State Playoffs: Monrovia’s dream dashed by Madison of San Diego

Here’s some video highlights from last night’s game.

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez

MONROVIA – There may be a time when Monrovia High School will look back at the 2012 football season and have good thoughts about arguably the best year in the program’s history.
But not today.
Instead, the Wildcats can only reflect on what might have been.
Lee Walker returned a kickoff 91 yards for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter, Jamie Gomez scored two touchdowns and had two interceptions and Madison of San Diego ended Monrovia’s hope for a CIF State championship with a 21-17 victory over the host Wildcats on Saturday in the CIF State South Region Division III Bowl.
Madison improved to 13-1 and will face Marin Catholic for the Division III state championship next Saturday at noon at Home Depot Center.
Monrovia, getting 194 yards passing and a touchdown from Blake Heyworth and 118 yards rushing from Darione Jones, finished 12-3. The Wildcats won their third consecutive Southern Section Mid-Valley Division title a week earlier.
It looked like they would have a shot to add a state championship to their resume after Heyworth threw 16 yards to Anthony Craft for a 17-14 lead with 5:44 left.
But it was wiped out in a blink of an eye.
Walker went up the middlefor 91 yards on the ensuing kickoff to put Madison ahead at 21-17 with 5:29 left.
Monrovia, which had two scoring chances end with missed field goals in the first half, had two chances in the final five minutes. But the Wildcats gave the ball back on downs at the Madison 44 on an incomplete pass and Michael Garner intercepted Heyworth on a long pass inside the Warhawks’ 20 with 10 seconds left.
Gomez gave Madison a 14-7 lead early in the third quarter with a 25-yard interception return.
Mason Bryant countered with a 28-yard field with 3:39 left in the quarter.
Monrovia also had a shot to take the lead, but Gomez intercepted Heyworth in the end zone on a third-and-goal pass at the 8 early in the fourth quarter.
The first half was as tight as anticipated, with each team taking its shot.
Monrovia, which had been averaging close to 300 yards rushing in the playoffs, had 132 during the first two quarters, including 44 in an 80-yard drive on their third possession that gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
Heyworth had completions of 18 and 24 yards before Bryant and Craft followed with runs of 10 and 11 yards to get Monrovia inside the Warhawks 10.
Ainsworth, who had 61 yards in the first half, then took it in from the 7 with 4:52 left in the quarter.
Madison, which had 109 total yards in the first half, took advantage of Monrovia fumble to tie it early in the second half.
The Warhawks, after getting the ball following a fumble by Darione Jones at the Monrovia 27, needed just six plays to get even and tied it at 7 on a 3-yard run by Gomez with 10:42 left in the first half.
Monrovia had two chances to reclaim the lead. But Bryant’s 26-yard field goal try hit the upright with 3:20 left in the half, and a 54-yard attempt with six seconds left was short.

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  • New York

    Good Luck, Monrovia.

    • AMAT 73

      New York and the rest of Mtown,
      Good luck to your CATS tonight . Keep the drive going for state . Play hard and give it all you got .

      • New York

        Thanks for the wishes Amat 73. They played hard last night.

  • Kennedy Bryant

    Just like SH and Ayala we should have won. Tonight and on those nights figuratively speaking the wildcats beat 2 teams, we beat the other team and we beat ourselves, it was a good run, it will be something to remember forever and as always Im very proud to be a MHS Wildcat. Ill let the haters have the floor.

    • tommy gun

      Ayala’s point of view is that they should have won the game by more points if only they didn’t fumble the ball on the 5 yard line going in. South Hills point of view is that if their coach hadn’t acted like the game was already over and stuck to the same things that were working instead of experimenting with different plays and players then the game would have finished as the blowout that it was for 3/4 of the game. St. Francis point of view is that if they didn’t fumble the ball at the end of the game going in for the winning TD then they would have/ should have beaten you. A wise old football coach once said, “you are what your record says you are” and Monrovia is 11-4 in one of the lowest divisions of High School Football.

