The Peterson Principle: 12/5/2016

Tim Peterson

Tim Peterson

By Tim Peterson

I’ll admit it was hard to be a non biased reporter last Saturday night. Being an Arroyo alum I almost threw my clipboard in the air and my arms to the sky when Ernesto “Macho” Camacho hit Devin Knight with the game winner in overtime for the CIF Championship. But I refrained.

I’ve been thinking about it since that moment. I’m not ready to say it’s the best high school football game I’ve ever seen, (I’ve seen over 300) but the Arroyo win over Rancho Mirage has to be in the top three. The big plays (by both teams), the ebb and flows, the momentum shifts, the magnitude of the game, the significance to the city of El Monte, and finally the dramatic two point conversion all contributed to a historical night at B.L. Bergstrom Stadium.

Arroyo took the early lead, the Knights were up 14-3 early in the fourth quarter behind Camacho and Yezdan Marquez, and 21-13 at the half. Then next thing you know, Rancho Mirage was up 27-24 at the end of three quarters. The Rattlers, (yeah Rattlers) seemingly had only three players, but they ran roughshod all night making life miserable at times for Arroyo Head Coach Jim Singiser and company. Some kid named Whitefield kept breaking off big touchdown runs.

Jesse Ortiz booted a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to tie it at 27 and how big was that? We talk about Camacho, Knight and Marquez but where would the Knights have been if they forgot to bring their kicker? He also clubbed a 41-yarder in the third quarter (yes, they both were 41 yards) to give Arroyo a four point lead. Two 41-yard field goals in a championship game? By a high school kid? They make movies about those kinds of things.

tdchristmas1Oh, and then this happened. With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Daniel Whelan, the Rancho Mirage kicker who stands 6’5″ and was booting the ball 50 yards in pre game warmups, missed a 36-yard field goal giving Arroyo a shot in the arm.

So the game goes into overtime and the Knights immediately use that momentum to shut down the Rattlers and score to win the game right? Well, not quite. It’s been 30 years since Arroyo won a CIF title, you thought it was going to be easy? There was that dude Whitefield again (Kyle Whitefield) who was extremely hard to tackle. His 25-yard TD run had Arroyo in a hole again.

While Rancho Mirage needed one play to score, the Knights needed six but they did score on a Camacho one-yard run. Then came the decision. But it really was no decision. What did Singiser and the Knights have to lose? Well, plenty actually. The CIF championship for one. Oh yeah, there was that. And can you imagine the wrath that Singiser would have incurred from all the armchair quarterbacks? The second guessers would have had a field day from here to eternity. The Knights’ kicker, Ortiz, was nails. He had been lights out all night. Send him out there, knock it through the uprights and let’s go to the second overtime.

Well for the lack of a better term, screw that! That’s why we’re arm chair quarterbacks and second guessers and Singiser is wearing the headset. So, really for him it was no decision. There was a lot to lose, no doubt, but oh there was so much to win.

“We decided if we get down there why screw around, and exchange (possessions)? We’re two and a half yards from a CIF Championship. I like our guys from two yards, three yards,” Singiser said.

“There was no question at the end. We knew we were going to have a hard time stopping them, so Jim (Singiser) made the call to go for two and we had a play ready and thank God it worked,” said Arroyo offensive coordinator Chris MacMillan.

Ok but who came up with that specific play? Singiser? MacMillan? The Wolf? None of the above. “Actually it was Coach Knight (Joshua Knight) that suggested that two-point play. It was something that we had been working on and it worked,” MacMillan said.

So Joshua Knight suggested the two point play that his son Devin Knight caught to win the game? This script gets better all the time.

Camacho took the snap rolled right, threw low and Knight dove, sprawled and before you could say “It’s 1986!” he rose from the ground in the end zone holding the ball high above his head as the roar of the capacity crowd on the corner of Santa Anita and Lower Azusa reverberated throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

There were hugs and embraces exchanged from players, coaches and fans alike, tears flowed, and high fives were slapped. For a few fleeting moments B.L. Bergstrom Stadium was transformed into one giant celebration, a reunion of sorts, that will be etched in the minds of the Arroyo faithful forever.

