La Verne Magazine
Winter 2001

Bearcats Scratch Saints in 18-16 Win

by Danny Craig

LA VERNE-Bonita High School football coach Eric Podley told his players, "Play within yourselves," when they entered the Valle Vista League bout against San Dimas High School for the 28th annual Smudgepot Bowl. For Bearcats kicker Brian Bernal, he did just that with 3:47 left in the game.

Bernal completed a 36-yard field goal to give Bonita the 18-16 final and the Bearcats their fifth consecutive Smudgepot victory. The first half was marred with errors by both sides, including a safety from a loose ball in the San Dimas end zone. After Saints quarterback Ryan Repp recovered the bad snap only to be tackled in the end zone, the Bearcats had a 2-0 lead early in the matchup. Despite the shaky performance from the teams, the ensuing portion of the half would bring each squad a touchdown with an extra point. However, a field goal in the second quarter by San Dimas kicker Scott Ehret was what gave his squad the 10-9 lead at the half.

Before the pivotal kick in the second half, the rushing game brought both squads their next scores. Bearcats running back Chris Riley carried the ball three yards into the end zone at 3:59 remaining in the third quarter for a touchdown. With a failed two-point conversion, the score was 15-10.

The Saints answered in the fourth quarter when running back Curtis Brown ran 33 yards down the middle of the field and across the goal line to make the score 16-15 before the game's climax. A failed pass on the conversion left room for the Bearcats to strike. With the victory, Bonita took a 1-3 overall, 1-0 Valle Vista record while San Dimas slid to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in league.

The Saints finished the Fall 2000 season with a 3-4 league, 4-6 overall record. They placed fifth in the Valle Vista League. The Bearcats took third place in the Valle Vista with their 5-2 league, 5-5 overall record.