What a sequel, Covina rallies again, but West Covina answers in OT with 26-20 victory that left everyone on the edge of their seat

Unbelievable atmosphere, unbelievable game. There was so much hype after last year’s fourth-quarter win by the Colts that this couldn’t possibly live up, but it did. Maybe even better. Trailing 20-6 in the fourth quarter, Livingston hooked up with a 70 yard strike over the middle to Vinny Vegas for a touchdown, then after West Covina took a mind-boggling fourth-down sack at the 48 with 1:23 left instead of pooching it away, Livingston threw an “are they doing it again” touchdown to Peter De La Cruz on the very next play, a 52-yard score to tie the game at 20-20 with 1:15 left. But West Covina showed the pride of a champion, answering with Aaron Salgado’s two-yard touchdown in overtime, then getting a stop to get the win, avoiding a second-straight meltdown. Great game, great emotion from both teams, and I found out what I wanted to find out about Covina, that last year’s win was no fluke, not after going toe-to-toe again. Maggiore’s right, Covina and Monrovia are the best bets to meet in the Mid-Valley title game. And we also found out something about West Covina, that the champions intend on defending it, rising to the occasion with the player of the year injured and not able to go. Now that’s how you close a weekend triple-header!

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Faced with the possiblity of suffering another heartbreaking loss to Covina, the West Covina High School football team wasn’t about to let history repeat itself.

The Bulldogs withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Colts to post a 26-20 win in overtime in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night at Covina District Field.
The win avenged last year’s loss, in which West Covina saw Covina rally from a 21-2 fourth-quarter deficit to win 27-21.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs watched as Covina rallied from a 20-6 hole to tie the game at 20-20 with just over a minute to play on a 50-yard touchdown pass by Covina quarterback Billy Livingston to receiver Peter De La Cruz.
Once in overtime, West Covina scored on its first possession on Aaron Salgado’s 2-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs missed the extra point, though, and left themselves open to the possiblity of another sour defeat. But West Covina’s defense held and sealed the win after Livingston’s fourth-down pass for receiver Justin Mason was ruled incomplete in the back of the end zone. (to continue click thread)

For highlights and interviews of West Covina’s overtime win, check out the Inland Insider’s wrap-up.

“It was one of those games games that it was unfair someone had to lose,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “I was thinking the fourth quarter was similar to last year. We couldn’t get anything going and they had the momentum. Our guys didn’t quit and I’m proud of them.”
West Covina’s defense held the Colts in check most of the night. But the fourth quarter was another story. Trailing 20-6, Livingston hit Vinny Venegas on a 70-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs had the ball back twice and appeared on their way to running out the clock before being stopped on downs with 1:23 to play. Livingston found De La Cruz for the tying score on the very next play.
“We have a bunch of fighters on our team and when you have a bunch of fighters, you’re disappointed when you don’t come out victorious,” Covina coach Darryl Thomas said. “It was a great atmoshpere for high school football. But we have larger goals than Week 0. We are not going to be defined by one game.”
That West Covina was able to muster much offense was a story in itself. The Bulldogs lost reigning Tribune Player of the Year Chris Solomon to an ankle injury in the first half. Starting quarterback Jonathan Najera then missed the second half due to a head injury. Despite that, the Bulldogs were able to mix run and pass effectively enough to turn a 7-6 lead at halftime into a 13-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Chris Caballero came off the bench to complete 9 of 13 attempts for 170 yards. Running back Jimmy Frazier led the ground game with 11 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown.
“He stepped up and made some big plays,” Maggiore said of Caballero. “We knew we had two guys who can play. We weren’t big on experience, but they’re going to bet the job done.”
Livingston finished 14 of 24 for 233 yards and three touchdowns.

Box Score
W.Covina 7 0 13 0 6 – 26
Covina 0 6 0 13 0 – 20
Scoring
1st quarter
WC: Bradley Ojala 20 pass from Jon Najera (kick good)
2nd quarter
CO: Justin Moran 20 pass from Billy Livingston (kick failed)
3rd quarter
WC: Jimmy Frazer 24 run (kick good)
WC: Aaron Salgado 2 run (kick failed).
4th quarter
CO: Vinny Vegenas 68 pass from Livingston (kick failed)
CO: Peter De La Cruz 52 pass from Livingston (kick good)
Overtime
WC: Aaron Salgado 2 run (kick failed)

Mike the Cousin’s Live chat on West Covina-Covina.

