East County Sports


(L to R) West Hills' Lucas Ah Key, Ricky Wilson and JAKE HALLAHAN.




By David Dickens



SAN DIEGO – West Hills And Serra are separated geographically by one freeway exit, which would seemingly make for a natural non-league rivalry.

But the schools in West Santee and Tierrasanta, which are connected by Highway 52, have only met seven times on the football field, with West Hills winning six of those meetings, including four straight.

The last time the Conquistadors beat the Wolf Pack was in 2003. The players in Friday’s renewal at Serra (6:30) hadn’t even started grade school yet.

West Hills (3-1) coach CASEY ASH said he would fix the Wolf Pack woes after a Week 1 loss and fix them he has, and then some.

The Wolf Pack takes a three-game winning streak on the road for this one after last week’s thrilling 23-20 last-second win at Mount Miguel.

This West Hills team is a unique group that buys into with their head coach is selling.

West Hills’ Lucas Ah Key

Junior quarterback JORDAN YOUNG is turning them into one of the more competitive, sneaky-scary teams that could end up taking out top contenders come playoff time in Division 2, but they have to make the playoffs first.

There is plenty of season left, but the Wolf Pack currently sit near the playoff bubble. They can’t afford to lose a game to a middle-of-the-pack Division 4 team like the Q’s that nearly dropped football over a year ago.

Serra (2-1) has a very small roster also of 38.

The Conquistadors got blown out last week by Escondido 42-10 at home.

The Escondido defense kept Serra out of the end zone nearly the entire game last week.

Key standouts for the Conquistadors include sophomore quarterback Timmy Zebroski, who is 25 for 58 for 508 yards and junior running back Myles Bryant, who has 44 carries for 399 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Senior Tyshied Dixon, a wide receiver, has eight catches for 222 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He also has one rushing TD.

Senior middle linebacker/running back Kieve Curry leads the defense with 31 tackles, has caused one fumble, and has 40 rushing yards on just four carries.

Look for the run-stopping of West Hills’ ZACH BELL, AUSTIN DENISON and LUCAS AH KEY to reign in Bryant, while RYAN JEWELL and the rest of the Pack secondary work on deep-ball threat Dixon.

The Serra secondary has five interceptions on the season, but they will have their hands full with last week’s Friday Night hero CADE WEAVER, who hauled in a pair of touchdowns, as well as, kicked the game-winning 42-yard field goal to beat Mount Miguel as time expired.

The Wolf Pack should easily win their fourth in a row… WEST HILLS, 31-14.


No. 3 HELIX (2-1) at No. 14 ST. AUGUSTINE (2-2), 7 (at Mesa College, NFHS Network) – Helix senior ISAAC TAYLOR-STUART returns to Mesa College to face his former team.

The Highlanders beat the Saints in the San Diego CIF Open Division championship in 2015, 44-30.

Helix’s CARSON BAKER threw four touchdown passes last week and ran for another.

His fleet foursome of receivers – Taylor-Stuart, RASHAD SCOTT, TERRANCE TOLBERT and ISAIAH WOODEN is making it very difficult for opposing secondaries.

How fast are Helix’s receivers?

Scott, a sure deep threat in any lineup, has become the Scotties’ possession and red zone receiver.

Sophomore running back ELELYON “FATTO” NOA, who had 227 yards of total offense last week, runs behind a line that includes KUSI PPR Silver Hog candidates MATTHEW AVII and PAKA ROJAS.

St. Augustine beat Canyon Springs, out of Las Vegas, 51-12, and posted their second win against a similar opponent last week in Otay Ranch, 19-14, that saw saints pull it out with the touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The key to beating the Saints is to eliminate the impact of senior J.R. Justice, who has 18 catches and four touchdowns this season. He can beat you in so many ways.

Senior Ike Hall has two sacks and a forced fumble for the Saints this season.

The key for Helix is to protect Baker, however, the UC Davis-bound QB has shown he can run a little this season taking off 20 times for 111 yards.

Noa has 463 yards of total offense this season.

SDSU-bound Scott had those four interceptions in the opener, but last week it was junior KEVIN OLSON with the pick for the Highlanders.

Maybe Saints keep it close, but Taylor-Stuart will be looking to show his former school what he’s made of now… HELIX, 34-21.


VALHALLA (2-1) at No. 11 EASTLAKE (3-1), 7 – Orange Nation, after a bye, with have its hands full with the boys from the South Bay, who are coming off a big win at Grossmont, 32-19, ruining the Hiller Homecoming last Friday.

