Fontana Summit Slays Unbeaten Giant

Written by Bob on November 21st, 2009

Summit’s, Marty Casteneda, recovered the ball after teammate, Donte Deayon, blocked a field goal attempt and Casteneda returned the ball to the Citrus Hill nine-yard line, setting up a Montigo Alford touchdown during the Sky Hawks, 48-36, win over unbeaten Perris Citrus Hill, Friday.
Photo and Story By BOB OTTO / For the Fontana Herald News

PERRIS, CA – In the fall of 2006, the Fontana Summit and Perris Citrus Hill high schools opened. And the brand new schools scheduled their first-ever football game against each other on September 8th at Citrus Hill.

For Summit, the game was ugly. A 51-0 spanking. Summit Head Coach, Tony Barile, never forgot that game.

It would be another three years before the two teams would meet again. Again at Citrus Hill. And again a high scoring affair. But this time, the results had Barile smiling.

And brandishing a bright yellow slingshot after the game.

On Friday, Barile’s Sky Hawks inflicted some delicious revenge, defeating the Citrus Hill Hawks, 48-36, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section, Eastern Division Playoffs.

“This is the biggest upset by far in my coaching career,” said Barile. “But this is just the first of four games (to win the championship) for us.”

The victory was sweet enough in itself as it advances the Sky Hawks into the second round where they will take on Palm Springs next Friday. But it gets even sweeter.

Citrus Hill (10-1) came into the game riding a 38-game win streak – the state’s best – including back-to-back 14-0 records the past two seasons. But Summit (6-5) put an end to that dominance.

“Sky Hawks, you just slayed the giant,” said Barile, as he waved a yellow slingshot in front of his team after the game. “This is special, I want you to enjoy this, but this is only one game of four, we don’t have a ring (championship) yet.”

Want more reasons for Summit jubilance?

Citrus Hill had thrashed nearly every opponent in its march to winning two consecutive CIF Southern Section, Eastern Division championships the past two seasons. And when they lined up nose-to-nose against Summit, the Hawks were bequeathed the number one seed, and heavily favored to win their third title.

The Sky Hawks?

As the third place team out of the Sunkist League with a 5-5 record, they entered the playoffs as the number three seed. And most football savvy folks labeled them as “one-and-done.”

Beat Citrus Hill? Not a chance. Well, not unless you’re a “David.”

“We got our David versus Goliath and slingshot thing going,” said Barile, now in his 10th year as a high school head football coach, and fourth at Summit. “We made sure they understood that this was a big, big game for us.”

Summit got off to a big start, scoring on it’s opening game drive to go up 8-0. The Sky Hawks drove the ball down to the Citrus 43-yard line, where Jamaal Anderson out jumped a Hawks’ defensive back, came down with the ball, and raced 30 yards down the left sidelines, and into the end zone.

Summit opened up a 22-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and led 29-22 at halftime.

But in the second half, the game belonged to Summit – fueled by a dominating offensive line that opened running lanes for Montigo Alford (127 yards and four touchdowns), Devon Blackmon, Jamaal Williams, and Anderson to showcase their speed.

“Our offensive line did a good job,” said Blackmon. “We were blessed. We can’t ask for more.”

Blackmon put the game out of reach with two scintillating runs late in the fourth quarter. Facing a third down and 11 at the Citrus 17, he sprinted around the left side and outraced the defense into the end zone to extend the Sky Hawks’ lead to 42-22.

Then with 6:30 left in the game, Blackmon scored on a 12-yard run up the middle on fourth down and 11 to finish off an eight-play drive.

“Devon and Montigo came through big for us and we knew they would,” Barile said, adding that the only changes the coaching staff made were a new goal line offense. “We just prepared and our kids were focused.”

Blackmon’s plays were big. But the turning point in the game came on huge plays by cornerback, Donte Deayon and linebacker, Marty Casteneda. Trailing by just, 29-22, Citrus Hill took the second half opening kick off and marched to Summit’s seven-yard line. Facing fourth down, the Hawks attempted a field goal.

But Deayon broke through and blocked the kick. Casteneda grabbed the ball out of the air and set sail down the right side line before being hauled down at the Citrus nine-yard line.

From there, Alford raced almost untouched up the middle into the end zone. Alford’s score pushed Summit’s margin to 35-22 with 4:58 left in the third quarter.

“We blocked, we had confidence, and we believed in ourselves,” said Sky Hawks’ center, Paul Ibarra.

Citrus Hill lost its top running back, Deontae Cooper, early in the third quarter with an ankle sprain. But Hawks’ coach Doug Dubois didn’t use that as an excuse. He credited Summit with jumping on the Hawks early with its roster of skilled athletes.

The win sets up a second-round match up with the Palm Springs Indians (8-2). The Indians defeated Barstow, 41-0, and will meet Summit on Friday, Nov. 27 at Fontana A.B. Miller High School.

If the Sky Hawks need any motivation, they only have to look back on last year’s playoff game with Palm Springs. A 35-6, first-round loss.

“We have them in our place this year,” Barile said. “And it will be exciting.”

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