By Rich Whittington
(El Monte) The El Monte Lions continued their winning ways Friday evening, edging the visiting Jurupa Hills Spartans, 22-15, in front of a near capacity crowd at El Monte High School.
During the pregame preparation, Jurupa exhibited a level of arrogance that is normally reserved for post-game celebrations. Laughing, taunting, and attempted intimidation appeared to be a normal part of their pre-game routine. General consensus among the EMHS sideline was, while tacky, this behavior was not illegal.
El Monte chose to do their talking on the field. RB Davon Booth led the way for the Lions, carrying the ball 24 times for 173 yards, including touchdowns of 10 and 48 yards.
Booth would also successfully convert a 2-Point PAT attempt. RB Abel Cueva also had a solid evening, rushing for 52 yards, including a 10- yard touchdown.
The Lions also shined defensively. El Monte’s “D” held Jurupa Hills to 223 yards of total offense. The Lions recorded sacks by LB Vince Herrera and DL Simon Cho. Additionally, the Lions created two turnovers, as fumbles were caused and recovered by DB Isaiah Ariza and LB Jonathan Lopez. El Monte also recorded a Safety, when CB JJ Reyes tackled Jurupa WR Davieon Gambo in the Spartan’s own end zone.
Jurupa Hills kept the contest close throughout. QB Eric Martinez led the way for the Spartans, completing 9 of 17 pass attempts, for 122 yards, including scoring strikes to
William English (6 yards), and Trayton Cooper (28 yards). Cooper also converted a 2-point PAT attempt.
The victory gives the Lions a 13-0 season record, and a chance to play for a CIF Division 12 championship. The Spartans finish the 2019 season with a record of 11-2, 4-1 in San Andreas league play.
NOTE: At the conclusion of the contest, El Monte High School Principal Robin Torres confirmed that a brawl had occurred during the other Division 12 semi- final game between Adelanto and Orange Vista, resulting in the disqualification of both teams. This decision means that the El Monte Lions are the 2019 CIF Division 12 Champions. Congratulations to Coach Jesse Ceniceros, his staff, and the entire El Monte Lions team on this great accomplishment.