By Joe Torosian
(El Monte)–To borrow a lead from a legendary sportswriter…The Arroyo Knights were supposed to rough up Covina really bad in the season opener, but apparently, the Colts didn’t get that message.
Covina jumped to an early 14-7 lead Thursday night and rallied late to make the fans at B.L. Bergstrom nervous before Arroyo held on for a 35-28 victory.
Arroyo looked like Arroyo at the start. Going 70 yards on the game’s opening drive with Ernesto Camacho connecting with Rey Cotero for strikes of 15 and 34 yards. Daniel Mendoza finished it with a 3-yard sprint to the corner of the end zone.
Things seemed as they should…for about a minute and then Covina’s Eric Cuellar busted through the gut of the Knights defense and 72-yards later the contest was tied.
Less than four minutes later the Colts took the lead on Nin Burns II 32-yard pass to Tristan Sprague.
Meanwhile the C-Town defense put the halt on the Arroyo offense. After scoring on their first possession, the Knights went three and out on their second and were forced to punt on their third possession.
On their fourth, the offense began to click under Camacho. The junior quarterback engineered an 87 yard drive on 14-plays, completing five passes including an 11-yard connection with Mario Urbina, who out wrestled a defender for the ball in the back of the end zone.
Arroyo running back, Steven Ocariz put his team up for good with a 45-yard catch and run just before half.
After trading possessions in the third quarter, Covina’s Burns was intercepted under pressure by Mendoza who returned it 29-yards for a touchdown.
With six minutes left in the fourth, Camacho appeared to put the cap on the contest with a 1-yard run to make it 35-14 in favor of the Knights.
The Colts responded. Burns went 38-yards to Sprague. Then they forced Arroyo to punt on its next possession and quickly went on the march. Burns completed passes to Danny Urrea and Clarence McFarlane before hitting Sprague the third time for a touchdown with 2:30 to play.
The onside kick failed and Camacho and friends were able to kill the rest of the clock with a short drive.
Within CIF-SS it was Arroyo’s 12th consecutive victory. Next week they stay home to host Temple City. Covina will play Pioneer at Covina District Stadium.
Covina’s Offensive Line: LT: Kallel Hires, LG: Jahmal Clark, C: Jesse Barnett, RG: Frank Acosta, RT: Adrian Contreras.
Arroyo’s Offensive Line: LT: Cristian Castillo, LG: Jose Galvez, C: Adam Delao, RG: Noah Mendez, RT: Maxwell Martinez