Friday Night Final: St. Francis wins big; Monrovia rally falls short, loses to Ayala, 16-15

ON THE LOOSE: Arcadia’s Matthew Morales (40) tries to stop St. Francis’ Daniel Kawamura (11) during the first half of Friday night’s game at St. Francis High School. The Golden Knights won, 49-10.
SGVN Photo By Sarah Reingewirtz

No. 2 St. Francis 49, No. 8 Arcadia 10 — The Golden Knights answer all questions about their youth, rolling up 489 yards after leading 20-0 at halftime and 43-0 after three quarters. Running backs Daniel Kawamura and Joe Mudie combine for 209 yards and three TDs in the rout.
Ayala 16, No. 1 Monrovia 15 — The Wildcats chance to step up comes up short. There will be a new No. 1 in the area this week.
Mission Prep 47, No. 3 Rio Hondo Prep 14 — The Kares drop down a beg after being blown-out at home.
South Pasadena 49, No. 4 San Gabriel 40 — A big win for the Tigers, who got 221 yards and two scores from Rudy Murrillo. Joseph Mayorga had 175 yards and two TDS for the Matadors.
Don Lugo 36, No. 5 Maranatha 14 — Suddenly the Minutemen are 0-2. But they could get healthy next week, traveling to Glendora to face Azusa, which was whacked, 50-7, by San Dimas.
Alemany 49, No. 7 Muir 12 — The host Warriors have outscored the Pasadena Unified School District, 94-20, the past two weeks. They beat PHS, 45-8 last week. Muir now drops to 0-2 and travels to power Rancho Cucamonga next week.
Cerritos Valley Christian 42, Duarte 36 — A tough road loss for the Falcons, who led 36-34 before giving up the winning TD with 1:06 to play.
Arroyo 21, Temple City 0 — The Rams are still scoreless after two weeks.
Marshall 31, Blair 14 — A big win for former Northview head coaches Jim Arrellanes, who is the Eagles head coach, and Todd Quinsey, who is Marshall’s OC.
Gabrielino 27, Bosco Tech 21 — Look who is 2-0! Elijah Peters passed for 171 yards to lead Gabrielino, who gets Keppel next week.
La Salle 45, Glendale 16 — The Lancers are also 2-0 after getting another solid efforts from quarterback Austin Wallis and Israel Lacy.
Workman 28, Keppel 8 — The Lobos hand the Aztecs another tough loss.
Poly 28, Saddleback Valley Chr. 12 — A good win on the road for the Panthers, who gets Blair next week. Jake Zelek had two touchdowns for Poly.
Flintridge Prep at Army-Navy, Carlsbad, 1:15 p.m.


By Steve Ramriez, SGVN
St. Francis High School, which graduated the bulk of its stars from last season’s CIF-Southern Section quarterfinalist, entered the football season with a lot of questions.
The Golden Knights found some answers Friday.
Daniel Kawamura and Joe Mudie combined for 209 yards rushing and three touchdowns and St. Francis rolled up nearly 500 yards en route to a 49-10 victory over Arcadia in a nonleague game at Friedman Field.
Quarterback Jared Lebowitz threw for 129 yards and accounted for two touchdowns for the Golden Knights, who are 1-0.
Arcadia, which opened the season with a 29-7 loss to Rio Hondo Prep, slipped to 0-2. The Apaches only scores were a 90-yard pass from Zach Yeet to Darius Elliot and a 29-yard field goal by Nick Pulciano during the fourth quarter.
“It’s one game. But we know we have some guys who can play,” St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “We just have to come together and figure out how to win together as a group, because there’s so many new pieces to the puzzle. Tonight’s one step in the right direction.
“Arcadia is in the same boat. Their roster is a little smaller. We’re just going to take it one week at a time. This is a good start for a young group. But our schedule doesn’t get any easier.”

St. Francis all but sealed the outcome in the first half. The Golden Knights scored on its first drive before take a three-touchdown lead following back-to-back scoring marches in the second quarter for a 20-0 advantage.
Lebowitz, who had 65 yards passing in the first half, keyed the first score. He followed a 28-yard completion to Mudie with a 14-yard run to set up Austin Finton’s 2-yard run for an 8-0 lead with 5:17 left in the first quarter. Lebowitz ran in the conversion.
Kawamura made it 14-0 with a 60-yard run at the beginning of the second quarter before Lebowitz threw three yards to Tommy Scheper to push the advantage to 20-0 at halftime.
Arcadia, which was held to 46 yards in the first half and 132 for the game, looked like it might get back into it early in the second quarter after a short punt gave the Apaches a first down at St. Francis’ 42 with the score 8-0 and nine minutes left in the half.
But two runs produced just two yards before Jake Medel had consecutive incomplete passes to turn over the ball on downs.
Kawamura then followed with a 60-yard run to push the advantage to two scores.
“I thought we played well in the first half,” Arcadia coach Chris Long said. “It was three plays that hurt us. On the first drive, we had them third-and-30 and they get the first down. They run the counter for 60 yards and then get a big first down on the last drive. Those really killed us.”
St. Francis, which received 108 yards rushing from Kawamura and 101 from Mudie, then put it away during the third quarter. Mudie had a 68-yard run for a 27-0 lead before a 1-yard run by Lebowitz, a safety and a 10-yard run by Kawamura pushed it to 36-0 with five minutes left in the quarter.
Elliot broke the shutout with his 90-yard pass reception with 9:20 left to play.

