The monkeys were found to have been cast loose over the past three weeks from the backs of the Pointer football team after they defeated two reigning California state champions in back-to-back games.
After defeating Madison 38-22 the Dogs got right back to work and downed Cathedral Catholic by a 10-7 margin in a thriller played Oct. 26 on the Dons' North County campus.
This is the first time the Pointers have defeated Madison, with the exception of a tie in 2011, since the Warhawks entered the Western League in 2010. It was the first win over the Dons since they were known as University of San Diego High in 2002.
Particularly frustrating for the Pointers and long-time coaches were the years 2007-2010 when Cathedral ended the Pointers' season each year. Three of those games were in (then) Qualcomm Stadium when the teams played for the CIF Championship. In 2008, the Dons outscored the Pointers in a semi-final game to end Pointer hopes.
"It was very special for our kids to come out and go toe-to-toe with them," said Pointer head coach Mike Hastings. "It was a physical game and I was super-proud of our kids' effort."
This year's game started extremely well for the Dogs as they trotted downfield on their opening drive to score, quarterback Kyle Grady's seven yard run putting six points on the board. Andy Medina's PAT gave the Pointers an early 7-0 lead.
Were Pointer fans about to experience a blowout of their longtime rivals?
The answer was "No."
A stingy Pointer defense stifled every drive the Dons began, yet the Pointer offense, despite moving the ball well at times, spent most of the game in what seemed like an extended arm wrestling match with the Dons, where neither team could get the upper hand in a game marred by personal foul penalties on both teams.
Finally, the Dons broke a 60-yard fourth quarter run before speedster Michael Blakely caught the runner from behind for the touchdown-saving tackle.
From here, however, the Dons scored to tie the game at seven with just 9:12 left to play.
But this was the night the Pointers were not to be denied.
After not being able to move and punting the ball back to the Dons, the Dons gave it right back on their first play. Mathew Fa'alele's hit on a Cathedral ball carrier jarred the ball loose and teammate Christian Terzoli pounced on it at midfield to give their team another chance for victory with 7:49 left on the clock.
Keeping the ball on the ground to run the clock down, the Pointers moved to the Cathedral three where kicker Andy Medina had a chance for a field goal from the same distance as a PAT.
Medina, a sophomore, hit the ball and the Pointer crowd and sidelines erupted in celebration as the Pointer point total changed for the first time since the opening minutes of the game.
The Dons had 1:39 left, but a series of desperation passes ended with a fourth down toss that was intercepted by Pointer defender Kaden Gill with 27 seconds left. Game over.
"The defense came out and played hard all night," Hastings said. "And special teams really were the difference in this game. Our kickoff coverage came alive and we held them within the 20, our punting game did well and when we needed it the most our field goal kicker and unit made the winning points."
Josh Ball led the Dogs' ground game with 73 yards on 21 carries. Brian Yepez and Grady each added 34 to a team total of 177.
Defensively, Jake Silva had five tackles, Cameron Auva'a had four, Austin Haines and Fa'alele had three,
"A lot of [Cathedral] kids played on their 15-0 state championship team last year," Hastings noted.
And those monkeys? They've moved onto the backs of other unknown sports teams with frustrating streaks they are still trying to shake.
Christian High 44, Pointers 37
The Pointers ended their regular season last Friday night with four turnovers in a non-league game against a strong Christian High team.
The loss ended a three-game Dog win streak and left them with a 6-4 overall record (3-1 in Western League). Christian moved to 8-2 (3-1 in the Eastern League).
The Pointers amassed 468 yards in offense (321 on the ground) but couldn't stop Christian quarterback Brad Jeremiah, a 6 foot 5 inch tall senior who completed 16 of 25 passes for 407 yards and six touchdowns. Grady completed 11 of 17 throws for 147 yards but was intercepted twice.
Ball again led the ground game with 124 yards on 21 carries, scoring four of the Pointer touchdowns. Yepez added 50, Grady 49 and a touchdown, Johkyreian Shealey had 45 and Gill recorded 37 to go with 59 yards on five pass receptions. On defense, Auva'a recovered a fumble and Tristan Shafer snagged an INT.
Hastings and long-time Dons head coach Sean Doyle were once teammates at (then) University High.
The Pointer JV and freshman teams ended their seasons in an interesting way. The JV (3-7) lost to Cathedral 17-14 and then mixed in freshman team players in a 37-13 loss to Christian. The freshman team, once 7-0, had several top players promoted to JV before a 46-0 loss to Cathedral and a tough 21-20 defeat by the Scripps Ranch JV team. They finished 7-3.