EC Preps





By Adam Paul

Chula Vista (12-1-17)

It is great to be a Monarch these days. You might ask what kind of monarch and the answer would be a Monte Vista Monarch.

The reason being it is great to be a Monte Vista Monarch these days is because they are the CIF Champions of Division IV. This season the Monarchs knew they had a mission after missing out last year as they lost a semi-final heartbreaker 35-32 to Santana in the final minute.

That loss really stung the Monarchs and they vowed to come back this year and avenge that loss. Coming into the season they were looked at to be one of the favorites in Division IV but early on they lost a couple of games. One of those games was Division IV foe University City which was big as it was in the Division.

However the Monarchs marched on and were awarded the #4 seed in the Division IV playoffs which meant they would receive a bye in the first round. In the second round they faced Chula Vista who gave them everything and eventually the Monarchs pulled it out in overtime on a stop on a two point conversion. With the win they were once again in the semi-finals, this time against University City who had beaten them.

However unlike last season the Monarchs pulled out the semi-final victory over #1 seeded University to reach the championship game where they would face #2 seeded San Diego High, another school with rich history and tradition.

What would happen in the CIF Division IV Championship game would be one for the ages and stuff legends are made of.

Big stud running back for the Monarchs, Jahmon McClendon who interestingly enough played the game sick and slightly dehydrated as it was described rumbled his way each time through the Cavers defense and constantly picked himself up ran away with things all the way to setting records on the night.

Now on the stat sheet it will say 383 yards but a couple of media guys and others had the total at 390 yards. However the official number on the night was 383 yards. He also on the night scorched the Cavers for a record 8 touchdowns.


McClendon’s record touchdown runs would include runs of 3, 42, 44, 32, 49, 23, 10 and 48 of which all set a section championship-game record.

His rushing yards would be two yards short of the championship game record. The most impressive part of it all was the fact that he scored on mostly on a running play the Monarchs call “2-Power.” They would insert the direction into that play call as well.

For the Monarchs, McClendon wasn’t the only one to enjoy the fireworks of scoring. His running mate Elshaddai Levi who ran for 83 yards also scored on a 55-yarder and Terell Kyle ran for 76 yards and two scores.

On the season McClendon with his record setting night now is at 2,353 yards and 37 touchdowns and 3,919 and 58 scores for a career.

The San Diego Cavers did their best to stay in the contest as quarterback Quinn O’Connor threw for 317 yards on 16 of 25 passing and 5 touchdowns and two interceptions.


One of the most spectacular grabs was by Caver receiver Daniel Thomas who hauled in a couple passes one handed of 30 and 70 yards finished with 116 yards receiving.

Early on the Monarchs actually led 14-0 before San Diego would come back and tie it up about midway in the first half.

However the Monarchs would retake the lead as McClendon busted his way for a 44-yard score to give Monte Vista a 21-14 lead. But that lead didn’t last long as San Diego was able to retake the lead on a Thomas circus catch and a 2-point conversion which gave them a 22-21 lead.

Monte Vista didn’t flinch as once again it was McClendon who again ran away for the 32-yard diving score and after a 2-point conversion it was now 29-22.

After McClendon scored he was still lying on the ground after diving and it was said by a couple of bystanders that he looked like he had been injured on the play.

But as it was later found out, McClendon hadn’t eaten all day long so he was just feeling the effects of that. Plus playing both ways was having an effect as well but he gutted it out.

At the intermission the Monarchs led San Diego 29-22. McClendon in the first half really carried things as he ran for 206 yards and 4 scores.

After sitting out part of the third quarter, McClendon emerged from the sideline and back into the game and did his thing as he ran for a 49-yard score.

A couple of possessions later he would score again, this time on a 23-yard scamper to give Monte Vista a 43-28 lead.

The Monarchs would stretch their lead even further as Elshaddai found the end zone for a 55-yard score to push it to 50-28.

Things were going really well for the Monarchs as San Diego just couldn’t match the power of the run game for Monte Vista. In fact that would be proven on the next possession for Monte Vista as they would get into Cavers territory on the 10-yardline.

The ball was handed off to McClendon who took it and got to the 5-yard line where he was hit by quite a few cavers who tried to bring him down. However just like a beast, McClendon was able to carry all the defenders after spinning and keeping balance and when it looked like he was going to be brought down he was able to break free and into the end zone for the score to make it 57-28 and score his 7th touchdown.

A couple of possessions later after scores by both teams, McClendon who wasn’t finished would cap off his night with a 48-yard score which would be the record one to make it 71-42.

SCORE: Monte Vista 71, San Diego 48

RECORDS: Monte Vista (8-5), San Diego (12-1)

PIVOTAL MOMENT: Trailing 22-21 in the second quarter, Monte Vista was able to retake the lead on a Jahmon McClendon 32-yard score and never look back.

NOTES: McClendon’s 8 rushing touchdowns ties a CIF SECTION RECORD for most in a game with Richard Dorian of Rancho Buena Vista who set the record a couple of weeks ago against Santana. McClendon also set a section championship-game record for TDs.

The 383 rushing yards by McClendon was two yards short of the CIF Section title game record.

The Monarchs on the night on offense put up 596 yards while the Cavers had 454 for a total of 1,050 and both teams combined for 17 touchdowns.

The 119 combined points by both teams tied another wacky game that Monte Vista Monarchs coach Ron Hamamoto was involved in back in 1999 when he coached at Rancho Bernardo. In a 71-48 victory over West Hills in the quarterfinals, Rancho Bernardo ran for almost 700 yards which is a section record. In that game under Steve Sutton and his air it out offense the Wolf Pack threw for 449 yards while Rancho Bernardo’s total yardage was 784.

Monte Vista with this latest championship now has won 3 CIF SECTION TITLES. Two under legendary coach Ed Carberry in 1995 and 2003 in which they beat Helix and the latest under legendary coach Ron Hamamoto who has now won a title at a couple different schools.

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