by David Winchell
SAN GABRIEL - As kickoff for the contest between Arroyo and Gabrielino approached, it became clear the winner of this game would capture third place in the Mission Valley League and a berth in the playoffs. As for the loser – their season would be over. Unfortunately for Gabrielino, Arroyo took control of the game and dominated by shutting out Gabrielino, 28-0. The win secured a CIF playoff spot for the Knights and sent the Eagles off the field with no more games to play in 2012. Arroyo will face the Almont league champ, Bell Gardens, in a first round match up.
Peter Aholoka, Knight running back, scored all four touchdowns and racked up nearly 200 yards in the contest. Gabrielino had little answer for the Knights as the Eagles’ offense was able to only eke out 135 yards and no scores. The game stayed close in the first half, with just a 7-0 Knight lead at the break. In the 3rd quarter, the Knights began to pull away as Aholoka ripped off a run from midfield for his second touchdown. Again, Gabrielino was unable to muster any offense and continued to punt the ball back to Arroyo. The Knights, primarily Aholoka, made the Eagles pay as he scored two more rushing touchdowns in the 4th quarter to cap the scoring.
Arroyo coach Jim Singiser said his defense, “figured a few things out at halftime and played a much better second half.” He pointed to the defense as a unit that had “played quite consistently all year and gave the offense the ball back” over and over to bring the team success. The Knights were able to force three Gabrielino turnovers on the night, each of which lead to Knight touchdowns. Gab Coach Harold Sanin was disappointed with the loss, but noted the 7-3 final record was a significant improvement over the 4-6 record of the 2011 team. With a small squad and injuries at key positions, Sanin gave great credit, “to those replacements that played hard until the final whistle.”
Eagle QB Elijah Peters found it difficult facing the relentless Knight defensive line and subsequently was unable to get much going through the air. Running backs Brian Vargas, Carlos Monjaras, and Calvin Cheng were also stymied on the ground, as Arroyo’s stingy defense was not going to allow the Eagles the opportunity to gain momentum.
The Eagles began the season with 6 wins, but sputtered in league play. In winning just 1 of the last 4 contests, the Eagles finished fourth in the Mission Valley League with a 2-3 record. The Eagles did secure victories against Mountain View and Rosemead, leaving their final record at 7-3. Arroyo finished third in the Mission Valley League with a 3-2 record and 6-4 overall. None of that matters now as they will begin their pursuit of a CIF championship starting first against Bell Gardens.
(No Ratings Yet)