East County Sports

Second Vaquero win even more impressive

Xavier Peace gets into the open field on the decisive touchdown. / photo by Rob Riingen




EastCountySports.com staff report


LAKESIDE – Last week, the El Capitan Vaqueros made sure to get a trophy win over a friendly rival for their popular head coach.

On Friday night, the Vaqueros earned a second-consecutive victory that you couldn’t help but think this win was for the student-athletes themselves in this trying season for all.

After putting forth a winning effort in the fourth quarter, defeating West Hills last Friday, 27-14, it would have been easy to think that the victory to regain the Tony Burner Trophy would’ve taken plenty of emotion out of a team that hadn’t won consecutive games since weeks four and five of the 2018 season.

But that win only fueled the Vaqueros’ thirst for another quenching victory, which came in the form of a 23-21 upset over previously undefeated Monte Vista.

After the Vaqueros led 9-0 after the first quarter, El Cap took a 16-14 lead into halftime.

Savigon Yokley is off on a 79-yard touchdown in the first quarter on Friday against Monte Vista. / photo by Rob Riingen

Monte Vista’s Lamonta Jenkins had a 55-yard return on a fumble recovery in the first quarter, taking the ball to the El Cap 24 but the Monarchs came away empty.

On the first play after a missed field goal attempt, Savigon Yokley had a 79-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper in the first quarter for El Capitan.

“I felt like my run set the tone and helped us get at it,” Yokley said. “I think finishing off the season at 3-3 would be a success but there’s always room for improvement.”

Three touchdowns came quickly toward the end of the first half.

The Monarchs scored on a 30-yard pass reception by senior Paul Cooper from quarterback Jaysen Mikha on a fourth-and-5 play-action pass. That made the score 9-7 with four minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Xavier Peace, seemingly a touchdown threat whenever he touches the ball, had a 79-yard touchdown run on the next play to give the Vaqueros a 16-7 lead.

El Capitan forced a fumble when Monte Vista was inside the 10-yard line late in the first half but the Monarchs forced a punt to take over at the Vaquero 48 with 47 seconds left in the second half.

After a penalty for pass interference and a sideline penalty against the Vaqueros, Monte Vista had the ball at the El Cap 14 but just a couple of plays remaining in the half.

Mikha threw his second touchdown pass of the first half, hitting Brandon Deacy, who had gotten wide open behind his defender at the goal line where he caught the ball for the 14-yard score with just a few ticks before intermission.

Deron Whitley scored for Monte Vista in the third quarter. His 41-yard touchdown on a counter sweep to the right side of the field gave the Monarchs a 21-16 lead.

Peace’s game-deciding 36-yard score with 15 seconds to play in the third quarter was straight out of Techmo Bowl, as he bounced off tacklers and weaved in-and-out of traffic on the left side before bouncing back outside into daylight to the right.

“This was really a team effort,” Dom Denha said.  “Cameron (Jimenez) and Austin (Oesterling) had lockdown defense in the secondary and on the outside. We were able to plug the holes and force the backs to the outside only to be stopped by three or four of our guys.

Lamonta Jenkins carries for Monte Vista on Friday. / photo by Rob Riingen

“And the offense found a way to buckle down and make the plays that counted most. It felt great to come back after a victory and get another win where the odds were stacked against us.”

Late in the first quarter, Yokley punted on the run and pinned the Monarchs on their own 2. When the Monarchs lined up for a punt, the ball went through the back of the end zone for a safety with just under three minutes to go in the period.

Stryder Prather forced a fumble for El Capitan. Prather was given the honor of wearing jersey No. 5 in the final home game, the number worn by former Vaquero and NFLer Kevin McCadam.

“Wherever the coaches want me, either on the line, middle backer, or my main position at outside linebacker, I plan on making every tackle that comes my way,” Prather said. “Tonight, I was able to put it all together and caused some great pressure.

“Coach (Ron) Burner told us not to let these wins get to our heads because we have one more game to go.”

Credit Bobo Mendoza with a pair of defended passes on fourth-down tries by the Monarchs in the fourth quarter on Monte Vista’s final two series of the game.

Jesse Schroeder had a tackle for loss on a third-and-long in the second quarter to force an El Cap punt. Senior Gabe Gordillo had a big tackle for loss in the second quarter to force a punt for MVHS. The Monarchs’ Martin Gutierrez Jr. wrapped up a ball carrier for a big loss, as well, in the third quarter.




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