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The Monarchs spoiled Mark Krail’s coaching debut with the Wildcats, turning a slim halftime deficit into 28-14 victory at Foothill College. In a season-opening matchup between two of the area’s top programs, Mitty burned nearly the first seven minutes of the third quarter to drive 72 yards for the go ahead touchdown. The Monarchs never looked back.
Chandler Ramirez’s 23-yard scoring run and Kyle Evans’ two-point conversion run gave Mitty a 20-14 lead with 5:02 left in the third quarter. The Monarchs extended the lead to two touchdowns later in the quarter when quarterback Trenton Scharrenberg scored on a 7-yard run and then threw a pass to Monroe for the two-point play.
What changed at halftime? “In the locker room, our coaches told us we weren’t playing bad, we were just playing flat and making bad mistakes,” Ramirez said. “So what we had to do was play our game. We had to do the basics in order to win this football game.”
Monroe led Mitty with 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns in six carries. Ramirez also had a big night running the ball, but his blocking stood out to Mitty coach Matt Haniger. “I thought Chandler Ramirez did some of the best blocking I’ve seen from a fullback in a long, long time,” Haniger said. “That was really nice to see.”
The game couldn’t have started any better for Mitty. Its defense forced a three-and-out on the season’s opening series, then Monroe provided a jolt with his long sprint to the end zone. But Los Gatos has a talented roster with a top-notch quarterback and a hard-nosed running attack, led by Joey Wood, one of the area’s top sophomores last season.
Wood turned the early Mitty momentum around with a big run through the middle of the field later in the first quarter. He gained 41 yards before fumbling, but Los Gatos recovered the loose ball and picked up an extra 4 yards to boot, moving the Wildcats to the Mitty 24. A 10-yard pass from Nick Bawden to Keegan Kreutzer and a personal foul penalty on the next play put the ball inside the Mitty 5. On third-and-goal from the 1, Wood hammered his way into the end zone. Logan Chapman’s PAT gave Los Gatos a 7-6 advantage. (Mitty’s point-after kick was no good).
Los Gatos worked some magic on its next series, with Bawden scrambling for 25 yards on third-and-13 and Dru Brown throwing a 24-yard pass to Cole Wisecarver on a fourth-and-5 fake punt. The Wildcats later converted a fourth-and-10 on the series when Bawden tossed a misdirection screen to C.J. Butcher, who followed a wall of blockers for a 21-yard gain to the 12. Two plays later, on third down, Bawden rolled right and fired an 11-yard strike in the end zone to Cody Marshall to extend Los Gatos’ lead to 14-6 with 8:56 left in the opening half.
“We had two great drives in the first half and finished with two touchdowns, so I was very pleased,” said Krail, who replaced longtime coach Butch Cattolico after last season. “Second half, they open with a seven-minute drive and really took away the momentum that we had coming out. We just never got on track in the second half on the offensive side.”
Mitty answered late in the half as Monroe provided another spark, spinning through two defenders on a 51-yard touchdown run that pulled the Monarchs to within 14-12.
Los Gatos 7 7 0 0 — 14
Mitty 6 6 16 0 — 28
M — Monroe 87 run (kick failed)
LG — Wood 1 run (Chapman kick)
LG — Marshall 11 pass from Bawden (Chapman kick)
M — Monroe 51 run (run failed)
M — Ramirez 23 run (Evans run)
M — Scharrenberg 7 run (Monroe pass from Scharrenberg)