On second thought maybe it was the greatest high school football game I’ve ever seen.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at or on Twitter @tspeterson40



43 Comments to "The Peterson Principle: 12/5/2016"

  1. Annoymous's Gravatar Annoymous
    December 9, 2016 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

    The Matthew Brothers played for The Late Cathedral High Great Dick Salter at Arcadia High.

  2. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 9, 2016 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Steven is not on the same level as them, stats are overrated. If stars mattered, D1 scouts would just take the top right rusher, passer and receiver every year. But that’s not the case is it. No disrespect for Steven who was a great HS player but not on the same level as Lee and tre.

  3. I Am Old's Gravatar I Am Old
    December 9, 2016 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Oh, was it meant to be MVL only? How about Rick Fuller from Arroyo?

  4. Martin Martin "The Knight" Lopez
    December 9, 2016 - 5:12 am | Permalink

    **Top 10 All-Time Best MVL Players??

    Statistically, it’s not even close…and the stats don’t lie, check for yourself.
    (No disrespect to Tre Sumler, Lee Aguirre, or to any of the many other aforementioned greats of MVL past, but how can you argue with the numbers?

  5. I Am Old's Gravatar I Am Old
    December 9, 2016 - 12:56 am | Permalink

    And of course Glenn Davis. How could he be forgotten?

  6. I Am Old's Gravatar I Am Old
    December 9, 2016 - 12:55 am | Permalink

    @Fond Memories – Good point about the big fellas and the defensive players. I think two pretty obvious choices are Bruce and Clay Matthews. Hard to find a better offensive lineman out of an SGV high school than Bruce Matthews. And while we’re on the subject of Arcadia, might as well give Mike Lansford a shout out. Are we including kickers? No? I didn’t think so. But still, if we were…

    Rashaan Salaam actually played HS ball for Arroyo’s next opponent, La Jolla Country Day School.

  7. Annoymous's Gravatar Annoymous
    December 8, 2016 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I forgot The Blair Pair James Mcallister and Kermit Johnson 1969. They dominated and beat Amat in The CIF Title game.

  8. Annoymous's Gravatar Annoymous
    December 8, 2016 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Yes john Muir’s Rashad Sallam who just passed away. I believe he was the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner.
    From T. Peterson: It’s Rashaan Salaam. He won the Heisman in 1994.

  9. BoHi Fan's Gravatar BoHi Fan
    December 8, 2016 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Bearcats have a Heisman Trophy in their trophy case. Any locals have one of those.?

  10. Fond memories's Gravatar Fond memories
    December 8, 2016 - 6:23 pm | Permalink

    All the players mentioned bring back such wonderful memories. We could list 10 kids at every position and still miss 1o kids that should be on a top ten list.
    We haven’t even thought about the big boys who opened all the holes for the glory boys on these lists or stopped them from even bigger stats.
    Why our stadiums aren’t packed every Friday is a mystery to me.

  11. I Am Old's Gravatar I Am Old
    December 8, 2016 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

    But still, no love at all for Eric Bieniemy or Ricky Ervins?

    From Joe T.: I was always partial to J.J.Flanigan.

  12. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Red grange
    Now that was a player lol

  13. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Pat Hayden lmao

  14. Annoymous's Gravatar Annoymous
    December 8, 2016 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Bishop Amat’s tandem Pat Haden To JK Mckay were the best ever in The SGV Period.

  15. December 8, 2016 - 2:00 am | Permalink

    Felipe Rivas!!!! Forgot about him I think he was a 96 grad a sprinter who wanted to knock your teeth out!!!

