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CIF STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME at StubHub Center, Carson, Ca.

El Capitan, Campolindo to square off in Carson for the California State title


By Jim Lindgren
© East County Sports.com
CARSON (12-19-14) — Having won its first San Diego Section title and now playing in its first state championship game, El Capitan (14-0) faces a stern test against Campolindo (15-0) when these two gunslingers meet at high noon Saturday in the Division III State Bowl Championship game at the StubHub Center in Carson.

Campolindo is the North Coast Section Division III title winner from Moraga in San Francisco’s East Bay area and is playing for a state title for the second time in four season, having lost to Washington Union, 21-16, in 2011.

Enjoying their finest season in school history this fall under coach Kevin Macy, the Cougars rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat undefeated Sutter, 35-14, in the Northern California Regionals Division III final last Saturday.

Campolindo averages 46.7 points per game while yielding 19.4. The Cougars’ closest game was a 27-21 win over Marin Catholic in the section championship. In three previous playoff games, the Cougars won 62-46, 56-14, and 52-14. They have scored more than 50 points six times this season and 40 or more points 11 times. They have a 15-game winning streak. Quarterback Jack Stephens threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns last week. He has 3,273 passing yards with 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 15 games. His favorite targets are good ones. Max Flowers has 51 receptions for 1,000 yards and 11 TDs, though he is nursing a sore shoulder. Conner McNally has 75 catches for 550 yards and seven TDs, though he is nursing a pulled groin. Running back Nick Fadelli has rushed for 1,814 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Also enjoying its finest season, El Capitan will counter with quarterback BRAD CAGLE (2,769 yards, 30 touchdowns) leading an offense averaging 38.0 points per game. D.J. SMITH has rushed for 1,280 yards and 19 touchdowns. Receivers ISAIAH CAPOOCIA (59 catches, 941 yards, 15 TDs) and ZACH CAGLE (27-455-4) are also dangerous runners on slot sweeps. The Vaqueros defense got its third shutout against Paso Robles and is allowing only 10.4 points per game. The unit is led by Smith (124 tackles), JAMES OWENS (12 sacks), JARRED TURNER (8 interceptions) and a host of others who have contributed mightily.

Arguably the best defense in San Diego County, El Capitan has posted 55 sacks and 25 interceptions.

CIF State Playoffs - First Round

Vaqueros shutout Paso Robles, next stop CIF State championship game

By Jim Lindgren

LAKESIDE (12-14-14) — Amongst the thousands of fans packed into El Capitan Stadium, a solo voice was heard in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s (Dec. 13) Southern California Regional Division III final.

“Hey, shouldn’t there be a running clock? Why is the clock stopping?”

The voice would have been correct if this was strictly a San Diego Section game in which a 35-point lead in the second half automatically triggers a running clock. It’s called the “mercy rule” down in these parts, but it doesn’t exist in the state playoffs.

There would be no mercy in El Capitan’s complete dismantling of a Paso Robles team from San Luis Obispo County.

The top-seeded Vaqueros (14-0) ignited a dynamite-like 28-point second quarter to rout Paso Robles (13-2) by a 41-0 margin in front of perhaps the largest crowd in El Cap history.

“You know what?” El Capitan coach RON BURNER told his charges. “We’re going to Carson!”

For photos of El Capitan's CIF Division III regional playoff game victory over Paso Robles Saturday night at Cutting Field. (please visit dondemarsphotography.com)

That would be the site of the Division III State Bowl Championship game pitting the Vaqueros against Moraga Campolindo (15-0) at noon Saturday at the StubHubCenter in Carson.

“The feeling is unbelievable,” El Cap senior star D.J. SMITH said. “This is our ultimate goal. We want to win a state championship. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”

The first Vaqueros team to win a San Diego Section football title will now play for a state title after shutting out a team that was averaging 39.7 points per game, while limiting opponents to 16.7.

“It’s an unreal feeling,” quarterback BRAD CAGLE said. “Like I’ve said before, we’ve worked so very hard for so long to get to this moment.”

That moment Saturday was shared by a huge crowd that arrived early and cheered wildly as the Vaqueros unleashed a major whooping. “It definitely helped that this was our home turf,” Cagle said. “Having so many people here created such an awesome atmosphere. “They were energetic. We were energetic. We weren’t about to lose this one.”

The Vaqueros scored 28 rapid-fire points in a 5:06 span of the second quarter to punctuate the historic moment, scoring four different ways against the stunned Bearcats.

