DYNASTY!!! Monrovia THREEPEATS! and Rio Hondo Prep goes back-to-back

Rio Hondo Prep 28, Mission Prep 21: Nate Tayco runs wild (173 yards, 4 TDs), Coach Ken Drain wins fifth CIF title, RHP wins 14th CIF title and Kares avenge earlier loss to very good Mission Prep team. Bowl game next? It was my first RHP game and it was great. I was VERY impressed with the quality of football. Very, very impressed.

Monrovia 23, Paraclete 7: Threepeat! Valley’s top football program right now. Only West Covina and RHP can make a case.

Did the process of getting Bishop Amat out of the Pac-5 quietly just begin? …

You ready to play a little game of connect the dots?

With CIF saying that St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian should be in the Catholic Athletic Association for the next re-leaguing cycle, which would start in the 2014 season, it’s getting obvious the Serra League is headed toward a facelift.

There will be an appeals process, but this is obviously the first step in getting the ball rolling.

What will happen to Bishop Amat?

Will the Lancers stay in the Serra League if Oaks Christian and St. Bonnie’s are brought in?

Will Amat be moved to some sort of new league with schools like Cathedral, St. Francis, Damien and Serra as part of a process to get the Lancers out of the PAC-5 and into a new playoff divsion?

It’s hard to say at this point. But this is something that bears watching.

We already know Damien/St. Lucy’s have been recommended to be placed in a parochial league and no longer in the Sierra (which means get ready for a Glendora return to the Sierra).

Aram’s take: According to the LA Times’ Eric Sondheimer, there will likely be a revamping of both the Mission and Serra leagues. If you’re a realistic Amat fan, like myself, then you probably think Amat needs a more realistic playoff division than the Pac-5. If you’re a traditionalist and hanging onto the past, then you probably think Amat should stay in the Pac-5 despite its recent postseason woes. Either opinion has points. So much will happen between now and the new re-leaguing proposals, but this looks like the start of a sea change. I could be wrong. There are people who tell me quietly that as long as Glenn Martinez is in charge, Amat ain’t going anywhere. Could be. Not sure that’s what’s best for the Lancers, but we’ll see. It certainly makes no sense that Amat plays in different leagues for all major sports.

MONROVIA: Greatness in flight …

– Fourth straight Mid-Valley Division championship game appearance.
– Bidding for THREEPEAT in Mid-Valley Division.
– Bidding for berth into State championship bowl series with a win.

Aram’s take: Nobody’s doing it any better than M-Town right now. Last season, the Wildcats won it all and had one of the top recruits in the country in Ellis McCarthy. This season, they’re bidding for a threepeat with several next-level players on the roster. Only West Covina and Rio Hondo Prep can hold a candle to Monrovia. Does division have a lot to do with it? Sure. Am I saying Monrovia would beat everyone in the area? No. But this is just downright awesome and historic what head coach Ryan Maddox has going on over there.

Revenge!!! La Serna avenges last year’s loss to West Covina with huge second half …

Keith Birmingham’s SIGHTS OF THE GAME

Sweet revenge.

Almost a year after suffering the worst defeat in the history of CIF-Southern Section division championship games, La Serna High School got payback by ending the two-year reign of West Covina in the Southeast Division semifinals on Friday night at California High.

The Lancers turned a 17-14 halftime deficit into a 35-17 win to advance to the division championship next week against Downey, which beat Santa Fe 35-3.

“If you’ve been around the last two or three years, our guys never quit,” La Serna coach Margarito Beltran said. “We had a rough start and the kids persevered.”

La Serna improved to 12-1. West Covina, which beat the Lancers 84-21 in last year’s championship game, finished 8-5.

La Serna can thank its defense for changing the flow of the game at the start of the second half. Michael Dingillo recovered a West Covina fumble inside the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line on the first possession of the third quarter to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Gio Long to take the lead, 21-17.

Following a stop on West Covina’s next possession, the Lancers got the ball back at their own 38 and wasted little time adding to their lead on a 50-yard run by Luke Gonzales. Just three minutes into the second half, the Lancers were up 28-17.

West Covina drove into La Serna territory but stalled and faced fourth and 5 at the Lancers’ 20. Antonio Hull’s pass to the goal line for Sidney Jones was incomplete and La Serna had the ball back.

“We had a couple drives in the game which didn’t lead to points,” West Covina head coach Mike Maggiore said. “They’re a very good football team.

“I’m proud of our guys, the effort they showed the last four weeks with their backs to wall. We can definitely hold our heads up high.”

A methodical drive aided by big runs and throws from La Serna quarterback Frankie Palmer ended with Beltran rolling the dice on fourth and 1 from the West Covina 2.

Beltran shunned the field goal and opted to put the two-time champions away by turning to Long, who scored from 2 yards to make it 35-17.

“We were able to stop their offense cold,” Beltran said. “I think that was the difference in the game, was that we were able to stop them. We gave them two touchdowns.”

West Covina was stopped on downs again, and La Serna ran out the clock.

West Covina took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter as Hull connected with receiver Jesus Wong on a 52-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option to make the score 7-0, and then Jones scored on an 86-yard punt return.

La Serna got off the mat early in the second quarter with a 13-yard touchdown run by Gonzales to make it 14-7.

La Serna tied the score 14-14 after a clutch scramble on fourth-and-6 by Palmer and a long pass to John McFarland set up Long for 1-yard touchdown run.