  16. December 8, 2016 - 1:55 am | Permalink

    So many guys to pick as there have so many great kids come through.
    I’ll start with Tre Sumler as the best, kid was an absolute beast!!!!
    Steven Rivera as my number 2 he was so dominant on the field.
    3 would be SEMs Lee Aguirre was a man among boys.
    The rest of the ten would be kids that have already been mentioned in any order. These top three I believe seperated themselves.
    On another note I’m kinda leaning towards the two stars in the MVL currently will make this list by the time they’re done. Remember SEMs Sal Tovar is only a Jr and Ernesto Macho Camacho is only a sophomore both have put up amazing stats so far early in their careers and more importantly, they have led their respective teams on deep playoff runs which is crucial to make this list.
    I think you gotta separate offense and defense. The best two defensive players IMO are hands down, Ronnie Williams and Effrain Oquendo and close behind them is Joe Morales of SEM. The most electric athlete was Tommy Cogburn he would take a screen pass 80 yards and the regular!!! Pretty fun discussion brings back some good memories of these great players!!!

  17. AHS wrestling's Gravatar AHS wrestling
    December 8, 2016 - 1:47 am | Permalink

    playing with both Ronnie and Efrain. Ill tell you no one can hunt a ball out like Efrain. But when it came to the outside run If I strung it out Ronnie was there in a flash lighting guys up. not to mention no one in the MVL could cover Ronnie at Tight end. If you are rating Linebackers maybe Efrain edges him out. If you rate athletes then Ronnie takes the cake. Also, as far as athlete top four for me are 1) Tre ( even if Efrain killed him he ran off like 35 yard play before that) 2)Ronnie cause in the MVL if you are 6’2 235 and run 4.6 your man among boys. 3) Brent Cogburn cause that man could Fly and cover anyone. 4) Lee cause he was an all around football player man. Anyone who can play 4 years of QB then go to a D1 school at CB is a bad man. I mean Most the people on this list are post 2000. I think the Area as whole has better Athletes in the 90s. I duno about you all but Willie Rena was prob on many peoples list in the 90s or guys like Felipe Rivas who could knock you out of your cleats just as good as he could sprint past you up the sideline. or Kenny Smith who could prob throw a football through a brick wall.

  18. Scout's Gravatar Scout
    December 7, 2016 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    If you don’t have Lee Aguirre n tre Sumler 1-2 in either order you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  19. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 7, 2016 - 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Ronnie Williams was so overrated, efrain was every bit as good if not better.

  20. December 7, 2016 - 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Ronnie Williams was the best player I’ve ever seen in the MVL. Tre was second Steven Rivera 3rd Brent Cogburn 4th Martin Mares 5th Dominic Salamon 6th Amilcar Archilla
    7 Mathew Fregoso 8.Lee Aguirre 9 Jesse Carmona 10 Tom Cogburn

  21. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 7, 2016 - 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I bet if you came up to Tre this day and whispered Oquendo in his ear, he would jump 2 feet in the air.

  22. @Best Game's Gravatar @Best Game
    December 7, 2016 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Stay off the boards La Serna. You guys blew it HUGE this year.

  23. December 7, 2016 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Top 10
    1.Tre Sumler
    2.Lee Aguirre
    3.Tommy Cogburn
    4.Roy Barajas
    5.Ronnie Williams
    6.Steven Rivera
    7.Luke Ayala
    8.Brandon Martinez
    9.Matt Fregoso
    10.Edward Dominguez

  24. Schurrspartan's Gravatar Schurrspartan
    December 7, 2016 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    That was a great game to watch!
    Congrats to arroyo.

  25. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    December 7, 2016 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    @Anon. What about Arthur Brown SGHS? He should be on that list.

  26. Best Game's Gravatar Best Game
    December 7, 2016 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Which one of the the Sumler brothers lost to La Serna in the 1st Round of the playoffs? Must not have been that good to lose in 1st Round after going 10-0 or 9-1?

