Saturday Night Aftermath: San Gabriel shocks San Dimas with last-minute drive to punch ticket to the finals with 29-28 win, will meet Monrovia next Saturday!!!!!

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

SAN GABRIEL — There was no time for San Gabriel High Schlool defensive lineman Hunter Garcia to think.

Twenty-five seconds after San Dimas’ Devante Brown scored on a 4-yard sweep, the Saints were lined up and going for the two-point conversion and the go-ahead score.

But Garcia stepped into the hole that the Saints offensive line had created on the touchdown run and Garcia stopped the exact same running play to lead the Matadors to a 29-28 victory in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley semifinals on a very cold, but not windy, Saturday night.

“I read the block and I knew it was going to be a game changer,” Garcia said. “On the play before I got my bell rung and I knew I had to do something. I did and I knew we had the gamer locked after that,.”

Brown fell about 9 inches short of giving the Saints the lead.

San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow said the Saints had decided to go for two points nine minutes before Brown scored, with 2:23 to play.

“We weren’t stopping them and we’re on their home field,” he said. “There was no question we hade to go for two to win the game.


“Our player tried hard to get in, He came up just short. They had the same defensive alignment, too. That’s how it goes.”

The Matadors advance to the championship game for the first time in eight years. They will play Monrovia next weekend.

It is a seemingly unlikely finale. San Dimas defeated San Gabriel, 59-6, on the same field in Week 3 of the season. The Saints were aiming to reach the championship game for the second time in three years.

San Gabriel lost its first four of five games, but has not lost since. San Dimas finishes 10-3.

“It’s a Cinderella story,” Garcia said.

San Dimas seemed to have it under wraps, too. The Saints led, 16-7 at the half and 22-14 midway through the third quarter.

A tipped pass got the Matadors back in the game. So did 17 San Dimas penalties, of which three resulted in touchdown plays being called back.

San Gabriel quarterback Andy Guerrero’s pass to Joey Mayorga was tipped by defensive back Cody McNeal and Mayorga got the tip and scored on a 32-yard play to tie the game at 22 with 58 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Saints, who for the most part rushed the ball at ease through the Matadors’ middle, gaining 356 yards, were stopped at the Matador 32 on an illegal procedure penalty and incomplete pass on fourth down.

Guerrero, who was held to 3 yards rushing in the first half, but finished with 95, carried the ball time and again up the middle. On fourth-and-3, he hit Isai Frnandez on a five-yard pass and then went 18 yards to Mayorga to the Saints 2. Mayorga then carried the ball into the end zone and David Rivera’s extra-point kick was enough to force the Saints to go for two.

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  • SG

    SG wins big! SD is not the team it was a few months ago. They are average at best. SG by 3 TDs.

  • das

    San Dimas to blow away San Gabriel, much like the wind blew away San Gabriel’s stadium. Easy as pie.

  • Looks likes

    Monrovia will be facing San Gabriel for the Mid Valley Division Championship.

  • Whatever

    Really! I understand that Dillon might have been hurt but I swear if coach z uses that as an excuse for going for 2. That would be BS. It wouldn’t be the first time we went for 2 with a perfectly healthy Corona on the sidelines. This is Z’s loss and everyone knows it. I’m not going to take away San Gabriel’s thunder, Congrats San Gabriel, good luck next week. Wow, we had this team down 35 zip in the 1st quarter in our preseason match up. I understand teams getting better but did SD GET WORSE. Oh well, great season Saints!!

  • Observantcat

    Come on Saints4real, think about it in a more positive way, San Gabriel saved you guys from a merciless rematch where Lane Kiffin and company are going to be present. We have a VVL section of our bleachers that you can come and enjoy what turned out to be a total VVL flop. Maybe next year you can go for the field goal and somehow you can redeem this loss.

  • SamoanPride

    Way yo go, das. You really blew it. No pie for you. BWHAHAHAHAHA.

