The Lancer offense shredded the Matador defense, as they exposed them up the gut numerous times for scores.
"They took advantage of the matchup between their best receiver and our safety," said Matador coach Jude Oliva after the game. "They hit us with some big passes over the middle. I felt like they took advantage of the speed advantage (they had) with their best receiver and our safeties."
Aside from rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns, Matador tailback Arthur Brown stepped into the quarterback position after starter Andy Guerrero left the game with a leg injury in the second quarter and backup Eric Alvarez was unable to contribute due to a bicep injury.
Brown complete eight passes for 88 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown pass to wideout Alex Villalobos.
"I'm very proud of our kids because we got hit with so much adversity," Oliva said. "Our starting quarterback went down, our backup quarterback went down and we had no one to really go to. We asked (Brown) to step in and the team rallied around him."
During the first half, scores by quarterback Josh Adame, Gutierrez and running back Steve Ibarra helped put the Lancers out in front 22-9 late in second quarter.
Just before halftime the Matadors (3-5 overall, 1-2 in league) would slice into the Lancers' lead, as 51-yard fake punt touchdown run by punter Gilmar Tenes made the score 22-16 heading into the second half.
Following a 75-yard touchdown catch by Gutierrez that pushed the Lancers' lead to 29-16, once again the Matadors would respond quickly to adversity. A 63-yard run by Brown out of the wildcat formation put San Gabriel down 29-23 going into the fourth quarter.
Trailing, 37-23, 1:20 into the fourth quarter, the Matadors would receive an unlikely spark in an unusual manner. A 65-yard return kickoff for a touchdown by Joey Villalobos put the Matadors right back in the game.
Shortly after Brown connected with Alex Villalobos for a 43-yard score to cut the Lancers' lead to 37-35, the Matador defense on the ensuing Lancer drive would step up and force a three and out series.
However with time running out, the Matador offense was unable to muster up any more magic as they were defeated, 37-35, by the Lancers (5-3, 2-1).
"With any tough loss the kids are going to feel down about not winning," said Oliva. "Tonight with all the adversity we dealt with today, we still fought through (and almost won). Plus we won't need to apply to much motivation because the Alhambra game is a big rivalry game for us."