  27. AHS wrestling's Gravatar AHS wrestling
    December 7, 2016 - 2:16 am | Permalink

    Brent Cogburn AHS was better Athlete then his brother for sure. He along with Martin Mares were able to shut down Desmond Reid in 2002. Desmond from TC was easily the best play I seen in person other then Ronnie Williams ( but I played with Ronnie so little biased on that one)

  28. December 6, 2016 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

    My mistake Tre was the dominant back switch those two spots. Put Tre #1 Dion #8

  29. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 - 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Lee Aguirre was and is the best ever.
    Sumler is 2nd but you got the wrong one tre was better, if doesn’t hurt his knee at the JC level he plays big time football. Everyone else is way down the chart.

    Btw Lee didn’t get to play in that epic game, he hurt his knee the week before. But lead and inspired his team from the side line.

  30. December 6, 2016 - 10:14 pm | Permalink

    *top 10

  31. December 6, 2016 - 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ll start with my top 5
    1.Dion Sumler RHS
    2.Lee Aguirre SEM
    3.Tommy Cogburn SEM
    4.Steven Rivera AHS
    5.Ronnie Williams AHS
    6.Mathew Fregoso RHS
    7.Dominic Salmon AHS
    8.Tre Sumler RHS
    9.Luke Ayala EMHS
    10.Steven Espinosa SEM
    From T. Peterson: Tre was much better than Deon.

  32. December 6, 2016 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Lee Aguirre and Dion Sumler were two of the “greatest” football players I’ve ever seen in the SGV. If anyone has footage please post it.
    Mid valley should do a MVL all time team

  33. @ Wreck em's Gravatar @ Wreck em
    December 6, 2016 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Forgot to at u on that

  34. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    December 6, 2016 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    2011: “Doubles Zip Gator”

  35. Best Game's Gravatar Best Game
    December 6, 2016 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    See for yourself R.M. Looked good to the official!

  36. R.M's Gravatar R.M
    December 6, 2016 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The best play and catch that hardly anybody could see. Was it good?

  37. December 6, 2016 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

    That’s not a good move by Arroyo admin. I know coach Singiser is mad about the admin decision but he is taking the company line and not letting the public know. I know he let his principal know. How often do you get to host a state playoff game? Any admin in his or in this case her let the community, band, fans, parents, coaches, and most of all the team down.

  38. My Two Cents's Gravatar My Two Cents
    December 6, 2016 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    Are you guys kidding me? If I was a player, parent, or coaching staff, I would write a personal “Thank You” letter to administration. I don’t think you will find much complaining about spending a night in La Jolla. Yes, there are a few better places in this world but there are also a million places worse.

  39. Best Game's Gravatar Best Game
    December 6, 2016 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Best high school game I ever watched was the La Serna vs. Norwalk championship game from 2013, it had everything you would expect! Just a great football game!

  40. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    December 6, 2016 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Pretty messed up that the admin did that. It’s a huge middle finger to the coaching staff and the kids… Why couldn’t the district get involved? There are other schools in the district that Arroyo could have played at

  41. Rumor has it's Gravatar Rumor has it
    December 6, 2016 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    Is there any truth to the fact that Arroyo passed up hosting the California State Region Bowl Game because they have winter dance the same night? If so you must be kidding me. Months and months of preparation for the boys on the team, the girls and boys in the band, the cheer squad and really no consideration to the parents making them drive all the way to La Jolla-San Diego. Hopefully that not the case!

  42. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    December 6, 2016 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Best 3 games I’ve ever seen
    2010 West Covina over Bonita
    2014 La Serna over Norwalk
    2016 Arroyo over Rancho Mirage

    You can pick any of those games out of a hat and I won’t argue.

  43. Still can't hear's Gravatar Still can't hear
    December 6, 2016 - 7:35 am | Permalink

    You weren’t the only one that had trouble being non-biased. My spotter ,Andrew almost blew my eardrum out yelling,”IT’S GOOD! ” half a dozen times before he gave me the information I needed to announce results of the play. As for me,I usually remember ever word I say during the course of a game. On that play I can’t remember if I even said who caught the ball or who won the game. So let me say what I hope I said last Saturday:
    Ernesto Camacho’s pass is caught by Devin Knight for the 2pt conversion and Arroyo is your CIF division 12 Champions!

Leave a Reply