By Joe Torosian
(South El Monte)—South El Monte owned the third quarter…And if it could have ended there all would be right with the Southmen—but it didn’t. Santa Maria took a 21-0 lead at the half and worked it for a 35-14 victory on Friday night at The Swamp in the Division-12 Semifinals.
The game begins and ends with Saints quarterback, Blake Truhitte. The Doug Flutie of the Northern League, Truhitte rushed for 187 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 153 yards and another score in a dominant performance.
Truhitte scored on a 4-yard run to finish the game’s opening drive. Nine minutes later he scored again on a 43-yard run to paydirt. And just when it looked like the Eagles were going to get out of the first half down by only two scores…Truhitte went 56-yards over the top on a third and twelve to Jonathan Ramos to make it a 21-0 game.
In the third quarter, South El Monte came to life. Sal Tovar (19/132) on the second play of the half went 58-yards to the end zone to get the Eagles on the board. Then after forcing a punt, the Southmen took over at their own three and went on the march.
South quarterback, Daniel Olmos (9-26-114yds Td-Int) converted a third and seven with a 24-yard run. Six plays later Olmos went to Jarvis Godinez down the middle for a 34-yard fame and then, one play later, hit Godinez for 11-yard score to make it 21-14.
Like an alarm clock sounding that it was time to go back to work…Truhitte and company put back on their hard hats and closed out the game with a pair of scores in the fourth quarter. Those scores were runs of 11 and 17-yards by the Saints quarterback.
The victory improved Santa Maria’s record to 9-4 and earned them a championship date with Big Bear. South El Monte finishes 11-2 for the second consecutive season. The 22-4 stretch is the best in school history.