      • tommy gun

        Scratch that, 12-3. A good record non-the-less and a good year for your school but Monrovia is certainly no more an elite team in the SGV than RHP.

        • New York

          Dont fool yourself tommy gun. RHP is a truly elite team at the state level. That is why CIF chose them to play in the Division 4 regional bowl. Saying that Monrovia is no more elite than RHP is a compliment to Monrovia, not an insult.

      • Kennedy Bryant

        Yes we are what we and you are what you are, which is a jealous nobody that cry’s about the success of others. That wise old coach of yours should have given you some more advise and that is shut your mouth when you can offer nothing. What are we…. Champions and sending 5 of our seniors off to play on Saturdays next season in the PAC 12, Big 10 MTN west and MAC. Yes we are what are what are you? Your nameless blogger that has nothing to offer except criticism of others success. Go ahead and enjoy the 16-15 over Monrovia because you have never had any other success in your life loser. You just some no name blogger that no one gives a rats ass about. Kennedy Bryant

  • New York

    Monrovia Wildcats,
    Congratulations on a great season, players and coaches. I am proud of you. You guys dedicated countless hours and conducted yourselves with integrity the past several years. Playing 15 games is something only the 1992 Bishop Amat Lancers have done in modern history.

    You boys played your hearts out all season all the way to the end, limiting Madison to just one offensive touchdown, for which they needed a fumble on the 26 yard line to assist them with field position. That is an offense with two skill guys committed to University of Arizona and huge line. You boys should be proud of the effort you put forth. Sometimes hard work is not enough. Sometimes in life you make a bad deal and kick yourself later. This is a good lesson.

    To the seniors,
    Thank you for all the memories. Don’t cry about last night more than a couple days and then move on. Learn from it. Now it’s time to finish submitting your college applications by the early January deadlines. Then go to college and embrace your new life. When the time is right down the road, get involved with Monrovia football again in some capacity, but go out and spread your wings first and become a role model.

    Underclassmen and coaches,
    You guys get another bite at the apple. Let these three losses bother you all off-season. LEARN FROM THEM. Do what is best for Monrovia Football. Resist the urge to dismiss things as hindsight. Even great teams make mistakes, like when USC lost to Texas in 2005 and Reggie Bush (the best player) was not even on the field during USC’s most critical drive and had limited touches the entire second half, but was that really a hindsight issue?

    • tommy gun

      How quickly we forget. I pretty sure that Rio Hondo Prep just completed their 15th game of the season last Friday. Oh, that’s right, RHP plays in Div. 13 so that doesn’t count because that’s “Small Boy Football” right?

      • New York

        So from my entire post your takeaway is YOUR opportunity to try and snub RHP? Only pathetic fools like yourself use terms like that. My oversight was that since 1992 Amat was the only team until this year. Go read earlier posts and I praised RHP. You are a total clown. By the way, RHP is not Division 13. They are in the Eastern, but for bowl games they were Division 4 and Monrovia is Division 3. Both these programs are top notch.

  • On to next year

    Congratulations to Madison. They played a clean game(made less mistakes) and came up with the big plays. Good luck in state. Also congratulations to Monrovia to a great season and winning their 3rd CIF Championship. Great job boys.

    The two things I griped about all season came back and bit Monrovia in the butt. The passing game and special teams. Even with Jones breaking runs of 20 and 30 yards in the 4th quarter, Maddox inexplicably moves away from the run game completely during their second to last possession with over 3 minutes left and two time outs. And why bother having a 4 receiver set when everybody knows that you’re going to throw the ball to the same guy every time. The 12 to 11 love fest was hard to watch especially when other receivers were clearly wide open and the running game was working. It’s easy to defend the passing game when the defense knows the qb will LOCK ON to his favorite receiver 90% of the time. Maddox is a good head coach but he seriously needs to hand over the play calling to someone else. And they also need to find a new special teams coach. Monrovia punt returners from day one REFUSED to catch the ball and optioned to let it bounce continuously giving up an average of 10 yards. You don’t need the fastest kid back there catching the ball, you need the kid with the biggest balls that isn’t afraid to catch the punt in a crowd. Tackling, what can I say, except for the LBs and #1, Monrovia tackling was just atrocious. Again, good luck to Madison. Hope you guys win it.