  • Mtownclown

    Monrovia is just too good for Mid valley…..SG WILL NOT be able too block McCarthy

  • JOKE

    This MIDVALLEY division is a joke.
    Congrats to SG reppin’ the weak almont league?
    Wait til u catch the Almont league on their UP years…
    Monrivia should win on paper, but I guarantee, after McCarthy(BEAST) graduates, SG, Schurr, Bell Gardens, Montebello….will be in the hunt every year. Just different brand of kids….TOUGH AS NAILS!!!
    San Dimas head coach obviously had NO respect n got smacked in the mouth. Thats what the ALMONT league is people tough S.O.B.’s that will punch u in the mouth when u dis respect and over look them.SD went for it on 4th and everything and went for 2 everytime?????
    Observant Cat:
    U guys would get blasted in the SOUTHEAST division,
    and I know your head coach will NOT take this SG aka DAVEY team lightly over Goliath!!!

  • Observantcat

    Joke, I dont understand the question mark. Your statement says
    “Congrats to SG reppin’ the weak almont league?” I’m actually glad that you guys won so that someone other than the usual suspects play in the finals. As for getting better and reppin a so=called weak Div. why would you want your team to aspire to do that? I think in all of my years of watching football I dont ever recall San Gabriel beating Monrovia. I could be wrong but I’m sure someone can verify that if they were to do a bit of research. All the power to you and your Almont league teams. Dont let us stop you from trying to achieve your goals. I’m sure in time we will read about this changing of the guard in the MId-valley. Good luck on Saturday and lets just get down to business.

  • Tim Peterson

    Observant Cat- The last time San Gabriel beat Monrovia was 1970. The last time San Gabariel and Monrovia played was 1980.

  • san dimas # 1 san gabriel sucks balls

    game fixed obviously, cant wait to see sg smashed by monrovia and see the sg players crying to there mommys, lol , lmfao

  • san dimas # 1 san gabriel sucks balls

    game fixed obviously, cant wait to see sg smashed by monrovia and see the sg players crying to there mommys, lol , lmfao

  • i was just wondering san dimas fan? how much does it hurt???

  • Kennedy Bryant

    Last time SG played MHS coach Randy Bell was QB and I was WR. MHS 26-0. Fall of 1980 @ MHS, btw dont under estimate SGHS not a bad passing attack. More to come later in the week.

  • X’s and O’s

    san dimas #1…..,

    The difference obviously is that while SD kids may lose and have their mommys make excuses for them, the SG kids lose and their parents try to find a way to motivate them.

  • das

    monrovia for back to back championships. no way sg can hang with the big boys. luck can only go so far

  • New York

    Your post is all over the place. What’s your message? You start off by mentioning “the weak Almont” and saying the “MidValley is a joke” but then it seems thaht you claim the Almont League as your own and brag about how tough the Almont kids are…where are you headed with this? See, if you are bragging about the Almont kids being tough, why would you say that the Almont is weak and that the MidValley is a joke? Also, why make the statement that Monrovia would get blasted in the Southeast? The entire Almont got bounced from the Southeast last year when CIF was searching for “competitive equity.” Also, hopefully we will get to see just how well Monrovia can do in the Southeast next year.

    You are correct about just one thing: Coach Maddox will not overlook San Gabriel. Any team who makes it to week 14 is doing things the right away. This game is champion vs champion (RHL vs. Almont). Last year it was RHL vs Olympic champion. By SG beating SD, Monrovia gets to play our third consecutive league champion (Whittier Christian, Covina, San Gabriel). The only way our playoff bracket would have been better, in my opinion, is if we could have played Azusa in the first round. That would have allowed Monrovia to collect the crowns of each of the other league champions in our division! The visual I’m thinking of is those Pelopinesian riders in the movie 300.

    Congratulations to San Gabriel! It sounds like your coaches and players were better prepared for victory than San Dimas was! SD committed 17 penalties!!! Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy! I think they overlooked SD. On the other hand, San Gabriel was on a mission. There well-coached defensive tackle recognized that SD was repeating their play on the 2-pt conversion and he made the adjustment and stuffed it!

  • BigMLover


    Love that second paragraph! You busted up the whole room with that one! How many bloggers are researching your Pelopinesian reference? LOAO!!!!

  • das, shut up already , you havent been right about anything all week, looks like the wind blew apart the San Dimas sails @ San Sabriel stadium, is that crow pie you are eating???

  • BigCat

    The ‘Cats will come prepared to play for the CIF championship. By the time a team gets to week 14, they are a good, tough team. However, Monrovia has the recent playoff experience and SG doesn’t.

