Friday Night Final: St. Francis comes up short; Monrovia, Muir romp as San Marino, La Salle and Gabrielino stay perfect with easy wins

Staff photo by Keith Durflinger

Another Friday Night Lights is in the books, and it was almost business as usual. Monrovia, Muir, San Marino and Rio Hondo Prep all had huge victories and St. Francis had another close loss to the second consecutive week. Rosemead also got a little revenge and San Gabriel got shocked late. San Marino, La Salle and Gabrielino all improved to 6-0.

Here’s a brief look at Friday’s area games:
No. 1 Monrovia 53, No. 7 South Pasadena 14 — The Wildcats, getting four touchdowns and 142 yards rushing from Ge Vontray Ainsworth, got its first blowout win the Rio Hondo League. There will be others.
Cathedral 42, No. 2 St. Francis 40 — The Golden Knights got 372 yards passing and five touchdowns from Jared Lebowitz, but they couldn’t slow down the Phantoms, who showed they are for real, rallying for a 14-point deficit. Cathedral got 272 yards passing and five scores from Hayden Rettig.
No. 3 San Marino 42, La Canada 10 — The Titans continued their hot streak, rushing for more than 300 yards to stretch their record to 6-0. When do they
play Monrovia?

No. 4 Rio Hondo Prep 42, Webb 0 — The Kares, getting two TD passes from Colby Rivera, steamrolled Webb.
No. 5 La Salle 65, Verbum Dei 7 — The Lancers just keep on rolling, improving on their best season in recent memory with a rout. Quarterback Austin Wallis passed for 170 yards and four touchdowns,

No. 6 Gabrielino 28, Mountain View 11 — Still now buying the Eagles? You might have to after Gabrielino improved to 6-0 with an impressive win. QB Elijah Peters threw for 118 yards and two scores.
No. 8 Muir 37, Glendale 0 — The Mustangs, getting two TDs from Joshua Muema and a 60-yard fumble return from Tony Claxton, continue look like the class of the Pacific League. All signs are pointing to a first-place showdown against Burbank in a few weeks.
No. 10 Duarte 49, Workman 0 — Tylik Mason scored a pair of TDs as the Falcons set up a Montview League showdown against Gladstone next week with an easy victory over the Lobos.
Burbank 34, Pasadena 8 — James Williams rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns as Burbank dealt the Bulldogs quest for the Pacific League title a near-fatal blow. Pasadena, hoping to get back Brandon Cox in two weeks, now trails Muir and Burbank by two games in league play.
Rosemead 21, South El Monte 6 — The Panthers (3-3) got four field goals from sophomore Stephen Cansino and outstanding special teams play en route to victory.
Arcadia 49, Hoover 6 — Zachary Yee threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown as the Apaches stayed in the Pacific League race with an easy win.
Schurr 16, San Gabriel 15 — The Matadors’ quest for an Almont League repeat were dealt a blow as Estevan Tonche kicked a 46-yard field goal with five seconds to lead the Spartans over San Gabriel.
Temple City 48, Blair 0 — Look who is riding a three-game win streak? It’s the Rams, who got two touchdowns from junior Nick Starling.
Maranatha 40, Heritage Christian 7 — Omar Younger rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and Reid Pike caught four Eli Snyder passes for 100 yards and two touchdown as the Minutemen scored their first win of the season.
Bell Gardens 30, Alhambra 13 — The Moors, the preseason favorite in the Almont League, is starting to free fall after losing their second consecutive game.

Montebello 34, Keppel 6 — Oilers senior quarterback Matt Saenz completed 11 of 17 attempts for 165 yards and touchdown passes of 19 and 20 yards.

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  • BigCat

    Very skimpy coverage on Monrovia. Why?

  • anon

    *Sophomore Nic Starling

  • GrimReaper

    If you took the time to listen they were talking Ainsworth this and Ainsworth that etc… I know as a Monrovia fan you have become conditioned, as in a Pavlovian manner, to expect the Star News reporter to bleed Green and White, as the inevitable scorched march to the pre destined march to the RHL Championship and CIF Div Championship.

