East County Sports





By Bill Dickens
© East CountySports.com


EL CAJON (10-19-16) — It was an earthquake in the ice as Valhalla’s offense melted in a Grossmont Hills League game against the Grossmont Foothillers Friday night (Oct. 14). 

Even though both teams were undefeated coming in, Grossmont riveted the Norsemen, 48-13. 

Valhalla turned the ball over eight times, which spelled their demise. They were also burned by four pooch punts that the Norsemen failed to pick up. 

“It’s like we’d like to play these guys again in the Open Division,” said Valhalla coach CHARLES BUSSEY.

Valhalla is ranked No. 8; Grossmont is No. 3, and Helix is No. 6 in the Open Division.


El Capitan senior lineman JARED STONE.

Bussey said his Norsemen would recover, despite being annihilated, and should be ready to rebound against El Capitan on Friday night (Oct. 21) in Lakeside.

“If we win two of our last three games we still might get into the Open Division,” Bussey said. “At least the worst we will do is make it into the Division 1 playoffs.”

Valhalla, however, will play without its starting quarterback BRYAN MADRIZ, who is injured. 

Monte Vista transfer DENNIS DAHLIN has taken over the Norsemen’s QB reins. Dahlin has completed 30 of 54 passes for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

El Capitan also has a new field general in freshman quarterback WICK HAUSER. In two games he has completed 25 of 48 passes for 438 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hauser is in for injured starting quarterback PHOENIX CATES. 

It should be interesting, but the nod goes to . . . Valhalla 38-28.


No. 8 GROSSMONT (2-0 GHL, 7-0) at STEELE CANYON (0-2 GHL, 2-5), 7 – DOMONIQUE GUEVARA tied the San Diego Section CIF record with 17 receptions last week against a Valhalla team which came into the Grossmont Hills League showdown as the county’s stingiest defense.

The Grossmont senior racked up 205 yards and three TDs as the Foothillers distanced themselves from the Norsemen in the league race.



Guevara moved to the top of the East County receiving statistics in the key categories and now has 12 receiving touchdowns this season.

The Cougars will have their paws full with quarterback HUNTER GAINES and the rest of the Hillers balanced attack. Gaines, meanwhile, now leads the East County in completions and yards.

By now, Steele Canyon has seen the film on Grossmont’s special teams, which successfully recovered those pooch kickoffs and executed a fake punt against the stunned Norsemen.

Meanwhile, the Foothillers’ defense was led last week by the dynamic trio of RILEY HAVIRD, ANDREW LIRA and RAYMOND PERRAULT.

Throw into the mix that even with their historic season so far, Grossmont’s seniors certainly remember last year’s pair of losses at home to SC, blowing big leads in both games, including a playoff contest.

JAMES MACKEY led Grossmont on the ground last week with 132 yards after his co-star, SHEVELL STERLING, JR., was limited to four carries after suffering an injury early in the game.

Senior star COLTON LARCEVAL returned last week, which should help the Cougar cause, especially in the secondary, while  junior quarterback THOMAS FISHBURNE kept on firing last week trying to play catch-up at home against West Hills, as he threw 45 passes for 297 yards.

Steele Canyon senior receiver BRENDEN WILLIS continued to make his mark, hauling in 12 catches for 123 yards and a late touchdown in the Homecoming loss to the Wolf Pack. Willis is sixth in the East County in receptions.

The Foothillers would seem to only to avoid looking ahead to next week’s title-impacting game at Helix… GROSSMONT 38, STEELE CANYON 17.


No. 5 HELIX (2-0 GHL, 5-2) at WEST HILLS (1-1 GHL, 5-2), 7 – The Wolf Pack get their fair and square home match to make their pitch at the league title, and although it would be considered a pretty major upset, their are few teams hotter than West Hills.


West Hills senior JAKE HALLAHAN makes a big play last Friday against Steele Canyon. / photo by Ramon Scott

The Wolf Pack has looked strong winning five of their last six, but the glaring blemish is a 37-0 whitewash by Valhalla two weeks ago.

