Blame Bonita, not Turner for this Smudge Pot loss …

There’s nothing anyone can tell Bonita High School running back ReggieTurner right now, so just shut up.

Turner is feeling the pain from his late fumble that three plays later lead to San Dimas scoring the go-ahead touchdown and crucial extra point for a 37-36 win in a stirring renewal of the Smudge Pot on Thursday night at Citrus College.

Bonita had rallied from a 23-0 deficit in the first half to go on a 36-7 run and lead 36-30 with just under three minutes to play with the ball at their own 10-yard line.

The Bearcats likely needed only a first down or a good Brandt Davis punt to pull off one of the most epic comebacks in one of the most epic games in one of the area’s most epic rivalries.

Then, Turner fumbled.

And anybody who’s seen his or her share of football knew what was coming next. And it did, in the form of an Andrew Espinoza 10-yard touchdown run with two minutes to play. Erick Ware booted through the extra point and the Saints were on their way despite some late Bonita attempts to steal the game back.

Turner was inconsolable after the game. He probably still is today. He probably will be 10 years from now. But the loss, wasn’t his fault. Not that he’ll want to hear that.

The loss was nobody’s fault but Bonita’s. Not Turner. Not the the long snapper who sent the ball over Davis’ head on Bonita’s first punt attempt, which resulted in a safety. How big were those two points when it was all said and done?

Nor was it the fault of the coaching staff, which when down 23-0 decided to go for two and got it, but when trailing by 22 mere minutes later decided to the kick extra point. There’s really no difference between a 22- or 23-point deficit. But the decision to not go for two again proved big. How big would that point have been in a 37-36 loss

It’s cliche, but nobody loses a game for a football team. A football team loses a game for a football team. Bonita learned that lesson on Thursday night.

That’s what football is. It’s a potpourri of mistakes. The winner is the team with the fewest mistakes and the one with the most points. They’re typically one in the same.

“We made one less mistake than they did,” San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow said after the game. “That’s all it was.”

Were the Bearcats the better team? Well, they were good enough to go on a 36-7 run and bad enough to give up a 23-0 run.

Turner and his teammates are feeling the sting of what happens when you risk in life and lose in a cruel manner. It’s a feeling they’ll no doubt experience again later in life, be it in another football game or something else.

Turner was in the game after returning from injury, but few will remember that because of what happened next. But anybody who really knows what happened on Thursday knows this painful loss for Bonita runs deeper than one man and one play.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

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  • GP-

    when a team goes down 23 pts, and they come up short, you don’t want to blame anyone. However, you do expect your SR running back to hold on ball late in the game. Especially when you have the lead. Can you really blame the whole team for a fumble? Turner is a above average back. In moments like this, there is nothing you say to Turner. He knows he messed up. The good thing about week 0 is that there are 9 more weeks to redeem yourself. Hopefully he can shake this off and continue on. You can blame the team for going down 23. You can give credit to the team for coming back. In the game of football, one player may not lose it, but one person can put the opposition in a position to win it. This is a hard lesson for Bonita to learn early. San Dimas did a great job of winning a game against a upper division foe. They too, have to learn from this. Coach z must be happy with the win, but will want to take a look at his D. They lost to San Gabriel, the same way. Their defense is going to have to learn how to shut the door on teams. Overall a big win for the Midvalley’s SD and a tough loss for BHS.

  • GP,

    You can’t blame the whole team for the fumble, but you can blame the whole team for the loss. That was the point.

  • SmudgedUp

    GP…while Aram Fatligian’s choice of words to open hos point we’re agian pretty poor, he does make a point. It shouldn’t have come down to the fumble. Seasoned back or not, all of Bonita’s errors cost them in the long run….not just the laste gaffe.

  • At the game

    What about the kid who got the 15yd penalty rt before the fumble? That was a mental mistake!!! You can blame that kid.

  • Reggie is the man

    Reggie had no business being in the game he could barely walk. He left the game injured and had sat out several series. Verdugo and Greco were doing just fine as they took the Bearcats down to score the go ahead TD and extra point. Then in comes a hurt Reggie to try to kill the clock. This makes no sense at all.
    The kids on both sides played well but had a lot of week ) penalties that really impacted the game.
    The coaches well let just say some good and not so good decisions.
    When it’s all said and done what a great rivalry.

  • saladays

    Teams win.

    Teams lose.

    Mistakes in the first quarter affect the game just like those in the fourth.

  • GP-

    When you are on the winning side of the game you tend look more at what could have happened. You know like, the other team drops a pass, or Fumbles. When you are on the losing side, especially after losing the lead and game, one tends to remember the moment when the game was lost. If you have the lead, you protect the lead by holding on to the ball and moving the chains. If you turn it over, you don’t give yourself a chance. You make extremely easy for the other team, and you can’t blame your defense for giving up a easy score. I mean you want them to hold, you need them to hold, but the game should be over and the offense should be kneeling. If Bonita doesn’t fumble late, no one would have remember the bad plays, they will remember the Win. 15 years from now, some of those seniors will say that they “almost” won the game, if it wasn’t for the fumble play. If that was the case than Bill Buckner wouldn’t have been blamed in Boston for letting a routine ground ball roll between his legs. This wasn’t the CIF title game but it was one of the big ones for both these programs. It’s not ok to fumble ever!! Understanding the situation, I would say the last untimely fumble lead to the lost. If he holds on Bonita wins. Turner is a good back. I am glad to see he was devastated. It showed he cared. I think this game could be the spark that helps Turner and Bonita go on a run. They showed heart to come back from 23-0. Now they just have to hold on to the ball. I we use we “Team” thing not to single a teammate, friend or son out, but I feel that one player can blow the game, and one play can blow the game. A team consist of individuals, that’s why they all have different #’s. The whole goal is for everyone to come together and execute their individual responsibility. It only takes one weak link for a chain to break. I am not saying turner is weak. I am just saying he made a bad play that cost his team.