    But look at the headline,
    “St. Francis comes up short; Monrovia, Muir romp as San Marino, La Salle and Gabrielino stay perfect with easy wins”

    If you watch the Aram and Fred show, you will see that at the very end you will see a moment that reveals all, Fred observes who are the undefeated teams at this time.. Gabrielino is mentioned for the first time, whereupon Aram starts snickering as the other undefeated teams, Aram and Fred could not even remember SM was undefeated, as they were too busy laughing..It is truly an embarrassing moment, and most revealing to those that frequent these pages and have posted observations as to the one way road that is the coverage on these pages.

    Will those teams stay undefeated, the probability is low, but to go 6-0 is an achievement worthy of more than a chuckle-fest.

  • Titansportsfan

    SM vs LC final was 42-17 …. Garbage time td … Game not nearly as close as score indicates though … SM also did not play well in the opening part of the game mental mistakes all over the place …. But a solid W none the less

  • GrimReaper

    BigCat, NY, Philly et al

    I would estimate that the RHL coverage will be confined to Monrovia Green and White with the regular three articles a week we have grown to expect.

    But if you are expecting Aram, Fred, or Steve to go to a Monrovia game in the next month dont expect that as the Wild Cats rip though their opponents like a well sharpened Chain Saw. Even their interviews of the Monrovia team and coaching staff show a clear disdain for any other team in the RHL. Clearly the Green and White believe the run will never end, like the price of housing in last decade.

    The only game(s) the Star News Prep Crew might cover are Monrovia SM in around a month, and SM SP maybe, but I would guess that would be only if there were no more attractive matchups to divert their attention, and it will require SM an SP to stay on course and not slip to a TC or LC upset.

    And why not, the M SP game was a blow out and SP is the predicted third place team, that is predicted to give SM the predicted 2nd place team a stiff challenge. Only Fred had the guts to even try to say M SM might not be a blow out. Why would the SN Crew want to go to watch and feature a train wreck?

    So I would suggest the M faithful get used to it, after all it is ordained by the SN Crew that the RHL is an unworthy joke. Which is most interesting as they deliver a lot of papers on the driveways in the RHL.

    Note I still haven’t gotten Philly’s address so I can drop off the 2012 RHL and CIF trophies.

    Good Luck, on your championship.
    The Reaper.

  • Not so Grim

    Grimreaper, the RHL is looking much improved this year. I get your Monrovia hate, but it is bitter and as a fan who has never come on here to comment and boast about the team I take offense to it. SP has a lot of great players, which was evident last night,and it is a shame no one was there to see that last night. I’m sure if I were a fan of one of the other programs in the RHL I would see things much like yourself. All things are not equal though. I’m sure my son would love to have the income that those in San Marino enjoy, but instead he will enjoy his success on the football team in high school and then settle for a JC as we are not wealthy enough to pay for a real school, yet not poor enough to qualify for any assistance. Be thankful for what you have and don’t expect it all Grim. High school football is a small blip on the vast radar screen of life.

  • bigfatfan

    Grim: not so fast my friend, SP has a legit shot at 2nd place in RHL. no shame in getting blown out by MTown last night. i predict the rest of the RHL will get the same treatment. SM and SP should match up pretty well in that final league contest. MTown is two or three levels beyond the rest of the RHL. No one else has athletes to compare with the crop of kids that they have brought in. Still wonder how many of them are home grown vs. transfers to school. They belong is a difference conference all together, again, no shame is losing to them. SP boys played hard all night, never gave up. Great job boys.

    Purdue, did I see you at SP game last night? maybe sitting under pressbox with some other 2001 grads.

  • BigCat

    GrimReaper, I played for Monrovia.
    You say: “Even their interviews of the Monrovia team and coaching staff show a clear disdain for any other team in the RHL.”

