East County Sports


CONNOR ROOSA carries for El Capitan in front of the block of TANNER DONOHUE. / photo by Christopher Smith - MBA Sports

Week 6


By Bill Dickens
© East CountySports.com


LAKESIDE (9-29-16) — Twelve-year veteran coach of El Capitan football RON BURNER will be a little bit more involved in the Vaqueros’ homecoming than usual. His daughter SIERRA is in the homecoming court.

“It’ll be a little different for me this year because I’ll have to take my team in at halftime, give my pep talk and throw on a pair of slacks and a coat and get back out there to escort my daughter in the halftime ceremonies,” Burner said.

It will be a busy night Friday (Sept. 30) no doubt as the Vaqueros will take on crosstown rival Granite Hills (1-3).  El Capitan will ride a 2-2 record and a two-game winning streak into the encounter.

Burner’s squad has had no trouble putting points on the board of late, despite a rash of injuries. The Vaqueros are led by senior quarterback PHOENIX CATES, who has completed 60 of 108 passes for 907 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Cates had a brilliant performance against Patrick Henry, completing 24 passes for 380 yards and he hasn’t lost his touch.

“He has speed and is good at throwing on the run,” Burner said of Cates.

His primary receiver is JAVIER VIDALEZ who has grabbed 13 passes for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns.

El Capitan’s success on offense is due to a powerful offensive line led by ROMAN VILLA (6-1, 270), DOMINICK SALAZAR (5-10, 230), KEVIN WESTBROOK (6-0, 230), JARED STONE (6-3, 265), TANNER DONAHUE (6-1, 240) and DANIEL REED (6-1, 225).

“We feel we should be 3-1, not 2-2,” said Burner.

Two-way starter linebacker/running back CONNOR ROOSA has rushed for 266 yards and 4 touchdowns on 64 carries to spike the Vaqueros running game.

Other defensive nuggets include outside linebackers DYLAN HELMHOLTZ and OSCAR VALENZUELA.

“There’s no better pair of linebackers than those two,” Burner noted.

Tight end/H-back/quarterback ANTONIO OLIVIERI (6-3, 210) is a versatile performer that should spend most of his time on defense as a noseguard.

CHRIS McDONOUGH is one of the leading tacklers for the Vaqueros, as is Valenzuela.

Granite Hills will attempt to counter with junior quarterback JAKE SIEGFRIED, who has rushed for 282 yards and 3 touchdowns on 52 carries.

Since an injury to the Granite Hills starter CHRIS OSTRENG (broken collarbone), Siegfried has completed 20 of 49 passes for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Eagles’ TYLER GONZALEZ and MATT FAUBEL each have with 38 tackles. Gonzalez has 5 tackles for losses and 4½ sacks. Faubel has 3 tackles for losses, one sack and a fumble recovery.

BRENDEN QUILL has 27 tackles for Granite Hills, one fumble recovery and 2 interceptions.

NOAH JOUBERT has 25 tackles, one for loss and an interception.

El Capitan has won 3 of the last 4 meetings and doesn’t figure to be denied this time around . . . El Capitan 33-13.

MAR VISTA (3-1) at SANTANA (3-2) – The Santana Sultans are off to a better start than coach TIM ESTES and his staff expected and more victories are sure to come. 

Santana (3-2), which has won its last three games, hosts Mar Vista (3-1) in a key Division 4 encounter with playoff connotations. 

“When we lost the first two games it didn’t seem to hurt us as our kids shook it off,” said Estes. 


Santana’s Timmy Tischer kicks last Friday for Santana. / photo by TRyan Photography

The leader of the Sultans is junior quarterback JOSH OEDEWALDT who has completed 60 of 100 passes for 893 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Oedewaldt was 12 for 13 for 309 yards and 5 touchdowns and was named East County Athlete of the Week after Santana beat San Diego 49-7 a week ago. 

“Josh is a dropback guy,” said Estes. “He’s taking to the coaching, enjoying the position.”

Protecting Oedewaldt are offensive linemen TRENT FORSTER (6-2, 270), DYLAN BROWN (6-4, 265), ADAM VARGO (5-8, 220), MATT WHITCOMB (5-10, 225) and BRYCE MARTIN (6-0, 245). 

Oedewaldt’s targets include ANDERS TOLHURST (24 catches for 321 yards and 7 TDs), deep threat AIDEN RASMUSSON (18-311, 3 TDs) and BROCK ELLIS (15-272, 4 TDs).

The kingpin of the running game is BOBBY WALLACE, who has rushed for 76 carries for 501 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 100.2 yards per game. Wallace is on the verge of breaking school all-time records for rushing and scoring. 

On the defensive side for Santana corner NOAH JACKSON has 3 interceptions, linebacker LANDON WOOD (19 tackles, 2 for loss, one fumble recovery and an interception), outside linebacker DOMENIC DEHOYOS (28 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 sacks and 1 interception), linebacker SPENCER GULIHER (28 tackles, 2 for loss) and defensive back ONI SABANDIT (16 tackles).

