Final bell rings on Monarch season.
By Nicholas Orozco, Sports Editor
With the victory bell up for grabs and tensions running high from the opening kick off, the Monarchs outpaced Pierce College and grossed nearly four times their rivals rushing yards, outscoring them by nearly 30 points in the final game of the season.
On a cold Saturday night, the Monarchs (2-5) traveled across the San Fernando Valley to face longtime rival, the Brahmas of Pierce College (0-5). The final game of the season came with a long-term rivalry as both teams fought for the Victory Bell. Dating back to the founding of both schools, the rivalry has fueled the programs to take down one another.
“The biggest thing that we focused on was we wanted to get up [scoring],” said head coach Lester Towns. “We wanted to play our game.”
The bell has been a staple for the schools as the winner of the football game takes it home. Valley has held the bell since 2015, when they defeated Pierce 39-7. Ringing the bell prior to kickoff, screaming “we ready, we comin,” from the sidelines.
Big runs from sophomores Michael Clark, Daniel Mauricio and freshman Graham Blubaugh, and Marcus Arthur allowed the Monarchs to move the chains right out of the gate. The drive culminated in a pass from Clark to freshman Jason Wagner in the endzone. A two-point conversion put the Monarchs up 8-0.
A second-quarter interception by sophomore Vincente Zepeda. put the Monarchs at the Brahma’s 11 yard line. A short run by Clark was followed by a pass from Wagner to freshman Stefan Roberts, with Roberts making a leaping catch in the corner of the endzone. Another pass and catch from the duo and the two-point conversion was good.
The Brahmas only moved the ball seven yards the following drive and were forced to punt from their own redzone. The Brahma’s punter fumbled the ball and Valley was able to recover and secure a safety, making the score 18-0.
The Monarchs scored another touchdown on a pass from freshman Andy Chavez to Wagner prior to halftime.
“This game for me was just about the sophomores, playing everybody and giving them an opportunity to play and have fun,” said the head coach.
Pierce scored their first touchdown late in the first quarter. A pass from freshman Matthew Abajian to freshman Alex Vales connected for six. The Brahma’s two-point conversion attempt was good.
The Brahma glory was short lived, as Jason Wagner, from Valley’s 28 yard line, returned the ball all the way for a touchdown.
Within the last five minutes of the matchup, big runs by Clark, Arthur, Mauricio and sophomore PJ Trusty contributed to the final touchdown. The end whistle blew with the final score 36-8.
The Monarchs retain the bell for the eighth consecutive year.
“We always talk about tradition and leaving a legacy,” said Towns. “The sophomores that were here and get the win and now pass the torch to the young freshman.”