East County Sports

Fearless Foothillers give Griz concern

Grossmont and Mission Hills meet for the coin toss Friday night.




By David A. Willauer

Special to EastCountySports.com


SAN MARCOS (11-17-17) – After a 49-48 win over the Foothillers of Grossmont High School in last year’s CIF Open Division quarterfinal round in La Mesa, the miracle Grizzlies of Mission Hills pulled a rabbit out of the hat again, somehow outlasting the Foothillers in another shootout, 52-42, in this year’s Open Division opening round at Jack Ashby Field Friday night.

The top-seeded Grizzlies advance to the semifinals next week where they will host familiar opponent Torrey Pines, a 40-0 winner over the Mavericks of La Costa Canyon. Grossmont, the eighth-seed, finished 7-4.

The Foothillers, who may have been a favorite should they have been seeded in the Division I playoffs, proved they were Open Division worthy with a serious threat throughout to the current consensus No. 1 team in the county on its home field.

For the Foothillers, SHEVELL STERLING JR. carried the ball 24 times for 172 yards.

Grossmont sophomore quarterback JAMIE ODOM had 12 completions out of 36 attempts for 121 yards threw 2  touchdown passes, including an 8-yarder to teammate JOSH MOALA (4 receptions for 22 yards) for a first-quarter early score.

Senior ERIK SHANKS scored on a 34-yard interception return for Grossmont, which also scored on a 32-yard fumble return by senior JULIAN SANDERLIN.

Meanwhile, the Griz got a defensive TD on a 10-yard interception return by Chris Callahan, one of his two picks on the night.

“I expected to win tonight as we watched the film on Mission Hills in last year’s quarterfinal loss at our school,” Grossmont head coach TOM KARLO said. “Our defense played lights out football as we battled the number one team in the county for 2 years in a row.”

The powerful Grizzlies’ offense outgained the Foothillers by just a 427-to-401 margin.

Grossmont’s ZACH JONES also had a fumble recovery.

“For these kids, there were sad faces but as the head coach I couldn’t be prouder of what they did,”  Karlo said. “My running back (Sterling) played like a warrior as our offensive line played well for him.

“My quarterback (Odom) is a sophomore so we have some nice underclassmen returning for us next season,” said Karlo. “These kids care about each other.”

Jack Tuttle, the Utah-bound QB, had 17 completions out of 35 attempts for 328 yards along with 4 touchdown passes, including ones of 82 (on the first play of the game) and 8 to Chris Olave.

Olave, a Division 1 college recruit, had 7 receptions for 193 and scored on a 60 yard punt return.

Mission Hills’ Chris Jones had 4 receptions for 93 yards.

Grizzlies’ running back Damon Wigand carried the ball 17 times for 66 yards as he contributed a 5-yard touchdown.

Isaac Anderson scored on a 1 yard run for Mission Hills.

On the defensive side, Chris Calhoun scored on a 10-yard interception return for Mission Hills.

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