East County Sports

Experienced SFC stops champ Monarchs

Monte Vista records a sack on Friday night. / photo by Ramon Scott

Monte Vista’s TERELL KYLE locks hands with Michael Linguadaca, of Santa Fe Christian. / photo by Ramon Scott




EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – Michael Linguadaca and the Santa Fe Christian Eagles looked championship ready.

And by the time the Monte Vista Monarchs realized they were in for a tough playoff game Friday night, their steady-moving offense wouldn’t have enough time to come back against a program which often proves itself in the postseason.

The Eagles allowed two breakaway touchdown runs to senior running back JAHMON MCCLENDON, but not much else in a 27-17 San Diego Section Division III quarterfinal win.

Monte Vista makes a tackle on Friday night.

McClendon did produce a couple of other notable chunks of yardage, but his numbers, other than the number of carries, was un-Jahmon-like.

Santa Fe Christian, which lost the division title game by just seven points last November, seemingly mimicked the strategy enforced by the Christian Patriots earlier in the season by waiting for the back to hit the hole before gang tackling.

Sure enough, in the fourth quarter, when the Eagles stacked the line on a critical fourth-and-1 and the Monarchs down by 10, McClendon easily shed a smaller tackler and was quickly into a short open field for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

And Santa Fe Christian also had the athletes to limit Monte Vista’s small shelf of other options.

When two early plays designed to involve others than the feature back produced poor results, the visitor’s side immediately gained confidence in the game’s early minutes.

After a scoreless first, the Eagles scored on a short touchdown pass, but McClendon quickly answered with a 72-yard score that resembled so many other bursts through the line.

The Monarchs now had reason to believe they could run through SFC, though they trailed at the half, 10-7.

Monte Vista’s JASON HERNANDEZ had a field goal to tie the game at 10-all.

However, the Eagles connected quickly for a long touchdown pass, then added a field goal for the 10-point advantage in the third. Linguadaca connected on seven of his eight pass attempts.

The Monarchs’ last-ditch drive resulted in an interception by Kian Hogan, who returned the ball for a touchdown in the game’s final half-minute. Hogan scored the game’s first and last touchdown.

Earlier in the week, McClendon was informed of his nomination for KUSI’s Silver Pigskin Trophy, their award to the county’s top player.

Santa Fe Christian (8-3) will travel to face Central (11-0) in the Division III semifinals next Friday.

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