The Streak is Over: Duarte ends Azusa’s 27-game league winning streak, beats Azusa, 40-14; Gladstone hangs on for 19-13 win behind another big second half from Amezquita

Azusa coach Joe Scherf has won four straight Montview League titles and was a perfect 27-0 in league since taking over in 2008, but Duarte ended that tonight with a 40-14 win over the Aztecs while Gladstone hung on for a 19-13 win over Sierra Vista.

DTOWN is Back: Azusa High School’s 27-game Montview League winning streak came to an end Thursday night. Duarte broke open a close game late in the first half and went on to score a 40-14 win over the Aztecs at Bonita High School. “All good things must come to an end,” first-year Falcons coach Jason Martin said. “We knocked ’em off, but that team won’t be down for long. They’ve got one of the best coaching staffs around. We’re 2-0, but the league, from top to bottom, is real competitive.”

Gladstone-Duarte photo gallery

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN

Nothing has come easy for the Gladstone High School football team during its undefeated run, surviving a triple-overtime thriller against El Monte a couple weeks back, and coming from behind for the fourth time in five games on Thursday against Sierra Vista, sneaking away with a 19-13 victory at Citrus College.

The Dons tried to rally in the final minute, but with the seconds ticking away after a third-down sack on the Gladiators 41, they spiked the ball thinking they had a play left and the Gladiators took over and ran out the clock to improve to 5-0 and 2-0 in the Montview League.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes and did things that made the game a lot more difficult that it needed to be,” Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez said. “But Sierra Vista deserves a lot of credit. They have some good scrappy players. They gave us everything they had and kept coming after us. It was hard fought on both sides.”

The Gladiators looked like they would run away it on the opening drive, quarterback Kevin Amezquita completing his first six passes and scoring on a three-yard touchdown run to go up 8-0.

But the Dons came back in the second quarter, quarterback Jonathan Mora completing a five-yard TD pass to Sergio Gonzales to cut it to 8-6 after the missed conversion.

After the Gladiators extended it to an 11-6 halftime lead on Eduardo Cortez’s 34-yard field goal as time expired, the Dons chewed up clock in the third quarter and went ahead on Gonzales’ eight-yard TD run to go up 13-11 with 3:55 left in the third.

“I just told myself, we have to get that back,” Amezquita said.

That’s exactly what the senior did, rushing for 31 yards and later scoring on a 10-yard TD run to go back in front less than two minutes later, giving the Gladiators a 19-13 lead that it wouldn’t surrender.

Amezquita completed 12 of 16 passes for 153 yards and rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns in another complete effort.

“We don’t want to get down in games, but when we do we fight right back,” Amezquita said. “Winning feels great.”

Sanchez leaned on Amezquita in the fourth quarter, going to him time and time again on options to use up the clock.

“We’ll go as far as he takes us,” Sanchez said. “He ran it with his legs late in the game, I couldn’t be more proud of him and the guys. They (Sierra Vista) punched us in the mouth and we came back and took the lead for good. It’s one of those things where we’re starting to get that character and it’s carrying us when we need it.”

The Dons’ Lee Jones, the San Gabriel Valley’s leading rusher, was a workhorse finishing with 116 yards on 31 carries before leaving the game for good in the third quarter with cramps.

Jose Carillo took over and rushed for 52 yards, but he couldn’t finish either, leaving late in the fourth with an ankle sprain.

The Gladiators had their chances, but coach Don LeGro said the mistakes and injuries piled on as they dropped to 3-2 and 1-1.

“We’re a small school and we don’t have a lot of depth,” LeGro said. “When you lose two tailbacks and a lineman it’s tough to replace. But those things happen.”

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