East County Sports

Playoff Pack finishing strong in finale win at Monarchs

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West Hills senior Daniel Alvarez (25) / Ramon Scott photo

By James McHugh

© East County Sports.com

SPRING VALLEY (11-6-15) — West Hills entered Friday night’s (Nov. 6) regular season finale at Monte Vista hoping for some help from their crosstown rival Santana Sultans. The Wolf Pack still held a slim hope of a league tri-championship in the Grossmont Valley League as they took the field in Spring Valley. WH at MV Score

 

West Hills needed to take care of Monte Vista, while Santana would have to stun Granite Hills 13 miles away on the Sultans’ home turf. The combination would have created a three way tie atop the Grossmont Valley League standings, with Granite Hills, Santana and West Hills each finishing 3-1 in league play.

 

The Wolf Pack did their part, defeating Monte Vista 28-7 in what could be seen as an encouraging effort heading into the playoffs for West Hills.

 

“I think we looked pretty good on our run defense tonight,” stated Pack head coach CASEY ASH after the victory. “We also ran the ball pretty well and I like what we’ve got out of TAJ BROOMFIELD adding him into the mix.”

 

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Rashuan Willis-Brown carries behind Andrew Canty, of Monte Vista, Friday night. / EastCountySports.com photo

Santana failed to help out their Santee counterparts, falling 41-13 to Granite Hills. If it’s any solace to the Wolf Pack however, the Sultan loss did ensure that West Hills finished ahead of Santana in the GVL.

 

West Hills had a solid night offensively, however, three turnovers for the second straight week are something the Wolf Pack can ill afford moving into the playoffs. “We had three turnovers again and I think we had some silly penalties that just weren’t. . . they weren’t necessary. Those are two things we can work on this week,” remarked Ash.

 

SPENCER MOYER completed just 6-of-16 pass attempts on the night for West Hills but Wolf Pack receivers seemed to be having a tough time with their footing throughout the game.

 

During one stretch of the third quarter, five consecutive pass attempts failed for West Hills and Wolf Pack receivers ended up on the ground before three of those attempts even reached them.

 

Moyer did find receivers twice for scores on the night. The first touchdown was a 30-yard strike to GRIFFIN “MOOSE” GUINN on the first drive of the night for the Pack. Moyer then connected with Broomfield for a 75-yard score just before the first quarter expired. Guinn also added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter following a 49-yard scamper by Moyer that ended at the Monte Vista 1-yard line.

 

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EastCountySports.com photo

Moyer finished the night with 89-yards rushing on nine carries. The Wolf Pack used seven different rushers in the game totaling 169-yards on the ground.

 

Monte Vista displayed a solid ground game as well. The Monarchs’ biggest problem was they couldn’t manage to get much going through the air. The Monarchs ran the ball 48 times on the night. JACCOB JARDIM led all rushers with 126-yards on 23 carries for Monte Vista, including 37-yards on the Monarchs’ final drive that resulted in a 31-yard touchdown pass from DENNIS DAHLIN to TRE OWENS. That was however, one of just two completions on the night for Monte Vista on eight attempts.

 

West Hills controlled the first half, but Monte Vista looked like they were ready to make a game of it just before halftime. The Monarchs were seven plays into their drive and moving into West Hills territory when an errant screen pass actually went backwards and was wisely scooped up by Broomfield who dashed 55-yards to make the score 21-0 West Hills with just seconds to play in the half. Monte Vista never seriously contended after that.

 

West Hills and Monte Vista are each looking at a different playoff picture headed into Saturday’s (Nov. 7) seeding meeting. West Hills entered the final week trailing Christian High slightly in the Division II power rankings. The win against Monte Vista, while important, will hurt West Hills somewhat, through no fault of their own.

 

Due to the Monarchs’ record and Division IV status this season, the win for West Hills becomes the second least valuable game on their schedule (West Hills earned just one point less in the power ranking for their September 25 loss to Valley Center). It is possible West Hills could play at, or host Christian after the Patriots fell to Scripps Ranch on Friday.

 

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EastCountySports.com photo

There is some speculation that Christian could possibly move further up the rankings in Division II, however the loss to Scripps Ranch all but debunks that notion. Monte Vista was the 10 seed in Division IV when Friday began. This could mean a trip to the South Bay to face Castle Park or possibly even another East County matchup at El Cajon Valley or Santana.

 

Brackets are set to be released at the CIF offices at 1:00 PM on Saturday (Nov. 7).

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