At times one could say that there was a lot of sloppy play going on Friday night when hosted neighborhood rival Monrovia in a nonleague football contest.
But in the end the Apaches made it count when it meant most.
Trailing and facing a fourth down and 6-yard situation near the middle of the field with just over two minutes remaining, quarterback Myles Carr and receiver Taylor Lagace hooked up for a 55-yard touchdown, which proved to be the game winner in a 30-22 victory.
“We had to get that or we’d lose the game,” Carr said.
Arcadia (1-1), ranked sixth in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division poll, overcome seven turnovers to top the defending CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley Division champions.
“We had some turnovers in the second half that were not smart, but they came back and made the big play when they had to,” Arcadia coach Jon Dimalante said.
The Carr to Lagace touchdown came with 2:17 left and gave Arcadia a 28-22 lead after Carr and hooked up with Robby Haines on the two-point conversion.
The Apaches added two points as a bad snap by Monrovia on the Mustangs’ ensuing drive ended up just beyond the goal line, where Monrovia quarterback George Frazier recovered it.
“Against a good football team you can’t make the mistakes we made tonight,” Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox said of his team, which turned the ball over four times.
Monrovia (1-1) had trailed for much of the contest before taking a 22-20 lead with 3:15 to play as De’Shawn Ramirez scored on a 1-yard run.
The touchdown by Ramirez came after the two teams combined for five turnovers in less than four minutes midway through the fourth quarter.
Monrovia, top ranked in the CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley poll, got on the board first as Frazier and fellow junior Mason Bryant hooked up on a 57-yard touchdown pass.
Arcadia tied it at 6-6 with 52 seconds left in the first quarter when Sheldon McKinley scored on a 20-yard run.
McKinley added a second touchdown at the 7:07 mark on the second quarter to make it 12-6. Carr and Lagace hooked up on a 32-yard touchdown with 5:03 left in the quarter to make it 20-6.
Monrovia cut it to 20-13 just before halftime as Ramirez scored on a 7-yard run.
Bryant kicked a 23-yard field goal for Monrovia with 11:52 left to play, making it 20-16.
“(We had) too many turnovers and mental errors. If we can’t get the mental errors fixed then it’s going to be a long season,” Maddox said. “We’ve got a great group of kids. They are hard working. Next week we’ve got a big game against San Dimas. That’s what the preseason is all about. It is about fixing your mistakes now so later in the year you don’t make the same mistakes again.”
At times, Monrovia struggled to keep defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy in the game as the 6-foot-4, 310 pound lineman occasionally missed some plays.
Maddox said his star was having leg cramps, but he will have his knee evaluated by a doctor.
Dimalante is hopeful the win can lead to bigger things.
“I’m excited about this group. They’re a fun group to coach,” Dimalante said. “I think this is going to be a season to remember, but we’ve got a long way to go. I’m real excited about being their coach and I’m proud of them. They could have come out here flat after last week’s heartbreak loss, but they didn’t. I’m really happy for them. They’ve worked hard and they deserve this win.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Monrovia 6 7 0 9 – 22
Arcadia 6 14 0 10 – 30
M-Bryant 57 pass from Frazier (kick failed)
A-McKinley 20 run (kick blocked)
A-McKinley 7 run (kick failed)
A-Lagace 32 pass from Carr (Medel from Carr)
M-Ramirez 7 run (Bryant kick)
M-Bryant 23 field goal
M-Ramirez 1 run (kick failed)
A-Lagace 55 pass from Carr (Haines from Carr)
PASSING: A-Carr 14-19-1 209 yards, 2 TD (32, 55 yards). M-Frazier 10-24-4 196 yards, 1 TD (57 yards). Heyworth 3-8-0 35 yards.
RUSHING: A-McKinley 24-125-2 (20, 7 yards). M-Bias 7-51.
RECEIVING: A-Lagace 3-87-2 (55, 32 yards). M-Craft 4-59.