By Rich Whittington
(San Gabriel) – The San Gabriel Matadors won the CIF Division 13 Football Championship, the first in school history, Friday evening, defeating the visiting Bishop Montgomery Knights, 52-27, in the friendly confines of Matador Stadium.
San Gabriel wasted little time establishing control in this game. The Matadors took the opening kickoff and established a 15 play, 76-yard scoring drive that consumed the first 7:42 of the contest. The drive culminated in a 2-yard scoring blast by quarterback Jacob Muniz. The 2-point PAT, a pass from Muniz to Daniel Lopez, was successful, making the score 8-0 with 4:18 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Matadors continued this strategy into the second period. After Bishop Montgomery turned the ball over on downs, on the 1-yard line, San Gabriel established another long drive, covering 99 yards and consuming over seven minutes. The drive was capped by a second Muniz scoring run. The 2-Point PAT, a pass from Muniz to receiver Tijani Daley, was successful, making the score 16-0, with 5:39 remaining in the half.
Bishop Montgomery got on the board a short time later, when Tamairick Attaway found the end zone on a 2-yard run. The PAT was added by Diego Rodriguez, making the score 16-7, with 2:55 remaining until halftime. San Gabriel would add another score before the break when Troy Le ran 55 yards for a third matador TD. Another successful Daley 2-Point PAT made the score 24-7, as the first came to a close.
Bishop Montgomery scored first in the second half. The Knights scored quickly, as quarterback Rodriguez connected with wide receiver Justin Auston for a 57-yard touchdown, Rodriquez added the PAT, making the score 24-14, with 11:34 remaining in quarter number 3.
The Matadors would add the next two scores. The first coming on a third Muniz TD blast. The 2-Point PAT attempt, a run by running back Robert Lucero, was successful, making the score 32-14 at the halfway point of the period. The second score, a 3-yard run, was added by Lucero. The PAT was unsuccessful, making the score 38-14 after 3.
The fourth quarter provided more excitement, beginning with a bit of Matador trickery. San Gabriel scored on a “double-pass”, which saw Muniz toss to Lucero, who connected with Daley for a 35-yard touchdown. The PAT was unsuccessful, making the score 44-14 with 11 minutes remaining in regulation. The Knights struck back, as Rodriquez connected with receiver Jakob Martinez for a 10-yard score. The PAT attempt was good, making the score 44-21 with 10:26 remaining in the contest. San Gabriel scored next, when Ortega scored on a 5-yard TD rush. The 2-Point PAT attempt was again successful, making the score 52-21 with 4:49 remaining on the clock. Bishop Montgomery would add one final score when Rodriquez scored on a 1-yard blast. The PAT was wide, making the score 52-27 as time expired.