MONROVIA--Cloverdale knew exactly what to expect from Monrovia, but it was powerless to stop it Friday in a first-round 2A sectional football game on the Bulldogs' field.
Monrovia used its no-frills rushing attack to score touchdowns on its opening six possessions in a 52-7 win.
"They're bigger, stronger, faster and know what they're doing," Cloverdale coach Kyle Winkler said. "They didn't do anything we hadn't seen. We couldn't execute. On fourth-and-3, we'd stack up against them and they'd get five. Monrovia has eight plays and they run it from day one. When their JV guys were in, they could run it and make four yards a pop.
"We had our defense stacked in the box and they had their assignments. Monrovia would run by the first wave and it would be off to the races."
The Bulldogs (7-5) had 360 yards rushing. They tried only one pass, completing it for 12 yards.
Dillon Gray scored Cloverdale's touchdown on an 8-yard run with 8:43 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Gray, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior, ran for 77 yards on 12 carries. Fullback Sam Spinks had 41 yards on nine carries.
The Clovers had 127 yards rushing and 39 passing, but didn't really get their offense moving until the second half, which they entered trailing 45-0.
Cloverdale (2-8) had played Monrovia closer in the third week of the season, losing 30-0. But Friday's game had gotten away from the Clovers early and it turned into a rout.
"We were shell shocked, maybe, after the first couple of scores," Winkler said. "And when you're behind 24-0, you try to force some things."
Monrovia took the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards on eight plays, ended by Brent McCleerey's 3-yard touchdown run.
The Clovers failed to move the ball on its initial possession and were forced to punt. Monrovia went 54 yards on nine plays to score on Garrett Johnson's 5-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs scored its second two-point conversion and led, 16-0.
Cloverdale didn't make a first down on its second possession, either, and Monrovia took over at midfield. The Bulldogs went 51 yards on five plays, with quarterback Tim Connor rambling for a 22-yard touchdown. Austin Parks' two-point conversion boosted Monrovia's advantage to 24-0 with 10:16 left in the second quarter.
Quarterback Jordan Brinkman's 18-yard completion to Nick Keefer delivered Cloverdale's initial first down on its next possession.
But on first down at the Bulldogs' 49, Brinkman was sacked for a three-yard loss. On fourth-and-9, the Clovers gambled with punter Keefer trying to run, but he was stopped and the Bulldogs took over at the Cloverdale 45.
"The way Monrovia was moving the football, 30 yards (on a punt) wasn't going to make any difference," Winkler said. "We had to do something to try to keep the ball."
Monrovia rammed the ball for another touchdown in seven plays.
Brinkman was intercepted twice in the closing minutes of the first half. The talented freshman didn't return in the second half, replaced by Keefer.
Brinkman suffered a high ankle sprain in the previous game against North Putnam and didn't practice a single play all week.
"He took a shot on the second interception," Winkler said. "He's a freshman and we didn't want to risk any further injury. We need a whole team, but he's definitely a bright spot for the future of Cloverdale football."
Cloverdale drove 86 yards on 16 plays for its touchdown. Gray broke loose for a 38-yard gain from the Clovers' 16 and also had runs of 13 and six yards before scoring from the eight-yard line. Keefer completed passes of seven yards twice to Lee Secrest and Spinks had 11 yards on four carries on the drive.
Cloverdale 0 0 0 7 -- 7
Monrovia 16 29 7 0 -- 52
M--McCleerey 3 run (Johnson run) at 8:37
M--Johnson 5 run (Connor run) at 2:41
M--Connor 22 run (Parks run) at 10:16
M--Parks 13 run (Parks kick) at 4:18
M--McCleerey 35 run (Parks kick) at 2:20
M--Parks 15 run (Reeves kick) at 1:24
M--Hadley 3 run (Reeves kick) at 4:44
C--Gray 8 run (Keefer kick) at 8:43
Rushing: Cloverdale--Gray 12-77, Spinks 9-41, Brinkman 4-14, Osburn 1-4, Looper 1-(-4), Keefer 3-(-5); Monrovia--Parks 12-88, Johnson 7-63, Hadley 10-55, Connor 4-36, McCleerey 2-38, Hickey 6-27, Roberts 5-20, Hall 5-18, Watson 1-13, Dillon 1-1, Wilson 1-1, Sichting 1-0.
Passing: Cloverdale--Brinkman 3-11-2 25, Keefer 2-3-0 14; Monrovia--Connor 1-1-0 12.
Receiving: Cloverdale--Secrest 2-14, Keefer 1-18, Gray 2-7; Monroiva--Reeves 1-12.
First downs: Cloverdale 7, Monrovia 15. Penalties: Cloverdale 4-20, Monrovia 4-30. Fumbles/Lost: Cloverdale 0/0, Monrovia 2/0.
Interceptions: Cloverdale--none; Monrovia--Hickey, Watson.