    Oh well, here’s to next year. Hopefully we will go back to the running game.

    • Cats 96′

      Monrovia tackling was atrocious? What game were you watching buddy? You can say what we want about our QB locking on, like we advise and teach that, or Punt Returners not catching the ball, like we advise and teach that, or our kicker kicking to #10, like we advise or teach that but Defense was lights out. The whole Defense. The last time I checked the age of children in H.S. are 15-18, They are just kids. Not all children react in pressure situations as others. That is a lot more important sometimes then X’s and O’s. I am just an observer I have no say so with any affairs with the Team but I do frequent their practices often. The last time I checked those guys out there are the same guys that have won Back to Back to Back Championship, Congrats Coaches. Monday morning QBs are part of the game

      • On to next year

        How’s it going coach? Defense was amazing last night, no doubt. When I mentioned poor tackling, I’m talking mostly about the special teams. As far as the rest of your comment, I don’t get your point. Monrovia’s 15-18 year olds played against Madison’s 15-18 year olds. Lastly, 15 games into the season, if your qb is still locking on, and your punt returners still letting the ball bounce down the field, and your kicker kicks it to their best return man, as a coach, you sure damn well aren’t putting a stop to it.

        • WarhawkMom

          I have to give mad props to the Wildcats for a heck of a game Saturday night. It was a nail biter in the end. Your defense pretty much neutralized our running game even with a smaller line. Our center had a rough time snapping with your nose guard so quickly in his face, but he held his ground and settled in (thankfully). Tough team Monrovia, seriously. One thing I have to say about our Madison team is that their chemistry is outstanding. They bond even tighter when the chips are down and feed off of each other. They never say never and I think that’s what helped them stay in that game and ultimately come out with the victory. That takes nothing away from a great Monrovia team. We also appreciate your hospitality (except for a few loud and obnoxious home team fans over on our visitor side) you were great hosts. We will do our best to represent So Cal well in the finals. Only our second trip and we hope to come out with the win this time. Let’s go Mad-house!!!!!

          • GrimReaper

            Deal with it, we have been doing that in the RHL for years, Nothing like having an over aged pep squad member announcing the games and amping up the crowd noise in key situations.

            The question is, “Just how does Monrovia get all those home playoff games?” Just lucky I guess.

          • MADISONWarhawkMom

            ??? Football budget? We had to fund raise quickly this week to get our boys up there this past weekend. We’re a SD city school with barely a budget. Or @grim reaper were your comments in reply to someone else?

          • GrimReaper

            chill,

            It didn’t hurt the Monrovia football budget to have 4 of 5 playoff games at home. I dont know how the gate receipts are divided, between the visitor, home and the CIF, but the home team probably gets more of the gate and gets concessions and program sales 100%.

          • MADISONWarhawkMom

            Not stressing, just wasn’t sure what you were talking about.

          • New York

            Good luck to Madison. I hope Monrovia lost to the state champ!

          • me

            Program sales from 2 games, I’ll give you. Not that that’s a big money maker. Semi was away and final is a CIF program that we get none of. No program at Saturday’s game, but lots of CIF over priced stuff to sell that they get the profits for. CIF gets 100% of the gate and sends back a tiny amount to each school. In regular season the gate goes to ASB so I’m not sure that any of the money sent back even goes to football. Concessions, again, have to be split 50/50 with the band. Call the administrators office if you are that curious. They’ll give you the info. I hate when people make assumptions about things they know little about.

