By Rich Whittington
(San Marino) – The El Monte Lions had their first real test of the 2019 football season but ultimately prevailed 20-7 Friday evening over the host San Marino Titans, who refused to become just another bump in the road for the El Monte “Double –Wing” express.
El Monte seemed to have command of the game from the very beginning. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Lions put together a sustained drive that consumed the first six minutes of the first quarter of play. Unfortunately, for the Lions, a blowout was not in the “cosmic game plan” for this evening’s contest.
On the next play, Davon Booth, El Monte’s normally sure- handed running back, fumbled. The ball was recovered by San Marino safety Neven Yarahmadi, ending El Monte’s scoring opportunity.
El Monte’s next scoring opportunity worked out a bit better. With 2:30 remaining in the opening period, quarterback Joseph Herrera connected with the aforementioned
Booth for a 59-yard TD strike. The PAT was unsuccessful, making the score 6-0 El Monte, after one quarter of play.
The score remained 6-0, until late in the third quarter, when San Marino’s Connor Short completed a 17 yard TD pass to Niko Mavridis. The PAT was successfully
converted by Jordan Evans, making the score 7-6, in favor of the Titans. This served to temporally quell the El Monte faithful that were in attendance.
El Monte took the 7-6 lead into the fourth quarter.
At this point, there was good news…and bad news…for the Titans. The good news was that they had the lead. The bad news was that El Monte had Booth. As the fourth
quarter began, Short was intercepted by Booth. This proved to be the beginning of the San Marino end, as El Monte again found the end-zone on a 77
yard touchdown run…courtesy of…wait for it…Booth. The PAT attempt was foiled, making the score 12-7, El Monte, with 9:32 remaining in the game.
El Monte added another score, as Booth intercepted another Short offering, returning the pick 56 yards for the final touchdown. The 2-point PAT attempt was
converted, by Booth, for the final tally.
It is often said that offense sells tickets, while defense wins games. In this one the El Monte defensive unit was stout. The Lion “D” kept the Titans out of the end-zone for the majority of the game, turning them away on a drive that began with a first and goal on the two yard-line, and again on a drive that began first and goal on the 7 yard-line. Two big stops on two scoring possibilities.
Next week the Titans (0-3) will travel to Santa Fe Springs, to battle the Santa Fe
Chiefs. The Lions (3-0) will be at home, as they host the Orange Vista Coyotes. Kickoff for both games is at 7:00 p.m.