Monarchs go back-to-back in Valley

Monte Vista celebrates with a team photo at West Hills High on Friday. / MonarchSports1

2019 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

MONTE VISTA 42, WEST HILLS 0

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

SANTEE – The Monte Vista Monarchs were singing songs on the bus ride home from West Hills High after capturing a second-straight Grossmont Valley League championship.

And they won their fifth-straight game to win the title. And they did it impressively, 42-0, posting a shutout victory on the final night of the season against the Wolf Pack for the second-straight year.

The victory also garnered the Monarchs a home game in the first round of the San Diego CIF Division II playoffs next Friday when they will host the Poway Titans.

Senior running back Isaiah Gardner rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another, while Monte Vista quarterback Ruben Silva had a 33-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.

Gardner took a pitch and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to senior Julian Robledo on a fourth-and-5 to make it 14-0.

Gardner had a touchdown run of 10 yards and later had a 32-yard touchdown run, included in his three rushing scores.

Gardner has 21 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns on the evening.

But it was championship fun by the time senior Ron Barry scored on a 16-yard trap drive, scoring on the first time that he carried the ball this season.

Senior Manny Levi had a sack to lead the defensive effort for the Monarchs.

Senior Logan Schmidt forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore teammate Davis Langfeldt.

Montana State-bound senior Sebastian Valdez had a fumble recovery for Monte Vista.

“Our defense was fantastic,” Monte Vista senior linebacker Logan Schmidt said. “This league championship was a little sweeter than the first one since we had some challenges.”

The Monarchs started the season 1-4 but made some coaching assignment changes that seemed to turn things around. A little housekeeping of the facilities by the players made a noticeable difference, too.

“We would just start cleaning up the locker room a little bit,” Schmidt said. “Just little things. That led to bigger things. What a story to go from 1-4 and win five-straight games to win back-and-back league titles. It’s just an amazing feeling.”

On the Wolf Pack’s Senior Night, not much seemed to go right for the hosts, at least not for an extended period.

“I was really blown away by Schmidt,” West Hills coach Casey Ash said. “He was really impressive. I hadn’t seen him fly around like that. But he was in on every tackle it seemed like. They were able to totally shut us down offensively.”

West Hills still gained a spot in the San Diego CIF Division III playoffs but will travel to face Valhalla, a team which the Wolf Pack lost to, 24-14, at home in Week 2. A win not only would have shared the league title but garner a home game next week, as well.

“Being Senior Night, emotions were high,” Ash said. “The kids played hard all the way through, so I am really proud of them for that. But it is going to be a real character check this week to get ready for what awaits us.

“We feel really good about winning some playoff games. We have the ability to do that.”

 

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