by David Winchell
Arriving at Arroyo High School on a wet, cold evening, the Gabrielino Eagles football team was treated rudely and lost to the Knights 49-3. The potent Arroyo team played well in front of an energetic and enthusiastic homecoming crowd, maintaining their undefeated league record at 4-0. Gabrielino, still looking for their first league win, suffered their fourth consecutive loss, only able to muster a field goal in the first quarter.
The two squads exchanged punts in the first quarter before QB Steven Rivera completed his first of four touchdown passes. His first was an eighty yard bomb to Hunter Duran with 8:37 to go in the first quarter. After going three and out, the Knights again able to score on a 7 yard pass to Anthony Leon, giving the Knights a 14-0 lead. The Eagles went to the air with catches by Bryan Vargas and Cameryn Dennis-Matthew from QB Mark Winchell. Oscar Palma was able to complete a 30-yard field goal, but that was the end of Gabrielino’s scoring. Winchell completed 12 of 23 passes for 130 yards. The Eagles running game was ineffective, gaining just 41 yards in 24 plays.
Rivera piloted his team by passing for 278 yards, was not intercepted. The ground game kept Gabrielino off balance with an equally potent attack. Rivera’s favorite receivers were Duran, Anthony Leon and Andre Kerkoff. The Knights rushing game generated 177 yards, was led by Kerkoff who gained 122 on 13 carries.
In the final week of the league schedule, the Knights will defend their undefeated league record against visiting 4-0 El Monte to determine the winner of the Mission Valley League. Both team’s offenses have averaged over 30 points a game, but the Knights defense have been a bit stingier by giving up just a bit less than 17 yards per game. Gabrielino (3-6) will play host to Mountain View (3-6) as both teams look to gain their first league victory.
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