Top 20 MVL Games of the Decade

The El Monte-Arroyo game from 2004 (#15). Amilcar Archilla shines, Anthony Wilbur saves Arroyo

How do you pick the best games of the decade? Final score, importance, a good parking spot? Factored everything, but of course everything is subjective. This is how we saw it, and we literally did see all of them. Love the MVL, and we will always love The Mid.

1.) Rosemead 30 South El Monte 21 —November 4, 2005

Mid Valley staffer: Joe Torosian, Duane Barker

@ The Swamp

Notes: Easily the greatest game of the decade. Southman Gus Mendoza scores on a 10-yard pass from Danny Romero and returns a kick off 91-yards for a touchdown. Mead’s Jose Camarena hits Mitchell Bonilla for a 44-yard touchdown on a dig route and blasts a 46-yard field goal. Deon Sumler runs 49-yards for a touchdown and returns a fumble 24-yards for another. The Eagles are without starting quarterback Lee Aguirre because of knee injury. The stands are full, the field is ringed with fans, its more intense than a CIF Final. The Panthers Albert Molina scores on a 3-yard run with 7:18 to play to put Mead up for good 23-21.

2.) Gabrielino 14 Arroyo 0 —October 26, 2000

Mid Valley staffer: Tim Peterson, Joe Torosian, Duane Barker

@ East Los Angeles College

Notes: On a rainy Thursday night at ELAC, Gabrielino snaps Arroyo’s 27 game MVL winning streak. Lost in the drama between sportswriters and Gabrielino administration, and words between coaching staffs and administration, is the Eagles excellent defense and the most significant win in program history.

“I’ve got nothing to say to you,” Gabrielino HC Vince Lopez told us after the game. “Go talk to the players.”

“Tell them to talk to me after they win 27 in a row,” said Arroyo HC D.J. MacKinnon.

3.) Rosemead 23 South El Monte 21 —November 9, 2006

Mid Valley staffer: Tim Peterson, Duane Barker

@ Rosemead

Notes: Sophomore Bobby Maldonado booted a 37 yard field goal in the final seconds to give the Panthers the win.  Amazing because part of the Rosemead staff tried to convince Koffler to run another play. Koffler however showed confidence in the kid, and the kid didn’t disappoint splitting the uprights

Rosemead broke through in 2001

4.) Arroyo 14 Gabrielino 12 —November 14, 2002

Mid Valley staffer: Joe Torosian

@ East Los Angeles College

Notes: Not so fast. The Knights secure their first league title since 1999 with a physical Thursday night victory over the Eagles. Paul Zuniga’s slant pass to Adrian Magallon was defended by Danny Sanchez. He catches it, he’s gone…But the ball falls incomplete and first year Arroyo DC Jim Singiser and his Swarm defense celebrate the victory. Knights HC D.J. Mackinnon exacts payback from Thursday night defeat in 2000. It is Mackinnon’s final MVL victory as well as his last MVL title.

5.) South El Monte 27 Arroyo 20 —October 14, 2005

Mid Valley staffer: Tim Peterson, Duane Barker

@ Bergstrom

Notes: South’s first win over Arroyo since 1994. Gus Mendoza hauled in a screen pass and broke off a long touchdown run to break Arroyo’s back. It was a game the game in which everybody realized the Eagles had finally arrived. The Knights Dominic Salmon goes 24 of 48 for 266-yards and two touchdowns in defeat. The loss is Arroyo’s first in the MVL since November 2, 2001.

The Other Medina. Efrain Medina was great, but Edwin Medina (pictured) was a pretty decent player for South

6.) Gabrielino 10 Rosemead 7 —October 13, 2000

Mid Valley staffer: Tim Peterson

@ Rosemead

Notes: In a blood feud between landlord and former tenants, Mario Atilano kicks the game winner for Gabrielino. The Panthers Julio Yepez game tying boot looks good, the firemen sitting on their rig behind the goal post indicate its good, the Mead staff thought it looked good, but the officials beneath the uprights said it was no good. Matt Koffler is asked after the game if he would the kick was good; “Didn’t you?”

The victory jump starts the Eagles to an eventual Mission Valley League crown.

