The inaugural “Monarch Pride Classic” was a success following a struggling losing season.
By Nicholas Orozco, Sports Editor
In the final minute on a two-point conversion attempt, Corsair quarterback Forest Brock threw a pass meant for freshman Myles Parker. Defensive back A-R Ismail intercepted the pass in the back of the end zone, which secured the victory for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs were nursing an eight-point lead after they scored with 8:12 left in the fourth quarter. Valley running back Marcus Arthur scampered 16 yards on a handoff from Andy Chavez, making the score 20-13. Sophomore Daniel Mauricio converted on the extra point pushing the lead to 21-13.
But the game was not yet secured. With 47 seconds remaining in the contest, the Corsairs answered back on a 10-yard pass from Brock to freshman running back Jaden Bridges. Brock found his target in the back of the end zone, cutting the Monarchs lead to 21-19. The visitors opted for the two-point conversion in an attempt to tie the contest, which set the stage for Ismail's game-ending interception.
Valley College (2-7 Overall) took on the Santa Monica College Corsairs (2-7 Overall) on Saturday. Prior to the teams taking the field, the Monarchs honored each sophomore individually by announcing their names and taking photos.
“Let’s go out with a win for our sophomores,” said head coach Lester Towns. “We just gotta fight and give 110% for them.”
The Saint Genevive Valiant Marching band, a band consisting of 14 members with three clarinets, four trumpets, one saxophone, five drums and a sousaphone, supported the Monarchs from the sideline The band played their instruments on offensive drives and was vocal when on defense. Following the opening ceremony of honoring the sophomores, the two teams took the field.
Lack of offensive power plagued the Monarchs opening up the game. Sophomore Dylan Foli got the start and could not complete any passes. Getting sacked once and only gaining yards on runs, it was not enough to move the chains. He was shortly taken out of the game in the first quarter for freshmen Andy Chavez.
Due to multiple unsportsmanlike conduct calls against the Monarchs, the ball was moved multiple times freely for the Corsairs.
Late in the second quarter, the Corsairs managed to get their first touchdown. Following an injured player coming off the field for Santa Monica, Brock passed to freshman Jerad Bradd. With the extra point secured, the first half ended with the score of 7-0.
The second half started off with freshman Jordan Padilla intercepting Brock.
Valley sophomore Michael Clark, freshmen Graham Blubaugh and Marcus Arthur ran big to get into the Corsair’s red zone. The three contributed running for 32 yards to get first and goal. With a one yard rush, Blubaugh broke the yard line scoring for the Monarchs and tying the game at 7-7.
The Corsairs responded again by throwing for another touchdown, but missed the extra point.
With a drive that had multiple foul calls and first downs, the Monarchs kept the offense going, throwing for another touchdown. Runs that were short and small losses of yards, Chavez threw for 10 yards to freshman Jason Wagner. The extra point conversion made the score 14-13 and the home crowd roared as Valley took the lead for the first time in the contest.
With the Monarchs being up by only one point and starting at their own 17 yard line, short runs by Clark and Arthur moved the ball to the 26th. On fourth down, Clark ran the ball 58 yards all the way into the Corsair red zone. Arthur steamrolled through the defense, breaking two tackles at the goal line to convert the 16 yard touchdown. Monarchs lead 21-13.
Scoring another touchdown on a ten yard pass, the Corsairs lowered the deficit to 21-19, putting the game within reach.
In a last ditch effort to tie the game, the Corsairs went for the two-point conversion. Brock made a passing attempt to Bridges but was intercepted for the second time by Ismail in the end zone. The Monarchs triumphed at home 21-19.
Following the game, awards were handed out that the team voted on who should receive them. The awards being, Special Teams Awards, Offensive Award, Most Inspirational, Most Improved, Toughest Nails, Green & Gold, and MVP.
“The green and gold award was voted on by the coaches,” said Towns. “It is given to the guy who represents what it means to be a Monarch.”
The award was given to Richard Torres, Don Harrel, and Michael Crowder.
The Monarchs will travel to face rival Pierce College Brahmas on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.