ISAIAH CAPOOCIA scored on a 1-yard sweep.

Capoocia scored again on a 62-yard punt return.

Smith returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown.

And FRANKIE LIMA snared a 15-yard scoring pass from Cagle. That made it 31-0 with 4:48 to play before halftime.

“We played as a team,” Burner said. “Offense had their moments. Defense had their moments. Special teams had their moments. “I think we showed them we’re the No. 1 seed for a reason. We showed them how good El Cap football really is.”

El Capitan’s superb defense did the rest, stuffing the run, breaking up the pass, sacking the quarterback, and basically frustrating the bejeebers out of the first Central Coast team to make the state playoffs.

Paso Robles got only 175 total yards and really never got close to scoring.

“Our defense did what our defense always does,” Smith said. “Shut them down.”

This could have been even more lopsided.

El Capitan got in the red zone on each of its first three possessions but came away with only a 3-0 lead.

Capoocia returned the opening kickoff 48 yards, and the Vaqueros advanced to the 3-yard line before being stopped on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak.

After a three-and-out and a 16-yard punt, they started the next possession at the 19-yard line but could only produce a 28-yard field goal by TAKOTA CURO, his fifth of the year.

Their third possession started at the Bearcats’ 44-yard line but finished on downs at the 23.

Finally, early in the second quarter, El Cap drove 54 yards in six plays and scored on a 1-yard run by Capoocia to make it 10-0 with 9:54 on the clock.

Paso Robles then rushed three times for 0, 0 and again 0 yards and was forced to punt.

Capoocia grabbed the ball on a bounce at the 38-yard line, raced right, slid left, broke a couple tackles, sprinted up the right sideline, broke a couple more tackles, tip-toed along the sideline, regained his balance and darted into the end zone for a 62-yard score and a 17-0 at 7:12.

Four plays later it was 24-0 when Smith picked off a pass at the 23 and raced virtually untouched for a 77-yard pick-six, the first of his career.

JOHN LaCHAPPA recovered a fumble two plays later, and Cagle then tossed a perfect lob to Lima for a 15-yard TD and a 31-0 lead at 4:48.

“We knew we weren’t going to settle for three points,” Cagle said. “We knew the defense was going to hold them. And then we started clicking on offense and got us some points.”

Among the all-time passing leaders in section history, Cagle finished 9-of-15 passing for 119 yards and his 77th touchdown pass in a three-year career. He also posted his ninth rushing touchdown this season on a 1-yard keeper in the fourth quarter. He now has 2,769 passing yards this season, topping his 2,738 yards last season.

“Our defense puts up points,” Cagle noted. “Our special teams puts up points. Our offense puts up points. It’s not just one guy or one unit. Everybody contributes.”

Smith had 85 rushing yards on 12 carries to give him 1,280 yards on the season.

Lima had three catches for 47 yards, SAM MELERO two for 23 and JOEY LaCHAPPA two for 27.

Capoocia, El Cap’s leading receiver, did not have a reception on offense. He had an interception on defense near the goal line at the end of the first half.

Joey LaChappa, the identical twin of John who are sons of Vaqueros assistant coach EAGLE LaCHAPPA, notched three sacks to give him 9½ for the season.

JARRED TURNER collected his team-leading eighth interception, and TREVOR ZAMORA had a fumble recovery and a key tackle for loss.

Like El Capitan, Paso Robles had the finest season in school history. The Bearcats had lost 15 games in the previous three seasons before this year’s breakout.

They came in wounded, however, down to their No. 4 running back. Their No. 1 receiver, Bailey Gaither (1,453 receiving yards and 20 TDs) was also injured. No. 2 receiver Ty Jones sustained a neck injury on a kickoff return in the first quarter.

They boarded a bus for a 7-hour return trip home licking more than physical wounds.

Quarterback Justin Davis had 2,502 yards and 31 touchdowns coming in. He was 8-of-19 for 55 yards and two interceptions against El Cap.

“After the first couple series,” Burner said, “with our defense, we knew we were going to dominate.” That they did. “They played inspired football,” Paso Robles coach Rich Schimke said. “No excuses. They played lights out all night long. “Forty-one to nothing – that pretty much says it all.” 


Patriots' Stowers, Howell to play at Stanford, Utah; former Christian High star, MLB veteran Robinson dies

EL CAJON (10-30-14) — Christian High outfielder-pitcher KYLE STOWERS has accepted a scholarship to Stanford University to play baseball for the Cardinal.