7.) Rosemead 31 South El Monte 28  —October 30, 2009

Mid Valley staffer: George Hernandez

@ The Swamp

Notes: The Panthers lead 17-7 at the start of this fourth quarter dog. Then The Swamp explodes. With 3:58 to play South’s Anthony Molina takes a lateral and throws 65-yards to Alex Ruiz for a touchdown and a 21-17 lead. Rosemead quarterback Matt Macias scores from 1-yard out with 1:07 remaining. Molina takes the ensuing kick-off back 91-yards to put the Eagles back on top 28-24 with 55 seconds left.

From Mid Staffer George Hernandez game story that night:

“After a nice kick return by Rosemead, the Eagles were flagged with a late hit call that took the ball to the South 35.

South was then nailed with two pass interference calls that took Mead to the nine with 24 seconds remaining. After a Matt Fregoso run they were on the five with 11 seconds left Matt Koffler called Fregoso’s number again and the junior scored the game winner with eight seconds left.”

8.) Arroyo 27 Rosemead 23 —October 27, 2006

Mid Valley staffer: Tim Peterson

@ Bergstrom

Notes: Its a bad start for the Knights. Two picks, two fumbles, and a 20-7 deficit at Rosemead. In fact at the start of the fourth the Panthers led 23-13. Arroyo quarterback Brian Partida (sacked 8 times) tells HC Jim Singiser its going to be alright and the junior goes 12-yards to Mike Sotelo and 23-yards to Marcos Sanchez in final quarter to produce the win.

9.) South El Monte 20 Rosemead 14  —October 12, 2007

Mid Valley staffer:

@ The Swamp

Notes: Davie Padilla picks off two passes, Jose Garay throws for 233-yards, rushes for 89, but its a 41-yard scoring pass to Juan Perez with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter that finally puts the Southmen over the top against the Panthers.

Arroyo's Efrain Oquendo (#44) on the evening of The Hit

10.) El Monte 21 South El Monte 14  —October 17, 2008

Mid Valley staffer: George Hernandez

@ El Monte

Notes: Luke Ayala rushes for 145-yards and two touchdowns, quarterback Quang Phong adds the other as the Lions pull off the stunner for the second consecutive year. Julio Tena stars on a defense that records five sacks and two picks on South’s Jose Garay. The Mid picked the Eagles in this game, the EM staff let us know we were wrong. And a new feud begins.

11.) Arroyo 33 El Monte 29 —November 9, 2006

Mid Valley staffer: Marcus Logan

@ El Monte

Notes: El Monte’s Julio Tena returns a fumble 87-yards for a score at the end of the first half and Luke Ayala score’s on a 1-yard run at the end of the third. Lions lead 29-21 heading into the fourth quarter. Arroyo’s Brian Partida (20-32-308-yards 4 Tds 2 Ints) goes 11-yards to Mike Sotelo and Paul Aguilar scores the game winner on a 4-yard run. The Lions march to the Knights 18 and on fourth and seven with eight seconds remaining Miguel Rodriguez goes to Robert Paniagua with a bullet. The receiver bobbles the ball and his hammered by defenders. Arroyo wins.

12.) Rosemead 42 Arroyo 7 —October 26, 2001

Mid Valley staffer: Joe Torosian

@ Rosemead

Notes: Matt Koffler unveils Mike Gomez, and Gomez goes gonzo on the Knights with 330-yards rushing and five touchdowns. The senior back, who made his bones as a wrestler, was playing for the injured Jose Samano and Arroyo never had a chance. Late in the contest the Knights sideline accused Koffler of running up the score because he kept running the ball…First time we had ever heard that complaint. The victory was Rosemead’s first over Arroyo since 1990, and signaled to all the MVL was a three team league.

13.) El Monte 17 Rosemead 16  —October 19, 2007

Mid Valley staffer: Tim Peterson

@ El Monte

Notes: After years of close calls, the Lions finally get over the top on the Panthers.

Larry Hatley chiefed Rosemead through the 2002-2003 seasons. The assistant in the background is respected DC Mark Hays.

