By Tim Peterson
(Monrovia) – There were six lead changes, six turnovers and enough yellow flags keep your local laundromat busy for the next two weeks, and in the end Monrovia emerged with a 35-28 victory over Sierra Vista in a game that lasted three hours and 22 minutes.
Monrovia was down by three at the end of the first quarter and still trailed by one at the half before grabbing the lead in the third quarter. Serra Vista regained the lead at 28-27 when Jonathan Bautista scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats then pieced together the key drive of the game to take the lead for good. They marched 63 yards on six plays, the last 50 on a pass from Noah Rodriguez to Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez broke to the outside and raced down the sidelines for the score to put the Cats up 35-28 with 8:33 left. Monrovia then held on the rest of the way.
Sierra Vista had one last shot when the Dons got the ball back at their own 20 yard line with 44 seconds left after Monrovia missed a 28-yard field goal. They reached the Wildcat 41 but Bautista’s heave with no time remaining fell to the turf incomplete and the Cats had the win.
The two teams exchanged scores in the first quarter. Bautista capped a 55-yard drive with a six-yard run. Bautista also ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Monrovia answered with a drive that culminated with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Rodriguez to Hernandez. On Sierra Vista’s next possession, Bautista threw a quick out pattern that Hernandez stepped in front of and returned 56 yards for a touchdown. The pick six gave Monrovia a 13-8 lead.
Just over a minute later Bautista hit Hugo Alcaron in stride for a 48-yard score. Bautista’s run for the two point conversion gave the Dons a 16-13 lead.
The Wildcats went up 21-16 as Kai Taylor hauled in a 34-yard toss from Rodriguez with 8:18 left in the second quarter.
A 73-yard pass play from Bautista to Juan Marez set up a four-yard run by Bautista to give Sierra Vista a 22-21 halftime lead.
As the third quarter opened Taylor racked up his second score of the night catching a 21-yard touchdown toss from Rodriguez for a 27-22 lead.
Bautista’s one yard keeper in the fourth gave the Dons their last advantage until the Wildcats scored last to win it.
For Sierra Vista Bautista rushed for 63 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for 227 yards.
Rodriguez completed 18 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns with Hernandez as his favorite target with six catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor had four catches for 81 yards and two scores.
Monrovia improved to 2-1 on the season while Sierra Vista’s record is now even at 1-1.