‘Cats don’t have enough
Paraclete slips by Monrovia
Monrovia High School’s Marquise Williams heads for a touchdown early in the game Friday against Paraclete. The Wildcats suffered a 23-20 loss in the CIF-Southern Section quarterfinals. Greg Andersen/Staff Photographer
By Ismael Reynoso Correspondent
MONROVIA — Monrovia High School coach Steve Garrison knew his team had a big challenge against top-seed Paraclete in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section of the Mid Valley Division quarterfinal.
The undefeated Spirits had breezed through their season unscathed, and their closest margin of victory was 13 points.
The host Wildcats gave Paraclete all it could handle, but it wasn’t enough in a disappointing 23-20 loss.
Big plays proved decisive.
“We gave up big plays,” Garrison said. “And that is what killed us.”
Paraclete’s (12-0) winning drive in the fourth quarter was a perfect example.
The Spirits twice extended the drive with long plays. The first was a 4th-and-13 pass for 14-yard gain to the Wildcats’ 40-yard line. The second was a third-and-22 pass from Roniada Tuiasosopo to David Green to the Monrovia 5-yard line. Three defenders converged on the ball but failed to break up the play.
Three plays later, Jerry Green scored for a 23-14 lead with 2:42 left in the game. Green finished with a game-high 131 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“We needed a stop at the end of game as we had three guys down there and their guy still ended up with the catch,” Garrison added.
Monrovia (6-6) responded with a quick drive of its own. Senior Matt Haggard directed a 7-play, 82-yard drive that ended when Fernando Gonzalez caught a 10-yard pass to cut the lead to 23-20. The extra-point attempt was blocked with 1:11 left in the game.
Paraclete recovered the onside kick to end any threat and the game.
Monrovia started the scoring midway through the first quarter as Marquise Williams ended a 4-play, 50-yard drive with an 8-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
The Spirits’ first big play was a 78-yard scoring run by Paraclete’s Jerry Kelly, who broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and headed down the sideline to cut the lead 7-6 in the first quarter.
Paraclete’s second big play was a 39-scoring run in the second quarter by Brandon Buteyn to give the Spirits a 14-7 lead.
After a short drive and punt by Monrovia, Buteyn returned the punt 66 yards to the Wildcats 10-yard line. Paraclete settled for a 24-yard field goal and 17-7 lead at the half.
In the second half, Monrovia cut the lead to 17-14 after a 9-play, 66-yard drive ended with Haggard’s 1-yard run.
“I’m proud of the way our team played. We ended up being co-league champions,” Garrison said.
The Wildcats were led by Williams’ 97 yards rushing and two touchdown runs, and Haggard’s 186 passing yards on 14-of-21 attempts with two interceptions. The last one was by David Green early in the fourth quarter. It was Green’s 12th interception of the season, which leads the state.
Monrovia outgained Paraclete in total yards, 300-234.