Monarch football opener previews big wins

By Andrea Camarena

Exeter football took its first win of the season at 35-20 over the Panthers.

The Monarchs took the early lead over Porterville at Friday night's game at Jacob Rankin Field. In just under the first five minute's of play, Exeter's Corey Griffin received a 54-yard touchdown from quarterback Drew Branch to put the first mark on the board. Kicker Jacob Bryan made the point after putting the Monarchs up 7-0.

The Panthers didn't take the lead lying down, though. Porterville's Adrian Ortega came back with an eight-yard run to put the Panthers back in the game. The point after by Johnny Ruiz tied the game at seven.

Josh Edmonds regained a seven-point Monarch lead when he ran the ball from the two-yard line for a touchdown at the close of the quarter.

Exeter opened a scoring streak as Griffin earned his second touchdown of the game by way of a short six-yard pass from quarterback Drew Branch in Panther territory.

Defensive back Eric Capello intercepted a throw by Panther quarterback Jesse Vasquez and ran it back 54 yards for the team's game sealing fourth touchdown.

Getting back in the offensive mindframe, Porterville rounded out the half with a Joe Soto two yard run for six. With Ruiz putting away another point-after, the Panthers and Monarchs closed the half at 28-14, Exeter.

Exeter's final touchdown came in the third quarter when Edmonds ran the ball in from the five-yard line. Bryant finished off the Monarch scoring spree with one more kick putting Exeter at a solid 35.

Porterville put another away when Soto ran the ball in for his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter. With five minutes on the clock, the Panthers couldn't muster up another mark for the home crowd.

Edmonds ended the game as the top rusher for the Monarchs with 46 yards. Vincent Pascoe and Branch followed Edwards with 39 and 25 yards, respectively.

Branch also left the game with 179 yards in passing and zero turnovers.

The Monarch defense left the field with one interception, two fumble recoveries, and four sacks.

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