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  • New York

    As much as I respect West Covina from our games in years past (as well as their staff hanging in Monrovia on our Championship night), I am pulling for Covina—a fellow MidValley team.

  • Colt74

    As of game time Calpreps has Covina coming in at -13. We’re gonna find out real quick what we have or don’t have for the reining CIF Champion Bulldogs.
    I fully expect to have laryngitis by halftime but will be there supporting my Colts.

    Good luck to the Men In Black. No injuries, play smart but have fun!

  • JFR

    CDF is still the greatest place to play and watch a high school football game hands down, done both.

  • hey jfr

    you certainly then havent been to very many places have you, check out this hs stadium:

    http://hebisd.smugmug.com/Community/Pennington-Field-July-2010/13120373_ap4KQ#951731829_vEyyd

    dont see any dirt on the field nor the parking lot, and i bet at the above mentioned you have a good chance to keep your hubcaps on

  • ???

    JFR,

    Sorry but your comment just made #1 for dumbest comment of the day.

    Did you type that comment with a straight face.

  • Colt74

    If your car has hubcaps you have bigger problems than worrying about getting them stolen. And in 41 years I have never had a problem parking at CDF. Nor have I ever heard of anyone else having problems.
    Do you worry about getting your Union 76 antenna ball stolen too?

  • 66 GTO actually

    it is a 66 GTO with hood scoop, hijackers, etc. I even had a red angels anteena ball once until someone actuame that they were a baseball team somewhere south of here

  • Colt74

    67 Mustang, 351C Roller/Gear Drive 4V,( In Pieces), Art Carr C-4, Cragars, TA Radials, Mopar Hood Scoop, Hijackers, Lakewood Traction Bars.

    12 MPG Freeway…..5 MPG around town

    Collecting Dust and Can’t afford to put back together/drive.

    Jack in the box antenna ball…..lol!

  • ???

    Thanks for reminding me of the dirt parking lot, was going to wear a pair of my nice tennis shoes, not.

  • mike lawry

    Colt 74, your pass D-fense looks suspect. And that extra point looked pretty disgusting, to top it off W.C. doesn’t look all that impressive. We just pulled out the win by 6 like you predicted last night.

  • mike lawry

    Aram, it was funny watching you and M.S. walk from the parking lot to the entrance gate like you two rode in together.. Pure classic. You didn’t have a clue who he was and you 2 were close enough to hold hands.

  • bored

    Does anyone really care about Covina/West Covina I mean really I’m going to bed

  • Mike Robledo

    Based off the last two games I’ve covered West Covina on Coveritlive, I have named them the “Cardiac Kids”… another nail-biting win, and a crusher for Covina, who scraped hard to tie it up in regulation… great game folks!!!

    It was a great season opening triple-header this weekend!! Thanks to all who participated…

    Looking forward to doing it again next week from Cerritos College when Bishop Amat takes on Servite….

  • Mash

    Final: 26-20
    WestCovina wins in OT.

  • Colt74

    Congrats to the West Covina Bulldogs! They played a heck of a game. Hope Solo is ok. Fraiser…..GREAT game! Ok Dan…bragging rights are yourd for the year. Good luck and get another ring!

  • Colt74

    Mike,
    You are incorrect. I picked Pomona by 3. But, that was before I knew anything about Garey and them having to rob all the sophomores to field a team. But you got the w and that’s all that counts.

  • Bfan

    Covina should have won this game. The missed xtra point came back to haunt them. I think Thomas should have gone for 2 after Covina scored their final touchdown and they could have won in regulation by 1. You never know. This game showed their is not much difference between Covina and West Covina.Great game for both teams maybe would have been better to end ina 20-20 tie and call it a day.

  • ???

    Bfan,

    Come on get a life, they should have gone for two. Easy to make that comment after the game. The Covina coaching staff made the correct moves. Now the West Covina staff had a few brain farts during that game. At one point I thought they were trying to loss it again.

    David Rivera

  • mike lawry

    All in all great game tonight, your team earned a lot of respect. Covina looked better on D, and O. Actually all around, but it looks like W.C. was somehow the Lucky one this year. Can’t wait till we meet week 4. And FYI Gary might have recruited sophomores but they weren’t starters. And no way was it a credible win, but it was 41-0 with minimal yardage( about 34 ) until the end of 3rd when back ups came in. your D-Line’s Massive.

