East County Sports

Temple, Smith get touchdown trifecta in win over RedHawks




By Roxy Burns

Special to EastCountySports.com


SANTEE – The Santana Sultans and Mountain Empire RedHawks got together at nearly the last minute – in football scheduling terms – for an opening week game at Community Stadium.

It may have been a one-sided result, as the Sultans defeated the RedHawks 42-7, but both squads are probably glad they made the late addition to the schedule.

The RedHawks started well and drove the ball down to the 20 on their first drive then it stalled.

The RedHawks hung in tough against the bigger Sultans but they were worn down. Santana used a mixture of run and pass that kept the RedHawks off-balance to build the lead.

Sultan quarterback NATHAN TEMPLE picked up where he left off in summer passing ball, teaming up with junior wide receiver RANDY SMITH for three touchdowns – in the first half.  Temple passed for 146 yards.

Santana running back BROOKS MOUTAW added a 26-yard touchdown run for a 28-0 lead.

“I’m very proud of our team right now,” Temple said. “42-7, I’ll take that for our first game against these guys. Came out here and we worked our (butts) off over summer. We came out here and worked all week and took that ‘dub’.”

The second half was more of the same as fatigue and depth became a factor for Empire. This could be the cause of the excessive penalties and lack of execution, but the RedHawks did show some signs of life in the second half.

ESTEBAN CASTILLO had a touchdown run of 40 yards and sophomore MARCUS SMITH showed signs of his potential with a 30-yard reception and a 15-yard pass he hauled in on the sideline getting both feet down as he fell out of bounds. 

“I feel we did not play well at all and our experienced players need to step to the forefront and lead us,” MEHS head coach BERNARD VANN said. “We need to do a better job on the OL and tackle better, which will be corrected next week.

“I was proud of our QB play and Marcus Smith. (Smith) showed me that the playmaking ability I believed he had was correct.”

CAMERON WILL had 9 tackles along with 3 receptions for 38 yards for Mountain Empire

DALLAS PRINCE, KEVIN MEZA, and JORGE GONZALEZ each had 7 tackles for the RedHawks defense.

Quarterback GABE HYDORN, of Mountain Empire, threw for 183 yds and an interception.

“I felt that we didn’t perform the best we can as a team,” Marcus Smith said. “I saw we didn’t have the forward momentum that we needed.

“I need to work on high pointing the ball and getting off the line of scrimmage. I think we need to work on wrapping up and making our tackles. I did my job, made plays, and so did the rest of my team.”

Santana senior IAN LITTEN added another touchdown with two minutes left in the third.

Sultan senior COLTON SNIPES had a 76-yard touchdown and was perfect on his PATs.

“Obviously it’s a great time and a good win,” Santana coach TIM ESTES said. “When you score 42 points it’s always nice especially the first game of the season. But obviously we have stuff we need to work on, we didn’t tackle along sometimes, we dropped a few passes, little things we have to work on. It was a good start to the season.”

Mountain Empire faces San Ysidro next week in a recurring matchup with the Cougars, but this time in Pine Valley. The RedHawks came out strong against Ysidro in the first half in the game on the Cougs’ field last season.

“I feel like we weren’t fully their mentally,” said MEHS’ MARQUIS SMITH. “It’s always butterflies when you are in the moment so I’ve just gotta learn how to chill and just ball.

“I think we could improve on our hustle and treating every play like it’s the last. But I’m proud of my team’s relationship with each other. We are a family and are always together. And if I’m down on the field I got my brothers to pick me up.”

On defense for Santana, Litten had 6 tackles, juniors JACOB PETERSON and CAMERON LARICCIA had 5, junior LINCOLN SUMNER and Snipes had 4.

For the Sultans, they will host Serra at 7 p.m.

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