    I played some time back, but here’s how it goes at Monrovia. Coach: We got the Little Sisters of The Poor this week. That lady at left tackle loves to hit. The lady at middle backer prays on the field. What we gonna do?”
    BigCat: “Lay the wood to ’em, like always. Then stand respectfully as the stratcher bearers do their thing.”
    Coach: “BigCat, you sound over confident. One thing gonna beat us is over confidence. Take five laps.”
    (I wasn’t over confident and it’s a good thing. The ladies had a swarming defense and I had to fight for yardage.)

  • GrimReaper


    The M faithful when presented with the theory that they will wing the RHL and CIF championship and a projection that Aram, Fred and Steve won’t go to a RHL game until maybe M V SM or SP V SM dependent on those programs continuing to do well, take it as hate.

    Come on, we all know you are going to win it all, just dont whine that the SN crew didn’t go to your game to cover it in minute detail.

    That was the point, the SN Crew is would rather go to some game that wont be a blow out.

    Or as in the end of the video, laugh that teams like Gabrielino is undefeated.

  • PurdueAlum05

    I wasn’t there last night but my friends were at the game. They said that M-town had bigger and faster athletes and were a better team. Are these players all home grown talent? I am proud to say that our Tigers don’t recruit but it shows on the field. I’ll be at the Temple City game this Friday. How about you?

  • New York

    Blowing out SouthPas with bigger and faster players is not new at Monrovia. So I’m not sure that would suggest a transfer-heavy roster.

  • BigCat

    It seems to be a common assumption that Monrovia is going out and recruiting players. Well, there are a few. Blake Heyworth was recruited from out of district, no wait, he was a Monrovia boy all along. Ge Vontry Ainsworth was recruited from out of district, no wait, he was a Monrovia boy all along.
    The pooint is that there were and maybe still are a lot of Monrovia boys playing out of district. Bringing then back is a bit different than just recruiting out of district.
    As to contemot for oponents, that’s crazy. The Wildcats substitute early and often in blowout games. They give the younger players a chance to get some action and then reap the benefits next year. The Wildcats also offer a running clock against outmanned opponents, not run up 85 points against a helpless foe.
    As to academics, las wek I cudnt evan spel grudaute, now I are won.

  • Observantcat

    To the South Pas contingent: There is plenty of upside on that South Pas squad this year, by the end of the season this team could be ready to roll in the playoffs. I noticed they are running the Wing-T on their offense, that alone could give some of the RHL teams fits. Although the score didn’t reflect it I saw some promise in this SP team.
    PS. I agree with BigCat as far as the recruiting goes, Monrovia has several great athletes in terms of football players actually enrolled at the continuation school or playing for local private schools, so as far as that recruiting thing goes, it Isn’t happening. If it were a perfect world, we probably could contend for much higher level Div. Championships.

  • bigfatfan

    Cats: you guys have a very good program. probably the best in the area. if you build it, they will come, and you have lots of depth on the roster, that was evident on Friday. I think SP is building a good program under Coach Konrad. the Wing T for us is a good base offense. and we can definately throw out of that formation. Fingers crossed we blitz our next three opponents and head into the SM game at 7-2, that would be something special. good luck to you guys the rest of the way. if we meet again, hopefully its deep in the playoffs.

    Purdue, yes will be there Friday. if you can, purchase one of our game day books that the football booster club has reinitiated.

  • New York

    South Pas showed signs of some good things, especially your interior offensive line play with your inside run game. Your linemen played with very low pad level and really worked the double teams well. Your guys got a good push even early in the game. You could probably live on that and blowout LC, TC, Blair and probably grind out a victory over San Marino.

    Monrovia has superior talent across the board and these types of games are tough to grade. Offensively, I really like the new formation and personel with Frazier at fullback and Walsh at Tight-end, with Ainsworth at Tailback of course. Jones looks to be coming along as well. We still have far too many dropped balls and incomplete passes. Eventually I hope to see some play action dump-off passes to Frazier from that formation.

