Week 2: Monte Vista Monarchs 28, Rancho Buena Vista Longhorns 14
If Rancho Buena Vista fans had hopes of the Longhorns rebounding from a Week 1 shutout to give itself a decent shot at holding at least one victory before the team’s next home game in October, they perhaps saw that opportunity fizzle out Friday night.
With tied scores of 0-0 and 14-14 against the visiting Monte Vista Monarchs, that would be the closest the Longhorns would come to that much-desired rebound win coming before even tougher opponents that remain to be played this season.
The Longhorns struggled Friday to maintain any true momentum against the Monarchs, mustering just one touchdown in the second quarter — which resulted in a missed PAT — and another in the fourth. Those would come courtesy of, first, running back Kasey Campbell, and, second, the 66-yard tandem effort of quarterback Cole Prosser and receiver Jason Jimenez that knotted the score at 14-all late in the game after an uneventful third quarter.
After already having impressed fans with a 46-yard quarter quarterback keeper in the first by Ruben Silva and a series of runs leading to a short touchdown for running back Isiah Gardner, the Monarchs answered the Longhorns’ long fourth-quarter score tit-for-tat when Gardner carried one 66 yards for himself and the team right on into the end zone.
That would seal the victory for the Monarchs, and the disappointing loss for Rancho Buena Vista, which — given the even more daunting look of its upcoming road schedule — almost could have considered Week 2 to be a must-win if there was any desire to prevent a full meltdown of a first half this season.
The 0-2 Longhorns — ranked No. 645 in the state by MaxPreps — will now head to the road to face the Vista Panthers, holding a rank of No. 158, the Elsinore Tigers, ranked No. 325, and the Valley Center Jaguars, ranked No. 302.
Rancho Buena Vista won’t return home until Oct. 4, when the Longhorns are set to face the No. 421 Escondido Cougars.
The Monarchs, meanwhile, have lost a home game and won a road game so far in 2019 — and that loss was to the No. 40 Lincoln Hornets, giving Monte Vista a much brighter outlook.
The No. 322 Monarchs will remain on the road in Week 3 to face No. 559 Patrick Henry, before returning home in Week 4 to host No. 234, Christian High out of El Cajon.
There may have been no surprise in the Monte Vista Monarchs’ Week 1 loss to Lincoln, the 40th-ranked team in the state just days ago. But a surprise can be found in the fact that the Monarchs scored more against Lincoln than did the Monarchs’ Week 2 opponent in its season opener.
The Rancho Buena Vista Longhorns didn’t play Lincoln in Week 1, nor any team near its ranking, but rather the 413th-ranked Westview Wolverines. And the Longhorns were blanked, losing 21-0 to a team far closer to itself on paper than what it has ahead this week.
Blame it on the loss of Dorian Richardson, the explosive senior running back from a year ago who nearly took the Silver Pigskin trophy last season for the Longhorns. But when looking at where the Longhorns fell short last season with Richardson, how much harder will it be this season without him?
If the Longhorns don’t want to start 0-2 while losing the team’s first two home games of 2019, now is the time to introduce something new. As silly as it sounds, Week 2 feels like a must-win, especially since the trend of playing tougher opponents doesn’t end there with cross-town rival Vista on the horizon in Week 3.
A loss for the Monarchs, it seems like something Monte Vista could recover from, with lesser-ranked teams still on the immediate horizon. Whether the Longhorns would have the same ability to recover is less clear, and with Rancho Buena Vista likely to be acutely aware of this, watch for a surprise or two in this one.
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