By Tim Peterson
When Monrovia (7-0) convincingly beat San Dimas 36-17 three weeks ago they wrapped up an undefeated regular season. The Wildcats aren’t going to be touched in the Rio Hondo. They already passed their early season tests, the biggest one being at San Dimas September 24th.
They survived West Covina in the opener and beat Los Altos by three points two weeks later. The Cats have blown everybody else out including the Saints which was their toughest opponent. The dynamic duo of Carlos Hernandez and Noah Rodriguez are only getting better as is the rest of the squad which may be just now hitting their peak.
Do you know a local assistant coach told me that La Canada was going to beat Monrovia? Swore to me that it was going to be “the upset of the year”. Yeah, how did that work out? The Wildcats dropped 60 on the Spartans. Then I was told that Pasadena Poly had a shot. “Good team”, they said. “Will give Monrovia fits”, they said. “It will be fun,” they said. It was fun all right. 42-13 and as our staffer Alex “Gonzo” Gonzalez told me, Monrovia didn’t even play their best ball.
So please don’t tell me San Marino is going to beat Monrovia. Nope, don’t want to hear it. It’s not happening. Wildcats win and they win big. Then they will trounce Temple City and shellac South Pasadena to go 10-0.
What happens when the playoffs start? That I can’t tell you because I don’t know what division Monrovia will be in. CIF decided to set the divisions after the final regular season game. That’s a topic for another column. But as far as the first ten games, the Cats ain’t losing.
Monrovia isn’t the only undefeated local team through Week Seven. Here’s a look at the other unbeaten teams and my thoughts on their chances of going into the post season unscathed.
Arroyo (7-0): We’ll know this week if the Knights go undefeated. Arroyo isn’t losing to Gabrielino or Mt. View. If anybody can beat the Knights it’s Rosemead. The Panthers dropped 77 on Gabrielino last week and 50 on Mt. View the week before. They can play. Personally I like the Knights. I picked them in “Game Night”. If they get over the hump that is Rosemead, they’re home free. Peterson’s Pick: Arroyo beats Rosemead and goes undefeated.
San Gabriel (7-0): The Matadors have shocked the world winning their first seven. Their schedule hasn’t exactly been murderer’s row but so far so good. However they do have one hill to climb. They will win their next two handily but in Week 10 they get Schurr up on the hill. Not easy. The Spartans thumped Alhambra 42-22 last week and have won three of their last four. If the Mats go unbeaten they’ll have to earn it. Peterson’s Pick: Schurr wins, San Gabriel goes 9-1.
St. Paul (6-0): It’s been a great run for the Swordsmen but they get St. Francis Thursday night. Then they have to face Crespi and Loyola. That’s a tough task for any team. St. Paul stumbles at least once along the way. Peterson’s Pick: St. Francis beats St. Paul Thursday and spoils unbeaten run.
Glendora (7-0): The Tartans, like Monrovia, have passed all of their tests with flying colors. Glendora’s biggest challenge was two weeks ago against previously unbeaten Ayala and the Tartans beat the Bulldogs by two touchdowns. The Tartans next three opponents have a combined record of 1-18. Peterson’s Pick: Glendora cruises to 10-0.
El Rancho (8-0): Everybody knows who El Rancho’s biggest test is. Here’s a hint – it’s not Santa Fe this week. La Serna is flexing its muscle, chomping at the bit, and waiting in the wings for the Dons on October 22nd. Should be a barn burner. If you want a great way to spend a Friday night make plans to head out to Pico Rivera for that one. ER has had a historical season in some ways. The Dons have blown out seven of eight opponents so far and they dropped 38 on Cal. It could get even better with a long playoff run. But La Serna is the Del Rio champ until it gets knocked off. A loss wouldn’t be a bad thing for El Rancho though. It would improve their playoff chances depending on division placement. Peterson’s Pick: La Serna beats El Rancho in the final regular season game. The Dons go 9-1.
Warren (6-0): Warren will blow though its next two opponents as the Bears gear up for their annual showdown with Downey on October 29th. Warren-Downey is arguably the best high school football rivalry in Southern California. If you’ve ever seen it live you won’t forget it. Peterson’s Pick: Warren edges Downey to go unbeaten.
Mayfair (7-0): With only Norwalk and Bellflower left this is a no brainer. When the Monsoons beat La Mirada last week that secured an undefeated run. It will be Interesting to see where Mayfair ends up in the playoffs. Peterson’s Pick: Mayfair rolls to undefeated season.
Baldwin Park (7-0): The Braves have benefitted from a schedule that won’t put the fear of God in you but they have knocked down everybody in their path. They’ve done what they needed to do. Their last three opponents won’t offer much resistance either. Again, BP is another team that it’s post season placement will be intriguing. Peterson’s Pick: Baldwin Park wins its last three to go unbeaten.
That’s my principle.
Tim Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40. Facebook-Tim Peterson