LOS ALTOS HILLS, CA -- Serra and Mitty both got back star team captains for Friday night's 27-14 Mitty victory over the Padres.
Serra welcomed back senior running back/receiver Kava Cassidy, who broke his collarbone in a non-league game against Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks. Mitty got back tight end Tommy Hudson, who had also missed the bulk of the season due to injury.
Ironically, just as Serra got back Cassidy from his broken collarbone, Padre standout sophomore utility player Kelepi Lataimua broke his collarbone in the first half. He was a star defensive back for Serra who also contributed heavily as a running back, did the team's punting and sometimes returned kicks.
"(He's an irreplaceable player and no one loves Serra more than he does -- he is a big part of who we are and we will miss along the way, and hopefully he will heal up for next season," Walsh said.
Said Brown about Hudson's return: "It is sure good to have him back," Brown said. "He is a team leader and blessed with many tools that helped us get the win tonight and it helps to get one of your top guys back."
Mitty's defense dominated, forcing three fumbles, one interception and numerous three-and-outs.
The victory for the Monarchs (5-3, 3-2) drops them into a second-place tie with St. Francis (5-3, 3-2). Serra (5-3, 4-1) is now in a first-place tie with Valley Christian (6-2, 4-1) and Bellarmine (7-1, 3-1).
"We're very happy and the players are happy with this win after rebounding from the very tough loss against Bellarmine and we just keep on getting better throughout the season," Brown said.
Serra led 7-0 after a 3-yard run by Lataimua with 7:10 left in the first quarter.
The Monarchs tied the game early in the second quarter on quarterback Brett Foley's yard sneak. The score remained 7-7 until Mitty kicker Kris Bubic kicked a 48-yard field goal with one second left before halftime. A 20-yard run by Foley set up the score.
"Our offensive line has been getting better over the weeks and they really helped me tonight against a tough Serra defensive line," Foley said.
Foley continued his fine play in the third quarter, scoring on a nine-yard run with 7:59 left to widen Mitty's lead to 17-7. The Monarchs then moved in for the kill, tacking on a 4-yard run by Dakari Monroe to up its lead to 24-7 against struggling Serra.
The Padres scored right at the end of the third quarter as junior quarterback Hunter Bishop connected with a leaping sophomore Leki Nunn from 11 yards to make it 24-14.
Mitty held Serra in check in the fourth quarter and a late interception by Will Foxcroft dashed Serra's final hopes and led to another Bubic field goal to close out the scoring.
Serra coach Patrick Walsh gave credit to a team it defeated twice last season -- once in the league finale to create a co-title between Serra and Mitty and again in the section Open title game when the Padres rallied from a 7-0 deficit late in the third quarter to win 21-7.
"I tip my hat to coach Brown and the players, they definitely played better than we did and deserve the win tonight," Walsh said.
Foley had 14 carries for 89 rushing yards and two touchdowns against a Serra defense that had been playing well. Junior running back Derek Bauerle added 18 carries for 78 yards.
"Great win and feeling tonight, really steped up this week and turned it on tonight against Serra," Foley said.
Bishop completed 18 of 25 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown with one interception. Cassidy's accounted for 123 yards of offense between his receiving and rushing.
Serra meets Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday night at Terra Nova. Mitty takes on Valley Christian at Foothill College.