East County Sports

Foothillers give Vaqueros the boot

El Capitan lines up against Grossmont on Friday night.




By Jim Lindgren and Dave Dickens



LAKESIDE (10-6-2017) – You just never know with Grossmont … when the Foothillers are going to strike gold, that is. It’s inevitable but unpredictable.

It’s a plan, coach TOM KARLO has. He believes in it. His players believe in it.

Then boom! And it’s always entertaining!

It happened again in the second half Friday night as Grossmont put up 35 points en route to a 51-7 romp over El Capitan in their Grossmont Hills League opener.

Perhaps it’s because starting quarterback JAMIE ODOM is a sophomore. There’s a learning curve for the youngster, but Odom is moving up the charts and soon to be on the Dean’s list.

Odom threw for 239 yards and a touchdown and added 115 rushing yards and another score to lead the Foothillers (4-2, 1-0) over the Vaqueros (2-4, 0-1).

Odom was 16 of 32 passing without an interception. He now has 1,280 passing yards and 13 touchdown passes. His 115 rushing yards were a season high.

Three-year starter SHEVELL STERLING – already on the Dean’s list – rushed for 118 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns, along with 2 catches for 19 yards. He now has 512 yards and eight touchdowns rushing this season.

Odom opened the scoring with a nifty, shift-fake option run around left end for an 18-yard touchdown in the first quarter. AMBER HUFF’s extra-point made it 7-0.

With three minutes gone in the second quarter, a team of Vaqueros’ special teamers blocked the Grossmont punt, taking over 1st-and-10 on the Hiller 16.

El Capitan answered on the next play with a touchdown pass from ANTONIO OLIVIERI to STAR IULI and a 7-7 tie in the second quarter. Olivieri, a converted defensive end playing quarterback due to a shoulder injury to starter WICK HAUSER, lofted a precision pass to Iuli, who made the grab between two defenders at the goal line.

With 5:30 left in the 2nd quarter, Grossmont’s special teams returned the favor with their version of a blocked punt, which resulted in a safety, making the score 9-7.

All-league standout ANDREW LIRA put Grossmont up 16-7 with a timely 41-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the second quarter. It was his fourth interception of the year.

The fireworks were still to come as Grossmont posted 14 points in the third quarter and 21 in the fourth.

Odom connected with a wide-open CONNER SANCHEZ on a perfectly timed fly route down the left sideline in the fourth quarter.

Grossmont’s defense rose to the occasion as well. TRISTEN McKEE, ALEX GOLOJUCH and CONNER TORRES all recovered fumbles. Torres also blocked a kick and recorded a safety with a tackle in the end zone. DAISEAN CRAWFORD and DAVION CHESTER forced two of the fumbles.

MATT RODRIGUEZ was the leading tackler for the ’Hillers with eight. Sanchez and Daisean Crawford added six apiece, and JOSEPH TOLDEO had five. Rodriguez added a sack as did JULIAN SANDERLIN and COOPER ZOELLNER.

Back on offense, DAMARI CRAWFORD added a 2-yard TD run as Grossmont rushed for 288 yards and totaled 527 yards.

DESMOND CARTER led all receivers with five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. ZAK FARRIS had five receptions for 51 yards. Sterling added three receptions for 22 yards and JOSH MOALA two for 43 yards.

Early in the 3rd quarter, Odom ran on a keeper from the Vaquero 20-yard line, but coughed up the football, as El Cap defensive back JEFTE REYES recovered the fumble at the 1-yard line.

Vaquero defenders CHRIS MCDONOUGH, ISAIAS MANCILLA, CHASE and CHANCE LOVATO, CONNOR ROOSA, and Olivieri all had strong first-half performances, but once the Hillers’ offense was in synch, the second half was owned by the visitors.

Grossmont plays host to Valhalla (2-4, 0-1) on Friday night. The Norsemen fell to West Hills 24-21 on Friday.

Valhalla lost a heartbreaker by three tonight, 24-21, at West Hills (5-1, 1-0 GHL).

El Capitan travels again to La Mesa to take on No. 3-ranked Helix (5-1, 1-0), the 11th-ranked team in the state. The Vaqueros are the last and only team to beat Helix in league play in 38 games, winning in 2014.

Helix defeated a Thomas Fishburne-less Steele Canyon team on Friday night, 41-7.

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