by David Winchell
SAN GABRIEL - The Eagles did keep the contest close by scoring early in the 4th quarter to get to within 8, but the Lions scored two more times to finish off the 16 point victory. Lions QB Brandon Martinez led his team with nearly 400 yards passing and three touchdowns, but also uncharacteristically threw two interceptions. Eagles Lorenzo Mena and Chris Montoya each stepped in front of one his passes for interceptions. El Monte coach Joel Sanchez was quick to praise Gabrielino for their defensive schemes in the first half, but by making adjustments, was able see the Lions pull away late in the second half.
In the third quarter, the Lions changed their attack and began moving the ball on the ground and mixing in fewer passes. El Monte’s Bryan Luevano took a 16-yard scamper in for a score that seemed deflate Gabrielino and their morale. But the Eagles responded by putting together a long 80-yard drive, culminating with a 1-yard scoring run by Brian Vargas. And with just one minute gone in the 4thquarter the Eagles moved to within 22-14.
Martinez and the Lions got busy and put together two scoring drives in the quarter’s closing minutes leading to the final, 38-14. Going along with Martinez’s passing yardage, Lions running back Luevano added 86 yards. Favorite receivers for Martinez, Barrejas and Sanchez had 125 and 156 yards respectively. Eagle receiver Cameryn Matthews hauled in 9 of Peters’ passes for nearly 100 yards, and Carlos Monjaras lead the Eagles with 84 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Next week, El Monte will host the South El Monte Eagles to determine this year’s Mission Valley League champions, as South El Monte has just one defeat. Gabrielino hosts the Arroyo Knights at Eagle Stadium in a contest to decide who will finish in third place. El Monte and Gabrielino both now have 7-2 records.
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