East County Sports

Monarchs rush past pass of Matadors, earn title shot

Monte Vista runs with the ball against Mount Miguel. / photo by Liz Shawcroft

Monte Vista and Mount Miguel in the Battle of Spring Valley on Friday. / photo by Liz Shawcroft




EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – The defending Grossmont Valley League champion Monte Vista Monarchs haven’t gone anywhere and they are going anywhere, either.

The Monarchs are back in the Valley’s championship-deciding game next week after defeating visiting Mount Miguel Matadors to keep community bragging rights after a 55-34 win on Friday night.

Monte Vista senior running back Isiah Gardner rushed 29 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.

Jaheim Allen-Pompey makes a reception on Friday night. / photo by Liz Shawcroft

The win gave head coach Ron Hamamoto his 230th career win, passing Morse High legend John Shacklett for fourth place in section history.

Hamamoto, in his 34th season as a head coach, is the only coach in section history to lead four teams to CIF title games. He won section titles with USDHS (1994) and Monte Vista (2017) and was runner-up with Rancho Bernardo (2001), Lincoln (2010) and Monte Vista (2013).

But now the Monarchs could claim another league title for the master, who has a long-standing reputation of getting the most out of his charges.

Monte Vista led 6-0 after one quarter and 12-6 at halftime.

The game was still deadlocked after three quarters at 21-all.

But the Monarchs put up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter while the Matadors – a constant slow-starter this season that puts up most of its points with its high-scoring offense in the second half – could only reach the end zone once in the final stanza.

It may have been a case where Monte Vista outlasted Mount Miguel in the middle ground.

Monte Vista senior quarterback Ruben Silva scored on a 5-yard bootleg keeper to the right corner of the end zone

Mount Miguel junior quarterback J.D. Laverdiere had a 3-yard touchdown run.

Monte Vista and Mount Miguel in action on Friday night. / photo by Liz Shawcroft

Monte Vista senior Jovani Olivas returned a kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown, getting blocks from juniors Victor Meza and Shonn Barry, and seniors Niamiah Austin and Logan Schmidt. Senior Frederico Villanueva provided the final escort to the end zone.

“It’s a really great feeling to beat Mount Miguel,” Schmidt said. “They’re good but we were able to hold them down.”

Senior receiver Jahiem Allen-Pompey made his usual big plays, including a 78-yard touchdown, making his escape from double coverage with his quarterback buying time, to allow the county’s leading receiver to get a big reception down the right side where one cutback was enough to outrun the beaten defenders to the middle of the end zone.

Senior Xavier Leyva ran 13 yards for a touchdown behind that great Monte Vista execution upfront.

Silva added a 25-yard keeper around the right side once again on a play-fake dive that worked brilliantly.

The Monarchs offensive line – led by juniors Aaron Bustos and Jesse Schroeder, and seniors Angel Villanueva, Brandon Narvaez and Jared Reinholdt. Senior Emanuel Zamudio and junior Victor Meza also helped open the running lanes.

Monte Vista looked to control the tempo, keeping the Matadors’ passing attack off the field.

Laverdiere passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns.

Allen-Pompey caught seven passes, including both touchdowns, for 188 yards.

Junior running back Anthony Mitchell had a great game, rushing for 77 yards on eight carries and catching four passes for 57 yards.

Monte Vista and Mount Miguel following a play on Friday. / photo by Liz Shawcroft

Junior receiver Kojo Miller had five receptions for 95 yards for the Matadors.

The Monarchs had three interceptions, including one by Schmidt, while senior Sebastian Valdez had three sacks.

“It’s making plays like that (interception) that makes it worth playing,” Schmidt said.

For Hamamoto and his Monarchs, it seems like win No. 230 was taking a while to achieve but now Monte Vista (3-4, 1-0 Grossmont Valley League) has earned its way into the “next” biggest game of the Grossmont Valley League season when it hosts undefeated Santana (8-0, 2-0 Grossmont Valley League next Friday at 7.

While the power has apparently shifted in the league race this season to the Sultans’ favor, the Monarchs are still the titleholders.

Monte Vista also gets the home-field advantage next week and owned Santana last season in a 35-0 win in Santee when the teams played just one half after a lightning storm ended the game at halftime.

That game was dominated by Monarch running back Jahmon McClendon, who had five touchdowns and 329 yards in just two quarters.

Monte Vista senior Jolvani Olivas carries on Friday night against Mount Miguel. / photo by Liz Shawcroft

The showdown combined with Monte Vista’s Homecoming will create even a bigger atmosphere next week.

“Santana is looking pretty good but coach (Paige) Culver told us we shouldn’t necessarily think that they are any bigger or better than us,” Schmidt said. “We’ve played Lincoln and Christian and those are pretty big teams. Santana is a lot better this year. I know it is going to be a good game.”

The section career win list: 1. Herb Meyer (Oceanside/El Camino) 339-148-15; 2. John Carroll (Oceanside) 248-75-6; 3. Bennie Edens (Point Loma) 238-173-17; 4. Hamamoto (230-152-4).

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