    Your comment about the best program in the area: The best program in the area should not allow blocked PATs nor should it allow punts to roll for extra yards rather than line up at an appropriate (scouted) distance and catch the ball on the fly. Our PAT got blocked because SouthPas smartly used a bigger athlete to steamroll through our much smaller wing-back. The problem is that wings on PAT/FG units need to be bigger guys like a TE/LB/FB. We need Frazier and/or Walsh to be that position. The advantage is that he won’t get rolled AND in a bad snap situation he offers a BIG target for a desperation throw. It seems that our special teams will just remain as they were in game #1.

  • PurdueAlum05

    New York,
    I was never knocking your talent at M-town because I have played against it first hand. I guess I was just referring to Ainsworth and Heyworth, but Heyworth is from M-town. Recruiting a player like Ainsworth is a big deal. The kid can play. Is he related to Akil Harris or Mike Ainsworth? Those two guys were studs back in the day. Believe it or not, Soutb Pas loses a lot of talent to private schools. Loyola, St. Francis and even Poly have had players play there then go to South Pas. My class had two players transfer to CV before freshmen year and those two guys were awesome starting middle backers for them. One of them was first team all league. This was the Coach Smith coaching days. I am hoping that our staff can retain this talent. From the looks of our freshmen team, I think we’re doing a good job of keeping them. Good luck the rest of the season! I’ll be pulling for you guys to do well.

  • PurdueAlum05

    I’ll pickup a program on Friday. Do you help sell them for the booster club?

  • PurdueAlum05

    “New York said:
    Blowing out SouthPas with bigger and faster players is not new at Monrovia. So I’m not sure that would suggest a transfer-heavy roster.”

    New York,
    In previous years, M-town was blowing out South Pas teams that had far less coaching and skills than they do now. Coach Smith was notorious for calling the same play two or three times in a row and it never worked. Imagine being a lineman and coming up to the line and the defensive players already know where the ball is going. That happened a lot back when I was in school. Hats off to M-town for having the far superior team. If you read my previous posts to bigfatfan, I precited the score to be close to what it was. Good luck the rest of the way.

  • New York

    I really don’t know many specifics other than he has two uncles (Kim and Mike) whose names are etched onto Monrovia’s MVP trophy and played at Monrovia in the early 80’s and late 90’s, respectively, and his dad was QB and likely MVP on Duarte’s 1992 CIF Finals team and was also the 1993 Hall of Fame Game MVP.

    Beleive me, I realized what a big deal it was to have Ainsworth enroll at Monrovia. That has been part of my early season frustration, especially after seeing his many yards after contact against Ayala and every other time he has carried the ball. That is not to overlook his tenacity on defense as well.

  • PurdueAlum05

    Thanks for the insight New York! I appreciate it a lot.

  • New York

    No problem. I love talking SGV football.

  • Steve Ramirez

    Thanks for the info, New York. I didn’t know that about the Ainsworths. I covered the dad at Duarte, so now with Ge Vontray, I’ve now covered both a father and son.

  • Mean Green Pastures…

    Monrovia is a Southeast level team. Period. There is no need for us to cry over spilled milk…over the years Monrovia has lost ton of players to other schools, which end up winning titles. We don’t cry about it. We take our lumps. Monrovia is one of the very few schools who does not have a long list of tranfers coming in, and does have a long list of tranfers going out…and this date back to the early 90’s. Ask Farrar, ask South Hills, ask West co, ask BA, a few monrovia-duarte players walk the halls and contribute heavily. It’s no problem to us…we just play with our locals…Monrovia is going to beat La Canada 52-14, Blair ????-0, San Marino 42-14, and TC 48-7. That’s how its going to go down.

  • New York

    That 1992 Duarte team was very talented, with 2-3 guys who got a bit of time in the NFL. I can see you have been covering local teams for a while.

    To be fair, I wish my Monrovia teams had some of Coach Smith’s predictability, because then we could have become proficient at something. As it was, our coach seemingly wanted to install a completely new offense every week. Our bread and butter could have been a power-I and we would have made it to the semi-finals against La Mirada of Temescal Canyon. Rather, we went from pro, to wing-T, to I, to double-wing. If allowed to run any of those for 10 consecutive weeks we would have been very good. However, you could predict our new formation by whatever team on TV the previous weekend did something exciting.