    The ‘Cats lost Nick Bueno and they’re back playing for the CIF championship. You don’t lose a player like Nick Beuno and not feel it. However, another Wildcat stepped up. After this year, the ‘Cats will lose Ellis McCarthy and they will feel the loss. Next year, another Wildcat will step up and Monrovia will line up for another season and, hopefully, another CIF championship. The ‘Cats had a tough road to this year’s CIF championship, but they left a lot of defeated teams in their wake.

    GO ‘CATS!

  • Mtownclown

    SGs O line is whats gonna cause problems for them after seeing them in person im amazed that they have come this far with that O line Wow ……#18 this is your last game in Green and white take it too em!!

  • Anonymous

    Parent/Ex-Competitor Perspective:

    San Gabriel played an excellent game with heart and determination (Congratulations!) The reason for San Dimas’s loss will only be remembered by there players as (not getting the job done=failure.)

    San Dimas did not come out with the heart and determination that carried them in the CIF Playoffs. San Gabriel’s victory=(HEART/DETERMINATION.)

    1.) The crucial moment was presented: 2points/1point??

    Ultimately it was San Dimas’s Coach that failed to keep his team in the game.?. Why??

    When you see your team struggling your JOB is to try to KEEP them in the GAME!! EGO ASIDE!!!!


    SAN DIMAS Football players reflect on your excellent season and leave this loss with your coach!!!

  • looks like the Game will be friday night @ Monrovia, see you there

  • SGV sports guru

    SG by a TD with the upset in monrovia… SG u KNOW! SG’s Defensive coach will have this team prepared and ready…these kids are hungry and are tough and they are READY!

  • QuietCat


    where did you hear this?

  • 6power


    Once again, it is proven that it is difficult to beat the same team twice in the same season.

    Also proves that early season games rarely dictate where a team is headed. Many people were talking down Monrovia way back in September and no one’s crystal ball had Matadors in it.

  • Observantcat

    The official time and day for the final game will be at 7:00 p.m. at Monrovia High School on Saturday Dec. 10

    Be there!

  • Quiet cat, i got it off the Mid valley news, but i just checked and i guess they made a mistake, and put it was on friday, so i just wanted everyone to know, im sorry if it was wrong,

  • Kennedy Bryant

    Well now that the smoke has cleared and everyone who had MHS over Covina is looking for anyone that picked against US I have to pen a few words. Fact of the matter is that we cant seem to find anyone of the Covina prognosticators, except Colt97 man of his word and he did the gentlemanly thing and admitted who the best team.
    Funny thing though it is quite rewarding to go back and look over all the bloggers and predictions and the haters of MHS. From Fred to Aram and Saints4real and to ever MHS detractor, please acknowledge pre season victories, stats, and we beat that team who beat you language holds no weight. Remember this for future arguments, TIME AND REVELANCE. SAN DIMAS WAS A LONG TIME AGO and the fact the Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson doesnt mean youre that you could knock out Muhammad Ali
    As I said earlier in the week I ENVISION A CLOSE GAME BUT MY GUTT TELLS ME ITS GOING TO BE A BLOWOUT I got a big gut.
    MHS dont take SGHS for granted, they have playmakers, in fact I would take their receiving core over COVINAS. Again going to earlier in the week, MHS has Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. Iraqi Scuds for Covina.
    Based on my observations looks like SGHS has some insiders at the pentagon because they have a few Tomahawk missiles themselves. However when you playing for something of this magnitude you have to be prepared for the enemy at all cost. Therefore we need to give thx where thx is due so, lets get busy channeling the spirit of President Reagan and thank him for appropriating the funds for the MHS MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM. Oh you havent heard of it. Its called the BRYANT, CRAFT, and RAMERIZ INTERCEPT Defense GRID with a McCarthy G5 Kill Switch. As with all classified information you must be on a need to know basis. Therefore all missiles will be set for termination on Saturday if they fly into MHS AIRSPACE.. Oh yeah baby its game time and your playing in the MHS battlefield.
    SGHS Bloggers Im just getting started.
    BTW Aram I did hear that MHS is scheduled to play LSU in 3 week, since they beat COVINA. Couldnt Resist AT but you left yourself open for that one based on you comment about the Monrovia Bloggers and LSU. You know that last comment is all fun in games. Looking for your insights this weeks game.