East County Sports

Monarchs lose to 9-1 VC; Red Hawks fall short of Scots

Mountain Empire sophomores CAMERON WILL (9) and GABRIEL HYDORN (17) / file photo





By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com


VALLEY CENTER (11-5-16) — Despite losing the regular season finale at Valley Center Friday night, one thing Monte Vista coach RON HAMAMOTO has spread among his Monarchs is, “We’re really happy. We came up here with 23 kids and hope to find success, and I think we did.”

In spite of being skunked 17-0 by Valley Center in a non-league encounter, Hamamoto was upbeat. And his short roster of Monarchs, appeared healthy.

“I’m not sure where we’ll be in the Division 4 playoff seedings, but we should be in there at 3, 4 or 5,” he said. “If we get that draw we should certainly get a bye.”

Hamamoto knows of what he speaks. With a little humility thrown in.

The Monarchs are not likely to be the Nos. 3, 4 or 5-seed, but instead will likely end up seeded No. 2 in the division, opposite top-seeded Southwest (El Centro).

Defense is Monte Vista’s forte as the Monarchs have racked up three shutouts against their opponents, and only one other team has given up 7 against Monte Vista (5-5).

“I don’t think it’s any secret that defense is our game,” Hamamoto said. “Our defense always plays hard ball.”

On the flip side the McCLENDON brothers – JAHMON and JAMEZ – contributed on both sides of the ball.

“Our goal was to get out of it being healthy, and I think we did,” Hamamoto commented.

Valley Center scored on an 11-yard score in the second quarter by Santiago Vasquez, then on a pass in the fourth.

The Monarchs trailed 10-0 at halftime.

Valley Center (9-1) was playing in honor of teammate Mason Wiberg, who suffered a stroke last Sunday evening.

Wiberg was released from the Intensive Care Unit before game time and is expected to make a recovery.

Jaguar Quarterback KJ Mazzetti and wide receiver Zachary Mahrenholtz connected well several times on the night.





EastCountySports.com staff report


PINE VALLEY – The Mountain Empire Red Hawks came in with signs of life for the postseason entering Friday night’s Senior Night contest with visiting playoff contender Vincent Memorial.

At halftime, their hopes were left gasping for air.

The Scots barnstormed to a 28-0 lead at intermission with three second-quarter touchdowns in a 42-17 Manzanita League win Friday night.

The loss ended the season for Mountain Empire (1-3 Manzanita, 4-6). Vincent Memorial (3-1, 5-5) likely earns a first-round date at home against Holtville.

Mountain Empire’s defense had a strong start in the first quarter and ended up blocking a Vincent Memorial field goal, as BLAKE JARRELL got his hand up, but the Red Hawks turned the ball over right back to the Scots, who capitalized with a touchdown.

The Red Hawks would end up with six turnovers on the night, which played a big part in their demise. Also included in their downfall was a minus-4 yard rushing total.

Junior WYATT MANN returned for the season finale after being out since week two nursing a knee injury. He hauled in an 18-yard touchdown in the third quarter from quarterback VICTOR PARRA to bring the Red Hawks to within 28-10

Mann finished with 6 catches for 58 yards.

WYATT AGUILAR booted a 20-yard field goal earlier in the third quarter after the Mountain Empire drive got inside the 5.

Parra finished with 204 yards passing and set the single-season yardage record for Mountain Empire’s 11-man program.

Junior SAWYER ERNSBARGER would catch a 9-yard score from Parra in the fourth quarter.

ANDREW POWELL, a senior, had 59 yards receiving in his final game.

Mountain Empire recorded four sack in the contest, as GABRIEL HYDORN, CHARLIE SALLEE, CAMERON ROMANIUK and Ernsbarger came up with drive-stoppers.

Jarrell, a junior, once again led MEHS in tackles on the night with 15. Sophomore CAMERON WILL and Aguilar added 10 stops. DALLAS PRINCE finished a promising sophomore campaign with an interception in the game.

The Red Hawks, who improved their overall record from last season by one game, lose just a handful of seniors.

Mountain Empire team members played with a large sticker on the back of their helmets this season honoring last season’s team MVP JAMES WILL, who died in a car crash earlier this year.


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