MONROVIA -- The hangover lasted a little longer than coach Ryan Maddox would have liked but, in the end, his Wildcats found a different gear.
It's what champions do, after all.
Defending Mid-Valley Division titlist Monrovia scored 29 unanswered points to blow past visiting Glendora, 29-16, in the Wildcats' opener Thursday night. Although Maddox was pleased with the outcome, he wasn't too amused by how his team kicked things off.
"Things weren't going our way," Maddox said. "Our heads were down and we weren't playing championship football. They changed that attitude in the second half. They brought it."
Fans were tense when the Wildcats (1-0) trailed 9-0 in the second quarter. But the defense, led by top-rated defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, held firm and quarterback George Frazier found his rhythm. The junior passed for 158 yards and a touchdown, 108 of those yards coming in the first half. A last-minute scoring pass to Anthony Craft pulled Monrovia to within two at the break.
"This is a brand-new team," Frazier said. "We've got to work hard. It's another year; we can't live off of last year."
De'Shawn Ramirez's four-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter put Monrovia ahead for good. Shortly after, he returned a punt 83 yards for a score to give the Wildcats a two-possession lead.
"He brings the ability to go 80 yards on every play," Maddox said of Ramirez. "He's dangerous."
Marquise Bias, who had 115 yards rushing, added to the lead with a 46-yard touchdown run. It was all part of a 29-point run that had Glendora first-year coach Todd Quinsey shaking his head.
"They had a couple of big plays in the second half and we didn't," Quinsey said. "That was the difference."
The Tartans (0-2) failed to close out an opponent for the second straight week, having blown a lead against Charter Oak in Week 0. They look to snap the skid next Friday at Citrus College against Colony.
Monrovia, meanwhile, hopes Thursday was just the first step on the road to a repeat.
"We had our first week off so we wanted to come out hard," Frazier said. "Hopefully we showed what we're all about this year."