Utah State University in Logan, Utah, has recruited Christian’s TREVOR HOWELL to play ball for the Aggies as a shortstop.

Former Christian High pitcher JEFF ROBINSON, 52, passed away on Sunday (Oct. 26). Robinson, who helped the Detroit Tigers to an AL East championship as a rookie in 1987, went on to pitch in the major leagues through 1992.

Robinson's death was confirmed Monday by both the Tigers and the Kansas-based Natural Baseball Academy, where he served as a pitching director, coach and instructor.



More late heroics for West Hills as Parsons' bucket topples Bishop's


LA JOLLA (12-19-14) — The Wolf Pack took it down to the final 2.1 seconds on a putback bucket by BRYCE PARSONS to snake the 61-60 victory from Bishop’s grasp Thursday (Dec. 18) in a non-league game. It was the first time that West Hills led in the contest.

Parsons led the Pack with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while RICHARD BARAJAS – back from injury – followed with 14 points and CHRIS MOYER added 12 points and 6 rebounds.

West Hills:  Bryce Parsons 22 (10 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl), Ricardo Barajas 14 (3 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk), Chris Moyer 12 (6 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk), Kyle Ruiz 5 (1 reb, 1 stl), Miguel Nava 5 (6 reb, 1 ast), Issa Ghandour 2 (2 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl), Thomas Reaney 1 (2 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk), Marco Ovies (2 ast), Austin Alderson (1 reb).

FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 88, CONSTITUTION (PA) 60 – Foothills Christian defeated Constitution of Pennsylvania in Thursday’s (Dec. 19) Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.

They followed that up with a 71-66 victory over Lone Peak on Friday afternoon, as T.J. Leaf outdueled Lone Peak star Frank Jackson, scoring 39 points, as he took over the game's crucial final moments.

Foothills Christian is scheduled to meet Long Beach Poly on Saturday morning at 10:20.

MADISON 67, STEELE CANYON 64 – The Steele Cougars played a close one on Thursday (Dec. 19) in the Lion’s Club Classic at Sweetwater, losing a narrow game to Madison.

DOMINICK WOOD-ANDERSON led the Cougars in scoring with 17, while AARON PISIONA followed with 15 and DYLAN HAMLETT chipped in with 14. EMARI BROOKS added 10.

Steele Canyon:  Dominick Wood-Anderson 17, Aaron Pisiona 15, Dylan Hamlett 14, EmariBrooks 10, Jordan Johnson 6, Tariq Tillman 2.

Second half shootout leads to a Wolf Pack victory

By Bill Dickens
© \EastCountySports.com
CARLSBAD (12-17-14) — Down two at half time, the West Hills Wolf Pack came out in the second half of Tuesday’s (Dec. 16) non-league game In North County with more intensity and better team play, outscoring the Firebirds team 15-8 and led by five after three quarters, 40-35.

The fourth quarter was a shoot-out as the Pack gave up five 3-pointers but held on to outscore Pacific Ridge 58-52.

"I thought we played well in the second half but they had some kids that shot it well with hands in their face,” said West Hills coach JEFF ARMSTRONG. “We gave up 11 threes tonight. You're lucky to win giving up those kind of numbers."

Continued, plus more Prep Boys Basketball coverage and current standings.


Branch notches game-winning basket as Matadors win at Nike Arizona event


PHOENIX  (12-19-14) — The Mount Miguel Matadors faced Chaparral, AZ in Thursday’s (Dec. 18) Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix (AZ) and came up with the 44-41 victory at the last second.

“We were up 13 points in the third quarter and they took the lead 41-40 with 38 seconds remaining,” said Matadors coach ROBBIE SANDOVAL. “Then ZARIA BRANCH had the game winning basket.”

KAMREE HARRISON paced the Matadors with 10 points, while BROOKLYN MILLER added 10 points as did ROZLYN PIERCE.

The Matadors will meet West Campus at 3:20 on Friday (Dec. 19).

Mount Miguel:  Kamree Harrison 10 (3 reb, 4 ast, 4 stl), Brooklyn Miller 10 (9 (3 reb, 1 stl), Rozlyn Pierce 10 (4 reb, 1 blk, 1 stl), Zaria Branch 9 (4 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk, 2 stl), Laila Smith 4 (2 reb, 2 stl), Satera Bates 2 (10 reb), Camara Douglas (1 stl), Amber Hard (1 stl).

