One Year Ago: Vikings Big Three Too Much for El Rancho

Damion Thompson had a huge night for Northview. (Photo by Duane Barker.)

By Tim Peterson

With the season being postponed until January we thought we would take a look at some Zero Week action from last year. This story was posted one year ago today – August 22, 2019. This was the first game MVS covered for the 2019 season. It was a Thursday night game at Covina District Field. Tim Peterson wrote the story and Duane Barker took the pictures. Enjoy.

(Covina) – Damion Thompson caught two big touchdown passes, Deshon Thompson had a huge punt return and James Jimenez threw for two and ran for one to lead Northview to a 31-23 win over El Rancho Thursday night at Covina District Field to kick off the 2019 football season.

The Thompson twosome (also brothers) did the bulk of the damage for the Vikings. Damion hauled in a 42-yard scoring strike from Jimenez on Northview’s first possession to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead. In the third quarter with the Vikes up 17-8, Damion got loose for a 76-yard bomb from Jimenez to give Northview a 24-8 lead.

Brother Deshon retuned a punt 58 yards for a score to make it 14-0 early in the second quarter. Damion caught seven passes for 163 yard and the two scores while Deshon hauled in eight for 128 and the 58 yard punt return. Jimenez threw for 296 yards and ran for 103 yards to round out the big three.

Northview QB James Jimenez made a difference with his arm and his legs. (Photo by Duane Barker).

By looking at those numbers one would think Northview won by four touchdowns. But the game wasn’t secured until El Rancho quarterback Chris Andrade threw an incomplete  pass on fourth down with six seconds left. Only then could the Vikings breathe a sigh of relief. The Dons just wouldn’t go away.

They were down 14-0 when with no time remaining on the first half clock Andrade found Oscar Mendez in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown pass. El Rancho head coach Adrian Medrano went for two and Brett Yatco responded with a two point run to make it 14-8.

The Dons looked dead and buried again after Thompson’s 76-yard TD catch made it 24-8 late in the third. But Roman Rojas scored on a seven-yard run and another two-point conversion – this one on an Andrade to Mendez pass – and it was 24-16.

Jimenez capped a drive with a six-yard run for a 31-16 Northview lead but El Rancho answered right back with a 51 yard strike as Andrade hooked up with Mendez to get back within a score with 6:14 left.

ER’s Oscar Mendez kept the Dons in the game. (Photo by Duane Barker.)

Northview was forced to punt and El Rancho got the ball back with 1:13 remaining at its own 33-yard line. But this time the Viking defense held and they claimed the victory.

Mendez had a big game for the Dons with three catches for 93 yards and a pair of scores. Rojas had 19 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown and also caught five passes for 45 yards. Andrade threw for over 100 yards and rushed for 30 but it wasn’t enough.

This night belonged to the big three aka Thompson, Thompson and Jimenez.


ER 0  8  0  15     23

N   7 7  10  7      31

34 Comments to "One Year Ago: Vikings Big Three Too Much for El Rancho"

  1. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    August 28, 2020 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    If we have a season, it will be hard for anyone to “dethrone” La Serna. Cal will most likely be improved as they will have former LS coaches/players on staff and will be running a very similar offense – coupled with a decent JV squad coming up to Varsity means Cal has some potential.

    El Rancho is a well-coached program and will be a contender as well. The argument over players leaving is indeed tired. La Serna would have a 5 star QB if he chose to go to his home school, but he chose to go elsewhere (Narbonne, La Habra, now somewhere in Georgia last I heard) I would think the ER community would be proud of their team and what they’ve been able to do with the kids they have. I mean heck they reached the semis and had a real chance to win that division!

    Santa Fe and Whittier seem to be at the bottom of the barrel for whatever reason. Most likely due to coaching but hey, SF won league not too long ago and the DRL can be surprising every one in a while.

    La Serna has some holes to fill but have a lot of talent and speed in some key positions. The season will come down to who they have upfront on both sides of the ball seeing as almost the entire D-line and half the O-line have graduated.

    Hoping we have a season so we can see how this all plays out.

  2. Elrancho's Gravatar Elrancho
    August 28, 2020 - 3:10 am | Permalink

    Typical jealous little girl hating that the “undesirable” Pico Rivera lured away the Bonita head coach. Gtfo with your hot takes…

  3. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    August 26, 2020 - 8:29 pm | Permalink


    Not this tired old argument again. That’s the same thing that happens in communities all over So Cal. Kids go to school elsewhere. It’s never been more obvious than during the pandemic when you drive through local neighborhoods and see out of town class of 2020 lawn signs. I live in West Covina (South Hills area) and see signs for Amat, San Dimas, Charter Oak, Glendora, and even Troy HS. This isn’t something that is unique to ER. People want to go to La Serna because it’s in a beautiful neighborhood with great athletics. Pico isn’t exactly “desirable.” Sorry

  4. PR's Gravatar PR
    August 26, 2020 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    They seem to have landed quite a few transfers in the off season.