Still, West Hills rebounded nicely to spoil Steele Canyon’s Homecoming last week in pretty impressive fashion.

Senior RYAN JEWELL earned the accolades in that one for the Pack with his two interception night. He also caught three passes, including one for a score.

While West Hills stuck to its ground guns for the most part, quarterback HAYDEN ROACH was very efficient with his passes, going 9-for-13 for 163 yards and four touchdowns.

Helix, meanwhile, sees West Hills standing in their path to next week’s showdown with Grossmont at home. After the sting of the two losses before league, which knocked them down a rung, the Highlanders have beed dead set on climbing back up the charts.


Helix’s Carson Baker / photo by Christopher Smith – MBA Sports

Highlanders quarterback CARSON BAKER spread the ball around last week, as four different receivers had at least three catches from the junior, who was 15-for-20 for 265 yards in an early romp at El Capitan. Senior JORDAN JACKSON made his presence known with three catches and a TD in the win.

Senior linebacker EZEKIEL NOA, who had an interception last week against the Vaqueros, learned this week that he was invited to the inaugural Polynesian Bowl, a high school all-star football game, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, at Aloha Stadium in Hawai’i, during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend.

Despite their success to get back on track to the Open Division championship, the Scotties appear to be playing with a chip on their shoulder… HELIX 31, WEST HILLS 20.


MOUNT MIGUEL (1-1 GVL, 2-6) at GRANITE HILLS (1-0 GVL, 3-4), 7 – Eagles quarterback JAKE SIEGFRIED has gone from starter to backup to emerging star among East County quarterbacks.


Granite Hills junior GARRETT CURRAN / photo by Ramon Scott

The junior may have entered the season as the favorite to start, but after seemingly losing the starting job, he has come back in a big way after regaining the starting helm.

Last Friday, in a nonleague win at home against Hilltop, Siegfried threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 110 yards and a score in a convincing win. Senior GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ was a terrific target, catching four passes for 73 yards and a score.

“(Siegfried) finds ways to win and compete,” Granite Hills coach KELLAN COBBS said. “He really brings great leadership to our team.”

The confidence-booster sets up first-place Granite Hills with a key title-race showdown with the Matadors, which need to take a win out of Valley Stadium Friday night.

Make no mistake, despite their 2-6 overall mark, the Matadors are still a serious title contender. They’ve already knocked off El Cajon Valley rather decidedly last Friday to re-enter the race after dropping a league marker to rugged Monte Vista.



Mount Miguel junior running back SHEMAR GREEN returned to the lineup after a one-game absence to rush for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 70 more yards.

Matadors senior quarterback BENNY VALADEZ is second among East County starters in completion percentage and was super-efficient again last week against the Braves, going 7-for-11 for 176 yards.

Senior ANTHONY YARBOROUGH had a team-high 13 tackles for Mount Miguel in the win over ECV last week, while fellow senior CAMERON HANSON continued his monstrous season with 11 more stops in the win. Both stars had a sack.

Granite Hills senior BRENDEN QUILL is tied for the East Count lead with three interceptions, while junior TYLER GONZALEZ and senior NOAH JOUBERT have combined for 10 sacks this season for the Eagles.

This is a most intriguing matchup… GRANITE HILLS 27-23.


EL CAJON VALLEY (0-1 GVL, 5-2) at MONTE VISTA (1-1 GVL, 5-2), 7 – Every game is pivotal in the Grossmont Valley League and this matchup between the Braves and Monarchs is no exception.


Monte Vista sophomore BLAKE SCHMIDT

Both teams have their backs to the wall when it comes to trying to get into serious title contention. Neither can afford a loss here.

The Monarchs still have to be a little sore, both in body and mind, after a wild road loss at Santana last Friday, putting some title doubt into all they have accomplished.

The Braves’ story has been a terrific one, but they were quickly reminded how it used to be when Mount Miguel dominated the circuit, after the Matadors handed them a 33-8 loss in Spring Valley.

