Mid-Valley Division Update: With looming Monrovia-Covina blockbuster in semifinals, teams say they’re not looking ahead

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
With both teams needing one more win to set up the marquee matchup most area fans want to see in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division football playoffs, Covina and Monrovia high schools promise they won’t be looking ahead on Friday when they play second-round games.

Monrovia, last year’s division champion, and Covina, the division’s top-ranked team,
appear to be on a collision course to meet in the semifinals next week. But first, they must win on the road. For Covina, that means beating Alhambra at Moor Field. For Monrovia, it means beating Whittier Christian at Whittier College.

“That’s for everybody else to talk about,” Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox said regarding a potential game with Covina. “Our kids know Whittier Christian is a good program. They know Whittier Christian can play football, so there’s been no talk around us about Covina at all.

“The kids know we have to play great on Friday night to even think about playing next week.”

Friday’s game will mark the third time in as many seasons Monrovia (8-3) has played Whittier Christian (7-4). Last season, the Wildcats beat the Heralds in the division championship game. Both teams have lost several key contributors from last year’s rosters, but Maddox expects nothing but a good challenge from Whittier Christian.

“I don’t say this to sound arrogant by any stretch, but when you progress in the playoffs like we have and they have each year you’re going to see the same teams,” Maddox said. “They’re doing the right things over there and they do what they do very well.

That’s why they’ve had the success that they’ve had.”

While the Monrovia-Whittier Christian game figures to be competitive, the local punditry doesn’t think Covina-Alhambra will be much of a game.

The only person not buying that is Colts coach Darryl Thomas.

“They’re good, they’re well-coached and they do a whole lot of different things defensively,” Thomas said. “And on offense, they want to confuse you. We have to make sure we bring our `A’ game.”

Ever since Alhambra’s stunning 69-14 loss to San Gabriel, most of the Valley has jumped off the Moors’ bandwagon. But since that game, Alhambra (9-2) has bounced back to beat Bell Gardens and La Puente.

Thomas thinks judging the Moors by one bad game against San Gabriel is foolish for anybody to do, especially his own team.

“They had a bad night,” Thomas said of Alhambra’s loss to San Gabriel.

“San Gabriel had everything bounce their way. For you to score that many points, things have to bounce your way. Other than that, they’ve been a very tough team. I think they gave up almost a quarter of the points they’ve allowed on season just in that one game.”

Covina (10-1) got a scare last week when leading rusher Gevontray Ainsworth injured his ankle in the first quarter against South El Monte and did not return. Thomas said Ainsworth is back practicing and will be ready to go on Friday night.

For Monrovia, early season struggles have given way to a seven-game winning streak with the lowest margin of victory being 12 points.

Defense has been the catalyst for the Wildcats and that stands to reason with super recruit Ellis McCarthy patrolling the line.

Many fans will remember last year’s championship run for the exploits of quarterback Nick Bueno and the offense, but Maddox maintains defense is what got Monrovia a ring last year. He said it will be what gets them another one this year should they win it all.

“I’ll be honest, last year’s team definitely hung its hat on the defense,” Maddox said. “Now we could put up points, but we were spectacular on defense last year. That allowed us to do what we did last year. We’re getting to that point where we’re starting to play how we did last year on defense.”

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  • Colt74

    D2D.

  • great for the sgv

    The coaches may be saying they are not looking ahead, but a few players that were at a local burger joint are sure looking ahead. According to them this a “free game”. Hopefully these aren’t any of their starters talking.

  • Colt74

    It’s going to be a good game. Covina is not looking past Alhambra. Not buying it.
    Alhambra insists that they know what Covinas weakness is and they are going to Route Covina 35-7.
    For some reason, I just can not stop laughing.

  • GO MOORS !!!

    @Colt74 you old fart you been talking SMACK all over get a life. Is 74 your age or your Class of 74? Hope your kid doesnt play for this team, your a disgrace to COVINA !!!!

    By the way Puente looked passed the MOORS, starting with the coach that openly said Alhambra was a 5-5 team. And now he’s scratching his belly eating his turkey “WA HAPPAN?”
    The only smart one from COVINA is the head coach. Hope all your kids look pass Alhambra, they wont know what hit him. You be suprise it will not be free, if you leave with a”L” or “W” it will cost you something if not everything. Bring a heart with you !!! and your heart pacer..LET’S GO !!!!

  • coltfan97

    Your really comparing Covina to La Puente??? Seriously!!!!! Covina is not looking past this game!!!!!! They know what’s at stake!!!!! The Moors are young an their year is next year!!!!! This is Covina’s year!!!!!! Do you know how many weapons offensively and defensively Covina has????

  • Colt74

    What’s a moor? Is that what you guys kept telling San Gabriel every time they scored up until 69? You wanted More?

    Tell ya what nonsense, Alhambra before halftime will be begging for no more.

    “Is 74 your age or your Class of 74? Hope your kid doesnt play for this team, your a disgrace to COVINA !!!!”

    Come on dufus you have used that again and again…can’t you come up with something original?
    And speaking of a disgrace..what have you been up to? Making a bigger list of Log on? Good for you!

    “and your heart pacer.”

    you mean pacemaker? What a moron…..heart pacer…lol

  • Colt74

    97,
    It’s nonsence 1995/great for the sgv and his 10,000 other aliases.

    He’s too stupid to remember what he posts and reuses the same thing under a different log on.

  • great for the sgv

    Come on dufus you have used that again and again…can’t you come up with something original?

    Dufus74, if he came up with it-it is original.

    And there is a device known as a heart pacer, but we know you concentrate on other body parts.

    By the way, how are they going to “route” covina?

  • Colt74

    great for a lobotomy,

    1. Heart pacer? Nope. Do a google search. It’s called pacemaker. Do you call a glass a drink thingy? There is a device called a moron though….just look in the mirror.

    2.Alhambra insists that “they know what Covinas weakness is and they are going to Route Covina 35-7.”

    That is their words…word for word and their spelling. Take it up with them.

    And they are not going to rout/route Covina or any other way anyone wants to spell it.

  • great for the sgv

    google all you want. Do some research and you’ll get your answer.

    10,000 aliases-you are a joke old man.

  • MW

    Monrovias’ defense was pretty darn good last year, but come on now, Maddox. No Bueno, No ring.