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Fregoso Runs Panthers Into Playoffs

  • By Shel Segal
Rosemead3ROSEMEAD - 11/12/10 - With a playoff berth on the line for both teams, Panther running back Matt Fregoso became a one-man wrecking crew as he rushed for 228 yards on 38 carries and scored a whopping six touchdowns as Rosemead High defeated visiting El Monte High, 42-29, Friday night in a CIF Southern Section Mission Valley League game.

The win secures second place in league for Rosemead, behind champions Arroyo High, and an automatic trip to the postseason.
Fregoso was humble after the game as he gave credit for his success to those around him.

"My line blocked for me and I owe it all to them," Fregoso said. "We got a little pumped up. It was a close game, but we got up and came through."

Fregoso scored on runs of 11, 20, 10, 3, 29 and 55 yards respectively as he ran over and through the Lion defense.

Rosemead4His coach Matt Koeffler said he was just glad his team is in the playoffs now. He added El Monte (4-6 overall, 3-2 in league) was a difficult team to beat, especially as Lion running back Michael Jimenz also had a terrific night, rushing for 227 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns.

"El Monte played us tough," Koeffler said. "(Jimenez) runs the ball hard. We got a lot of respect for a guy like that."

Koeffler added the Panthers (7-3, 4-1) have been very pumped up as of late.

"The last three week have been a playoff atmosphere," he said. "Our kids did a helluva job not losing their composure and our coaches did a great job of keeping everybody cool."

After getting on the board with a field goal early in the first quarter, the Panthers recovered a Lion fumble on the El Monte 20-yard line, which set up Fregoso's first score, putting Rosemead up, 9-0.

El Monte turned to its air game to move ahead, 14-9, midway through the second quarter. However, following the Lions' second touchdown of the quarter, kickoff return specialist Christian Garcia, who made several big plays including a key fumble recovery in the first half, caught the ball on the Panther 10-yard line and ran in 80 yards, just shy of the end zone, setting up another Fregoso touchdown.

"It feels good," Garcia said of the win. "We're in the playoffs now. The noise here, the chanting, everything got us pumped up."

(Shel Segal can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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