without hardly being touched by a Spartan defender to make it 20-0 with 9:16 in the second.
Some would argue that this is what to expect of last year’s CIF title team, but Monrovia’s Maddox would beg to differ.
“I think they shook off the whole CIF Championship thing from last year,” said Maddox in regards to the teams slow start. “They kinda walked in since the beginning of the year expecting just to be able to show up and play, and they realized, no. we haven’t done anything yet and we need to prove ourselves.”
Kevin Paynter picked off a Heyworth pass early in the first, but the Spartan offense could not convert the turnover into points. Marquise Harrison and Stephan Gholar both came up with interceptions for the Monrovia defense.
Monrovia (3-3, 1-0) now looks ahead to a home game with Blair while La Canada (1-4, 0-1) travels to South Pasadena for a match against the Tigers.