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  • Observantcat

    Just a McCarthy update…..

  • rhlfan

    so either San Gabriel’s defense just sucks…or South Pasadena’s offense is legit.

    or San Gabriel is overrated.

    who knows?

  • Bigfatfan

    Sp beats SG 49-40. Our offense is legit!! D needs work.

  • rhlfan


    just heard a little more about the game, and your right. SP offense is legit, but defense needs real work especially against SG’s second string qb apparently.


    Great job boys. O-line once again look great just like last year. new qb did good to. could of been different with does two td called back. Half could of been 42-21 for SG. D needs alot of work.

  • Kentera

    Looks like there is a new #1.

    St. Francis!!!!

  • sleeper team in SGV

    got to say SOUTH PASS IS no longer a slepper team in SGV great win boys

  • What’s going on in the WSGV,

    Let’s all be very honest right now. This is the worst year in WSGV history bar none. Every school is a former shell of themselves, except MTown and SF, and those two aren’t as good as they were last year. Monrovia is lucky to be in the Mid Valley and the RHL and SF won’t make the playoffs this year. Monrovia has played 6 preseason games in 2 years and has lost 4 of them. So like I said lucky to be in RHL and mid valley. Put Arcadia, Muir, PHS in there and same thing happens. But those teams stink to high heaven in their division. And SF never has the athletes to do any sort of damage in their division and although they won tonight they looked very slow and unimpressive. And our one high hope! RHP? They went back to D-13 and got demolished. Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad. This should make for the most horrible Top Ten WSGV list ever.

    And the blog is deader than an Al-Qaeda terrorist on Obama’s hit list. Sad state of affairs here in the WSGV.

  • Wonka

    SG had their second string QB in there, and they still put up 40 points on SP. Game would have been different with their starting QB.

  • Annonymous

    I cant believe somebody actually pays you guys to follow high school football. You have absolutely no knowledge of anything going on.

  • bigfatfan

    RHL Fan, you sound like a real SP hater. if anyone is counting, SP has beaten SG two out of the the last three years.

    I would have been happy with a 10 point loss. but I am elated with a 49-40, come from behind victory over the Matadors. Tigers showed real spirit, after being down 14-0 after about three minutes of play. we reeled off 21 straight points to take the lead, and then it was a slugfest from there on out. Our offense looks awesome, with dominating running game, and just enough quality passing to keep the matadors off balance. our WRs were wide open all night long as they slashed through the SG DBs. Our defense made some timely stops in the 4th quarter, but we need some serious pass rush and run stopping on the D line. great game boys and coaches.!!

    Steve and Star News Crew, you guys can find the SP Tigers at 1401 Freemont Ave in SP, just in case you did not know where the school is.

  • Observantcat

    I wouldn’t put any stock on Monrovia falling off the band wagon just of yet. Remember Ayala is a very competitive team in the Chino HIlls area that houses one of the best running backs in the state. Monrovia did in fact have a very lack luster start as usual such as cramps, playing out of positions, fumbles, etc. But the second half of the game was all Monrovia as we found a rhythm a little too late. Our backfield will be just as explosive this season as it was last season. Our defense shut down Ayala in the second half of the game last night and a lot of guys began to find their rhythm and shut the run game down. I will never judge a season around the first game because if that were the case then you already lost. I just give credit where credit is due. You come out to play and play hard and may the best team win. Ainsworth, & Jones will be one of the best running back tandems in the valley and by seasons end I expect for both to have a 1000 yard rushing seasons. Heyworth will catch his rhythm and do what he does best and players will begin to play up to what is expected of them. But congratulations to South Pasadena for showing other teams that the RHL is more that just Monrovia. San Gabriel was the Mid-Valley second place finisher last season and you put the beat down on them. I always hated when they used Monrovia as a measuring stick for the rest of the league and I’m glad this season shows exactly what I mean. Good luck to all the RHL teams and one of us will be bringing home the bacon this season.

