by David Winchell
Looking to stay infirst in the Mission Valley League standings, the EL Monte Lions went right towork against the visiting Gabrielino Eagles by scoring on their first fourdrives of the game. Big plays for longgains and the efficient sped up offense gave the Eagles grief from theoutset. Building a lead 27-7 at thefirst break, the Lions cruised to a 48-28 victory, leaving them tied withArroyo at the top of the league standings. The Lions hurry-up, no-huddle offense compiled 511 yards but theirdefense proved a bit porous, giving up 350 yards to Gabrielino.
The Lions took theopening kickoff and on the fourth play from scrimmage, Lions quarterback,Brandon Martinez scampered 46 yards for a score. After a three and out, the Eagles punted theball back to the Lions. The drive took10 plays, but the result was the same as Martinezran it in again, this time from just the three yard-line. The APT was no good and with just half waythrough the quarter, it was a 13-0 game. Another punt to the Lions after three offensive plays, El Monte used just a two play drive andscored on a 21 yard pass from Martinez Juan Ceballos and the Eagles were down20-0. GHS fumbled, the Lions recoveredand Martineztook advantage again with a pass on the next play to Josh Wu for 24 yards andanother score. Gabrielino foundthemselves down 27-0 with 3:17 remainingin the opening quarter.
Gabrielino go busyand tried to get close, but the Eagles and Lions traded scores for the rest ofthe evening. The Eagles were led by threeJuniors. Bryan Vargas (111 yards rushingand 4 catches for 51 yards, one for a touchdown), quarterback Mark Winchell(19-32 for 227 yards, two touchdowns and one interception) and Cameryn Dennis-Matthews(9 catches, two for touchdowns and 92 yards) worked hard all night but couldnot overcome the large, early deficit.
The Lions were commandby QB Martinez who completed just 9 passes, two for touchdowns and 218 yards.He also ran for four more scored, gaining 152 yards in nine carries. Senior Frank Lopez carried the ball 14 moretimes, compiling 90 yards.
Next weekGabrielino (0-3, 3-5) travels to Arroyo facing the 7-1 Knights and areundefeated in league play. The Lionswill take on South El Montewho have a 2-1 league record and are 6-2 overall. Looking ahead, their final game will be at Arroyo,and will probably determine who will wear the league crown.
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