By Aaron Valdez
Behind a big second-half effort, Monrovia football finally managed to get in the win column after defeating Valley Christian 47-20 on Friday.
“It feels good, it was a few games coming,” said new Head Coach Chris Williams. “Last couple of weeks our boys were right there. They were battling and it was just little things that we’ve been telling them, that we just got to learn how to finish and learn how to get over the hump.”
While getting the first win might have taken a little longer than expected, the Wildcats were determined to build a head of steam before entering league play, which is less than a month away.
In the first half, the Wildcats and Defenders vied for control of the game but neither side was able to gain a significant amount of separation. Despite the sluggish start, junior Devon Mayes helped get the offense going by completing a deep drive with a touchdown, giving Monrovia a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Valley Christian would not go away as they tied the game 10-10 early in the second quarter. However, quarterback Nick Hernandez – who made his first start on Friday – connected with Frank Hernandez to complete a 73-yard play for the touchdown and the lead.
The Hernandez duo ultimately paid huge dividends for Monrovia as Nick threw for 293 yards while Frank had six receptions for 202 yards to go along with his two touchdowns.
The Wildcats ended up taking a 24-17 advantage into the break but were certainly not out of the woods yet. Fortunately for Monrovia, both its offense and defense found their groove, prompting the Wildcats to outscore the Defenders 23-3 in the second half.
Along with getting the first win, Williams was also extremely proud of Nick considering he wasn’t Williams’ No. 1 choice at the beginning of the season.
“(Nick) battled all spring and all summer but he didn’t win the job coming out of camp but he never quit, he stuck with it, he kept grinding and doing what we asked, and tonight he showed up and had a great game and I’m super proud of him,” Williams said.
The Wildcats improved to 1-3 on the season but will have a big test coming up as they are set to play powerhouse Covina (2-1) at Covina District Field on Friday.