Patriots top Monarchs in double overtime

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One way or another, the matchup between the top two teams in Division III was going to end when Christian trotted out its offense to go for two in double overtime against No. 2 Monte Vista.

Patriots senior running back Javier Jimenez took a toss and ran around the right side of the line, diving into the endzone to seal the 22-21 win.

“I knew I had to get in there, there was no other way,” Jimenez said. “I wasn’t gonna stay short but I got in there, forced my way in there.”

One way or another, the matchup between the top two teams in Division III was going to end when Christian trotted out its offense to go for two in double overtime against No. 2 Monte Vista.

Patriots senior running back Javier Jimenez took a toss and ran around the right side of the line, diving into the endzone to seal the 22-21 win.

“I knew I had to get in there, there was no other way,” Jimenez said. “I wasn’t gonna stay short but I got in there, forced my way in there.”

Exhausted Monte Vista (3-1) senior running back Jahmon McClendon could only watch Jimenez score from the sideline. McClendon alone outgained Christian, running the ball 48 times for 224 yards and a touchdown with two catches for 26 yards and another touchdown. If someone else touched the ball, McClendon was either on the sideline or used as a decoy.

The San Diego State commit was such a heavy part of the Monarchs offense the quarterbacks practiced handing off before the game while coaches threw to the wide receivers.

Christian (4-0) spread the ball out. Jimenez led the Patriots with 55 yards on just eight carries, and no receivers topped 100 yards. Senior running back Alexander Gonzalez led the team with six catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Owen Easley went 10-23 passing for 104 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, but even he shared the load. Senior receiver Justin Roehl threw three passes, connecting with Gonzalez for a 36-yard touchdown at the end of the second quarter.

“We can throw the ball,” Oliver said. “We’ve got different guys who can make plays, but the biggest thing we have is a bunch of seniors. We have a very experienced group.”

Overtime games are relatively uncommon at the high-school level. Christian has not played passed regulation since 2014, when only three current Patriots were on the varsity roster. Monte Vista played two overtime games last season, including a 29-28 playoff win over Chula Vista. Before that, the Monarchs’ last overtime game was in 2013.

Both Oliver and Monte Vista head coach Ron Hamamoto said they do not spend much time practicing overtime scenarios.

“We don’t practice it at all,” Hamamoto said. “We talk about it, but bottom line with our offense, we’re used togoal-line stuff anyways and now it’s a matter of two or three goal line situations in there inside the 25.”

High school overtime rules are similar to college rules. Both teams have an opportunity to score on a drive starting from the opponent’s 25-yard line, and a coin flip determines which team plays offense first and which side of the field will be used.

If both teams are still tied, they repeat the process until there is a winner. Oliver said he wanted to end the game sooner rather than later, which is why he went for two.

“I just felt like it was time to go for it, win or lose the last play there,” Oliver said. “The kids, both teams, battled for two overtimes so I  just wanted to leave it out there for that play. Worked out for us by that much.”

McClendon had just one thing to say after the post-game handshake.

“They’re a very good team,” he said. “We’ll see them in the playoffs.”

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