Despite a strong effort by the Jurupa Hills Spartans, they couldn't pull off a victory against undefeated El Monte in the semifinals of the CIF Division 12 football playoffs.

Jurupa Hills saw its excellent season come to an end in a 22-15 defeat on Nov. 22 at the El Monte field.

The Spartans, who tied for the San Andreas League championship during the regular season, finished with an 11-2 overall record.

Jurupa Hills was ahead at halftime, 15-14, thanks to two touchdown passes by Eric Marinez. However, No. 1-seeded El Monte came back in the second half with a safety and a touchdown to claim the win.

Marinez had a terrific senior season for the Spartans, throwing for more than 2,000 yards and also rushing for more than 300 yards.

Jurupa Hills will have several top players returning next year, including explosive receivers Davieon Gambo and Trayton Cooper.

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