East County Sports

Vaqueros’ Cates rises to star status

El Capitan's STAR IULI runs behind teammate YAPHET YOKLEY during Friday's game at Henry. / photo by Ramon Scott




By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com


SAN DIEGO (9-17-16) — Victory-starved El Capitan found a friendly foe in Friday night’s (Sept. 16) non-league duel with host Patrick Henry.

In a game that featured six lead changes, the Vaqueros got the last say in a 46-39 victory over the Patriots.

El Capitan has won only two of its last 13 games on the field. Both have come against Patrick Henry, including 24-6 last year. The Vaqueros also had a forfeit win over Mater Dei Catholic a year ago.


El Capitan’s STAR IULI runs with the ball Friday night against Henry. / photo by Ramon Scott

CONNOR ROOSA, who rushed for 92 yards and 3 touchdowns on 19 carries, scored the winning touchdown with slightly more than two minutes remaining.

El Capitan (1-2) put the game away as JAVIER VIDALEZ intercepted a Patriots’ pass in the endzone as time expired. On the offensive side, Vidalez caught 8 passes for 185 yards and a 57-yard touchdown reception with 1:30 left in the first half to make it 15-13 Henry.

Vaqueros quarterback PHOENIX CATES completed 24 of 39 passes for 380 yards, including touchdowns to STAR IULI and Vidalez.

“Phoenix and Roosa had outstanding games on the offensive side,” said El Capitan coach RON BURNER.

Cates’ 24 completions is the third-highest on the Vaqueros’ books, trailing only RYAN LINDLEY (27 in 2006) and TANNER RUST (25 in 2007). His yardage count is sixth-best on the El Capitan’s record annals.

Burner believes his team could easily be 2-1 at this point in the season had it not been for the overtime loss to Valley Center a week ago.

“Our offense is starting to really click,” said Burner, an offensive mastermind. “But now that we have a win it’ll take some of the pressure off. I think we can only get better.”


El Capitan’s TYLER MOON makes the tackle on a Henry ball carrier Friday night. / photo by Ramon Scott

Other El Capitan standouts included receiver ANTONIO OLIVIERI, who caught 6 passes for 86 yards. Cate spread his passes among seven receivers, including Olivieri. Iuli accounted for 74 all-purpose yards. YAPHET YOKLEY produced 103 all-purpose yards, the majority coming on 3 kickoff returns. CHRIS McDONOUGH intercepted a pass and returned it 16 yards for El Capitan in the winning cause.

Iuli converted a first down on a first-quarter drive, but El Capitan had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from RUBEN GUZMAN for a 3-0 lead.

The Patriots’ Tyjhay Reid then returned the ensuing kickoff 78 yards.

McDonough’s first-half INT set up a first-and-goal for El Cap, setting up Iuli’s first TD reception.

The Patriots’ Dom Shills had a sweeping 31-yard touchdown to give his squad a 13-9 lead with 9:12 left in the first half to cap a 54-yard scoring drive. Late in the first half, he returned a kickoff 99 yards to give the Patriots.

Guzman added a last-second field goal just before halftime to make it 19-18 Patriots.


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