Monte Vista sophomore running back JAHMON MCCLENDON is one of the fastest rising stars in the county.

The 6-2, 200-pounder nearly carried the Monarchs on his huge shoulders last week when he toted the rock 36 times, rushing for 256 yards and three touchdowns.

The Monarchs big senior line of EDUARDO GONZALEZ, VICTOR ICU, BRIAN SHELL, DAVID YBARRA and CURTIS STEVENS has worked in synch to lead a predominantly rushing attack.

RASHAUN WILLIS-BROWN and JAMEZ MCCLENDON also are involved in the Monarchs’ revolving door scheme.


El Cajon Valley senior LUIS PEREZ

El Cajon Valley also has some strong linemen in OMAR GARCIA and MASON TILEIA. They’ve protected and led the way for dynamic TYSON SMITH, who continues to lead the county in rushing with 190 yards per game, 32 yards more than his closest competitor.

Smith may have found the going a little more difficult than usual last week in the loss to the Matadors, but he still managed 123 yards on 28 carries and the Braves’ only score. However, after the Braves fell behind, they didn’t prove to have enough air power to get any rally going.

El Cajon Valley’s FAAMAMA LAUIFI continues to lead the East County in tackles with 70.

This game plays into the hands of… MONTE VISTA, 30-18.


MOUNTAIN EMPIRE (0-1 Manzanita, 4-3) at CALIPATRIA (1-1 Manzanita, 5-3), 7 – This tightly-rated encounter could prove detrimental to the loser in the race for the last spots in the San Diego CIF Division 5 playoffs.


Mountain Empire senior receiver ANDREW POWELL

The Red Hawks enter the week slotted 12th, while the Hornets are currently on the outside looking in, rated 13th.

Mountain Empire has won the last two matchups, including a 39-35 win in Pine Valley last season.

The Red Hawks’ high-flying offense was drastically slowed last week in a 41-17 home loss to Holtville. Senior running back MICHAEL STODSGILL turned in a career game with 105 yards of total offense.

Junior BLAKE JARRELL had 18 tackles in the loss, but Holtville rushed for 389 yards to eat up the clock, as well.

The Hornets, meanwhile, are a predominantly run-oriented team and average 5.6 yards per carry.

It would take a bit of a turnaround for the Hawks to take this one on the road… CALIPATRIA 24-17.


SCRIPPS RANCH (0-1 Eastern, 3-4) at CHRISTIAN (2-0 Eastern, 7-0), 7 (Sat.) The Patriots will try to turn away a third-straight challenger on the way to the Eastern League title, hosting the Falcons on Saturday night at Valley Stadium.

Right now, there seems to be little that opponents can do to stop the Patriots’ train, led by touchdown engineer JOEY MORONES.



Morones, a senior, rushed for five touchdowns last week at Lincoln. It was the second time this season Morones had rushed for five scores in a game. He is tied for the section lead with 19 total touchdowns (18 rushing).

Christian’s leading tackler, senior DAVID MORENO, is an unheralded defender at linebacker.

The Patriots, winners of three CIF titles in the last five years, currently sit tied atop the Division 3 playoff power rankings.

Don’t miss the kickoff, before the game or at halftime. Christian’s THEO GOODWIN has four kick returns for touchdowns this season. He’s about due.

Christian lost to the Falcons on this field last season, however, in what was then a nonleague contest, 52-36. These two have a common opponent in the league season so far, as the Patriots outlasted Morse on the road, 37-27, while the Falcons got thumped on the road by the Tigers, 39-21.

The Falcons air it out with senior Kyle Mullin, who has passed for 1,725 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Senior Austin Watts leads the Falcon corps with 34 receptions, but doesn’t seem to be a red zone target with just one score. Meanwhile, junior Keith Davis has 28 catches and has found the end zone seven times.

It was the Patriots with the staying power last Friday night against the Hornets, so don’t expect the Falcons to keep up, either… CHRISTIAN, 34-24.


Fearless Forcaster’s Record
Last week:  6-2 (.750)
Season:      61-16 (.792)





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