East County Sports

Wolf Pack survive Sultans’ scare after monster comeback

By Adam Paul

© East County Sports.com



SANTEE (10-31-15) — On the night before Halloween the city of Santee hosted the 26th edition of what is known as the Mayors Cup or Battle of Santee.  This year would see the Santana Sultans travel the mile or so distance to their crosstown rival West Hills High to take on the Wolf Pack.


In the spirit of Halloween both teams would end up giving the fans a treat as they put on an explosive contest. It would also be one of the closest games in the rivalry in recent memory. In the end it would be the Wolf Pack holding on with the 45-42 victory to claim the rivalry game in front of a packed house.SAN at WH Score


At first it didn’t look like it would be much of a contest as the Wolf Pack shot out to a 7-0 lead a couple of minutes in on a 66-yard scamper by TAJ BROOMFIELD who would tally 242 yards on 15 carries and 3 touchdowns. West Hills would again score on another Broomfield score, this time he would take the handoff and run all the way on a 45-yard score to put the Pack up 14-0.


The Sultans, despite being down, were able to regroup as they started out at their own 20-yard line after the touchback.  Santana would use a heavy dose of the run game and they were able to take advantage of what the Wolf Pack was giving as BOBBY WALLACE (30 carries – 201 yards) was able to find his way through the hole for a 32-yard scamper.


They would find themselves on the board thanks to a 13-yard strike from FRANKIE GUTIERREZ (18-31, 232 yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions) to ADAM CHILDRESS (7 catches, 62 yards, 2 touchdowns) to pull within 14-7.



Photo courtesy TRyan Photography

The Wolf Pack would answer with a scoring drive that consisted of 6 plays for 36-yards and another Broomfield score, this time an 8-yard pass reception from their field general SPENCER MOYER (10-16, 110 YARDS, 2 TDs). He would add another touchdown strike to TYLER SEPULVEDA (4 catches, 39 yards, 1 TD) to make it 28-7.  The Pack would add another score on a DANIEL ALVAREZ 2-yard run to make it 35-7 which would be the score at the half.


Everyone on the Santana side of the stands was wondering when and if the real Sultans were going to show up.  They would get their answers in the second half.

The second half would see a completely different Santana team as they would wake up and show why they were one of the more explosive offenses in the county.


Santana would start the second half on their own 20 after the touchback.  The Sultans drove their way down the field thanks to the passing of Gutierrez as he was able to complete four passes including a 5-yard strike to Childress to make it 35-14.


The Wolf Pack started at their own 36-yard line.  However the defense of the Sultans would wake up and stifle the Pack to a four and out, forcing West Hills to punt.  The Pack sent out CJ ERWIN (6-6 PAT, and a 34-yard field goal) to punt.  He would boom one to the Sultan 35-yard line where Childress would field the punt and follow his blockers and weave his way past the West Hills defenders to an electrifying 74-yard touchdown to pull the Sultans within 35-21.



Photo courtesy TRyan Photography

This really brought the Sultan faithful to their feet and into the game.


With the momentum going their way the Sultans looked to get further back into the game.  The defense would be up to the challenge as they were able to force a turnover on a completed pass from Moyer to Broomfield for 8 yards when Sultan defender ONI SABANDIT would cause a fumble and recover it at the Sultan 35-yardline.


Santana would use the ground game and also a 31-yard pass completion from Gutierrez to AIDEN RASMUSSON (7-111, 1 TD) to the 3-yard line of the Wolf Pack and finally push their way in thanks to a 1-yard score by Gutierrez to make it a one score game at 35-28.


The revitalized Sultan defense would again force another West Hills turnover as this time it would be DOMINIC DEHOYOS forcing the ball out of Broomfield’s hands and recovering it himself to put the Sultans back in business and thus start the fourth only down the one score.


Sultans field general and quarterback Frankie Gutierrez would take matters into his own hands as he was able to run on the drive and cap the drive with a 8-yard scoring pass to BROCK ELLIS to tie the game at 35-35.



Photo courtesy TRyan Photography

Even though all the momentum had swung in the Sultans’ favor, the Wolf Pack would calmly take the field and do their thing. Broomfield would shift his way 8-yards to the 34-yard line. He would than take the handoff and slice and dice his way around the left side around the Sultan defense all the way down to the end zone to re-take the lead 42-35.


The Sultans were not able to do anything on their drive as they went four and out including an incomplete pass on fourth down to turn the ball over on downs.


So with about six minutes remaining in the game the Wolf Pack took possession at the Sultans 31-yard line. The defense of the Sultans was able to somewhat stop the Pack as they were able to force a fourth down at the 27-yard line.  The Wolf Pack decided to go for it on fourth down with about 3:40 left.


Moyer pitched it to Broomfield who fumbled the ball as he was running and in doing so the ball went forward and out of bounds. The Sultans thought they had stopped the Pack and would receive the ball back.  However the officials huddled and after what seemed forever ruled in favor of the Wolf Pack in spotting the ball just past the first down marker.


In high school there is no Holy Roller rule so if the ball is fumbled and it goes forward and out of bounds it doesn’t become a dead play, instead if the ball goes past the first down marker and is spotted so, it is a first down.


So the Wolf Pack gained new life thanks to the call in their favor as they would drive down to the Sultans 17-yard line. However the drive would stall and in came the always reliable CJ Erwin, who would boom the ball through the uprights for the 34-yard field goal and extend the Wolf Pack lead to 45-35.



Photo courtesy TRyan Photography

The Sultans looked to regroup on their next possession, however an ill-fated pass by Gutierrez would be intercepted by Tyler Sepulveda at the Sultan 45-yard line.


Things looked grim for the Sultans as there was only 2:25 remaining in the game, but the defense would step up as Dominic Dehoyos, who had already forced and recovered a fumble, did it again as he stripped Spencer Moyer and recovered the ball at midfield.


So with a little over two minutes, the Sultans were back in the game.  On the drive Gutierrez would complete three passes including a 10-yard strike to Aiden Rasmusson. TIMMY TISCHER would come on to boot the extra point to pull the Sultans within 45-42.


Everyone in the stadium knew what the Sultans were going to do and that was an onside kick. However the Wolf Pack had other ideas as they set up their hands team and were able to recover the onside kick at their own 44-yard line.


The Sultans could only call a timeout and nothing else as the Wolf Pack would run a couple of plays to run the clock to all zeroes.



Photo courtesy TRyan Photography

The Wolf Pack after the game would be awarded the Jack Dale Cup also known as the Mayor’s Cup in a ceremony conducted by Jack Dale, the former Mayor of  Santee, who was on hand.  Also with the win the Wolf Pack claimed their fourth victory in a row over the Sultans.


Both teams would put up explosive numbers as they combined for almost a 1,000 yards of total offense. The Sultans would tally 486 while West Hills would rack up 487 for a total of 973 yards.


“It was a very emotional game, one that our kids felt they had to earn to win,” said West Hills coach CASEY ASH.


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