East County Sports





By Dave Dickens



EL CAJON (8-17-18) – The forecast was for offenses with a chance of aerial battle on both sides.

The offenses were good, but in particular, the Eagle defense stepped up.

The Granite Hills Eagles, under the KELLAN COBBS regime, have prided themselves on the defensive side of the ball, to create turnovers and give their offense a shorter field.

The Eagles were productive on offense, as well, as they faced off in a dual with the Poway Titans (3-8 last season).

Neither offense could put points on the board until Eagles’ kicker, senior JUSTIN MCELLIGOTT booted a 19-yard field goal to put the Eagles up 3-0 in the second quarter.

Towards the end of the second quarter, Granite would find the end zone on a 31 yard throw from senior quarterback CHRIS OSTRENG to junior wide receiver JAMES JOHNSON to make the score 10-0 Eagles as the extra point was good.

“That TD pass to James Johnson was nice,” said Ostreng. “I was hoping he’d notice there was no safety over the top, and with the pressure corner he would roast him, he saw what I saw and made a beautiful catch.”

“Chris and I work really well together and he is becoming a great leader,” said Johnson.

The Titans would score on a 1-yard run by Justin Kramer, kicker Chris Sanchez would add the extra point, 10-7, Granite Hills at the half.

After a scoreless third quarter dictated by both teams putting up fantastic defensive stands, mixed with a few mental errors on behalf of both squads, the Eagles would add another score on a 5-yard toss from Ostreng to senior wide receiver DYLAN RUTTER. The extra point by McElligott was good, 17-7 Eagles.

This would be the last score needed for the host Eagles, although the Titans would would add another score on a 3-yard pass from Poway quarterback Maximus Brown to wide receiverNoah Araujo.

The Titans elected to go for the two-point conversion, which would have put the Titans within 2 points of the Eagles, although the rushing attempt was stuffed by the Eagle defense.

Big plays by the defense sealed the win.

Junior defensive lineman JEREMIAH SATBERRY blocked a key fourth-down scoring drive for the Titans. Another fourth down stop that ultimately sealed the win, as Rutter picked off Brown, to take a knee for the Eagle win.

“I dropped the first one, however, I told my Coach I would catch the next one, and I did at the most crucial moment,” said Rutter. “I saw that they overloaded my side and I knew they were gonna try and throw it to No. 81, very talented, so I knew to not allow anyone to get behind me, I saw the QB’s eyes and knew it was mine for the picking.”

“I think Dylan will be that guy but the mesh between all of my receivers gives me a wider variety of people I know can make a play,” Ostreng said. “Our team was hyped and a lot of those kids got the early season jitters out.

“I think with Helix and Steele losing it gave our team an extra boost showing we can contend in this new league and we aren’t going to just be push overs.”

“I think the most growth of a football game comes from Week 1 to week 2,” said Head Coach Cobbs. “Offensively, we have to focus on limiting our own mistakes, the effort was there last night, we just didn’t execute.

“For defense, we need to force them into third and long situations. Our defense did a great job tonight and just carry into next week.”

The Eagles (1-0) will travel to face Mount Carmel (0-1), who was blown out by a really good Valley Center squad, 57-3.

“This week, if we execute on offense and our defense gets a few stops, I think we can beat Mount Carmel,” said Johnson.

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