By Tim Peterson
(Montebello) – Montebello broke open a scoreless tie with three touchdowns in the third quarter and went on to beat Whittier 21-7 Friday night in front of the home crowd.
Neither offense could get going in the first half. Whittier punted five times while Montebello booted it away twice, missed a field goal, turned the ball over and was stopped on fourth down.
The Oilers looked like a different team in the second half. They came out on their first possession and drove 70 yards in eight plays that quarterback Gabriel Tapia capped with an 18- yard run. Montebello stopped Whittier on fourth down on the ensuing series and set up shop at the Cardinal 43. The Oilers immediately cashed in again. Joshua Leon finished a seven play march with a six-yard run and after drawing blanks in the first half the Oilers were suddenly up 14-0.
Brian Zavala’s defense held again and the offense put the game on ice on the next possession. Tapia used his arm this time connecting with Andy Brown on a 58-yard strike for a three score lead. Brown simply ran right by the Whittier secondary and Tapia hit him in stride as he raced into the end zone.
Whittier finally ended the drought in the fourth quarter on a seven-yard run by Robert Sandoval.
Tapia rushed for 93 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown and threw for 133 yards and a score to lead Montebello. Leon had six carries for 47 yards.
Brown had five receptions for 103 yards.
Whittier struggled most of the night offensively. Quarterback Dylan Salcido rushed for 13 carries for 48 yards and completed just four passes for 52 yards.
Montebello improved to 2-1 with the victory while Whittier suffered its first loss of the year and is also 2-1.