The Titans would be 4-0 if they didn’t run out of time against Corona Santiago two games ago, out-scoring Saint Tiago two games ago scoring outscoring the Sharks, 28-12 in the second quarter, but came up short on time in a 43-41 loss.

This will be the Titans’ first home game of the season as they play host to in pretty athletic Norsemen team after the bye and a big win in the trenches over Mount Miguel on the road two weeks ago, 24-14.

The stingy Orange Crush-like defense held the speedster SHEMAR GREENE and two other runners under 100 yards.

Between quarterback DENNIS DAHLIN, who came over from Monte Vista as his family moved to the area, and the instant offense of BRYAN MADRIZ, this tandem is the key to success for Valhalla.

TY SCHIMKE has been a durable offensive weapon for Valhalla, as well.

Eastlake’s Miche Pietila-Wiggs and Jayln Jackson are known offensive commodities and junior Daniel Amon has been steady at quarterback.

The Titans’ defense intercepted six passes last week, taking over the game in the second half in a win at Grossmont.

Before this one is decided, middle linebacker TRISTAN ABBOTT, defensive lineman JOSH MCNISH-HEIDER and JACE MANNING will stop this Eastlake offensive attack, which actually does most of its work on the ground… VALHALLA, 20-18.



SANTANA (2-2) at VINCENT MEMORIAL (4-0), (at El Centro Southwest High) 7 – The Santana Sultans are coming off a demolition of the Clairemont Chieftains 31-0 as senior quarterback JOSH OEDEWALDT threw four touchdown passes as the game was called in the fourth quarter due a player injury to a Chieftain.

The Sultan defense stepped up last week as well, as COLTON SNIPES had an interception, while LANDON WOOD had a sack and sophomore LUKE SIMANEK stepped up in a big way with a sack and a fumble recovery.

Wood also two sacks and scored two touchdowns receiving on offense.

This week the Sultans face a Vincent Memorial team off to an undefeated start.

“It is important for us to win the next two weeks before league play for playoff contention,” said Santana head coach TIM ESTES. “This game against Vincent Memorial will be tough. They score a lot of points and don’t allow many points, and they are a very talented team.”

The Scots come off a big behind quarterback Eduardo Valenzuela.

Valenzuela was 13 of 25 for 201 yards and three touchdowns and is a dual threat, as he had nine carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns as Vincent Memorial beat San Ysidro, 49-14, last week.

The Sultans made several home-and-home trips to the Imperial Valley over the last 15 years, and had some modest success against IV teams… VINCENT MEMORIAL, 27-24.



STEELE CANYON (1-2) at OTAY RANCH (2-2), 7 –  These two met last year in week five, as Otay Ranch was winless (0-4) and the Cougars were 2-2 and playing at home.

But the Mustangs stunned SC, 33-14, as the Cougars couldn’t muster a running game and Otay nabbed three interceptions.

This year, is Cougars are coming off a bye, which head coach  SCOTT LONGERBONE would rather not have.

He so much as said so last week after the 43-41 loss in another heartbreaker of a game against Granite Hills.

Moving on, Steele needs to get a big non-league win over this higher-ranked opponent to move up from being on the playoff bubble in Division 2.

THOMAS FISHBURNE is still one of the top dual-threats at quarterback around.

Fishburne last game out threw for 230 yards and had 111 yards rushing.

Steele Canyon senior JORDAN ANDERSON had four touchdown receptions from “Fish” in the win over the Eagles.

However, there are currently concerns about the health of the Cougars’ running game, which was part of the difficulty in last year’s matchup with the ‘Stangs.

Otay beat Saints last week, 19-14, but they are not a dynamic offense by any stretch, operating at a 3-to-1 run-pass ratio. The Mustangs lost a Week 3 matchup at lower-ranked Valley Center.

Zeek Cruz leads all Otay wide receivers with seven receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns.

Otay QB Alfredo Garcia has over 600 yards of total offense this season, including nearly 300 on the ground.

The Cougars are a feisty bunch and a win this Friday would bring them right back into the mix… STEELE CANYON, 26-22.


MOUNT MIGUEL (1-3) at IMPERIAL (1-2), 7 – Both of these teams are in the same division, have a similar record so far, and they have the same style of play. One disadvantage, the

One disadvantage, the Matadors are having to travel to the Imperial Valley.

The Tigers solo win came against one of the two Arizona teams they played, Cibola, 55 -14, however, the other two losses were by seven or less.

Most recently, the Tigers lost to a familiar foe to the Grossmont Conference teams, Valley Center.

