Chatsworth Wins Season Opener at Monroe 48-20
It was all gas and no brakes for Coach Marvin Street and the Chatsworth Chancellors on the road Friday night as they kicked off the season with a decisive victory over the James Monroe Vikings. Senior running back Isaiah Rameau led the way for Chatsworth rushing for five touchdowns and well over 100 yards in the process. The Chancellors ate up 11 minutes of the clock before Monroe had their first offensive possession. Chatsworth capitalized on nearly all the first-half mistakes from the Vikings and put the game out of reach by halftime. It was a dominating performance from start to finish for the Chancellors rolling Monroe to the tune of 48-20.
Chatsworth received the first kickoff of the game and wasted no time punching it into the endzone on a drive met with little resistance by Monroe. It was clear that Monroe had no answers for Rameau as the Chancellors rode him early and often. The explosive running back put the finishing touches on an impressive game-opening drive with a ten-yard run for six to put the Chancellors on the board first.
On the ensuing kickoff, Monroe failed to field the ball letting it drop, and bounce around, only for Chatsworth to recover in dangerous territory. It did not take long for Chatsworth to capitalize on the mistake. After a fourth down conversion, senior quarterback Jesse Leon snuck it in the endzone from one yard out to give his team a two-touchdown lead.
On the very next kickoff, Monroe failed to field the kick successfully resulting in the second straight recovery by the Chancellors. Already down two scores, Monroe needed a defensive stand. Led by senior defensive end Steven Molina and Junior linebacker Abrehem Datte, the Vikings were able to do just that. On the crucial drive, Molina constantly penetrated the backfield recording two straight tackles for loss. He was a problem all night for the otherwise stellar Chancellor offensive line. The Vikings were able to force a punt but promptly turned the ball back over to Chatsworth resulting in another touchdown run for Rameau, this one for 45 yards.
Following a 34-yard kickoff return by junior wideout Tre Caseries, the Vikings gave the ball back once again to Chatsworth, this time via fumble. As was the theme Friday night, Chatsworth took advantage of yet another turnover on a 23-yard touchdown run from Rameau. On the next drive for the Vikings, quarterback Arturo Cardenas provided the most explosive play on offense of the night for Monroe, rattling off a 25-yard run right through the teeth of the Chancellor defense, showcasing some elusive moves in the process. A few plays later the Vikings finally found paydirt on a sixteen-yard run from running back Darius Collins.
Any momentum gained from the Monroe score was quickly quelled with another highlight reel 32-yard touchdown run from Rameau. Monroe would have one more chance to put points on the board before the break, but once again turned it over - this time through the air to end a forgettable half for the Vikings.
It was more of the same in the second half for the Chancellors. Rameau found the endzone one more time in the third quarter bringing his total to 5 for the day and an early end to his night. Backup running back Devin Del Toro added another score for the Chancellors in the fourth quarter. Vikings running back Darius Collins helped reduce the deficit again with six minutes left in the fourth quarter to add to his impressive night, but it was much too little, too late as the game was already out of hand.
A visually upbeat Coach Street said after the game, “I’m just happy for the kids and my assistant coaches, they’ve worked so hard through so much adversity. New coordinators Hector Mendoza and Shawn Johnson have come in and contributed so much to our success”.
Despite the lopsided victory Coach Street still found some areas his team could improve on heading into next week. “I thought in the second half we got a little complacent, let our foot off the gas a little bit. We made mistakes that were beneath us as a football team and I would like to see that get better moving forward”.
Even with the mental lapses in the second half, the Chancellors throttled Monroe from start to finish. A fully engaged Chatsworth football team for four quarters could spell trouble for the rest of the West Valley League. Next Friday the Chancellors have their first home game of the season where they will take on 1-0 Arleta High School. The Vikings will go back to the drawing board and try to get their first win of the season at home again against 0-1 Marshall High School.