FOOTBALL: Two minutes to victory

Wildcats offense knows the drill

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Monrovia High School s Dwight Smith runs around a Montclair defender earlier this season. The Wildcats play Paraclete in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid Valley Division playoffs on Friday. (Greg Andersen/Staff Photographer)

By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer

The two-minute drill is something every football team across the land practices over and over.
Part of the beauty of the hurry-up offense is teams never know when they’ll need to employ it.
Against Cantwell-Sacred Heart in last Friday’s opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid Valley Division playoffs, Monrovia High School got the ball at its own 8-yard line with 2:08 to play in the fourth quarter of a 21-21 deadlock.
The Wildcats, thanks to perfect execution of the two-minute drill, still are playing football during Thanksgiving week.
Marquise Williams scored on a 19-yard touchdown run with 24 seconds to play to give Monrovia a dramatic 28-21 victory.
The Wildcats (6-5) now have the tough task of taking on No. 1-seeded Paraclete (11-0) in the second round Friday night at 7.
It took a wild roller coaster ride for the Wildcats to get to this point. It was a ride Monrovia coach Steve Garrison didn’t exactly want to take.
“At one point we had a 21-point lead and relinquished it and it diminished completely in the fourth quarter,” Garrison said.
Backed up deep in its own end in a hostile environment with the game on the line, however, Monrovia had no intentions of waiting for overtime.
“To continue to work hard and finish the game is the sign of the type of character and qualities that you look for in a team,” Garrison said.
Monrovia’s season has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride as well.
With Williams out of the lineup because of injury, the Wildcats lost four consecutive games.
Williams returned on Oct. 12 and rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns, and the Wildcats are 5-1 since his return.
The victory over the Cardinals just was another example of the wacky season that is Monrovia football.
“That game is similar to the way our season has gone,” Garrison said. “When things are going well and we’re running on all cylinders, we’re able to control the game. But when we flatten out and lose our intensity, we let teams back in games.”
After anticipating a matchup against Duarte at Pasadena City College, Blair encountered a change in its holiday plans.
The Vikings (9-1) kept their end of the bargain with an easy 56-0 victory over Malibu in the opening round of the Mid Valley Division playoffs.
Duarte, however, hit a bump in the road en route to a 31-21 loss to 6-5 Cerritos Valley Christian.
Instead of having a home game, Blair must travel to Cerritos for the second round.
Alex Lopez ran for 260 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Crusaders.
Blair will counter with the running back tandem of Devin Fuller (1,364 yards, 13 touchdowns) and Raheem Broadnex (458 yards, six TDs).
La Salle will make the trek to Oxnard to face No. 2 seed Santa Clara in a second-round, Mid Valley matchup to be played at Channel Islands High School.
The Lancers (6-5) have won five consecutive games and six of their last seven since starting the season 0-4.
To be successful against the Saints (8-1-1), they’ll have to slow down running back Cierre Wood, who has rushed for 1,809 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Wood ran for 150 yards and three touchdowns and had a scoring reception in a 41-14 win over Village Christian in the first round.
Temple City (5-6) will play host to No. 4-seeded Santa Barbara’s Bishop Diego in the second round of the Mid Valley playoffs.
The Cardinals, winners of six of their last seven games, have outscored their opponents 324-118.

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