EL CAJON VALLEY 48, LIBERTY CHARTER 14 – El Cajon Valley is off to a stellar start, standing at 5-0 to begin the season. On Thursday (Dec. 18) the Braves hosted the Liberty Charter Lions in a non-league game and came away winners.

The Braves led 17-7 at the half and finished the fourth quarter with a strong 25 points.

Three Braves scored in double digits. DANIELLE STOKES led the scoring with 18 points, while LEANNA WATSON chipped in with 12 and NINWEY ESCHO added 11.

El Cajon Valley:  Danielle Stokes 18, Leanna Watson 12, Ninway Escho 11, Nashea Lampkin 7.

HELIX 49, SCRIPPS RANCH 39 – No report was received for this Kiwanis Tournament game.

BONITA VISTA 72, SANTANA 40 – No report was received for this non-League game.

Braves take down Patriots

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (12-18-14) — The El Cajon Valley lady Braves defended their home court against Christian Patriots 35-31 in Wednesday’s (Dec. 17) non-league game.

El Cajon Valley was led by freshman LEANNA WATSON who scored eight points for a very balanced Brave team (six players scored, three had six points).

"Turnovers killed us tonight," Christian head coach TIFFANY GILES said after the contest. Indeed, the Patriots did commit plenty of them, 22 to be exact. MADDIE BAGDASARIAN had a game-high 14 points and was the only player that scored double figures in the game.

"It was the best basketball that we have played so far this season in the first half," Giles said. "I’m still proud of them. We knew tonight was going to be a tough night, since we scrimmaged against them."



Wildcats continue perfect season in tip to buzzer championship victory

By Chris Davis

EL CAJON (12-8-14) - One day after taking down the No. 19 team in the State, the Griffins lost to West Los Angeles 77-59 in the championship game of the 43rd annual Grossmont College Invitational on Sunday (Dec. 7).

Grossmont (5-4) could not stop the Wildcats (7-0) guard Brandon Hood. Hood ended the game with 27 points (third most in the tournament) as he was named to the All-Tournament team. The tournament most valuable player was Darius Middleton who had 10 points, three assists, three rebounds and a steal in an all-around good game.

... (continued)


Griffins' Fagan lands in Champaign to play Big Ten football

Special to EastCountySports.com
CHAMPAIGN, ILL. - The University of Illinois - Champaign landed its third offensive lineman from the junior college ranks on Wednesday (Dec. 10) with a pledge from tackle JORDAN FAGAN of GrossmontCollege in El Cajon, CA.

Veteran offensive line coach KEN WILMESHERR, master recruiter of the Grossmont College football staff, has turned out another gem. The 6-foot-6, 280 pound Fagan said academics played a large role in his college choice, and he plans to major in engineering.

"My biggest thing is that Illinois is the No. 6 engineering school in the country," Fagan said. "It's the best education that I had an opportunity to get."

A full qualifier coming out of Olympian High School in the San Diego area, Fagan will be a mid-year transfer and have four years to play three at Illinois.

Fagan in the sixth offensive lineman to commit to Illinois in the 2015 class, and the third OL from the JUCO ranks. He talked about what the Illini staff saw in him.

"They love my athleticism," Fagan said. "I'm a real athletic guy. I played basketball in high school. They like the technique that I bring to the table. Also my physicality and toughness."

Early playing time is available for Fagan with the Illini graduating tackle Simon Cvijanovich.

"They told me I can come in in January and compete for that starting spot at left tackle," Fagan said. "They said they really need a left tackle right now."

At 280 pounds, Fagan said he would like to bulk up some before the 2015 season kicks off, but he doesn't want to sacrifice any of his foot speed.

"I'm going to get in the weight room and get a lot stronger," he said. "The biggest thing is getting bigger without losing my quickness. If I can get to 295 and be strong and still have my quickness, that's probably as big as I will get."

Offensive line coach Tom Brattan and head coach Tim Beckman were the main coaches recruiting Fagan to Illinois. Fagan was on campus this past weekend in Champaign for his official visit.

"I loved the facilities, and the football team has a family atmosphere," Fagan said. "When I was there on Saturday, I did a tour of the engineering school."


Locals turn knowledge into success in German football league

By Bill Dickens

EL CAJON (12-3-14) - It could be called a working vacation, but one thing for sure, none of the personnel involved complained.