  • bigfatfan

    Wonka, second string QB for SG? I guess SP was running against your second string Defense also? we still put a 49 spot on your D! hmmm….

  • New York

    Very disappointing start to Monrovia’s season. Any Coach loves to have a senior QB returning starter for the season. However, last time we did we lost at Glendora and had a similar turnover situation. Does Ayala have ANY D-1 commits? Do we have too many in order to figure out who needs to carry the load? Are we cursed with too much talent and not enough “where the rubber hits the road” experience and practical knowledge? Ayala is good but not a world-beater and we lost on mistakes.

    This is very frustrating and yes, I do blame the coaching and the seniors for this mistake-filled start. They have basked in the glory of winning small division titles and decided to change our school uniforms. They can suffer the consequences and the challenge now. Can you get it done outside the Mid-Valley? Let’s see it. Understand, I am challenging out of a burning desire to see Monrovia do well and to see our guys prepared from the beginning.

    Games #4 and #5 against South Hills and Saint Francis will be the true measuring sticks of whether or not we have progressed. I hate to break the news to our coaches and players, it really doesn’t get any better than how we have it this year…Seniors with offers in the impact positions! I know we can get it done. I know what our guys can do when challenged. Let’s get it done fellas.

  • rhlfan

    I sound like a real South Pas hater? your saying yourself that south pas’s defense needs real work, and it does, for them to be giving up 40 to SG’s second string quarterback isn’t good. but their offense was a piece of work last night, 49 off the defending “runner up” (if there is such a thing. if anything i’m happy that the RHL (bar TC and Blair) is finally making a statement in the Mid Valley.

  • rhlfan


    and yes, the TC transfer Mikal Quintanilla, who won the starting position after the scrimmage, was out.

  • The Observer


    I think you’re neglecting that SG has a very potent offense that can rack up yards against some of the best defenses, even without their starting QB. Give the SG offense some credit too. However, 40 is still an exorbitant amount of points to give up to any team.

    The Star-News top 10 looks pathetic as of right now. Only 2 teams, San Marino and St. Francis, won this week. Though, Monrovia played a great game against a quality opponent. They need to find a way to get over the hump with that much talent on their team. Can’t make silly mistakes like an excessive celebration penalty. I feel bad for the reeling Arcadia team that has to face them next. Monrovia will have a tough loss and last season’s defeat in mind when the Apaches visit M-Town.

  • PurdueAlum05

    Wanka is the old staff writer, Miguel Hernandez. Why do you have to make excuses for SG? SP did a great job of not giving up after being down 14-0. If the old coaching regime was still at SP I bet we would have been blown out. Great job by the SP players and coaches to not give up. We need to keep working hard to get better on D. I have confidence that we will.

  • Sp grad

    Purdue aren’t you the guy that got something spray up your butt when you where at sp.. Stop kissing Konrad butt. Great job by the boys. O line was great. D suck. Konrad is a big jerk and a car salesman. He is lucky to have a good o line and that the rest of the teams they play suck except for 1 and maybe sm this year. Sp will have good year because of that. Maybe 8-2 or 7-3.

  • Ayala Fan

    As another Ayala fan has stated, Ayala was playing their 2nd and 3rd string players throughout the second half. Ofcourse Monrovia was looking better on defense.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a hard time with Arcadia, they will step up.

  • No they weren’t.

    Hey Ayala Fan. No they weren’t, they were subbing in their 2nd and 3rd stringers as any team would normally do. But in no way did they sit their 1st stringers in favor of the back ups. So stop that right now. You guys squeaked by a Div 11 team. Don’t forget you’re Div 2. That’s 9 divisions that separate you. You guys celebrated like you all won the State Championship at the end. Good luck to the rest of your season.

  • New York

    I’d say Ayala was lucky that we were not more simple minded and did not decide to simply ram #2 down your throats from beginning to end last night. Ayala did not have an answer for him and his punishing runs. Too bad.

  • Bigfatfan

    SP Grad, stop, please, you are an embarrassment.

  • Philly B

    Strong words from NewYork…but why blame the uniforms??? They look pretty damn good if I say so myself. Much more ummm…up to date if you will. No excuses for monrovia for losing that close. They lost, but theres a bigger picture here and the senior leadership knows this. Monrovia is trying to build a dynasty. And we need to win another championship and the midvalley and hopefully get out of that division. Sierra canyon and paraclete are looking at monrovia and want to knock off the champs. Ayala got off the hook and monrovia made too many mistakes and lost the game, simple as that! we got more big pre-league games coming up, cant dwell on the coulda woulda should of