Football: Montgomery beats Maria Carrillo on kick return, 30-23

Maria Carrillo's Fahestus Chomba, right, breaks up a pass intended for Montgomery's Marcus Johnson during their game in Santa Rosa on Friday, September 26, 2014.   (Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

Maria Carrillo’s Fahestus Chomba, right, breaks up a pass intended for Montgomery’s Marcus Johnson during their game in Santa Rosa on Friday, September 26, 2014. (Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)


In a tale of two halves, the Montgomery High School football team held off a late surge from Maria Carrillo to beat the Pumas 30-23, Friday night in Santa Rosa.

“Again,” Montgomery head coach Marcelo Bautista said about the difference in the two halves of the game. “We have not played a complete game yet, but we knew that if we played together we would pull it out.”

The Vikings got on the board first, when Jordan Page hit a 15-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Alex Netherda gave the Pumas the lead, however, when his 54-yard touchdown opened the second quarter and sparked Maria Carrillo’s offense.

Montgomery came out of the locker room at halftime fired up, Bautista said.

“We got some penalties and miscommunication,” Bautista said. “You’re on the field with 11 guys and everyone has to play the right way.”

Ke’shawn Walker carried the ball for a 41-yard touchdown in the opening minutes of the second half, giving the Vikings a 10-6 lead.

“I can always rely on Ke’shawn,” said Vikings quarterback R.J. Flores. “We made adjustments and we have a great offensive line. They help so much.”

The Pumas’ Jordan Rosado intercepted a pass from Flores and carried the ball 26 yards for the touchdown and Maria Carrillo started to feel its momentum grow, Maria Carrillo head coach Jay Higgins said.

“We had to clarify a couple things,” he said about the change in Maria Carrillo’s offense. “It came down to tweaking some minute details. It was just a matter of getting the guys to better position themselves and give us the leverage we needed.”

A 5-yard touchdown from Shawn Byrd continued Montgomery’s burst on offense and Walker pushed the Vikings’ lead to 23-12, with an easy 8-yard carry on the first down for the touchdown.

The Pumas continued to claw their way back, as Walker Rotherham carried the ball for a 1-yard touchdown and Netherda scrambled for the two-point conversion.

The Vikings’ defense tightened up to block a field goal, but a second attempt with a minute left to play tied the game at 23.

The Pumas’ momentum was short-lived; as Cedric Louis returned the kickoff for 65 yards and the final touchdown, sealing the Vikings’ 30-23 win.

“My teammates made some really good blocks on the return,” Louis said of his game-winning play. “The lord decided to put the game on my back and I just had to do my job.”

Flores finished with 10 completions for 163 yards and an interception, while Walker recorded 17 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Bird was 5-for-27 with a touchdown.

“So far this season, we’ve had some trouble finding out identity,” Flores said. “I feel like tonight we are starting to figure it out. It was ugly, but we pulled through.”

Montgomery improved its overall record to 2-2 with its first conference win, while Maria Carrillo dropped to 2-2 overall.