Valley Center beat the Tigers, 27-20, last week, while the Matadors lost to West Hills on a last-second field goal and once again a heartbreak as they ran out of time to film a familiar fate this year.

“Last week versus West Hills we played much better and the effort from the kids has been great.” Mount Miguel coach SHAUN MCDADE said. “We have been able to move the ball pretty well on offense and our defense is keeping us in the game – every single one.”

Quarterback MUGABE MILLER, using his dual-threat ability, and SHEMAR GREEN, with the offensive line clicking, and SANTINO PACHECO, leading his defense and assisting the offense when his number is called, the Matadors have enough offense for most teams to worry about.

Imperial RB Brandon Hueso rushed for 200 yards last week, so look for Mount Miguel’s up-and-coming ULICES MONGE, a sophomore linebacker, to keep close tabs on the run game.

Matador senior DAMIONTE WAFER helps lead the secondary against Imperial junior quarterback Wyatt Rodriguez.

These east teams are pretty even, but the Matadors can make a statement in Division 3 with a win here… MOUNT MIGUEL, 17-14.


No. 6 BISHOP’S (3-0) at MONTE VISTA (2-2), 7 – Bishop’s heads down to Spring Valley to take on the Monarchs.

Saint Margaret’s lost on its home turf to Bishop’s last week, 24-17, in a game which Saint Margaret’s led 10-8 at the half.

Quarterback Jeffrey Jackson threw for 226 yards on 23 of 40 for two touchdowns and his leading rusher, Tyler Buckner, had eight carries for 56 yards.

Wide receiver Moses Mooney had 12 catches for 84 yards and 3 TDs in that one.

Monte Vista has been providing nailbiting entertainment all year.

Last week, they let yet another team – Casteel, out of Arizona – hang around and lost 28-21 in overtime.

This team needs to keep the pressure on and close the deal.

“We are taking the plan of trying to play our best game,” Monte Vista coach RON HAMAMOTO said. “We are going to worry about fixing our mistakes and improving every week.

“They beat Patrick Henry, 77 -0 and we be Henry by only seven points. We must be like a 70-point underdog. However, good competition makes our team better.”

The Monarchs game plan is simple. Ride the giant trunks of junior mash back JAHMON MCCLENDON.

Despite stacking the box against him last week, McClendon still toted the rock 44 times for 153 yards and two scores.

The Monarchs continue to develop on an effective roll-out run-pass option with quarterback EMMIL HENDERSON.

Monte Vista had an 18-play drive last week, though it resulted in no points. The Monarchs have to get into a possession battle with short pass-happy Bishop’s.

This one is a tough pick, but Fearless is counting on BLAKE SCHMIDT, BRAXTON SCHULTZ and the Monarchs’ defense and going out on a limb in the upset of the season… MONTE VISTA, 17-14.



SWEETWATER (0-3) at EL CAJON VALLEY (1-3), 7 – Sweetwater goes into this game winless and ECV is coming home with a tough loss to Crawford, 35-0, last Friday.

“(The loss) is on my shoulders, I tried to change the offense up,” El Cajon Valley interim coach NICK WILLIAMS said.

The Braves’ defense did improve as the game continued against the spectacular Colts.

The Red Devils have only scored 12 points. Granted, The Red Devils have been held scoreless by powerhouse football teams in Carlsbad and Lincoln, which will definitely be in the postseason play.

Lincoln and Carlsbad beat Sweetwater a combined score of 96-0. This Sweetwater squad also played a tough University City for their opener. If ECV plays tough defense led by

This Sweetwater squad also played a tough University City for their opener.

If ECV plays tough defense led by linebacker/running back MAQUEL GARNER, who was banged up last week against Crawford, although he tried to return, and middle linebacker/fullback OMAH MAHMOOD, the Braves should be expected to win.

Senior JOSE GONZALEZ, a TE/OLB, and RB DARREL DAVIS team up with an offensive line led by ANDRE ROBLES, who has been money all year.

They will have to stop Sweetwater back Marty Sesma, who is ready to roll after getting a cast off his left hand.

The Braves will send these Devils packing on Homecoming Night… EL CAJON VALLEY, 20-6.



GRANITE HILLS (2-1) at VALLEY CENTER (3-1), 7 – One of the games of the week heads out and it is in the sticks of Valley Center as the Granite Hills Eagles head to Valley Center. last time these two powerhouses squared off it was a back-and-forth affair until overtime at Granite Hills Stadium.

