By Tim Peterson
(San Marino) – Monrovia jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but then rallied and had to hang on for its life in the last minute to beat San Marino 42-37 Friday night in back and forth affair at San Marino.
Maury Rams IV scored on a six-yard run with 3:00 left in the fourth quarter to give Monrovia the five point lead. San Marino then drove down to the eight-yard line but Blake Cabot’s pass to Wheeler Smith in the endzone with three seconds left fell incomplete touching off a Wildcat celebration.
It also touched off the fuse of San Marino head coach Mike Hobbie who screamed at the official for a pass interference penalty to no avail. Hobbie was already ready to boil over before the play when Cabot’s 54-yard screen pass to Beau Hobbie for a touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty with 1:58 left. The Titans regained their composure after that call and marched down to the eight but weren’t able to get over the hump.
Monrovia took their two touchdown advantage on a five -yard TD pass from Trevor McPherson to Frank Hernandez and a five-yard run by Rams. Rams broke off an 86-yard run to set up his score. But San Marino bounced back in the second quarter with a couple of Hobbie touchdown runs and a 35-yard touchdown pass from Cabot to Smith to cut the lead to 21-20.
McPherson connected with Michael Washington for an 82-yard catch and carry before the Titans scored twice.
San Marino took a 23-21 lead as time ran out on the first half on a 37-yard field goal by Aloisio Figueira. The field goal was set up after Monrovia fumbled the kickoff from the Titans.
The Cats regained the lead in the third quarter on a one-yard run by Rams.
The Titans seemed to gain control early in the fourth quarter on a pair of Cabot touchdown runs. The second one – a one yard keeper- capped a 70 yard drive and gave San Marino a 37-28 advantage with 8:55 left.
Monrovia struck gold on one-play on the following possession when McPherson hit Washington for 65 yards. Five minutes later Rams scored to set up San Marino’s last march.
Rams and Washington did a number on San Marino. Rams finished with 242 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. Washington caught six passes for 235 yards and two scores. McPherson threw for 258 and three touchdowns.
Hobbie had 155 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries for San Marino. He also caught three passes for 57 yards. Cabot passed for 228 yards and rushed for 77 and two touchdowns.
With the win Monrovia gained control in the Rio Hondo improving to 3-0, (3-6 overall). San Marino fell to 2-1 in league and 6-2 overall.