By Rich Whittington
(South El Monte) – The South El Monte Eagles improved to 5-0 Thursday evening, defeating the visiting Firebaugh Falcons, 63-6, in the friendly confines of Eagle’s Stadium…affectionately known as the swamp.
South El Monte showed their dominance early, as quarterback Matthew Medina connected with receiver Tony Aguilar for a 29-yard touchdown just over a minute into the game. The PAT was successfully converted by Fabian Fernandez, making the score 7-0 with 10:42 remaining in the opening quarter.
Just a few minutes later, Medina found Aguilar for a second time in the quarter, a 74-yard “catch-and-run” which, after adding another successful Fernandez PAT, made the score 14-0, with 6:43 remaining on the clock.
The Medina to Aguilar battery connected again before the first quarter ended, scoring on a 1-yard TD toss. A third Fernandez PAT made the score 21-0 after one period of play.
South’s dominance continued into the second quarter. Fernandez proved that his talents stretched beyond kicking, as he was on the receiving end of a 91-yard Medina scoring toss. Another successful PAT, and the score was 28-0, with 9:29 remaining in the opening half. The Eagles continued their scoring barrage, as Medina again connected with Aguilar for an 11-yard score. Another Fernandez extra point was added, making the score 35-0 with 3:54 remaining.
Firebaugh got on the board with 1:30 remaining in the half. Quarterback Justin Gonzales connected with Dajion Wilson for a 40-yard score. The 2-point PAT attempt was unsuccessful, making the score 35-6 in the closing moments of the first half.
SEM answered as running back Michael Valencia scored on a 64-yard run. Another Fernandez PAT attempt was successful, making the score 42-6 at halftime.
The Eagles added another score in the third quarter when Fernandez hit pay-dirt on a 4-yard TD blast. Another PAT made the score 49-6 after three quarters of play.
South added two additional scores in the game’s final period. Angel Valladares got into the scoring routine by finding the end-zone on a 10-yard run. An 8th successful Fernandez PAT made the score 56-6 with 9:25 remaining in regulation.
SEM’s final TD came on the defensive side of the ball. Free safety Francisco Esqueda scored on a 42-yard fumble recovery. A 9th Fernandez PAT made the score 63-6 as the game came to a close.
South El Monte’s next contest is on Friday September 29 when the Eagles will travel to El Monte High School to battle the Lions in the annual “Griffin Bowl”. Firebaugh’s next game is on September 22 when the Falcons will host the Beverly Hills Normans at Lynwood High School’s Imperial Campus. Kickoff for both contests is 7:00 p.m.