State Playoffs: Monrovia’s dream dashed by Madison of San Diego

Here’s some video highlights from last night’s game.

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

MONROVIA – There may be a time when Monrovia High School will look back at the 2012 football season and have good thoughts about arguably the best year in the program’s history.
But not today.
Instead, the Wildcats can only reflect on what might have been.
Lee Walker returned a kickoff 91 yards for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter, Jamie Gomez scored two touchdowns and had two interceptions and Madison of San Diego ended Monrovia’s hope for a CIF State championship with a 21-17 victory over the host Wildcats on Saturday in the CIF State South Region Division III Bowl.
Madison improved to 13-1 and will face Marin Catholic for the Division III state championship next Saturday at noon at Home Depot Center.
Monrovia, getting 194 yards passing and a touchdown from Blake Heyworth and 118 yards rushing from Darione Jones, finished 12-3. The Wildcats won their third consecutive Southern Section Mid-Valley Division title a week earlier.
It looked like they would have a shot to add a state championship to their resume after Heyworth threw 16 yards to Anthony Craft for a 17-14 lead with 5:44 left.
But it was wiped out in a blink of an eye.
Walker went up the middlefor 91 yards on the ensuing kickoff to put Madison ahead at 21-17 with 5:29 left.
Monrovia, which had two scoring chances end with missed field goals in the first half, had two chances in the final five minutes. But the Wildcats gave the ball back on downs at the Madison 44 on an incomplete pass and Michael Garner intercepted Heyworth on a long pass inside the Warhawks’ 20 with 10 seconds left.
Gomez gave Madison a 14-7 lead early in the third quarter with a 25-yard interception return.
Mason Bryant countered with a 28-yard field with 3:39 left in the quarter.
Monrovia also had a shot to take the lead, but Gomez intercepted Heyworth in the end zone on a third-and-goal pass at the 8 early in the fourth quarter.
The first half was as tight as anticipated, with each team taking its shot.
Monrovia, which had been averaging close to 300 yards rushing in the playoffs, had 132 during the first two quarters, including 44 in an 80-yard drive on their third possession that gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
Heyworth had completions of 18 and 24 yards before Bryant and Craft followed with runs of 10 and 11 yards to get Monrovia inside the Warhawks 10.
Ainsworth, who had 61 yards in the first half, then took it in from the 7 with 4:52 left in the quarter.
Madison, which had 109 total yards in the first half, took advantage of Monrovia fumble to tie it early in the second half.
The Warhawks, after getting the ball following a fumble by Darione Jones at the Monrovia 27, needed just six plays to get even and tied it at 7 on a 3-yard run by Gomez with 10:42 left in the first half.
Monrovia had two chances to reclaim the lead. But Bryant’s 26-yard field goal try hit the upright with 3:20 left in the half, and a 54-yard attempt with six seconds left was short.

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