  • COLT74

    WOW!!! WHAT A GAME.THATS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT.NO LOSERS IN THIS GAME.BOTH TEAMS HEADING FOR A GREAT SEASON.WHAT TALENT WE HAVE IN THIS AREA.GET OUT AND SEE A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME AND HAVE SOME FUN!!THAT WAS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION.GREAT GAME FOR BOTH TEAMS!!WOW!!!!

  • colt76

    SORRY COLT 74 THAT WAS MY COMMENT.BROTHER GRADUATED IN 74.

  • bobbradstreet

    Livingston was his usual great. What a quarterback. And this defensive kid,Padilla, was
    just as great. Good luck to Covina this year.

  • ???

    Last I checked Covina lost, why is it there is no losers when you loss. I didn’t see you on this blog last year making that comment.

  • Amat Bully

    WHO WON THE OAKS CHRISTIAN GAME?

  • told you so

    solomn is too soft to carry a team. He shouldn’t have been player of the year last year. Overrated!

  • eastsider

    oaks christian lost by 10 points.30-10 i think was the final.

  • Colt74

    Oaks Christian Lost 31-21

  • Get a clue

    How are you going to sit here and call solomon soft!!
    Who are you to be calling people soft, an injery is a injery and whoever you are your probably someone who wouldnt even be able to play through a cold!! Your an adult degrading a high school student think before you speek please.

  • Colt74

    Solomon is an outstanding football player. He deserved POY last year. I dare ANYONE who thinks otherwise to suit up, line up against him and prove me wrong.
    That “soft” kid ran 30 yards on a bad sprain tonight and took 4 kids to bring him down. You only WISH you were that soft.

  • Cowgirl

    This is game you had to watch live! Both teams came to play, great game. Colts defense was really strong, number 30 Padilla played off the hook!

  • Dan

    Cowgirl I agree, you had to be at this game, what an ending to a great weekend of football. Colt 74, no bragging coming from me, your Colts were pretty impressive and either team could have won this game, much respect for Covina.
    Lights out defense from both teams, and for those who keep bringing this subject up, last years Covina team was the benefactor of 6 turnovers, they were not close to the team they are this year. Covina this year would not have allowed 430 yards of offense to the Bulldogs like they did last year, much more experienced this year and much more physical, 18 starters back for the Colts with 12 being three year starters according to the trib. I get a feeling West Covina just beat one of the best teams in the SGV, we will know more in a few weeks.

  • great game

    Great game Covina…to bad Monrovia is going to win the Midvalley….Great game tho.

  • tommykiss

    Here is the Highlights of tonights game

    http://www.youtube.com/user/tommykiss?feature=mhee

    I would like to “Thank” all the fans who support the blogs and watch all of these Highlights. Its because of You, that we are able to bring this coverage each week.
    I will be at next weeks game between Bishop Amat and Servite, all comments and suggestions are appreciated !

  • Bonita fan

    What a weekend of High School football. Opening week was fun to watch. West Covina nice win but did you have to take it to over time. Much work to be done before league starts that for sure.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Bonita fan, the San Dimas team you beat is nowhere near the same quality of an opponent as Covina with it’s 18 returning starters, with atleast a dozen of them three year varsity players. Congrats on your smudgepot victory, but take a realistic look at the situation before speculating on how much work needs to be done before league. It will be an interesting argument on wich is more impressive; Bonita beating SD and ALLOWING them to score 20 points, or West Covina beating Covina and HOLDING them to only 20 points! I’m pretty sure as the season goes on we will clearly see wich argument holds more water. I do agree that WC needs to iron out a few issues with the deep coverage in the secondary though, but the pressure on Livingston was impressive and the run defense of the Bulldogs was very solid. Let’s also not forget that Solomon (2010 POY) was out for three quarters and the new starting QB for the Bulldogs also went out for the second half. We almost ran out of tailbacks with the amount of cramping taking place on the Bulldog team. But hey it’s WC and as usual we have talent to burn in the back field.

    I said this last week on my assesment of our Quarterbacks from the scrimmage we had against Claremont. “Both QB’s looked sharp and played mistake free, there is not much seperation from the two and that is a good thing. I don’t see a starter being named anytime soon”. Chris Caballero came in during the second half a made my words ring true. Najera was solid before going out of the game, but Caballero really stepped up and had an oustanding game! Over 200 passing yards combined from the Bulldogs QB’s? Who are you? And what did you do with the Bulldogs offense? The answers: Covina Colts. And the Covina run defense is what happened. There was no running up the gut on the Colts, period.

