Monrovia and Rio Hondo Prep believed they were the best teams in their respective divisions and showed it Friday, each beating top seeds to win CIF-Southern Section titles. For the Wildcats, it’s their third consecutive Mid-Valley crown to become the first area team since Temple City in 1978 to three-peat, beating Paraclete, 23-7. Rio Hondo Prep added to its already crowded CIF-SS title trophy case, winning title No. 14 with a 28-21 win over Mission Prep, which handed the Kares a 47-14 defeat in August. Now comes the question have the two earned spots in the regional bowls, slated for next week. I believe they have, CIF decides Sunday.
MONROVIA 23, PARACLETE 7
Move over area coaching legend Bob Hitchcock and Temple City, you have company.
Ge Vontray Ainsworth rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and host Monrovia held Paraclete to 124 yards to become the first area team to win three consecutive CIF-Southern Section titles since Temple City in 1978 with a 23-7 win Friday over the Spirits for its third straight Mid-Valley Division championship.
The Wildcats, which held usually productive Paraclete to nine yards rushing and three first downs in the second half, improved to 12-2 and could be selected for a CIF State regional bowl when pairings are announced on Sunday.
Paraclete, seeking its third division title since 2008, finished 12-2.
Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox: “This is the result of the dedication of this coaching staff and players. We don’t talk a lot about three-peats, just getting better each week and being the best you can be. It’s an incredible feeling, but we have to stay humble and continue to work.”
Monrovia’s George Frazier V: “We just made adjustments to what they were doing. They came out and did things they hadn’t done all year. But we’re a second-half team.
Monrovia’s Anthony Craft, who caught an 85-yard TD pass in the third quarter: “It was actually supposed to be a run play. The corner came up, so we called fade. Blake (Heyworth) threw it in the right spot, and I caught it.”
RIO HONDO PREP 28, MISSION PREP 21
The CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division championship still belongs to Rio Hondo Prep High School.
Considered by many to be sizable underdogs on Friday night against Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo – the team that blew out the Kares back in August – host Rio Hondo Prep got sweet revenge with a 28-21 win to repeat as division champion.
Running back Nate Tayco ran for 178 yards to lead the Kares, who improved to 12-1. Mission Prep, which beat Rio Hondo, 47-14, in August, finished 11-2.
The Kares won the division for the second consecutive season to win the program’s 14th CIF-SS title, tops in the area. They will find out Sunday if it gets them a CIF State Regional Bowl berth.
Rio Hondo coach Ken Drain: “They just killed us the first time we played them, and tonight we were determined to do our thing. It’s all about improving every week, and that’s what we did. We came back tonight and played a great game against a very, very, very good Mission Prep team.”