“This game means a lot to us because it’s a Division 4 game,” Estes said. “I know Mar Vista feels the same way. But it’s on our field so I feel like we should pull it off.”

Give the nod to . . . Santana 35-24.

OLYMPIAN (3-2) at No. 10 GROSSMONT (4-0) – The Foothillers proved their move into the major county poll after passing a tough road test at previously unbeaten Lincoln last week after trailing by two touchdowns early.

Grossmont has a powerful spread balance on offense behind quarterback HUNTER GAINES, who comes in averaging nearly 215 yards a game through the air, with eight touchdowns.

Gaines has a top-notch receiver target in DOMONIQUE GUEVARA, who has hauled in  25 receptions for 333 yards and 5 touchdowns.


Grossmont senior OL JAMES ROGERS. / photo by Ramon Scott

Running back SHEVELL STERLING, JR., continued to impress against the Hornets, as he racked up 138 yards against a hard-hitting defense. He currently ranks third in the East County with nearly 120 yards per game. His counterpart JAMES MACKEY (5.5 ypc) gives the Hillers a real slash-and-bash combo int he backfield.

Grossmont senior LB CHRISTOPHER LAETHAM will lead in monitoring the Eagles’ Wing-T approach. He leads Grossmont with 33 tackles this season, along with two fumble recoveries.

Grossmont linebackers NATE TIAPULA (23 tackles) and NOAH SANDERS (16 tackles) will provide the support.

Foothiller senior defensive linemen BRANDON ARMS and ANDREW MINK provide the push up front.

Earlier this week, Mink was selected to be a participant in the SDFNL All-Star Game following the conclusion of the season.

Grossmont’s ANDREW LIRA is Mr. Man-on-the-spot with 23 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a sack this season.

The Foothillers and Eagles have already played a common opponent this season that both squads easily dispatched in Sweetwater. Grossmont beat the Red Devils, 41-8, while Olympian won 44-0.

Olympian lost last week to Point Loma in OT, 27-24.

Running back Rashaun Brown averages 9.6 yards per carry for the Eagles, while senior Noah Lacsina ranks second on the team, rushing for nearly 300 yards this season.

Despite the running philosophy, quarterback Nico Mendoza still airs it out more than a dozen times per game, averaging just over 100 yards per contest.

Olympian receiver Isaiah Williams has caught 16 balls this season for an average of 12.5 yards per catch to lead the team.

Eagles’ junior Rock Gonzalez has recorded six sacks for the defense this season, while senior Andrew White leads Olympian with 46 tackles, including four for loss.

Olympian provides a formidable home challenge, but the Foothillers should remain perfect… GROSSMONT, 28-25.

MONTE VISTA (3-1) at KEARNY (1-3) 6:30 p.m. – The Komets can expect plenty of running from the Monarchs’ combo of JAHMON MCCLENDON and RASHAUN WILLIS-BROWN.

The duo averages nearly 185 yards combined per game for Monte Vista, along with seven touchdowns.

Monte Vista battered an already bruised Crawford, 23-0, last Friday afternoon after finally winning a first-half field position battle late in the first half.

Monte Vista’s only loss came against Christian High in Week 2, 20-10.


Monte Vista senior OL EDUARDO GONZALEZ (64). / photo by Ramon Scott

The Monarchs are allowing just over six points per game this season behind defenders JOSE GONZALEZ, CURTIS STEVENS, JAMEZ MCCLENDON and JUNIOR PITAOU.

The Komets were dealt a 58-7 loss against Mission Bay last week, as Kearny’s Levi Olumani had a 72-yard interception return last week for Kearny’s only score. He has six sacks this season and eight tackles for loss, as well.

Junior Brenton Bell average nearly 115 yards per game on the ground, while sophomore QB Kenyon Williams shows promise averaging over 150 yards per game through the air for Kearny. WR DJ Linton has 18 receptions this season to lead the Komets.

Kearny’s only win came in week 2 against Cardenas Federal Prep, of Tijuana, 34-13. Kearny lost in the season opener at now undefeated El Cajon Valley, 40-22.

The last time that these two teams met was in week 6 last season when the Monarchs earned a 28-27 win, but it shouldn’t be as close this season… MONTE VISTA, 24-16.

BONITA VISTA (0-4) at No. 5 HELIX (2-2) – The Highlanders have beaten the Barons by a margin of 80-7 over the last two seasons, but these Barons are certainly better than their barren sheet so far would indicate.

Bonita Vista’s previous opponents have a combined 14-6 record so far. The Barons have losses to Poway, Madison, San Marcos and Point Loma.

Helix, meanwhile, has underwhelmed according to expectations, as program changes combined with the county’s toughest schedule has the Highlanders sitting at .500.


