East County Sports


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Week 11 – SDCIF Round 1


By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (11-12-15) — The San Diego Section playoffs kick off Friday (Nov. 13) at 7 p.m. with six games involving seven East County teams. Three games are a rematch from the regular season, so is that an advantage or a disadvantage? Division I Grossmont, and Division II Valhalla and Granite Hills draw a first round bye, and Helix, in the Open Division, will not play until Nov. 20.


(9) WEST HILLS (5-5) vs. (8) CHRISTIAN (7-3) at Granite Hills, 7 – Earlier in the season the Patriots overpowered the Wolf Pack 44-23 and appear primed to repeat that performance in Friday’s (Nov. 13) San Diego Section Division II playoff encounter.


“It’s hard to beat a good team two times in the same season,” said Christian offensive coordinator DAVID BEEZER.


The three-time championship SDCIF Division III Patriots believe they have the ingredients to stretch their string of titles, only this time it will be at the Division II level.


The Wolf Pack has posted two victories in a row, but on the flip side Christian has won four this season.


“We’ve never failed to win off a bye,” Beezer said. “We’re excited about having a bye, which gives us a home game. More than that, our team always seems to come up big when there’s a game on the line.”


It’s a case of revenge for West Hills.


“That guy (ADRIAN) PETTY is a special player who is tough to defend,” said Wolf Pack coach CASEY ASH. “You can devise all the defense you want on paper but it doesn’t matter.”


Petty has rushed for 848 yards and 8 touchdowns on 133 carries for the Patriots.


“Having Petty at full strength really makes an impact for us,” said Beezer. “When we’re healthy our rush game is where it matters.”


West Hills’ defense, anchored by TYLER SEPULVEDA, OSCAR MORALES and DANIEL ALVAREZ will take on the challenge of closing the door on Christian.


Six-foot-4 quarterback SPENCER MOYER is a double threat for West Hills, throwing for 112 of 235 passes and 16 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 116 carries for 705 yards and 5 touchdowns.


Christian will counter with East County passing leader DAVID TODD JEREMIAH who has thrown for 149 of 252 times for 2518 yards and 26 touchdowns.


His top target will be NICK SEXTON who has made 56 receptions for 1265 yards and 13 touchdowns.


No question it will be a battle, but look for the winner to be . . . Christian 33-21.


Vista at SC(10) VISTA (4-6) at (7) STEELE CANYON (6-4), 7 – In what should be a San Diego Section Division I physical battle Friday (Nov. 13), the outmanned Cougars figure to use the home field advantage to knock out Vista.


Steele Canyon coach SCOTT LONGERBONE recognizes the difference in the on paper measurements.


“In a lot of ways it’s like playing a mirror image. Basically they run a super simple offense but play tough defense,” he said of the Panthers.


“Literally, they have 20 guys that have touched the ball,” he added. “That makes it tough to defend because you don’t know who has the ball.”


No question the Cougars have a decent one-two rushing punch. PIERRE ALEXANDER leads the charge with 585 yards and 11 touchdowns on 100 carries.


Right on his heels is MALCOLM ANDERS, who has bulled for 553 yards and 4 touchdowns on 134 carries.


“This is a North County team that loves to play smash-mouth football,” Longerbone said. “They have a big offensive line, big tight ends and a big fullback. Basically we’re not big anywhere except maybe KYREE WOOD (6-1, 300).”


Not to be overlooked is quarterback THOMAS FISHBURNE, who has completed 86 of 199 passes for 1183 yards and 5 touchdowns.


Steele Canyon has been in the playoffs 12 years in a row . . . Steele Canyon 17-16.


CU at SAN(10) CENTRAL UNION (4-6) at (7) SANTANA (6-4), 7 – This will be somewhat of a family reunion in that former Sultans coach MICHAEL HOBBS will bring his Central Union Spartans to Santee to face the Santana Sultans in the first round of the San Diego Section Division IV playoffs on Friday (Nov. 13).


The high-flying Sultans ride into the post-season rodeo averaging 37.4 points per game. On the flip side, Central does not offer competitive numbers.


“When you’re playing a team like this, the key is getting out in front,” said Santana coach TIM ESTES. “If we can do that we’ll be in pretty good shape because their offense is not geared for a comeback.”


