East County Sports

Foothillers find the FasTrak at Otay Ranch

Grossmont's Josh Moala and Jalen Bailey




By James McHugh
© East County Sports.com


CHULA VISTA (9-3-16) – Senior quarterback HUNTER GAINES and the Grossmont offense didn’t start on the right track Friday night (Sept. 2) while visiting the Mustangs of Otay Ranch.


With 6:46 to play in a scoreless first quarter, what appeared to be an errant forward pass from Gaines was instead ruled a fumble. Devin Lloyd of Otay Ranch scooped up the fumble and returned it 22-yards to give Otay Ranch an early 7-0 lead.


Gaines completed just three of his first nine pass attempts on the night, throwing two interceptions in the process. Mix in a fumble from the Foothillers’ run game and a turnover on downs and Grossmont wasn’t seeing a silver lining early on. There was one however, and Gaines knew where the credit belonged.


“Our defense held it down” Gaines said after the game. “They kept Otay off the field and that helped us get things going”.


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Foothillers meeting following their win Friday night at Otay Ranch.

With the defensive unit clicking on their side of the ball, Gaines eventually found his favorite target of the night in senior wide receiver DOMONIQUE GUEVARA. The duo connected on their first score with 7:39 to play in the second quarter, and though the point after attempt failed, it was just the spark the Foothillers needed.


Gaines and Guevara would go on to connect for three touchdowns on the night from 21, 13 and five yards. The two also completed a two-point conversion which gave Grossmont a 14-7 lead with 10:51 to go in the third quarter, following a five yard touchdown run from junior SHEVELL STERLING, JR.


“Early on it was just mental mistakes on our part, but our offensive line started blocking really well and our defense just really stepped up tonight,” Guevara said after Grossmont had closed out the Mustangs 35-21 on their home field. Gaines finished the night passing 26-39 for 338-yards – not bad off a slow start. Guevara tallied 11-catches for 203-yards and three touchdowns.


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Grossmont junior JOSH MOALA carries Friday night against Otay Ranch.

JAILEN BAILEY was the recipient of Gaines’ fourth touchdown on the night when he broke through for a 64-yard score with 8:11 to play in the game. Bailey’s dash eliminated any hopes the Mustangs had of a late game rally, giving Grossmont a 35-14 lead before a final Otay Ranch tally to end the game 35-21.


“After that slow start we saw what they were doing and we figured some things out,” Gaines said after the win. That much was apparent as Gaines and Guevara seemed to connect at will throughout the second half.


ANDREW LIRA and ANDREW MINK each recovered fumbles on the defensive end for Grossmont on the night. Lira also joined JOSH MOALA in each picking off an Otay Ranch pass. Mink’s fumble recovery came in the second quarter when senior RILEY HAVIRD pounced through the Otay offensive line for a jarring sack that pried the ball loose. Mink added a sack of his own with just under seven minutes to play in the game.


The Hillers will take a week off before facing Sweetwater in a non-league game on September 16.

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