    Big game against Loyola next week. We are a bit banged up, but kids heal fast. Covina playing us tough as expected may be a blessing in disguise. We will dig deep and leave all out on the field every week. Great opening week and goodluck to all area teams!

    GO BULLDOGS!

  • GoAmat

    BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WC GOT LUCKY. NO TD. VIEW THE CLIPS. GOOD JOB COVINA.

  • eastsider

    a win is a win,congrats to west covina.we will not know whos win is bigger until the end of the season when we see covinas,san dimas and garfields record.as of now rankings should stay the same .

  • The Reformer

    It is time to get these geriatrics off of the officiating crews, they are determining the outcomes of games because of their pure inadequacies. Tracy McFate it is a shame that for a big game some of these yahoos out there on the field.

  • mike marchese

    this is not the same west covina team of last year. doesnt seem to be that dominating tis year so far. i was really impressed with covina,s team. but west covina doesnt seem to have that unity this year so far but it is still early. west covina really misses BJ alot. i dont see that one guy with that kind of speed on this team this year. BJ was the spark plug of that team last year. i think bonita and west covina will be battling it out again for league title.

  • Andrew12

    It doesn’t seem like the same teamvas last Year? Reality check Chris Solomen # 20 was out for 3 quarters. Frazier was down as will & few other top players as will as the quarterback. Covina was extremely Agresive maybe more then they should have been. Throwing swings while the play is done? Pushing West Covinas players Going for there legs over doing it seriously? The refs saw all that but only kept warning them. But you cant judge a team watching them in there first week. Same thing happened last year west Covina lost last year & look what happened they ended up winning CIF. But even if it went to OT at the end of the day West Covina came out victorious. Cause a Win Is a Win no doubt about it good luck to both teams this year.

  • REPLAY

    If they could review it, Covina would have won. Salgado fumbled on the replay, and not only did Covina recover, Salgado never even got past the goal line. A terrible call. Covina would have won it with a field goal when they got the ball. The Colts got worked, just like they were getting worked by the officials all night.

  • Colt74

    Thank-you Tom Kiss! The Video PROVED what myself and everyone standing at the fence at the goal line saw. But hey, it is what it is.
    I believe that the game NEEDED to turn out the way it did. Now before the Covina fans start looking for a rope, let me explain.
    Covina needs to work on containment and the DE’s and Corners need to turn the runs in. Too many times WesCo got outside and it was off to the races. Trust me…Covina WILL work that out.
    WesCo needed this win for next week. Loyola will play hard. Covina gave them a GREAT warm up for next week. The start slow preseason monkey is off their back. I think last nights game and everything that happened will help both teams in the long run. I’m a Colt fan first but a SGV fan overall. I really think that the outcome from last night will do more for both teams and the SGV area than if it turned out the other way.
    One play does not make a football game. And to those that want to play the what if game…well, what if they don’t score that play, we don’t score on our series but WesCo scores on their next try. It can go on and on.
    WesCo won. It was a good win and if anyone doesn’t feel that they got their moneys worth last night then I don’t know what to tell you.

    I have to give props to Pomona. The LONE victor of the VVL this week.

    Thanks for a great game last night to WesCo and Covina. Go get em next week!

  • jcaz

    A few thoughts on that game last night.

    1.I was very impressed by West Covinas defense at the beginning of the game, but as the evening wore on, I began to shake my head and started to wonder how these guys were ever going to go four quarters against Loyola next week ? Man, you have to be ready to play all the way until that final gun sounds, and, even though this was the first game of the year, with many of the first game mistakes, there has to be an understanding that Monday morning quarterbacks like me, arent going to be all that kind when you see a 20 to 6 lead disappear with less than 12 minutes to go. This team is going to find out very quickly that there are many programs out there that come ready to play for all four quarters, and guess what ? Next week, therere going to see one of them.

    2. The Colts of Covina were incredible last night. They were finished, and when I say finished, I have to emphasize that they were really really done. But to paraphrase Colt 45, wow !!! These guys came back to really put on an incredible show. I have to say that Vinny Vinnegas had to have been the MVP of that game last night and even though it was obviously a team effort by the Colts last night, there were some classic individual efforts that made that game really compelling. Anyway, those kids over at Covina really showed a lot of pride by never giving up. Just Incredible….

    3. BTW, whats up with the conditioning over at Westco anyway ? Almost every other series, there were Bulldogs going down. The coaches over at Westco really need to address that issue dont you think ?

