Victory Continues to Elude Hard-Working Montebello

By Mario Villegas, Exclusive to EGP News

The Montebello High football team is playing fast, hard and aggressive.

But the Oilers are winless after four games.

They were defeated by El Rancho, 29-9, last Friday in a game they trailed only 15-9 in the fourth quarter. They’ve also lost close games to Arroyo (12-8), Rosemead (17-13) and Bellflower (19-14).

“We’re getting better,” Montebello Coach Pete Gonzalez said. “I’m not trying to make excuses, but the ball just hasn’t bounced our way. We have to figure out a way to execute and not have any letdowns late in the game.”

The lack of players with experience at the varsity level has been one of the reasons why the Oilers have struggled.

“We have some seniors that are playing varsity for the first time and they are now getting that game experience,” Gonzalez said. “Hopefully, we’ll come around in time for league.”

The Oilers play their next game Oct. 8 when they take on California (0-3) at 7 p.m. in Whittier. They open league against San Gabriel Oct. 15.

“We’re going back to the blackboard this week to work on some things that will help us execute better,” Gonzalez said. “The good thing is that this team really works hard.”

He notes that all of Montebello’s nonleague opponents made the playoffs in 2009.

Last Friday, Montebello celebrated its homecoming. Actor-director Edward James Olmos (class of 1965) was among the alumni in attendance. But El Rancho spoiled the evening, scoring two late touchdowns to pull away to the 20-point victory.

Montebello had an impressive series on its first possession, driving 74 yards for a touchdown and a 6-3 lead that came on quarterback Fernando Hoffens’ 20-yard touchdown pass to George Romo. But the Oilers struggled on offense the rest of the game.

Despite the loss, Gonzalez praised the play of tailback Lashawn Howard and two-way lineman Matthew Martin Del Campo, Hoffens and Romo. Defensively, Jonathan Alvarado and Robert Garcia and safety Gabriel Cardenas have led Montebello.

More Prep Football

Schurr 29, El Toro 28 – Gustavo Tlatebchi’s 29-yard field goal lifted the visiting Spartans (1-2) to their first win.

Trailing 28-7 in the third quarter, Aaron Cantu threw three touchdown passes in to rally Schurr back. He hit Gabriel Escobar on scoring passes of 48 and four yards. Chris Jordan had a 20-yard TD reception.

Alejandro Castro caught a 20-yard scoring pass in the first quarter. Cantu (25 of 33) had 293 yards passing.

Abraham Gonzalez rushed for 65 yards on eight carries. Ray Ortega and Eric Garcia were credited with a team-high seven tackles each.

Schurr plays California (0-3) at 7 tonight in Whittier.

Cantwell Sacred Heart 56, Bell Gardens 46 – In what was the first-ever meeting between the schools that are only a few miles apart, Cantwell and B.G. put on an offensive display.

The Cardinals (3-0) were led by quarterback Christian Espinoza. He completed eight of 13 passes for 121 yards and a TD and rushed for 130 yards and two TDs on six carries.

Jonathan Mesa also had another big night, rushing for 190 yards and four TDs on 30 carries.

Adam Aguirre caught three passes for 63 yards.

Cantwell plays St. Bernard (2-2) in a Del Rey League opener at 7 Friday night at Cantwell. Bell Gardens (1-2) travels to San Marino (2-1) Friday night for a nonleague game.

Roosevelt 27, Whittier 14 – Roosevelt (3-1) tuned up for its Eastern League opener by beating Whittier last Friday at California High.

Ricardo Estrada had a 33-yard TD run and Jesse Lira scored two TDs to lead the Rough Riders.

Roosevelt plays South East (3-1) Friday night at home.

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September 30, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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