  5. Don's Gravatar Don
    August 26, 2020 - 6:20 pm | Permalink

    El Rancho will only dethrone La Serna if they start getting PR players back home.

  6. LaSernaFan's Gravatar LaSernaFan
    August 26, 2020 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    If your so confident then please name the team that plans on taking it from us.

  7. DRL's Gravatar DRL
    August 25, 2020 - 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Mark my words LS will be dethroned in the DRL this season.

  8. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    August 25, 2020 - 6:56 pm | Permalink

    @LS, That’s very a bold statement especially since you don’t know that they’ll be in d5. So
    If they win the d6 or d4 title, you’ll have to eat your words!

  9. LS's Gravatar LS
    August 25, 2020 - 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Mark my words. The Lancers will win a D5 championship this winter and make a big run at state. We need to get out of the Del Nada League. The Hacienda or Suburban would keep us sharp.

  10. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    August 25, 2020 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Orange County has been off the state’s coronavirus watch list for three days now. If the county can remain off the list for two straight weeks, there’s a possibility that on-campus instruction might resume in the school districts there early next month. That would be fabulous, if they can pull it off safely.
    We’re still considerably behind in Los Angeles County; we had almost 1,200 new cases yesterday.

  11. FYI's Gravatar FYI
    August 24, 2020 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    @fbfan and fanboy

    Northview picked a few players from Bishop Amat including the Hidalgo twins who were All League. They return almost everyone on D and have a good amount coming back on O. Sprinkle in some of the young talent on the younger levels and they will be better this year than last. And last I’ve heard Thompson is still at Northview.

    West Covina is terrible.

  12. Areafan's Gravatar Areafan
    August 24, 2020 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Oops, JV was a 3 way tie. JV doesn’t always mean much, but it was definitely some competitive football, I know ER has really developed some kids at the JV level over the years, last years team was full of kids who gained some vast experience as Juniors at the JV level in 2018.

  13. LaSernaFan's Gravatar LaSernaFan
    August 24, 2020 - 6:10 pm | Permalink

    That three way tie was for JV not Varsity.

  14. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    August 24, 2020 - 9:03 am | Permalink


    Northview will be going through a program overhaul and shift of values now that they don’t have all the transfers. Expect a more structured & disciplined team.

    DR will be the same ol’ DR. Tons of talent but poorly coached. Martinez is the worse!

    SD will continue to do what they do. They’ll win some big ones and then lose a game they should win.

    LA is always tough. Very physical defense and some toys to play with. Not exactly the days of Saun Cody but their players are always big and solid.

    As for the Del Rio, it’s La Serna and everyone else. Time for them to step up and get in a more competitive league. They get all of the best public school athletes from the Whittier Area. I’m not taking away from what this program has accomplished under Coach George but the truth is the truth.

    El Rancho doesn’t look too good on paper with returners but Medrano has proven before that his boys can compete.

    Hearing a lot about Cal & all the young talent they have. Hiring Winchell as OC was a good move. This team should be interesting.

    Santa Fe is back at it with the 7 on 7 players of the future team that got them a league title a few years ago. I guess a couple of losing seasons will get you to go back to the stuff that got you in trouble before???

    Whittier had some big time problems at the end of last year with all their games being forefeited and getting shutout by Santa Fe even with their D1 running back. Word is he has transferred out so their days might be numbered?

  15. ER's Gravatar ER
    August 23, 2020 - 7:37 pm | Permalink

    One way to get the boys talking football is to bring up El Rancho.

  16. Huh?'s Gravatar Huh?
    August 23, 2020 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Hey yo Areafan, what 3-way tie for first are you talking about? Didn’t La Serna obliterate El Rancho and California in 2019?

  17. ER's Gravatar ER
    August 23, 2020 - 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Idk about loaded, but definetely have some nice young pieces to work with. Only 3 returning starters.

  18. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    August 23, 2020 - 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Look out for West Covina this season. If they wouldn’t had changed the CIF playoff requirements then I’d be guaranteeing another CIF title for Maggiore

  19. Pac 5 Scout's Gravatar Pac 5 Scout
    August 23, 2020 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Keeping fingers crossed, a start of early January seems daunting. Teams are used `to 3 months of conditioning in order to play the game safely. That would put practices needing to start by mid October. Even at that you would have few passing tournaments and little hitting. Even though no hitting allowed in passing tourneys there is still enough contact to get the adrenaline flowing. Football is not a game you can play without thorough conditioning. I hope there are enough adults in the rooms to make the difficult decisions coming up. If everyone looks out for their neighbor we might just squeeze in a season. As for football I heard El Rancho is loaded.