    4. The place was packed last night. Usually when I go to district field, I always sit on the visitors side. This time however, even getting in line to buy a ticket for the game was impossible. Even towards the middle of the first quarter when I got there. So, I had to bite the bullet last night and sit on the home side. Only problem was that there was limited seating due to the big turnout last night and the stupid (yes I said stupid) band members wouldnt let anyone sit in that section. I mean there was an entire section of the stands open for seating, but they wouldnt let anyone in there. WTF ???

    5. One more thing. I noticed something different about the Kiefer (and CDF last) night that I needed to address. If any of you went to the game against Garfield, you may have noticed that there was no 50/50 drawing. Someone in the stands mentioned that it was illegal to do this and that they were going to stop doing it at any of the Amat home games. However, they seem to have no problem doing this anywhere else. So, what gives anyway ?

    6.One last thing, believe it or not, im a huge West Covina fan. So I really hope that they can get it all together for next weeks game. Good luck next week Bulldogs !

  • Andrew12

    Excuses excuses… Haha

  • progress

    Covina needs to work on their Power game down hill bust you in mouth football rushing attack… They do not utilize their RB. Covina depends on “Big” plays way too much. They do have the ability to make deep passing plays, but that is a gamble against good teams. Especially in a game like this one, or the playoffs. West Covina was able to move the ball on the ground, and pass with the game on the line. Coach Thomas should be concern with his ability to stay out of 3rd/4th and long on offense. They faced way too many 4th and long situations. Having a running game will keep you in 3rd or 4th and 5 or less, which will open up your playbook and give you more options to convert. Line up in power I, put Hynes at TE, put Padilla at FB, Hand the ball off to Ainsworth, and run right at people. Dare them stop you. As Solomon, and Frazier and Salgado were out, Covina could have pressed that iss. Maybe Covina should be in the “pistol” instead of “Shotgun”. They need some down hill action very bad. Instead of coming from behind with circus passes. Covina should want to control the game. They are going to have to solidify their running game if they want to compete for a title. They have a good RB…Use him… Coach Thomas…its ok to use some ol school formations like I, Pro, heck you can motion to create the formations etc….switch it up, make teams put 7-8 in box…you WR will be even more wide open. Right now the run game for the Colts is stale. That’s what cost them the game….If West covina can find a way to pass in their offense, Covina should find a way to run in yours…..Great game two good teams, It was fun.

  • Just sayin’

    Covina shoulda just pulled a Charter Oak and said no overtime, so they could brag about tying West Covina like the Charger fans do about tying Ranch Cucamonga

  • Aaron

    Could have been worse…the refs could have ran to their cars to leave.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Aaron,

    With that crowd last night, they may not have made it to their cars.

  • jcaz

    Aaron,

    I swear to god that at a game at District Field a couple of years ago, the ref’s did just that !

  • louie garcia

    whats all the hype with this solomen kid. i have seen alot better running backs this year and not to mention backs that are alot faster and quicker. i think solomen benefited having BJ on the field last year knowing tha BJ could bust it outside and then leaving solomen with room to run inside. i dont know how this kid was san gabriel valley player of the year last year. yes he is a good running back but great i dont know.

  • truth is

    Solomon is the 5th best Running back in the SGv

    1.Tarien Owens
    2.Jaylen Moore
    3.Deshawn Ramirez
    4.Kurt Scoby
    5.Chris Solomon

    I am not sure people understand how much BJ lee made defenses expand. Which Really opened up the middle. No Disrespect to frazier, but he is not A Speed back. The plays he broke last vs Covina would be scores for Bj lee, or a Tarien Owens, or Deshawn Ramirez or Kurt Scoby. West Covina does not have a home run threat this season. I understand, he runs a 4.5, but that’s straight line running. How often does a running back get to run a straight line? He did not look that impressive even before he got hurt. As the season goes on, and west Covina plays better teams, you will see how not having a weapon like Lee, is going to affect Solomon’s yards. He will rush for about 1200 yards this year.

  • bob bradstreet

    I gave credit to billy livingston and padilla.
    However I do agree with andrew 12. “covina was extremely agressive, maybe more than they should have been.” could this be dirty ball? chris solomon has never been injured. several personal fouls against covina. several overlooked fouls, with warnings. west covina did not have any…..

  • Dan

    Truth/Louie Garcia
    There you go get it out of you, feel better now, ok now suck on your passifier and go to sleep, nighty night.