By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Moments during which the Covina High School football team has been clicking on all cylinders have been few and far between this season, but when they happen, it’s obvious that few teams in the Mid-Valley Division will be able to hang with the Colts. Friday night was the Colts’ best game of the season, and when the dust settled they’d put a 39-21 whipping on San Dimas in a victory that puts Covina in prime position to win a second consecutive Valle Vista League title. (To continue click thread)
Friday’s results and game stories
Covina 39, San Dimas 21 — With Mid-Valley No. 1 Maranatha going down to Whittier Christian, there should be no doubt who No. 1 is. Pound for pound, nobody’s better.
Bishop Amat 28, Crespi 14 — What a difference a Shay makes. The Lancers needed a boost and Zach Shay gave it to them, returning for the first time sine the concussion against Servite, eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown run. Rio Ruiz, Jalen Moore, Adam Sanchez all had great nights too, but with Shay back, it looked like early 2010 again.
Damien 47, South Hills 38 — Was getting texts back and forth– Spartans up big early, Huskies rally back, Spartans close with a Jalen Castille touchdown. Look, I’m not the only one who thought South Hills would win this week. Give the Spartans credit, it’s not just a good start for them, they’re in it to win it.
Diamond Bar 26, Walnut 22 — This throws another wrinkle into the Hacienda title and playoff chase, and more importantly for the Brahmas, a must-needed feel good win.
Charter Oak 62, Ayala 34 — What’s that, 63 last week, 62 this week — it’s the best show in town. I don’t know if they can do any damage in the Inland, but when they get it rolling, they get it rolling.
Diamond Ranch 20, Rowland 0— Never count out the Panthers, it was just one Hacienda League loss last week to Los Altos. That’s what good teams do, follow tough losses with wins.
Bonita 35, Los Altos 28 — Great win for the ‘Cats, and a painful one for Los Altos, who let the lead and win slip out of their hands.
El Monte 50, Mountain View 14 — That’s right, the Lions are serious MVL contenders and get Arroyo in week 10. A lot has to happen between now and then, but I like the chances of both running the table until they meet.
La Puente 36, Sierra Vista 16 — I speak for everyone when I say we all expect the Warriors to be 9-0 when they face Azusa in week 10. Then your guess is as good as mine.
Rosemead 24, Gabrielino 6 — No way the Panthers lose after losing to El Monte last week, and having to face rival Arroyo next week.
Duarte 31, Workman 28, OT — After getting routed by Azusa, the Falcons needed a picker-upper, and nothing like an overtime feel-gooder to forget about last week.
Chino Hills 35, Claremont 14— As great as Charter Oak has looked, the championship still goes through Chino Hills. This is why you play tough preseason schedules. Don’t look at the overall record, 2-0 in the Sierra is what counts.
Gladstone 24, Bassett 6 — It’s been a tough year for both teams, especially Bassett, who hung tough after a few lopsided losses.
Azusa 56, Ganesha 0 — What can you say really, except good for the Aztecs, their 23 straight Montview League win.
Pomona 42 Nogales 15 — Red Devils dropping 40 like it’s nothing for three straight weeks. Better take them seriously.
The Inland Insider Tom Kiss’ highlights and interviews from San Dimas’ win over Covina..
Highlights and interviews from Damien’s big win over South Hills from TDro
WATCH TRIBUNE POSTGAME REWIND WITH RECAPS OF FRIDAY’S BIG GAMES.
“This is a great win; it defines our team a little bit,” Covina quarterback Billy Livingston said.
One of the reasons nobody had yet to see all that Covina is capable of this season was a shoulder injury to Livingston on Sept. 23 against Walnut. After missing two games, it’s obvious Livingston is back to full strength. The senior lit up the Saints for 278 yards and two touchdowns as Covina improved to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in league.
San Dimas, which led 7-0 early before Covina hit back with 27 consecutive points, fell to 5-2, 2-1. The Saints had won five consecutive since a season-opening loss to rival Bonita. Now, they’ll likely be fighting for the second of the league’s two guaranteed playoff spots.
“We’ll get better,” San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow said. “They’re better up front than we are, so they were throwing us around pretty good.”
San Dimas rode good field position to that early lead. After being stopped on downs at the Covina 2-yard line
on their first drive, the Saints got the ball back in good position and finally cashed in when Jake Payton scored on a 5-yard run.
Covina answered on its next drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by Gevontray Ainsworth. The Colts missed the extra point, so they had to wait – but only a few minutes – before taking the lead when Vinny Venegas scored on a 4-yard touchdown to make it 13-7.
San Dimas started to have trouble keeping up, and Covina made the Saints pay on its next possession, when Livingston connected with Andrew Carrillo on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
San Dimas did well to keep the score to 20-7 at halftime, but the Saints soon found themselves in trouble again early in the third quarter. Following a fumble, Covina used good field position to take a 27-7 lead on Livingston’s 11-yard touchdown strike to Venegas.
“That’s just how our offense is,” Livingston said. “When we get like that, we just start moving. They’re a great defense.”
San Dimas briefly got back in it after a long pass from quarterback Shawn Kennedy to Cody McNeal set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Kennedy to cut the deficit to 27-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Covina, though, wasted little time thwarting the comeback attempt, driving 77 yards in six plays and going up 33-14 on Ainsworth’s 1-yard touchdown run. Ainsworth scored another touchdown just minutes later on a 2-yard run. The junior tailback had a huge night, rushing for 162 yards on 20 carries.
“It’s nice to see, but it’s also nice to see our offensive line protecting Billy and opening holes for Gevontray,” Thomas said. “We just want to get better each week.”