Below: El Monte’s Brandon Martinez is the third leading passer in the CIF-Southern Section with 1,879 yards passing and 16 touchdowns, averaging 375 yards a game. He had his best game on Friday, throwing for 573 yards and five touchdowns in a 46-41 win over Bell Gardens. El Toro’s Conner Manning leads the section with 2,572 yards and 27 TDs.
By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
Perhaps El Monte coach Joel Sanchez put it best on Monday when he said the Valley is going to start learning the truth about Mission Valley League teams beginning this week, because right now there are a lot of confused people.
It starts with one quick glance of the standings entering league play.
Gabrielino is 5-0. Mountain View is 3-2. Are these teams for real? They play each other on Friday, so the area will begin to find out.
Also on Friday is arguably the marquee game of the season when El Monte (3-2) hosts Arroyo. The game is homecoming for the Lions and if previous crowds this season are any indicator fans had better arrive early.
In theory, this is supposed to be the night when El Monte knocks Arroyo from its perch atop the league. The Knights (3-2) have won the past three league championships and beat El Monte 35-20 in Week 10 last season to win the league championship.
“It’s exciting to know that everybody has a shot as of now,” Sanchez said.
“You see how things are now and everybody should be thinking they’re going to make the playoffs at worst and are going to have a league title chance. You shouldn’t be in the game if you’re not thinking that.”
While the Arroyo-El Monte game is huge, and the truth game between Gabrielino and Mountain View is big, fans shouldn’t forget about Rosemead hosting South El Monte.
The Eagles kept the Panthers at home for the postseason with a 33-31 win in Week 10 last seas on and Rosemead will be smarting for revenge. The loser of this game has a tall order left in league with games still to come against Arroyo and El Monte.