East County Sports

Monarchs take Komets by storm in second half

By Ramon Scott

© East County Sports.com

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SPRING VALLEY (10-3-15/ Updated 10-4-15) — The Monte Vista Monarchs came up with big plays on both sides of the ball late in the fourth quarter Friday night (Oct. 2) for their second-straight win – a thrilling 28-27 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Kearny Komets.

The Monarchs’ defense put together a stand inside the 3 in the game’s final minute before blocking a potential game-deciding field goal attempt by the Komets.

The Monte Vista faithful shrieked in delight following the impressive stand and the students were so enthralled by the win, they had to be restrained from running onto the field to celebrate with the Monarchs’ players.

“I am speechless right now,” said junior linebacker ANDREW CANTY in the moments following the breathtaking finale. “To be able to come together and do what we did there on that last stand, it says a lot about what this team is really made of.”

Kearny led 20-7 at halftime, but Monte Vista truly had a firm grasp on the tempo in the second half. KEAR at MV Score

The Monarchs stuck with their ball-control game plan despite the two-TD deficit, then used their big-play weapon – senior TRE OWENS – at precisely the right time in order to stun the visitors. Owens had all four scores for Monte Vista, including a touchdown in the first half. He rushed for 186 yards and a pair of scores, and also caught 4 passes for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Komets’ star Takoda Brown (6 carries for 83 yards) had a 37-yard touchdown in the second quarter which lifted Kearny to its halftime-leading margin. He also completed a TD pass and caught 3 aerials for 89 yards and a third score.

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Monte Vista opened the second half by forcing a three-and-out, then sophomore quarterback DENNIS DAHLIN (4-for-9 for 96 yards and 2 TDs) hit Owens for a completion out to the Monte Vista 38 for a first down.

Moments later, Dahlin showed great timing with Owens on a cutting down-and-in route, that the senior receiver caught in stride with no hope of a defender catching the speedster for a 56-yard score.

Kearny then put together a modest drive into Monarch territory, but junior ADERO JOHNSON led a fourth-down stop to force a turnover on downs.

Following a Monte Vista turnover, Kearny once again drove into the Monte Vista side of the field, but forced a fumble on a completion, which was recovered by DeONDRE McKINNEY.

The Monarchs’ ensuing drive got a big boost from Owens, when he carried into Kearny territory down to the 25. Owens then caught another perfectly-thrown ball in traffic from Dahlin in between a pair of Kearny defenders smack in the middle of the end zone with 9:01 left in the game. Sophomore SANTIAGO FIGUEROA tied the game with his extra-point.

The momentum swung right back to the visitors’ side, however, when Brown caught a great deep ball down the right side, outracing the defender to the right pylon and sticking the ball over the marker to regain the lead just one minute later.

However, Dahlin and Owens connected on another perfect timing route, this time the young quarterback lofted up a pass that the senior star went up in the air and hauled it in at the 36. A penalty following the completion took it down to the Komets 21.

A couple of plays later, Owens took a handoff from fellow back JACCOB JARDIM on an inside counter and raced around the left and into the end zone behind the block of quarterback Dahlin and junior lineman ANTHONY HERNANDEZ for a score at 4:02, which closed the gap to 27-26. The Monarchs hardly hesitated in sending the offense back onto the field, as sophomore fullback AMIR CONLEY powered in the conversion behind senior FERNAN SANCHEZ for a one-point lead.

Kearny swiftly moved down into the red zone, but the Monarchs’  bend-but-don’t-break defense made their stand of the season to earn the victory.

The Komets had a first down at the Monte Vista 3, but following a pair of runs, Kearny used up third down to kill the clock, forcing a field goal attempt to win the game. However, the low kick was right into the teeth of the rush and deflected harmlessly to the side, sending many from the student body down the stairs and onto the running track.

“We had a good idea on what they were doing, but we made some big plays when we had to,” said Owens, a two-way standout. “It was big right there on that last stop, it was great the way our defense showed they could come through.”

Also coming through was unheralded Dahlin, who entered the game with just four completions. He showed exceptional touch in his hookups with Owens that will make opponents have to think twice about the Monarchs’ passing game come league play. His only mistake in the second half was an underthrown pass which was intercepted after he confidently led his team once again into the Komets’ territory

Monte Vista finished with 457 yards and turned the ball over only once.

The Monarchs were 0-4 just two weeks ago, having been outscored 135-7 in three-straight road games, but now their confidence has completely shifted 180-degrees as they will prepare to host a now strong-looking Santana team, however, they get to host them on their home turf.

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