          • New York

            Don’t feel the need apologize for Monrovia’s success. Our town made the investment, our coaches, players and parents have made the commitment, and now we should enjoy it and encourage others to follow suit. Success should be celebrated, not ridiculed. If anything, Monrovia deserves a bigger piece of the gate. Why shouldn’t our fans’ money get reinvested into the football program and school in general?

          • me

            Don’t forget that out of the gate you have to pay for lights, officials, extra staff and security and who knows what else. How much money does that really leave? I don’t know myself but I’m thinking not that much.

          • New York

            What is wrong with getting a big share of the gate receipts if our town borrowed bond money to pay for a nice stadium and then our fans show up and pay $12 per ticket to watch the game? Why shouldn’t Monrovia get some benefit? I’m irritated that we don’t get more.

          • me

            He’s not too bright. Just hates Monrovia because they’ve been kicking his team’s butt for so long. It was not a fundraiser for our school to host that game. Football got very little money out of it, or any play-off games for the matter, but we were happy to do it. No school districts fund football anymore. He is obviously out of the loop. Great job getting that kind of money together so quickly. Sounds like your community is behind your team.

          • me

            Well, let’s see: 1st playoff game was home field advantage because of top 4 ranking, 2nd game was home on coin flip, 3rd game was also coin flip but it was away, 4th game was home automatic because Paraclete had already had 3 home playoff games. Regional: Madison was given the opportunity to host but could not accommodate the numbers/bleachers so it was offered to Monrovia. CIF officials were at final games so all fields were checked out ahead of time for approval in case the team was offered a regional bowl shot. Grim you used to be a stand up guy but now you are bitter and hate filled. It’s too bad you have become so jealous.

          • GrimReaper

            Do you realize how going through gymnastics about how having several thousand people come to buy tickets, programs, concessions, team gear, programs etc is some sort of bad deal.

            You sound like a used car salesman telling a customer that the dealership is losing money on the car they just ripped off on and ripped off the guy who traded it in…

            And yes if hoping that some other team in the RHL kicks Monrovia’s butt next year, makes me a hater as you Monrovia fans cast other fans as, well from now on you can count me in as Anybody but Monrovia.

          • me

            Not gymnastics. Just facts. Look into it. Team gear? The only thing sold at CIF games is CIF gear that we do not get a share in. You do understand that anything sold outside of the snack bar has to be split with CIF right? Besides, the only “team gear” sold all season is Monrovia HS sweatshirts, etc. which are sold by ASB(who also keeps the profits.) You really need to check your facts Grim. You have no idea what goes on at these games. Don’t start rumors when you are not aware of the facts. You are mistaken about profits. Monrovia football is not a money making machine. We have rabid fans but that does not translate into finances. Look at demographics in the neighborhood. Sure there are those who live in the foothills(many of who send their kids to private schools), but most Monrovians are lower, middle class folk. The boys sell discount cards, get sponsors for lift a thons and sell t-shirts, etc. to fund the program and to pay for their rings. You sound like someone who refuses to hear when given the truth because he doesn’t want to know the truth. Again, I ask you to look into the facts.

          • New York

            Grim,
            The first requirement of hosting many playoff games is to continue advancing in the the playoffs! Next, the games are decided ahead of time when the first games are announced.

            In 1997 Monrovia had to travel to Pierce College to play Mira Costa in the finals. In 1998 we had to travel to Paso Robles to play on Paso’s homefield in the finals. In 1999 Paso came to Citrus College to play us. Once Monrovia based a bond measure to renovate our field and stadium we were qualified to host the CIF Finals, except in 2010 we had to go to Arcadia.

            Anyway, the key to hosting is to continue advancing.

          • New York

            passed the bond…

          • GrimReaper

            And it sure doesnt hurt the football budget, either.

          • me

            You’re not too informed if you think all that money goes to the football program. Most goes to CIF, some goes to ASB. The snack bar gets split 50/50 between band and football and the parking lots go to all the clubs who worked them. None of the parking lots went to the football team. The only money made by the football team was the snack bar money. I love people like you who think our team benefits from the home games financially.