The last time these two powerhouses squared off it was a back-and-forth affair until overtime at Granite Hills Stadium.

Then the wings came off for the Eagles 27-21 in front of the Eagle faithful.

Now, the rested Eagles travel north to the sticks in Valley Center to a bandage that loss that saw Jags QB Rikki Mazzetti throw for 203 yards three touchdowns with one interception.

Junior running back Mateo Sinohui averages over 140 yards rushing per game for the Jags this season, while senior receiver Zach Marenholz has 29 catches and is averaging over 100 yards receiving per game.

Sinohui had 27 carries for 144 yards last week versus imperial, while the Valley Center defense has been tough the last two weeks.

Mazzetti can be dangerous with his legs as well.

The Eagles are coming off a phenomenal 43-41 win at home versus the Steele Canyon Cougars two weeks ago.

With the intensity of the Eagles have played with their last two games, this team as too many weapons to not achieve success.

Whether it be the third-year tandem alone of quarterback JAKE SIEGFRIED and tight end/defensive end WILLIAM BURTON, that tandem alone is toxic to defenses.

Jake is a dual threat with his legs and let’s not forget wide receiver CHRIS OSTRENG.

The offensive line EVAN DENNY, DANIEL RUSSELL, DAMIAN HIDALGO and KUSI PPR Silver Hog nominee GARRETT CURRAN with help avenge their loss from a year ago.

The Eagles will have a fun bus ride home and flip their playoff fortunes with the Jags… GRANITE HILLS, 34-30.


BUENA PARK (1-2) at GROSSMONT (2-2), 7 –Buena Park comes to town and the Grossmont Hillers need to win after a tough homecoming loss, 32-19, against Eastlake.

“(Eastlake) had big good athletes and a really good team,” Grossmont head coach TOM KARLO said. “The game could’ve gone either way, and I am happy we were able to compete. We forced no turnovers and we had averaged three a game prior.

“As far as Buena Park goes, they are a physical LA (Southern Section) team with good athletes,” Karlo said. “We have to limit our mistakes and force turnovers.”

The Foothillers’ key defensive personnel need to hone in on Buena Park junior quarterback Jordan Simpson, who is 31 of 70 this season so far for 481 yards and three touchdowns, but six interceptions.

He was awful last week versus Downey Warren, where he was 8 of 25 for 187 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

The BPHS defense is led by middle linebacker Edric Galdi, who has 25 tackles for the season.

Grossmont sophomore quarterback Jaime Odom 38 of 76 for 856 yards eight touchdowns and 12 interceptions thus far.

Odom is also a dual threat with 24 carries for 85 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

Wide receiver THOMAS MANGUM is one of his leading receivers with 10 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns so far in the season.

Grossmont’s defense needs to be big, as does linebacker DAISEAN CRAWFORD, who has 52 tackles two sacks and three caused fumbles this campaign.

The Foothillers come up big at home… GROSSMONT, 24-6.


MOUNTAIN EMPIRE (2-2) vs. CRAWFORD (4-0), 4 (at Hoover High) – Crawford stars Ali Musa, Niko Perry, QB Shawn Balala and the Colts are one of the biggest stories of the 2017 San Diego high school football season.

The Mountain Empire Red Hawks are coming off a 29-0 loss at the hands of Southern Section Silver Valley, of Yermo.

Still, the Red Hawks have played their way up from the bottom of the Division V rankings to start the season and into playoff contention thanks to a pair of victories thus far.

The Colts looked terrific again last week in a 35-0 shutout of El Cajon Valley.

To top it off, Crawford is playing the first part of its home schedule, and have played most of its home games over the last two season at neutral sites until their on-campus venue is completed.

The Colts beat the Red Hawks, 12-6, in Pine Valley last season in the opener.

The Red Hawks were held to just 40 yards of total offense in that one.

“Our corners and safeties have to play better,” Mountain Empire coach BERNARD VANN said. “We are going to try and be more physical at the line of scrimmage with their wideouts try and mess up their timing.

“On offense, we have to take advantage of some of the short throws that they give up.

Mountain Empire star BLAKE JARRELL is optimistic to return from an injury, according to Vann.

“We also plan on cutting down on the penalties offensively, ” Vann said. “We need to get the ball to our playmakers and get back to the things that made us successful.

“Crawford has beaten us the past two seasons and I feel if we stick to our game plan it will be a very competitive game.”

The Red Hawks beet Hoover on this field earlier this season, 21-7, while the Colts beat Hoover here, 31-0.

That adds up to… CRAWFORD, 21-14.





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