    No need to mention the talent outflow. We historically did not take full advantage of what he had. I remember when Mike Ainsworth was called up to Varsity as a sophomore AFTER the first week of league play (a loss to San Marino when our starting tailback was injured). That was a week too late. Four weeks later, in our CIF loss to Aliso Niguel, Ainsworth had just one carry and gained 18 yards. That came in the early first quarter. It was not on a trick play but rather on a power sweep. I guess no one thought to give him a second and third carry…

    Anyway, we are indeed a Southeast caliber team with the appropriate enrollment makeup. To be fair, we have 400 more students than San Dimas. We have a pretty comparable enrollment to Diamond Ranch, but they are part of a larger school district. Charter Oak has just about 1900 too. I think we are around 1700.

  • Titansportsfan

    SP if they can establish a run game against SM will definitely be in it. That game could be done by done within 2 hours if thats the case cause sm is very content to grind the game out on the ground very discipline game called by the SM coaches on a regular basis unless you take away what they want to do they’ll just keep attacking it. After LC’s early score on a play that SM shouldnt have gotten beat on (3rd and 12 beat on wheel route up the sideline) SM’s next drive consisted of approximately 10-12 run plays without a pass even being dialed up and short score later the rout was on. If LC beats even TC its an upset in my book. From everything i have read though the past few weeks on here is that SP struggles against the run and that opposing running backs are too easily into the second level if that doesnt change in the next 3 1/2 weeks its going to be a long game for them against SM.

    While the talk on transfers is going on as well like SP we too lose athletes to other schools. Very rare we get many coming in as well but frankly you have to work with what you got and make the best of it and we have a staff that does a damn good job of getting the best out of the talent it has.

  • UCLA Bruin

    Great win over St. Francis by the Cathedral Phantoms. It makes a big difference when you have a healthy QB Hayden Rettig back for the Phantoms.

  • NO D

    Why does everyone think SP is that good. They have only beat one team with a winning record in two years. Last year Alhambra was the team with a winning record. This year no teams with a winning record. They do have a very good Offense starting with the line and backs. QB is also doing a fine job. Look who they beat bad teams. Hoover beat them. I hope they win out but I just dont see them beating SM with that D. I dont know if this is right but I think the record for the teams they beat is like 7-29. Maybe someone can look that up. BFF maybe you can look that up you seem to know a lot about SP. I hope I am wrong about them.

  • New York

    Looking at La Canada’s enrollment versus any of the RHL except Monrovia, I conclude that their lack of competitive football is based on priorities. La Canada has roughly 1,000 more students than San Marino HS does. Maybe the LC community is content with waterpolo, soccer and basektball. I dont get it, but to each his own.

  • PacFan

    SP lost to Hoover, enough said. . .

  • PurdueAlum05

    South Pas can score, but you’re correct about their defense. It gives up a lot of yards and points. I see this being a problem against a good team like your Titans. It is a rivarly game, so who knows what could happen. I am a South Pas Alum but I think San Marino has the edge in the game. I hope they prove me wrong.

  • PurdueAlum05

    South Pas did lose to Hoover. That was week #2. What’s your point? I heard South Pas was up by 14 points in the 4th quarter and lost. If any teams blows that kind of lead in a game then you don’t deserve to win. I still think if there was a rematch the South Pas would win by 3 or 4 tds. Funny thing about Hoover is that they start out undefeated and then lose every game after that. That shows that they don’t know how to face adversity well and lack mental toughness. Who is your team?

  • rhlfan

    New York,

    it seems like LC just doesn’t put emphasis into football. their volleyball, basketball, water polo, soccer, and sometimes even baseball teams continually rank in the highest in the rhl. except for football

  • PurdueAlum05

    South Pas did lose to Hoover. That was week #2. What’s your point? I heard South Pas was up by 14 points in the 4th quarter and lost. If any teams blows that kind of lead in a game then you don’t deserve to win. I still think if there was a rematch that South Pas would win by 3 or 4 tds. Funny thing about Hoover is that they start out undefeated and then lose every game after that. That shows that they don’t know how to face adversity well and lack mental toughness. Who is your team?