Santana quarterback FRANKIE GUTIERREZ, one of East County’s better delivery men, has completed 119 of 190 aerials for 1827 yards and 21 touchdowns. He’s proven himself as a two-way threat, having rushed for 364 yards on 95 carries and 14 touchdowns.


Thus for the regular season Gutierrez has generated 2191 yards total offense.


“He’s so fast afoot,” said Estes of his quarterback. “Everybody is all about the point of attack. If they want to force us to ground the ball it’s about containing Gutierrez.


Sultans running back BOBBY WALLACE has rushed for 996 yards on 166 carries for 9 touchdowns.


“It’s nice to have a home game and all the familiarity that brings,” he noted.


The Sultans think of that as an advantage . . . Santana 35-21.


ECV at Kearny(8) EL CAJON VALLEY (5-5) at (9) KEARNY (5-5), 7 – This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams, only this one has more value since it’s the first round of the San Diego Section Division IV playoffs.


The Braves won the first round 34-28 in overtime. That won’t do them a whole lot of good in the rebound Friday (Nov. 13) against Central League champion Kearny.


The objective for El Cajon Valley is to find a way to put the brakes on the Komets’ versatile Takoda Browne.


“He’s super fast with a great cutback,” said Braves coach PARRIS PISIONA of Browne. “He has impeccable numbers.”


No doubt about that. Browne has barged his way for 1559 yards and 17 touchdowns on 115 carries. But the running back-quarterback-receiver doesn’t stop there. He has also grabbed 20 catches for 341 yards and 5 touchdowns, he also steps in at QB where he has completed 29 of 57 passes for 3 TDs.


His sidekick quarterback LERONE RANDLE has completed 42 of 104 passes for 706 yards and 9 touchdowns.


No question, this is a high-scoring offense. In the Komets’ case, they won their last four in a row to capture the league title.


“We have to try to stop them with our box players and then force them to pass,” Pisiona said.


El Cajon Valley will counter with a ball control game on the ground led by East County rushing leader NATHAN McCULLOUGH (184-1412, 15 touchdowns) and slotback TYSON SMITH (100-403, 6 TDs).


That won’t be enough to stave off the Komets . . . Kearny 34-18.


MV at CP(11) MONTE VISTA (2-8) at (6) CASTLE PARK (6-4), 7 – The visiting Monarchs will have their hands full in a Division IV San Diego Section playoff game against the Castle Park Trojans in South Bay.


“The key for us is our defense,” Monte Vista coach RON HAMAMOTO said. “We need to contain their spread. We are playing some pretty decent defense right now. We haven’t gotten blown out, and I think that’s a credit to our defense.”


Castle Park has seven players going both ways.


“We don’t have anybody going both ways and try to keep it that way to avoid fatigue, which hurt us in the early part of the season,” Hamamoto noted.


JACCOB JARDIN has rushed 66 times for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Monarchs. TRE OWENS has carried the ball 88 times for 385 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also has 17 receptions for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns.


The question is will that be enough firepower in Monte Vista’s bout with Castle Park . . . Castle Park 38-20.


EC at Poway(12) EL CAPITAN (2-8) at (5) POWAY (5-5), 7 – The visiting Vaqueros have the opportunity to pull a major upset as they open the Division I playoffs against the Titans.


For those who have ever been there, every Poway home game is like a playoff atmosphere – great band, raucous crowd.


However, Grossmont knocked off the Titans 20-13 early in the season, and later in the year El Capitan succumbed to the Foothillers 38-0.


So what does that mean?


It doesn’t bode well for the Vaqueros, who have won only one game on the field and Poway has split 10 decisions.


El Capitan will look to STEVEN HOSAKA (57-306 yds, 1 TD) to lead the ground game, and quarterback PHOENIX CATES clicked on 89 of 178 for 945 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver JAVIER VIDALEZ also figures into the El Capitan mix with 33 catches for 462 yards and 2 scores.


Even at its best El Capitan will have a hard time pulling off an upset . . . Poway 28-3.


Division 1 – (2) GROSSMONT (7-3) – Bye

Division II – (1) VALHALLA (8-2) – Bye

Division II – (3) GRANITE HILLS (9-1) – Bye



Fearless Forecaster: (SDCIF – Round 1)

Season: 72-27 (.727)

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