By Liz Alper
Photos by P.J. Panebianco
September 7, 2019 (San Diego) - Week three of ECM Friday Night Lights takes us to Patrick Henry High’s brand new field. So far, it’s been the site of a big 30-point loss to Morse last week. But the Patriots are faring well at 1-1. Last night, they finally got to host their annual matchup against Monte Vista. These two met last year, where now-UCLA Bruin Jahmon McClendon ran circles around the Patriots, resulting in a 42-9 Monte Vista win. The Monarchs are coming in at 1-1 as well, winning 28-14 last week against Rancho Buena Vista.
The Monarchs struck first in the first quarter with a 13-yard touchdown run by senior running back Xavier Leyva. But Patrick Henry senior quarterback Matthew Castillo said “awww, running touchdowns are cute! But can you throw passing touchdowns? I can!” and launched a 28-yard missile to sophomore Omar Hammond in the end zone to tie the game at seven after one.
The Monarchs took the lead right back in the second with Leyva breaking through some tackles for the six-yard score. MV managed to get one more score in before the half was out on a four-yard rush by Aiden Robey. The Patriots stayed close behind, however, as Castillo completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to senior Kadeem Bakare. The Monarchs led 21-13 at the half.
Senior back Isiah Gardner kicked off the third for the Monarchs with a 14-yard rush for another Monarchs score. The Patriots stuck with it, with senior Bryce Johnson running right eight yards into the end zone for the touchdown. The Patriots came back so fast they’d make Paul Revere proud. After senior Josiah Lawson recovered a fumble, the Patriots started on the Monarchs’ 18 yard line, where senior back Isaiah Jennings ran it in from 20 yards out to get the green and gold within three. The Monarchs hung onto a slim 28-25 lead after three quarters.
Castillo had been owning the Monte Vista defense all game with his arm, so he figured, hey, why not use it to give the Pats the lead? And so he did, airing a 25-yard touchdown pass to junior Kai Jessie to finally put the Patriots on top. But just like that, Gardner took all the fun away with a 69-yard rushing touchdown and the Monarchs were back in front. Jessie and Castillo weren’t going to tolerate that disrespect to all their hard work and connected again on an 11-yard touchdown pass and the green and gold were back on top. Senior Patriot linebacker Raymond Bernard snagged the interception and the Patriots sealed the deal on a thrilling win—their first win in their new stadium—beating Monte Vista for the first time in two years by a score of 39-36 to move to 2-1. The Monarchs fall to 1-2.
The Patriots head out to Lakeside next week to face El Capitan. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. The Monarchs will go back to Spring Valley and welcome more Patriots as Christian High visits them. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Other East County scores:
Mar Vista 0, Santana 41
Soldotna 42, Christian 7
Coronado 7, El Cajon Valley 20
Granite Hills 29, Madison 39
El Capitan 29, San Diego 53
Ramona 30, Poway 38
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