By Gary Montgomery
San Bernardino 43 Vista Del Lago 28
Moreno Valley Vista del Lago rolled into San Bernardino on Friday night with hopes of continuing its unbeaten streak and taking complete control of the Mountain Valley League lead. In one of the most entertaining games of the season the San Bernardino Cardinals (6-2;2-1) toppled the previously unbeaten Ravens (7-1;2-1) and slammed the Mountain Valley League lead into a 3 way tie between Moreno Valley, Vista del Lago and San Bernardino all 2-1 in league play.
The visiting Ravens didn’t go down easily. They came out with great intensity and a solid game plan but in the end the Cardinals proved to be too versatile and had just too many weapons for the visitors to overcome. Going in early, it looked as if the Ravens would be able to dictate the outcome. After running out to a quick 7-0 lead, the Cardinals quickly responded on the ensuing drive. Vista del Lago would score again and after a two point conversion, took a 15-7 first quarter lead.
That would be the last time Vista del Lago would have a lead in the game. The Cardinals offense took the opening second quarter drive the length of the field and capped it off with touchdown and then an unbalanced right side gadget play for a two point conversion and a tie game at 15-15.
On their next possession, the Cardinal offense quickly opened up what would end up being a barrage of scoring beginning with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Sonnyboy Orfaino to senior wide-out Deion Lee to get the Cardinals first lead at 22-15. The Ravens senior quarterback, Brian Cisneros quickly responded by leading his team on a long drive culminating with Cisneros scampering the final 7-yards to knot the score again at 22-22.
The Cardinal defense stepped in and took matters into their own hands, San Bernardino’s defense blanketed the Ravens while the Cardinals’ offense hit the accelerator. Orfaino quickly struck again with a 19-yard scoring run to give the Cardinals a 29-22 lead at the half.
“We just give the ball to Sonnyboy. He’s hitting receivers and they are catching it pretty well. Then we give it to Alex (Mattison), our lead and we just follow him,” said head coach Jim Imbriani when asked about his high powered offense.
San Bernardino ran off two more quick touchdowns in the third quarter to extend its lead to 43-22 and putting the game away. Led by the stellar passing of senior quarter Orfiano and the hard nose running of junior running back Alexander Mattison the offense was just too must for the visiting Ravens to overcome.
Orfiano passed for 279-yards and added another 99-yards doing his best Colin Kaepernick impression. Junior running back Mattison rushed for 275-yards and 3 touchdowns on the evening. Mattison has a season rushing total of 1,627-yards going into next Friday’s game.
The Cardinals will travel to Moreno Valley on Friday night for a showdown with the co-league leading Vikings to determine who will be take control of the league lead and move closer to the league title.
Gary Montgomery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org