  • PurdueAlum05


    LC has switched places with South Pas. I can recall for years when my Tigers were in the Spartans place…even when I played.

  • Bigfatfan

    Purdue: I think “No D” is actually SPGrad in disguise. Anyway, he is a grumbled, probably someone that has a beef with the new coaching staff at SP. as for Hoover game, our single loss, we were actually trailing Hoover for most of the game. We took a brief lead with about 7 minutes left in fourth quarter, but then gave up a five minute game winni g drive to Hoover. Go figure. We lost, it’s over. Time to move on. Looking forward to laying the wood to TC this week.

  • Titansportsfan

    Purdue Alum

    The fact its a rivalry game with most likely playoff implications for both teams in some shape or form i expect it to be a four quarter battle …. expect nothing but the best from your team and hopefully we answer that with our best … were both biased but by no means do i think it wont be close it comes down to execution, adjustments at half and simply who wants it more …. i only give ourselves a distinct advantage in the adjustments at half department but thats based off what i have seen of the SM games the last two years

  • NO D

    No I am not a SP Grad Bigfatfan. I am just a fan of high school football. Moved to South Pasadena 4 years ago and follow the schools in the area. I like to go to SP games because I can walk there and watch. I think the Tigers are doing a good job on Offense but there D is not very good. I just dont see them beating good teams. And they really havent yet. Like I said I hope I am wrong. I watch a few years ago when they beat SM at SM. There QB then and RB then had a great game. Hope to see another good one this year.

  • rhlfan

    NO D,

    I don’t know what you’re talking about but the SP SM game a few years back where SP came to SM on homecoming night was with a qb that threw for the most interceptions in SM history, and a rb in ryan wood, who was a sophomore at the time, and a coaching situation that had their principal coaching because mooney was caught embezzling money.

    look i’m not trying to take anything away from anything, but using years past is not a good barometer of what’s gonna happen this year. the fact of the matter is is that South Pas’s defense will have to get stronger by the SP v SM game, because SM’s offense looks amazing right now…their worst output so far this year was 27 against CV.

    in terms of SP’s offense vs SM’s defense, I find that a lot more evenly matched.

    this week will be an excellent barometer to see where South Pas really is…they have to answer for that hoover game.

  • NO D

    RHLFAN I was talking about SP QB and RB. Those two kids had a great game. Would like to see those two with this offense this year. Didnt know what was going on at SM at that time was new to the area.

  • rhlfan

    NO D,

    my bad. was joey harmon still on JV at the time?

  • 6power

    Fridays So Pas/ TC game is huge for the Rams and Coach Mac.
    This is the smallest O/D line TC team I can remember, inexperienced non-throwing QB, a handful of tough nosed kids on defense and not a big name among them. It is a Robin Hood “all for one and one for all” team vibe.
    Despite a horrendous 3 game start of consecutive shutouts…no actually blowouts, Mac and staff have injected life and motivation into the kids – and they believe. What else could a parent ask for –

    The Rams are blocking and tackling – and not much fancier than that. TC has gotten better, their play against Rosemead was good to the point of shocking – when compared to the lay down and die Arroyo game performance. Looking forward to yelling Friday night and hope that others will raise voices in support. These kids are playing their asses off, win or lose.

    6Power – formerly Goldenarm

  • PurdueAlum05

    NO D,
    I agree with you about South Pas. The offense is good but the defense is just as bad. I have only been to two games but from what I saw I wasn’t impressed.

    I believe the South Pas players that you were talking about are Conor Bednarski (QB) and Patrick Martin (RB). Conor’s brother is on the varsity team right now. I believe he is #9.

    6Power – formerly Goldenarm, let’s meet up to watch the game. I would love to put a face with a name. I’ll buy you Hi-Life if you’re down. You’re one of the most loyal and knowledgeable fans on here. Your Rams are playing good football right now. It should be a good game tomorrow night.