Imagine what was running through Rosemead High School football coach Matt Koffler’s head when two-way player Deon Sumler and quarterback Jose Camarena both struggled to pick themselves off the ground following injuries that happened on the same play in the Panthers’ 14-0 victory over Gladstone last week. Sumler shook off his injury and finished with 185 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “You always worry when anyone goes down, but I figured Deon’s injury wasn’t so bad because he’s such a tough kid,” Koffler said. “Sometimes he gets a bad (reputation) about his effort and attitude, but it’s quite the contrary. He’s a tough kid who gives it his all. “Jose’s injury was different. We felt he was going to be fine because he was responding OK. But anytime you get hit hard like that, and complain of stiffness that runs from your neck to your shoulder, it’s best to be as cautious as possible, and that’s what happened. Both are fine, and we’re ready to go.” Koffler was hoping to test Camarena’s arm, but was forced to go with his bread and butter in Sumler, who responded even though he knew everyone would key on him with Camarena sidelined. “It was good to see him have to respond in that way,” Koffler said. “It’s something he’s used to because he carried us last year.” With Mission League play a month away, Koffler said he didn’t know how much to make of league champion Arroyo’s close call with Temple City (a 21-17 victory), or South El Monte’s 49-19 victory over San Dimas. “The Arroyo-Temple City game I knew would be close because those are two great coaching staffs and they have the same type of player,” Koffler said. “But I don’t know what to make of South El Monte. They beat a team with a new coach, and one that lost of lot of players. But we know they have a lot of returners and are going to be tough.” – Monrovia is 2-0 after victories over Bassett (52-6) and Duarte (16-7), but next up is defending Division VII champion West Covina, which opened with an impressive 28-12 victory over Diamond Ranch. The Bulldogs beat the Wildcats 38-0 last year and have many of the same faces back for Friday’s game. “They have a pretty good swagger going right now,” Wildcats coach Steve Garrison said of the Bulldogs. “They don’t do anything too flashy, they just stay in basic sets and trust each other. “For us to stay in this game, we have to put together consistent drives on offense and be tough against a very athletic offense that West Covina has.” The next three games will be big for Monrovia. The Wildcats started 2-0 last year, then lost to West Covina, Rosemead and Charter Oak. Following West Covina, they will face Rosemead and Charter Oak again before league play starts. “The real tests are coming up,” Garrison said. “If we can get some wins against not just upper-division teams, but upper-division championship-type teams — those are the type of wins that give you value.” — Fred J. Robledo can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Camarena wasn’t as fortunate. He left the game with 3:08 left in the first quarter and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital after complaining of stiffness in his neck. But Camarena was released that same evening, is practicing this week, and will start in Friday’s game against Baldwin Park (1-0).