East County Sports

Foothillers take air show on road in win over Lancers

By James McHugh

© East County Sports.com

CHULA VISTA (9-18-15) — The Grossmont Foothillers journeyed down Highway 805 south for some old school, natural grass and cement bleacher football at Hilltop High on Friday night (Sept. 18). Heading back east, the Foothillers were 3-0 after a 34-13 gouging of the Lancers at Robert Dodds Stadium.


G at HILL ScoreGrossmont wasted little time getting the scoring started on the night. After a 64-yard run by JAKE HARR was negated on the Foothillers’ first offensive play, Grossmont went 74 yards over the course of the next seven plays. JARED REDFIELD then found KYLE PINEDA for a 19-yard strike. Pineda added the point after for an early 7-0 lead.


Hilltop jumped right back in the mix, taking advantage of great field position on the ensuing kickoff. Starting from the Grossmont 30, Hilltop seemed to be moving backwards when Luis Hernandez pulled in a 10-yard pass and then Dylan Trenga found a hole and dashed to the end zone from 18 yards out. The Lancers failed on what appeared to be a fake point after attempt as no one was able to free up for the short pass.


After a four-and-out possession in which Grossmont handed the ball to Hilltop at the Foothillers’ 44, Marcos Valdez found the sideline for 27 yards and a Lancer first down from the Grossmont 3-yard line. Again things were moving in reverse for the Lancers, but again Hilltop found a hole. This time it was Alex Tejada keeping it on a 7-yard run on the option and a successful PAT gave Hilltop a 13-7 lead with 3:13 to play in the first.


Over the next few series neither team moved the ball often. Hilltop missed a 42- yard field goal attempt after Grossmont turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory for the second time in the first half. Pineda seemed to be done with the scoreless drought.


HUNTER GAINES found Pineda for an 80-yard touchdown on a pass that appeared to be tipped, with Pineda standing patiently awaiting the arrival while a Hilltop defender overran a possible interception. This time the kick failed for Grossmont and things were knotted at 13-13 all with under 10 minutes to play in the half. Grossmont would push the lead to 20-13 before the half on an 88-yard punt return TD from KHALEED DAVIS and never looked back.


After a half in which there were some words exchanged between at least one member of the Grossmont coaching staff and members of the Hilltop chain crew, in which the Foothillers were referred to as both Patrick Henry and Granite Hills over the P.A. System, Hilltop then recovered an onside kick to open the second half. Grossmont was done with the disrespect.


Eli Quinn started things off with a painful looking sack of Hilltop quarterback Alex Tejada. Hilltop tried to convert a fourth down attempt that failed miserably.


Redfield was the picked off on Grossmont’s next drive while being drilled in the pocket but the Foothillers defense refused to allow big plays at their expense anymore, stopping another Hilltop drive at the 1-yard line. There was little question what the Lancer strategy had been since the first play of the game was reversed in their favor – “At all cost, stop JAKE HARR.”  When the Hillers turned to SHEVELL STIRLING it was still nothing doing, Hilltop refused to allow the run to beat them.


As Hilltop drove deep into Grossmont territory with under four minutes to play in the third, it seemed that something was going to give on one side of the ball or the other for Grossmont. Enter BRIGHTON HORNBROOK. Hornbrook stepped in front of a Hilltop pass at the Grossmont 5, returning it 67 yards to the Hilltop 28.


After a few penalties and one hard hit on quarterback Hunter Gaines, Gaines found Khaleed Davis floating around the Hilltop end zone and pushed the Grossmont lead to 27-13. The pass from Gaines to Davis came on a fourth and 19 attempt from the Hilltop 37-yard line, essentially dashing any upset hopes the Lancers had built to that point.


The Lancers didn’t learn their lesson as Gaines and Davis connected again on the Foothillers next drive, this time a 35-yard beauty on fourth-and-nine. With under 10:00 to play the rout was on and Gaines was certainly making his case for some additional reps in the weeks ahead with 129 yards passing over the course of three coffin nailing drives.


Gaines finished 9 for 15 for 271 yards. Davis was his leading target for 110 yards. Pineda had 3 receptions for 96 yards and 2 scores.


Jake Harr had another touchdown negated in the fourth quarter when a 28-yard run was eliminated on a curious false start penalty that saw no whistles until Harr had crossed the goal line. Hilltop would force a fumble from Gaines on an offensive line collapse a few plays later but Grossmont’s defense responded with fourteen yards of negative feedback for the Hilltop run game and the Lancers were relegated to the same fate handed to Morse by the Foothiller-D in week one, 00 points in quarters two, three and four.


Grossmont moved to 3-0 on the season, the first 3-0 start for the Foothillers since 2012-2013 when Grossmont finished 9-3. Grossmont is back home next week where they will play host to the Lincoln Hornets.

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