"It was all good," said Christian High alum and Willamette Universit football coach DANNY MITCHELL.

While Mitchell was the offensive coordinator-head coach for the Osnabruck (Germany) Tigers, fellow Patriots alum PATRICK KELLY was the defensive coordinator for the Tigers as well as playing linebacker on the team.

Mitchell recalled, "We were there from April of this year to October 1st, it was six months of unique experience. The players, who were grown men, were eager to learn American football. They soaked up the coaching from both Pat and I and we ended up going 10-0 for a perfect season and winning the German Football League Division 3 National Championship, as well as the 2014 North League Champions.

"Our All-American Willamette quarterback Josh Dean also went with us and was a standout on the team."

Mitchell and Kelly traveled extensively while abroad, including,, Berlin, Dublin, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Venice and London in a car provided for them the entire time they were there, in addition to lodging.

The Tigers played three games a week, traveling in the Tiger Bus.

Mitchell's parents, Mike and Arlene, and his brother Brian visited the facilities in Germany while Danny and Patrick were there.

Mitchell graduated from Christian High in 2007, the quarterback of the 2006 CIF Championship team. He was the quarterbacks coach at Menlo College in 2012 and coached the running backs at Willamette University since 2013 prior to his experience coaching in Germany. After playing baseball at San Diego Christian College for the 2008-09 season, he transferred as quarterback to Willamette University, graduating in 2012 with a degree in Exercise Science.

Kelly graduated from Christian High in 2008, a member of the 2006 CIF Championship team and earned All-State Linebacker, an award he also earned from Grossmont College in 2010. He was a scholarship athlete to Nebraska-KearnyUniversity, graduating in 2013 with a Criminal Justice major. He was the linebackers coach at GrossmontCollege for the 2013 season.

Kelly pointed out that the Tigers defense gave up only one rushing touchdown all year.

"That is one of the more impressive football stats I';ve ever heard," stated Danny Mitchell. "We outscored our opponents 432-76."


Get Free Pizza On Your Birthday!


Week 12 – SDCIF Rnd. 1

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound quarterback finished 16-30-1 for 225 yards and a TD in a losing effort versus El Camino in the first round of the San Diego Section playoffs.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound junior outside linebacker made 11 tackles, including 2 for loss, against El Camino in the first round of the San Diego Section playoffs. For the season to date Baker has 132 tackles to his credit.


Petty, a 5-foot-7, 153-pound junior running back, rushed for over 360 yards on just 17 carries as Christian won the Central League championship. He had an 80-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, a TD run of 65 yards midway through the second quarter, and added a 44-yard touchdown run in the third.

D.J. SMITH, El Capitan
The 6-foot, 225-pound senior running back-linebacker plowed in from 3 yards out in the fourth quarter to log the final winning score for the 10-0 Vaqueros as they defeated Helix and won the Grossmont Hills League championship.

For previous 2014 winners, click here



Ogden Returns Home, Leaves With Win


POINT LOMA (12-5-14) — Dixie State University opened Pacific West Conference play with a 54-49 victory over Point Loma on Thursday (Dec. 4) in the Pacific West opener for both squads.

Steele Canyon and Grossmont College alum MARK OGDEN JR. returned home to help the Red Storm (3-2, 1-0 Pac West) to the victory.

For more on this article, please click here.

Humboldt State all-time scoring record is set by Steele Canyon's Bruder

ARCATA (11-23-14) — The Humboldt State football program completed the best turnaround in Great Northwest Athletic Conference history this season and was honored by the league for its accomplishments.

Senior kicker MATT BRUDER, a Steele Canyon alum of 2010, broke the football all-time scoring record at Humboldt State University Saturday (Oct 4), earning All-Great Northern Athletic Conference honors.

After writing his name in the HSU record books this season, Bruder was tabbed a First Team choice. He holds program records for most career points (249), most career extra points (147) and career field goals (33). He also matched the program season records for: extra points in a game (9 vs. DixieState) and extra points in a season (44).

“Matt leaves here with a lot of records for career kicking,” said Lumberjacks head coach Rob Smith, who was awarded Coach of the Year honors for the 10th time he has earned the award and the 5th time he has won the GNAC honor.

“Matt has been very consistent. We have been blessed in the kicking game. With all three kickers graduating, it creates a hole that we have to fill. Matt should be very proud of the career that he had here at Humboldt.”



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