Photos by Oscar Walsh
The SPHS football team’s losing streak extended to five games on Friday, October 5, as they fell to the Monrovia Wildcats 41-0 at home. Standing a half a foot taller and weighing 50 pounds more than the Tigers at nearly every position, Monrovia’s size and physicality was too much for the injury-plagued team to handle.
The South Pas offense was held scoreless for a third consecutive game, but was able to pick up a few first downs behind running from senior running back Logan Svihovec-McCarty. The passing attack was nonexistent, as the Tigers didn’t complete a pass for the second straight game.
Following two poor offensive performances, head coach Jeff Chi implemented a new formation, the double wing offense, with hopes of finding a consistent running game against a bigger team. The double wing offense features five linemen, two tight ends, and three players in the backfield around the quarterback. Senior Jaden Gallego lined up in the quarterback position, but often served as the lead blocker on running plays. The offensive line was especially affected by injuries, with four out of five regular starters watching the game from the sidelines. Despite not scoring, the new formation allowed for the Tigers to pick up small gains on the ground and maintain possession for long periods of time.
Monrovia’s offense was firing on all cylinders throughout the game, scoring a touchdown on every possession. South Pas trailed 21-0 after the first quarter and was forced to punt after three and outs in its first two possessions. The Tigers’ best drive of the game came late in the first quarter and lasted into the second. South Pas converted on two fourth and one situations with pitches to Svihovec-McCarty, moving the ball down near the Monrovia redzone. However, the Tigers were unable to capitalize on the opportunity. On third and eight junior Samuel Luna-Long, lining up as a wingback, took a reverse handoff and rolled out to the right side of the field to pass while being pressured by a Monrovia defensive linemen. As he was about to be sacked, Luna-Long threw a pass behind his intended target that was intercepted by a Wildcat defensive back. Luna-Long, who returned from a shoulder injury, struggled to throw the ball in his first game back.
“I was proud of the way our offensive line played today, and how Logan [Svihovec-McCarty] ran the ball,” Chi said. “Defensively, we struggled with tackling, but I was happy with the effort from our players going against much bigger and stronger players.”
The loss drops the Tigers’ league record to 0-2 with two games remaining. South Pas will face Temple City next week with a chance to pick up their first league win on homecoming. The Tigers will stand a better chance of winning against Temple City, as the Rams lost to Monrovia by a score of 42-6 last week.