Friday Night Final: No. 2 Monrovia beats No. 1 St. Francis in thriller; San Marino goes to 5-0 and Muir rolls in Pacific League; Pasadena loses to CV

WHO’S NO. 1 NOW?: Monrovia, led by running back Ge Vontray Ainsworth’s 176 yards rushing, held off No. 1 St. Francis, 17-13.
Photo by Larry Goren

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – The only thing missing from the Monrovia High School football team’s resume the past two years was a signature victory over an upper-division team.
Not anymore.
Deshawn Potts scored two touchdowns and David Gallegos recovered a St. Francis fumble on the Wildcats 1 with just over a minute to play and Monrovia got its milestone win with a 17-13 victory over St. Francis on Friday in a nonleague game at Friedman Field.
Monrovia, which also got 176 yards rushing from Ge Vontray Ainsworth, improved to 3-2.
St. Francis, which got 177 yards passing from Jared Lebowitz and 71 yards rushing and a touchdown from Daniel Kawamura, slipped to 3-2.
“We expect (to win),” said Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox, whose Wildcats have won the past two CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division titles. “That’s what we expect, that’s what we’re about. We want to play the best. I’m just real proud of the kids and the way they played tonight.”
But St. Francis, which led 13-10 at halftime, nearly stole it away.
Lebowitz had completions of 19, 21 and 14 yards to drive the Golden Knights from their 35 to the Wildcats1. The final toss to John Carroll came on fourth-and-3 from the 15.
But on the next play, Lebowitz fumbled the snap, and Gallegos fell on it to preserve the victory.
“We showed what our defense is made out of,” Gallegos said. “We just tried to stop them. We knew they were going to run up the middle, we just covered our end.
“I saw the ball there, and I just took it. I was so hyped.”
Monrovia, which held St. Francis to 232 yards, took a 17-13 lead when Kawamura fumbled and Potts returned it for a score with 9:01 left in the third quarter.
The first half was all about big plays, and St. Francis one-upped Monrovia for a 13-10 advantage.
St. Francis, which nearly rallied from a two-touchdown deficit before losing to La Mirada two weeks ago, made it 10-6 on 26-yard field goal by Mark Verso before using a 48-yard drive to take the lead.
Kawamura grabbed a 26-yard pass from Lebowitz to the Monrovia 21 before scoring from the 3 for a 13-10 advantage with 3:22 left in the half.
No. 3 San Marino 31, South El Monte 21 — The Titans complete a perfect 5-0 nonleague slate with a come-from-behind victory over the Eagles. But can San Marino, which received 109 yards rushing from quarterback Matt Wofford, beat Monrovia? Can’t wait for week 9.
No. 7 South Pasadena 37, Beverly Hills 25 — The Tigers went into the 90210 to improve to 4-1. The Tigers are looking good going into Rio Hondo League play next week.
No. 8 Muir 63, Hoover 0 — The Mustangs have the look of the Pacific League’s best with an easy victory to improve to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in league play. Muir gets another easier one next week when it faces Glendale.
Bell-Jeff 50, No. 9 Pasadena Poly 49 — A heart-breaking loss for the Panthers, who gave up a touchdown and two-point conversion with four seconds to play.
Crescenta Valley 17, Pasadena 14 — The Bulldogs came up short in perhaps their final game without standout Brandon Cox. Pasadena should get a boost from the senior, but will it be enough. Kylon Fleming had 123 yards rushing for the Bulldogs.
Temple City 20, Rosemead 10 — How ’bout those Rams. Temple City, after failing to score during the first three weeks, is suddenly 2-3 after winning its second consecutive game. Nick Starling had 144 yards rushing for the Rams.
Arroyo 42, La Canada 7 — Another loss for Sparta, which slipped to 1-4.
Burbank 41, Arcadia 20 — The Apaches, getting 48 yards rushing from Sheldon McKinley, came back to early after opening Pacific League play with a victory.
Marshall 38, Angelou 20 — The Eagles, getting three TDs from Mark Metino and two from Christian Clark, won their third game of the season.
Eagle Rock 85, Blair 0 — The Vikings, lost 22 players due to grades two hours prior to kickoff and were no match for the Eagles.

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