Arroyo Holds Off C-Town, 35-28

Arroyo’s Manuel Santana (#8) & Daniel Mendoza (#22) celebrate Friday night. (Photo by Doug Brown)

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.

The Knights’ Mario Urbina outwrestles a C-Town defender for a touchdown. (Photo by Doug Brown)

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.

Covina QB & playmaker, Nin Burns II (Photo by Doug Brown)

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

10 Comments to "Arroyo Holds Off C-Town, 35-28"

  1. Mr. Objective's Gravatar Mr. Objective
    August 25, 2017 - 9:39 pm | Permalink

    The kid’s a great talent. I’m sure there are many victories in his future.

  2. Colt74's Gravatar Colt74
    August 25, 2017 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Objective,

    Ok now it;s my turn to say chew on this.
    First I never condoned anything.
    Second, being a son of a top Covina baller comes with added expectations and weights upon your shoulders that most are not burdened with. He’s also not 6’1 and 195 lbs as JT is. Not even close. He is a perfectionist though, and downs on himself if he does not perform as the son of a Covina star did.
    If you don’t feel like cutting the kid a little slack that is on you. But I’m sure he won’t lose any sleep on what you or I think. And that I will condone.
    Good and great players have off games. Ask Comstock tonight. It comes with the territory.
    He’ll be fine. And so will Burns II.

  3. Mr. Objective's Gravatar Mr. Objective
    August 25, 2017 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    @Oiler 88′

    Please, let the record show I never criticized Burns’ performance. I think the kid is awesome. As QB, he needs to understand that when the going gets tough, his teammates will look into his eyes, observe his body language, listen to his tone of voice, and possibly lose morale if they determine that their demise is imminent in the eyes of the QB. The kid could ball, and will reach greatness. As a fan, I would simply love to see him demonstrate leadership instead of frustration. That would make him a more complete competitor.

  4. Mr. Objective's Gravatar Mr. Objective
    August 25, 2017 - 4:25 pm | Permalink


    I realize that you condone the young quarterback’s palpable frustrations, but I don’t think it can be dismissed or excused by “immaturity.” If I’m not mistaken, the kid’s dad is a former standout on Covina’s last CIF Championship team. I expect more from this kid.

    If that’s your personal expectations for this talented kid, I can respect that. In the meantime, chew on this…..

    *Arroyo QB (Camacho) was a sophomore last year with no varsity experience prior to his first start. That summer he did not take many 7 on 7 snaps, for Arroyo was grooming their returning Mission Valley League MVP as their quarterback. Early in the season, their starting QB was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons. Camacho was immediately inserted behind center. All he did was do as he was coached and generate arguably the most prolific season in Arroyo history. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Camacho led Arroyo to a CIF championship and threw for like 400 yards in the state regional championship.

    Current Mater Dei Quarterback J.T. Daniels, in his first start, was a freshmen. At the time, his very first challenge was to take on Bishop Amat (Cal Preps #1 in the state). He handled himself with poise. Mater Dei won 24-21.

    Don’t forget, young Burns has playoff experience. As a freshmen QB, he almost knocked off Montebello in the CIF Quarterfinals. Covina was ahead for most of the game and lost in overtime. I don’t expect him to produce miracles, but showing grit and poise is not too much to ask for a sophomore varsity quarterback.

  5. Colt74's Gravatar Colt74
    August 25, 2017 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Burns is young.
    He has been a sophomore for a week.
    Which means he has been an ex freshman for a week.
    Maturity comes with experience and not age. It is learned and not instinctive.
    He’ll be fine.
    Disagree 100% on coaches struggling with play calling. Young kids struggled with remembering coverage’s and responsibilities.
    It’s a very young team.
    They’ll be fine.

  6. Attitude's Gravatar Attitude
    August 25, 2017 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

    We had a player who is now at Covina starting at Lb or End… worse attitude I have ever seen at our school last season, he literally walked out of a 7 point deficit game in the 4th quarter and went home because he messed up and got yelled at. idk how fine they will be with players like that…

  7. Oiler 88''s Gravatar Oiler 88'
    August 25, 2017 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Objective, very true on the coaching. As for the Covina QB, you have to remember he is only a sophomore and is out of position with not a lot of QB coaching from Covina’s staff. Plus two perfect passes in the end zone to a few kids that just simply could not catch. # 11 will become his go to guy. Camacho is playing what he was born to do though he had several throws that were short of the receiver that really could have closed the door early. Great short game and they will need it because the line struggled big time. The kids of Covina showed heart but the team with the better coaches was the major difference.

  8. Mr. Objective's Gravatar Mr. Objective
    August 25, 2017 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Arroyo offense is in mid season form. Camacho is lethal with his accuracy and range. Clearly the better team won, but the truth is Covina got outcoached, not necessarily outplayed. After the first two offensive possessions, Covina coaches struggled with play calling for 2 and a half quarters. Seemingly, they had no idea what to call. Moreover, they have no clue how to exploit the talents of young Burns. Arroyo made immediate adjustments and Covina was stymied for quite some time. In final quarter, Covina figured it out. They should be fine moving forward.

    On several occasions Arroyo was in position to put the game out of reach, but Covina’s defense toughened up and showed some grit. I was not keeping track, but Arroyo was stopped for negative yards about 15 times. In fact, Camacho was sacked approximately 8 times, for big losses.

    Overall, great game, very entertaining. Neither team disappointed.

    *Someone on Covina’s camp, tell your QB to fix his body language and stop pouting throughout the game. He is a dynamic talent but his demeanor is terrible when things aren’t going well. Take a page out of Camacho’s book when it comes to poise.

  9. Get Hard's Gravatar Get Hard
    August 25, 2017 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    The hardest thing to do in sports is repeat, and Arroyo seems to be a bit complacent, content to sit in the easy chair polishing their rings. Jimmy and company need to whip these guys into a fighting mood, and stop these relapses into softness. Alternately, they could just give Peterson a championship ring and that would work too.

  10. Really?'s Gravatar Really?
    August 25, 2017 - 7:37 am | Permalink

    Joe, I am on your side. Arroyo should have won by at least 3 scores. 2 big plays in the 1st half out of all the other plays. Arroyo should take this game as a good learning experience with a tough team. They should run the table but if they play like that against SEM or any of the teams that run the Voodo that they Do so well, they could be surprised. I take it that they played a 3rd placed playoff team that they should be competing with all the time; Division 11 and better. Covina made it competitive. Valley Vista is a good league. Arroyo should be there or in the Rio Hondo.

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