    Two Fans walking out the stadium…

    SD Fan: Man we made some mistakes in this game. We blew a huge lead…however we came back and won. A win is a win. I’ll take it Joe.

    Bonita Fan: Man we made some mistakes in this game…However, despite all that, we fought all the way back, and took the lead in the 4th until… we had the lead until…Man that was a tough loss.

  • Jefe

    You simply can’t fumble in that spot, at that point in the game. Inexcusable.

    Period & end of story.

  • A leap

    The with games was going there is gurantee that Bonita gets a first down even if Turner doesn’t fumble. There is good chance Bonita needs to punt and we saw that adventure. This game was not one or lost on one play even the fumble….(G)oon (P)atrol.

  • AMAT 73

    By reading about the game it seems there were a few reasons for the loss . The fumble just happened to be the last mistake and maybe that’s why the spotlight on it . When there are this many mistakes it’s not fair to hang it on this kid .
    Rumors are there was a scrimmage yesterday for Monrovia and it wasn’t that good for Monrovia . Any truth to that rumor ????

  • Aram,

    Your post here is not one of your best. It’s a bit hypocritical to tell people not to blame Reggie Turner for the loss (but blame the entire team), and then use a picture of Turner clearly distressed.

    Maybe you should have used a picture of the entire team?

    Also, telling people there is nothing you can say to Turner right now so just “shut up”. Really dude?

    Most people (not all) are going to blame the person who “screwed up ” last. That’s the world we live in.

    I will leave you with a gambling analogy (that I know you can relate to). Its like the guy at “3rd Base” at the blackjack table who takes a hit on his hand and takes the dealer’s bust card. Nobody remembers the other misplayed hands,just his.

    That being said, thanks for the outlet that enables High School Football fans to share their opinions.

  • GP-

    Leap year,

    Even if you don’t get the first down, you still burn time off the clock by punting. Even a bad punt is going to net more than ten yards. If it’s blocked, you run the risk of a saftey or TD, or you can take the safety and put it in your D’s hand. None of that happened. A untimely turn over happened. You make SD win the game. A running team like San Dimas is going get ten yards in 4 plays. Especially after a momentum swinging fumble on Bonita’s 10. IF SD had to drive 30 yards, that would have been tougher then a first down for a touch down. All I am saying is that they were winning up until the fumble. How did something that happened when Bonita was losing, affect Bonita after they came storming back to take the lead. When a game is tight or tied, you can’t worry about a bad play that happened a hour ago. You have to worry about right now. At that moment, Bonita needed Turner to hold on to the ball in that spot. Even he knows that.

    Amat 73,

    That is correct, The update I received this morning was, Monrovia scored twice, and CV didn’t score. However, they were able to move the ball against us. Brett Walsh did not play. But, Mtown, needs to clean it up upfront as usual. Let’s just say their performance was good enough to beat CV. However it wasn’t enough to beat BA, WC, CO, ST Francis, or any other SGV heavy weight.

  • Not So Fast My Friend


    Well he did. He’s a kid and unless you had money on the game, then I’d cosign Aram’s “shut up” and leave him be.

    Not that you’re skewering him, but it’s over. Time to move on to the next game. From the looks of it, the kid was probably exhausted as well as injured.

  • Jefe is right. But he doesn’t take it a step further like he should and say:

    You absolutely cannot snap the ball over the punter’s head when he’s standing inside his own 10.

    You absolutely cannot be inconsistent with when you go for two and don’t. No difference between down 22 and 23.

    You absolutely cannot get a personal foul penalty the play before Turner fumbles.

    Take your pick. Turner’s fumble was one of just several things that led to a loss. It’s not on him. It’s on the team.

  • Red Leader


    I went to the scrimmage against CV yesterday and the information you were given is a little off. I don’t think Monrovia scored once. While CV scored 3 times, once on a QB keep, once on a deep pass, and again on a swing pass. Our o-line is worse than I expected. They were slow off the ball and it seemed like they were on roller skates. The pulling guard kept running into the center cause there was no push. Their blocking scheme was a mess and nobody knew who to block. On numerous occasion the DE would just walk in untouched to make the tackle in the backfield. Blake never had time to get set and all his passes were erratic. And I do mean ALL his passes. I cringed at every snap of the ball. I’m not exaggerating. Monrovia’s o-line NEEDS ALOT OF WORK. On a scale of 1-5, all their skill players are around 4 and 5, but their entire o-line is at a 2 at the most.

  • GP-

    Red leader Yikes! Our Oline is always a little behind, but this is bad news. Well you can flush that #1 ranking down the toilet, if the Oline can’t hold a block vs. I summons New York!!! Luckily this was a scrimmage. They will have a week to fix this issue, or I can eat my crow soup… As of right now they are 0-0. Ranked #1…next week they could 0-1 ranked number 12. Inconsistency on the line! There you have it SGV…

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