By Tim Peterson
(Monrovia) – The name Hernandez shined bright on a night that the Wildcats finally got in the win column. Frank Hernandez had six receptions for 202 yards and two touchdowns and Nick Hernandez threw for 293 yards to lead Monrovia to a 47-20 win over Valley Christian Friday night on the Cats home field.
Monrovia led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter and 24-17 at the half before pulling away late. Leading 27-20 in the third quarter, the Hernandez to Hernandez connection worked to cement the victory. First quarterback Nick found receiver Frank in the corner of the end zone for a 33-yard score.
After forcing Valley to punt the Wildcats struck quickly again. This time on the first play of the series Nick Hernandez threw a strike over the middle that Frank Hernandez caught in stride and did the rest himself. He shrugged off one tackler and drug two more with him across the goal line for six. Just like that it was 40-20 Monrovia and although there was still 10:44 left in the fourth quarter that touchdown was the dagger.
The Cats added one more on an AJ Carreon six-yard TD run four minutes later.
The Defenders refused to go away early in the game staying with Monrovia until the third. Valley Christian scored first on a 42-yard field goal by Elijah Glonchak on its first drive of the game to make it 3-0. Monrovia sputtered on its first possession but responded on the next series when Devon Mayes capped a nine-play drive with a four-yard touchdown run for a 7-3 advantage.
Monrovia stalled at the Valley Christian eight-yard line in the second quarter but Brian Gomez booted a 25 yard field goal for a seven point lead.
Valley Christian fought back with a 38-yard touchdown strike from Hayden Ericks to Luca Caldarella to tie it at 10 with 6:26 left in the half. Hernandez and Hernandez came up big again to give the Wildcats the advantage. Nick hit Frank for 67 yards down to the Defender six-yard line and Nick then finished it with a six-yard touchdown jaunt.
Noah Ferinac scored from three yards out for Valley to complete a 12-play, 80-yard march to tie it again at 17 with 1:19 left.Monrovia again had an answer. Mayes took over with a 58-yard sprint down to the Valley Christian eight, and then scored from eight yards out with 28 seconds remaining for a 24-17 halftime lead.
Gomez split the uprights for M-Town early in the third and then Glonchak booted one from 19 yards out for the Defenders to make it 27-20. The Hernandez heroics then finished it off for the Cats.
Mayes rushed for 84 yards and two scores on 12 carries for Monrovia. He also hauled in two passes for 49 yards. Keeshonne Robinson had a big night defensively for Monrovia with double digits in tackles.
Ericks threw for 226 yards and a touchdown for the Defenders and Caldarella had 63 yards and a score on four catches in a losing effort.
Monrovia is now 1-3 with the victory while Valley fell to 1-3. Monrovia will take on Covina next on Thursday night at Covina District Field.