National City Mile of Cars South Bay Game of the Week: Montgomery Aztecs 12, Hoover Cardinals 6
Once an Aztec, Always an Aztec
A new era of football begins on a high note at Montgomery as the Aztecs defeated the Hoover Cardinals 12-6.
Both defenses dominated most of the game as the passing game was shut down forcing the other teams to rely on the rushing attack. The only points of the first half came from Hoover’s defense. On a bad snap, Derrick McCullough recovered the ball in the backfield and returned it 76 yards for the touchdown.
It was Montgomery’s defense who provided the spark with a huge fourth down stop on the opening drive of the second half. The Aztec offense started to create holes in the running game and running backs Christian Venegas and Xavier Brown would take full advantage of it. Brown would rip off a couple 20-yard gains with his quickness and Venegas would begin running with a vengeance running through and over defenders. The freshmen back scored two touchdowns from 4 and 10 yards out.
Montgomery took their first lead of the game with 2:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Hoover was unable to respond quick enough as their drive fell short on the 20-yard line before time would expire.
Montgomery will have their first road test of the season as they head to Classical Academy (0-1), and Hoover will remain on the road to take on Orange Glen in Week 2.
The South Bay Game of the Week features the Hoover Cardinals traveling south to take on the Montgomery Aztecs. The storyline coming out Montgomery’s offseason was the acquisitions of Head Coach Freddy Dunkle and Assistant Coach DeMarco Sampson. Among the many positive things that could be said about this move for the program, there is a deep rooted history tied between the two that started more than two decades ago in Chula Vista, Calif. where two kids decided to play the game of football.
Freddy Dunkle and Demarco Sampson wouldn’t know it at the time, but they would be linked together forever on the gridiron. They both played for the same youth team (Chula Vista Aztecs) , then dominated the competition at Castle Park High School (less than three miles away from Montgomery), and represented Aztec Nation at San Diego State as All-Team standouts.
Both have become great leaders and strong pillars in the South Bay community training our next generation of athletes. They built the SouthBay Legacy Club, youth camps intended to take players to the “Next Level,” and recently took over as the Directors for the South Bay Branch of the NFL United League– a youth flag football league. “Both organizations provide kids the opportunity that I never had when I was growing up playing football,” replied Coach Dunkle. The big thing is to make sure we give the kids a platform to be active. With low numbers around youth sports it’s important to give them that avenue.”
Now a new era of Aztec football begins for Dunkle and Sampson this time from the sidelines as coaches for the Montgomery Aztecs. When Head Coach Freddy Dunkle got the nod to lead the program his first move was adding Demarco Sampson to the staff as the Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator. Dunkle also added former Aztec Jerry Milling as Defensive Coordinator. There is no doubt they provide the most athletic coaching staff in the South Bay, but now these young men will define their success on the sidelines as coaches.
The task is no bigger than anything faced before as they take over a football program that has only three winning seasons in the last 14 years, but the tide could be turning as Montgomery won the 2017 Metro-Pacific League Champions for the first time ever. All the arrows are pointing in the Aztecs direction as Montgomery is loaded up front with returners Edwin Nunez, Faamanuia Meredith, Justin Guerra and Angel Lemus averaging more than 250 pounds and all standing above 6 feet. With size like that they should dominate the trenches. The Aztecs will also rely on two-way starter David Vargas and tight end Agelu Meredith, who, according to Coach Dunkle, has the most potential to get to the next level.
Hoover Head Coach Jimmy Morgans will look to improve on his two previous seasons with the Cardinals. Beating the Aztecs to open the season would look good on the resume towards playoff time as Montgomery plays in a stronger division and should compete for a playoff spot. On top of that, it would be a great boost of confidence to open the 2018 season with a win matching their win total in 2017.
Coach Morgans, a 1992 Hoover grad, is pleased with the recent progress of the program heading into his third year as player turnouts have increased due to more opportunities the football program is providing. In 2017, the Cardinals will run out of a double-wing set and rely on their two-headed backfield of Kyle Vargas and Jacoy McNealy who provide quickness and burst to give Hoover life on offense this year.
Please be sure to catch all of the action this Friday night at 11:00 PM on KUSI’s Prep Pigskin Report.