14.) Gabrielino 18 Rosemead 15 —November 6, 2003

Mid Valley staffer: Joe Torosian, Marcus Logan

@ East Los Angeles College

Notes: Cannot talk about this game, without talking about Rosemead blowout of El Monte in the rain from the week before. Mead HC Larry Hatley was put out with something Joel Sanchez apparently said in a Tribune story and puts the wood to the Lions. However, late in the contest Panthers quarterback Dan Diaz tears up his knee and is gone for the season. So the following Thursday Gabrielino hosts 3-0 Rosemead and scores the upset. Sophomore Jose Camarena starts for Mead and struggles. Edward McMillan drops a sure touchdown and a final 45-yard field goal attempt by Camarena, with time expiring, lands short.

15.) Arroyo 22 El Monte 21 —October 24, 2003

Mid Valley staffer: Joe Torosian

@ Bergstrom Stadium

Notes: Amilcar Archilla nearly engineers the upset of the decade. El Monte’s last win against Arroyo was in 1990, and because of Anthony Wilbur’s block of an extra-point late in the contest the Lions last victory over the Knights is still way back in 1990. Even in defeat things are encouraging for Sanchez’ bunch.

16.) South El Monte 35 Arroyo 32  —November 7, 2008

Mid Valley staffer: Joe Torosian

@ The Swamp

Notes: Arroyo’s Mikey Vasquez rushes for 131-yards and the young Knights give the Southmen all they can handle, but a late play by Jose Garay where keeps the ball on a critical fourth down secures the Eagles fourth consecutive victory over their rivals. Arroyo goes to the playoffs, SEM stays home and The Swamp says goodbye to Garay (319-yards passing, 116-yards rushing), Manny Acosta, and HC Erick Escamilla.

17.) El Monte 23 South El Monte 17 OT —October 17, 2003

Mid Valley staffer: Duane Barker

@ “The Swamp”

Notes: Joel Sanchez in his first year as El Monte HC unveils Amilcar Archilla and a slew of dangerous receivers. They push the Southmen into overtime, and Archilla scores the game winner. Life returns to EMHS program.

18.) Mt. View 23 El Monte 21 —November 12, 2004

Mid Valley staffer: Jack Concannon

@ El Monte

Notes: The Vikings Marc Gutierrez goes to David Nevarez for game winner…Pedro Velsaquez throws three touchdowns…Victor Piceno picks off two…View snaps 33 game MVL losing streak… Vikings finishes 2-7 in Frank Alonzo’s final year as HC… El Monte loses sixth straight…

19.) Arroyo 35 Rosemead 6 —November 14, 2003

Mid Valley staffer: Joe Torosian

@ Rosemead

Notes: We’ve talked about this quite often. Arroyo linebacker Efrain Oquendo delivers the shot of the decade of Mead’s Deon Sumler when he attempts to cut back on a long run. The Knights dominate from start to finish, and get payback for the 2001 disaster.

20.) Rosemead 12 El Monte 7 —October 13, 2001

Mid Valley staffer: Tim Peterson, Joe Torosian

@ El Monte

Notes: The Panthers were riding a two game losing streak coming in. El Monte was playing on campus for the first time to celebrate its centennial anniversary. The Saturday afternoon affair is packed and the Lions take an early lead before the Panthers take a 12-7 lead. In the final minutes El Monte gets inside the Rosemead ten and Joe Silva makes three successive plays to turn them away. Two stops in the backfield and a tip away in the end zone. The Lions finish the season 5-5, Mead goes to the semifinals.


2 Comments to "Top 20 MVL Games of the Decade"

  1. Lion Pride's Gravatar Lion Pride
    July 18, 2011 - 1:48 am | Permalink

    How about El Monte’s triple overtime victory over Gabrielino in 2000? Now that was a game. Or how about El Monte’s shut out victory 14-0 over So El Monte in 2000? Gary Herrera and Bill Castellanos were supposed to tear through the Lions that game, but the Lions defense put up the goose egg.

  2. PacLeague's Gravatar PacLeague
    January 6, 2010 - 3:33 pm | Permalink

    can’t wait to see if you guys do a pacific league best games, cuz there might be 3 or 4 from this year alone.

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