          • New York

            The football program gets hosed on its share of the revenue.

    • New York

      I gotta say that after reading Eric Sondheimer’s article about Long Beach Poly’s victory over Bakersfield on Friday, I see a lot of similarities of teams not staying with their identity and allowing their MVP to win the game for them from beginning to end. It hurts when you are so close and work so hard but go down and leave bullets in the chamber.

  • AMAT 73

    Congratulations on a great season to the Monrovia Wildcats. Came up a bit short but you gave your fans one hell of ride this season . Hold you heads high and be proud of your accomplishments this season . Well done !!!!!!

  • GrimReaper

    Congratulations on a great season, Threepeat, and Bowl game.

    That said,

    I look forward to a change in the balance of power next year and hope we will see a new RHL and or CIF division 11 champion. As the other programs are concerned we are ready for a little less Green and White. The sooner the better as far as we are concerned.

    With the numbers of key positions that are filled by graduating Seniors, maybe we (the rest of the league will dodge a bullet when the Maddox recruiting team fails to restock with transfers like Ainsworth)

    If the transfers in fall like rain on Monrovia, but when the rest of the league losses key players to transfers out, it will be business as usual in the RHL.

    • New York

      Hopefully Monrovia leaves the RHL ASAP so we can finally start developing to our potential. There is plenty of talent still there.

  • SGV_FOOTBALL

    Hell of a season Monrovia!!! Your still CIF Champions. Some of you guys have 3 CIF rings, remember some kids never one 1 CIF ring. You guys are among the elite in the SGV. Hoping to see you guys in the Southeast next year!

  • Observantcat

    Well Tommy Gun, Some of the Highest Div. 1 Scouts were out in record numbers last night at Wildcat Stadium looking at these guys play. Where were YOU? Back to real football talk. Monrovia displayed perhaps one of the best defensive games this season, uncanny mistakes took away the win but what it did do was to allow those chosen to step up and defend next years squad a chance to shine. Darrione Jones will be a Monster going into next season, along with a more mature Offensive line and a versatile QB back at the helm. Others that have stepped up their game and were being watched by some of the scouts were #3 Darius McClain and #21 Octavius Spencer, Next years squad should be fun to watch. I would love for Monrovia to up it’s preseason schedule and play teams on the other side of the 57 fwy or better yet, Give us Crespi !!! that game will be a lot closer than many of you think and could go either way.

  • Eastern Ave.

    I was hoping that the Cats were going to move on but in a very similar fashion as RHP having a lead late it was not to be.

    Both teams represented the Valley more that well.
    Congratulations to the Parent, Students, Players, coaches and faculty on a great season!

    The future is bright at Monrovia if they hold on to the coach, he has done a great job with the kids there.

    The team at RHP is always in flux with the small numbers but the staff is not going anywhere so they will be very competitive next season.

    We shall see what is store for the Kares after that.

    2012 will be the season to remember for those of us in this part of the valley with 2 local schools making the final 8 playing in the southern section and being part of the sweet 16 in the entire state of California playing 11 man high school football.

    It was fun to watch!

    “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” – Bill Shankly

    Maranatha… Oh Magoo! :D

  • AMAT 73

    Not hating or bashing but where in the hell is my buddy Greener Pastures
    aka GP and other names ???????? Haven’t seen hide nor hair of him on any blog . WHAT GIVES ????? You can’t be as vocal as he is on many teams in the ESGV ( which mainly he is putting them down or has some negativity about them ) and then dissappear because your team lost in a bowl game playoff . Hummmmmmm .

    • New York

      Send out the search parties. The Holidays can be tough enough on people enough as is…

  • MHS ’99

    Best player in the program’s history was not on the 2012 team!!!

  • CW

    Best player in MHS football history was not on this year’s team.

    • Kennedy Bryant

      Who Cares…. He doesnt have a 3 CIF Championship Rings……