Helix senior LB JONATHAN MILSAP. / photo by Christopher Smith – MBA Sports

This one features the passing of Helix’s CARSON BAKER and Bonita Vista’s Anthony Posada.

Baker leads all East County QBs with 242.5 yards per game, as he has hooked up with the East’s top wideout in SCOTTIE YOUNG (34 receptions). Not to be overlooked is Baker’s secondary target, RASHAD SCOTT, who has 17 catches this season.

Helix’s EZEKIEL NOA has turned out to be quite the double-threat this season. The major college linebacking prospect leads the team in rushing and is averaging over 7 yards per carry.

The Highlanders’ defense also features TYREECE PATANE, BLAYKE DE LA ROSA and MICHAEL SHAWCROFT.

Posada has thrown eight touchdowns, but just one interception this season.

Senior Keenan Ellis is a big play threat, averaging nearly 25 yards per catch, while senior Robert Cota has a team-high 21 receptions this season for Bonita Vista.

The Scotties surely have to get back on track here… HELIX 28-14.

STELLAR PREP (Oakland) (2-2) at CHRISTIAN (4-0) – The Thunder rolls in from the Bay Area to provide the Pats a final tuneup before making its return to the Eastern League next week.

Christian’s JOEY MORONES is averaging nearly ninety yards per game and has eight touchdowns so far, four of them coming in last week’s 40-13 win at Imperial.


JOEY MORONES (44) and BRYCE RIEPL (24). / photo by Ramon Scott

The Patriots’ BRAD JEREMIAH has been nothing short of terrific, averaging nearly 175 yards per game with just one interception so far this season.

Big play man THEO GOODWIN has 20 receptions and three TDs this season for the Pats.

Stellar Prep, the defending Bay Football League champions, features a defense led by Oklahoma four-star commit Addison Gumbs, but the Thunder did allow three touchdown passes in their last game two weeks ago to Nampa Christian (Idaho). Also watch for Thunder defender Ryan Casias, Jr.

Stellar Prep’s season has been marred by an ugly incident in week three which reportedly saw several players involved in an altercation with fans on their own sideline following a fight that spilled out of the stands in a 16-6 loss to Fremont at Oakland High.

The Thunder have lost two straight, while the Patriots’ defense has forced 11 turnovers so far this season… CHRISTIAN 31-17.

No. 6 MADISON (3-1) at MOUNT MIGUEL (1-4) – The Matadors will find out how good Madison’s defense is when they face the stout Warhawks at home.

The Sampson Niu-led Warhawks already own a 48-7 win over East County squad Steele Canyon.


Mount Miguel’s ALEX LEMON (57). / photo by Ramon Scott

It will be a great test for RB SHEMAR GREENE and the Mount Miguel offensive front, led by HECTOR TELLO, ALBERTO LOPEZ and EMIN SHERZAD. Greene, the second-leading rusher in the East County had 183 yards last week and has five touchdowns this season.

The Matadors’ PK JOEL BEAS was one of the hero of last week’s 36-27 win over University City with a pair of field goals.

Mount Miguel’s CAMERON HANSON and DAMIEN YERENA pace the defense. Senior DE ANTHONY YARBOROUGH has three sacks this season, while senior DB MARIO COKER has a pair of interceptions.

The Warhawks’ Erick Buchanan is averaging 133 yards per game on the ground, while QB Terrell Carter completes 60 percent of his passes with a compliment of three core receivers. Carter has thrown 12 touchdowns with just one interception.

The Matadors have played a pretty decent schedule so far and seem to be on the improve, but this one appears stacked against them… MADISON 35, MOUNT MIGUEL 20.

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE (1-3) at TEMECULA PREP (2-1) – The Red Hawks won this one 44-0 last season and need to get healthy off of last week’s one-sided loss at Southwest (SD).

Sophomore GABRIEL HYDORN forced and recovered his fourth fumble of the season last week for Mountain Empire, but the wounded Red Hawks were never in the game.

CAMERON WILL has emerged as a real leader on defense for the Red Hawks. He has a team-leading 33 tackles this season.

Running back BLAKE JARRELL should be healthier this week after toughing out the loss on a bum ankle.

The Red Hawks’ offense is looking for an opponent to try and boost their confidence and they might have found it in the Patriots, which were 0-8 last season.

The Patriots’ roster is inexperienced and undersized, but they are coached by Trent Driver, a former Texas A&M linebacker.

Temecula Prep’s top players including senior RB/LB Justin Anderson, senior OL/DL Andrew Hall and senior RB/CB Dylan Redman.

Mountain Empire’s offense has been stagnant, but should make hay here… MOUNTAIN EMPIRE, 26-13.



Fearless Forcaster’s Record
Last week:  9-3 (.750)
Season:      41-12 (.773)










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