Monarchs drop a close one

FOOTBALL: Vaqueros 25, Monarchs 23

by Matthew Robinson, Staff Writer

SANTA BARBARA – Although a visitor could get lost in the beautiful atmosphere that surrounds La Playa Stadium that includes a direct view of the Pacific Ocean, the Monarchs (3-1 overall, 0-1 Pacific League) came in focused on winning. Unfortunately, the game came down to the right leg of Santa Barbara sophomore Marcus Hoerberg, who kicked the game-winning field goal in the Vaqueros 25-23 victory over the Monarchs.

There were 924 combined yards of offense by both teams. The Monarchs were led by the efforts of quarterback Patrick Tyler (338 yards total offense and he accounted for three scores), receiver Darion Hackett (9 catches for 110 yards) and defensive back Jeremi Ross (12 tackles and one interception).

Tyler kicked off the scoring by running 13 yards untouched to the right corner of the end zone to give his team a 6-0 lead. Freshman kicker Bonifasio Rojas missed the extra point so the score stood at 6-0.

On third and 14 during SBC’s ensuing drive, quarterback Tyler Evans dropped back and fired downfield near his right sideline into the hands of a leaping Ross who returned the theft 2 yards to the LAVC 38 yard line.

Much later in the first quarter, receiver Joshua Martin extended his long arms to catch an Evans’ screen pass, then the receiver looked down field for a target but couldn’t find anyone, so he ran to his left where he was aided by a huge block from receiver Jacob Arnell, who hit the trailing Ross so hard that it suspended the game for a few minutes so trainers could attend to the defensive back.

Martin’s 15-yard run set up an Evans 11 yard touchdown pass to Arnell who fought off tight coverage from cornerback Chris Bush to secure the pass near the left corner of the end zone. The extra point failed so the score remained 6-6 with 59.2 seconds left in the first quarter.

A promising Vaquero drive ended when safety Zach Kelley quickly jumped on a Vaquero fumble at the Valley 41-yard line. Seven plays later, Tyler followed fullback Eric Sedrakyan and pulling guard Anthony Romualdo into the end zone to give Valley a 17-6 lead with 10:14 left in the first half.

But with 1:20 left in the third quarter, running back Connor Hustead sneakily climbed into the end zone from a yard out to give the Vaqueros their first lead of the game at 22-17.

But Valley countered when receiver Lawrence Oliver leaped, then turned his torso to his left to catch a 10 yard Tyler scoring pass to give the Monarchs a 23-22 lead with 11:09 left in the game.

With 2:21 left , Max Gates punted 37 yards to the SBC 7 where it was quickly downed by freshman defensive back Wallace Daglish. And it was on that 7-yard line where SBC began their 12-play game-winning drive.

The Monarchs travel to Lancaster to play the Antelope Valley Marauders Saturday at 7:00 PM.

Your thoughts?