By Alex Gonzalez
(Monrovia) – St. Paul, led by Nick Redick, racked up 295 rushing yards in the Swordsmen’ 54-42 win over Monrovia in the first round of the Division 7 CIF playoffs Friday night at Monrovia.
Even though St. Paul struck first when Redick found the end zone for the opening score late in the first quarter, Monrovia rallied off 21 straight points in the second to go into the locker room up 21-7.
Richie Schroeder connected with Michael Washington on the quick slant, made a defender miss and scored from 47 yards out, tying the game at seven. On their ensuing possession, M-Town grinded out an eight play, 85 yard drive that was finished when Schroeder found Elijah Hall on the out route for the score. Finally, as the clock hit zero, the two hooked up again on a deep fade touchdown pass to put the Wildcats up 21-7
The Sowardsmen had a shot to go up 14-0 in the first half, but a punt return touchdown was called back due to a block in the back penalty crushing St. Paul’s hopes at an early lead.
Following intermission, the Swordsmen came within a touchdown after Anthony Lemos found daylight and turned on the jets to score on a 60-yard TD run. On the Cats ensuing possession, Lemos and Company swarmed Monrovia’s Cameron Montano punt to block and recover the ball on Monrovia’s 10-yard line.
less than a minute later, Alfredo Reyes brought SP within one when he was flushed out of the pocket and scored.
However, it didn’t take long for the Wildcats to respond. In a quick five plays, Alfonso Castillo punched his ticket for six, breaking the tie. But the St. Paul special teams, lead by Lemos blocked the point after try.
The Swordsmen answered right back when Redick scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from 69 yards out. After the PAT, St. Paul took a 28-27 going into the fourth quarter.
Early in the fourth, St. Paul started to generate momentum when Lemos blocked a second punt to help set up Redick who stiff armed his way to the end zone. Monrovia tried to answer back on its next possession, but the Cats were forced to punt with 8:34 left in the fourth.
St. Paul wasted no time to break the game open when Redick scored his fourth rushing score eight seconds later to set the score at 42-27.
M-Town finally answered back late in the fourth when Schroeder found Jordan Erby alone in the corner of the end zone. SP answered right back on their next drive when Reyes found Damian Luna on the play action pass. Following the point after, the Swordsmen pushed the score to 48-34.
Both teams added late scores on their final possessions putting the score at 54-42.
St. Paul will play Pacifica next Friday at 7:30
St. Paul O-Line
58 Alexis Reyes
63 David Salazar
71 Daniel Garfio
Nick Redick – 20 carries 168-yards 4 TD
Anthony Lemos – 3 carries 68-yards 1 TD
Alfredo Reyes -2 TOT touchdowns
Tylor Morrison – 4 sacks
77 Alex Marin
50 Jack Kitterman
66 Cesar Gutierrez
52 Andrew Mendez
68 Giovanni Aragon
Richie Schroeder – 23/38 passing 367-yards 4 TD
Michael Washington – 5 catches 106-yards 1 TD
Elujah Hall – 4 catches 74-yards 1 TD
Alfonso Castillo – 13 carries 35-yards 1 TD