  20. Areafan's Gravatar Areafan
    August 23, 2020 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    ER is young, but the pandemic has yielded a handful of solid transfers. The Del Rio League might be the most competitive it’s been in years, 2019 saw a 3 way tie for 1st place between El Rancho, La Serna and Cal High. The DRL needs a 6th team to gain another playoff spot.

  21. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    August 23, 2020 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    There will be football again; the only question is when. I share everyone’s concern that we may not be able to pull it off in January, or at any other time in the first half of 2021.
    Everything’s going to depend on the pandemic and how we handle it. High school and college football in January will be a nonstarter if our coronavirus infection rate is even remotely close to what we’re seeing now.
    The infection rate has to go way down in order for us to safely resume normal activities, including sports as we used to know them.
    Wearing face masks, maintaining social distance, and avoiding large gatherings will be essential during the next several months. These are the ways in which we’ll beat this disease down, and our scientists hopefully will be able to develop treatments or vaccines in the meantime. If they succeed, then we’ll be able to keep the novel coronavirus down for good.

  22. Go Stangs's Gravatar Go Stangs
    August 23, 2020 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    ER should’ve gone for two after their third TD. They were already 2/2 on conversions. Moreover, they were either going to have to successfully make a third one or come up with yet another score. Best to have that info as early as possible so that you can plan accordingly.

  23. @ Anonymous's Gravatar @ Anonymous
    August 23, 2020 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how to take your query of how the various teams will “stack up.” You can’t be talking about athletic performance, because there isn’t going to be a January start. You can only be wondering how the bodies will be arranged if kids ever dare to play football again.

  24. Fanboy's Gravatar Fanboy
    August 23, 2020 - 7:34 am | Permalink

    I think Northview comes in last place in the new 4 team league. DRanch 1st, San Dimas 2nd, LA 3rd and than Northview. The Pasadena pipeline has moved on.

  25. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    August 23, 2020 - 1:53 am | Permalink

    Curious to see how both teams stack up this season

  26. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    August 22, 2020 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

    @ Falcon Parent: That’s a good closing line. I hope we can get back to high school football, baseball, and everything else next year.

  27. CV Falcon Parent's Gravatar CV Falcon Parent
    August 22, 2020 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

    What a good idea. Thanks for the game story.
    Can’t wait to see of there are any changes in game outcomes this time around.

  28. Elrancho's Gravatar Elrancho
    August 22, 2020 - 2:44 pm | Permalink

    El Rancho gave this game away…

  29. August 23, 2019 - 9:53 pm | Permalink

    ER undersized DL bullied Northview upfront. Might be something to factor in when predicting NV the rest of the way. Thompson bros are FAST! Chuck and duck with those two kids.

  30. Mr. Objective's Gravatar Mr. Objective
    August 23, 2019 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    I was impressed with El Rancho. They were evidently out-athleted, and committed countless costly mistakes, but competed well and were aggressive/assertive. The Dons definitely did not make it an easy night for Northview.

  31. Viking's Gravatar Viking
    August 23, 2019 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    What a great game, and game plan by El Rancho last night. Medranos a good coach. Vikings have some work to do. Good look to El Rancho the rest of the way.

  32. TheRanch18's Gravatar TheRanch18
    August 23, 2019 - 7:31 am | Permalink

    those 3 boys are fast!!! im happy with the way ER played, still have plenty of room for improvement, hats off to northview… ER will learn from this and move on.

  33. ER's Gravatar ER
    August 22, 2019 - 11:00 pm | Permalink

    As the story went early last season, red zone opportunities need to be converted, ER had 2 in the 1st quarter and came away with 0. Fix the red zone O and ER is sitting pretty again this year.

  34. Pac 5 Scout's Gravatar Pac 5 Scout
    August 22, 2019 - 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting. Northview started out as expected. Scoring easily on their first drive after El Rancho missed a 30 yard field goal to start the game. El Rancho then had another drive stalled after a Northview interception at their own’s 7 yard line. Northview then had another quick drive to make it 14-0. After some sound ER defense things got interesting. The Don’s stunned Northview by throwing a 25 yard pass into the right front corner of the end zone with no time left on the clock and scored, with a two point conversion. 14-8 at half. The 2nd half was a draw with both teams flashing good defense and flashes of great offense but without a doubt surprisingly El Rancho’s smallish D-line dominated Northview’s Bubbas. In fact the Dons had the ball with 1:40 left to try and tie the game to no avail. A fine opening game. Northview QB and wide-outs the real deal and this El Rancho team has nothing to hang their head about. CDF a great facility with a big screen video scoreboard.

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