-Photos by Anne Battle
By SHEL SEGAL
The Monrovia High football team overcame a 13-point second quarter deficit to win a thrilling slugfest against visiting San Marino High, 48-42, on Friday night in the CIF Southern Section Rio Hondo League opener.
Trailing, 20-7, midway through the second quarter, the Wildcats went on a scoring binge, hitting the end zone three times in 2 ½ minutes, with quarterback Asaph Zamora hitting Lawrence Spicer on a 48-yard touchdown score with just a little more than three minutes to play in the half.
San Marino would not go quietly and led at halftime, 28-27, as quarterback Carson Glazier hit wide receiver J.P. Shohfi with an 18-yard touchdown pass just seconds before the break.
Shohfi finished the game catching 10 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns.
In a tamer second half, Monrovia went up for good with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Zamora to Kahlil Bradley with 4 ½ minutes left in the third quarter and a 6-yard touchdown run by Spicer to seal the win.
Monrovia coach Chris Stevens tipped his hat to the Titans after the win.
“We knew this was going to be an outstanding game tonight,” Stevens said. “San Marino did an outstanding job of preparation, getting their guys in the right spots and getting the ball to the right guy.”
He also tipped his hat to Shohfi’s performance.
“Shohfi is an incredible athlete,” Stevens said. “We knew that going in. I don’t think we were really aware of how fast he was. He showed tonight that he is a tremendous athlete with a lot of skill and ability. For three quarters we had a hard time containing him.”
Stevens said his team was ready for the kind of game that San Marino brought with it and the kind of games he expects to see in league play.
“Every game is the next biggest game,” he said. “We knew that. We knew San Marino coming in, with the points they were putting up and the yardage that their quarterback and receiver had, we knew it was going to be a dogfight.”
In addition, he said that while the Wildcats got off to a slow start against the Titans, he was very happy with the result.
“We battled back,” Steven said. “We struggled a little back in the first half to try and get the running game going. That got us going a little bit. (Zamora) did a great job moving in the pocket and making things happen and we found a way to win tonight.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him via Twitter @segallanded.)