East County Sports

Rancho Verde gets impromptu win over host Foothillers




EastCountySports.com staff report


LA MESA — Frequent traveler Rancho Verde took a trip of over 100 miles on short notice to visit the Grossmont Foothillers on Friday night.

Needless to say, they enjoyed the trip.

With both teams facing a lost game because of opponent cancelations, the powerhouse programs agreed to meet on about a week’s notice.

The Rancho Verde program, from the Southern Section, is just a little more elite at this time and it was apparent in a 61-3 win.

The second-ranked team in the CIF-SS and 38th-ranked team in the state left little to doubt against one of the better programs in the San Diego section.

The Mustangs improved to 4-0 by racking up 657 total yards of offense.

“Rancho Verde was a big, fast athletic team,” Grossmont head coach Tom Karlo said. “They were really really good. We have played three teams in a row who were ranked in the top 40 in the state. It’s been a tough road. Hopefully it will help us down the road.”

Grossmont wide receiver Zak Farris had a scare, leaving in an ambulance following a hard hit.

Karlo reported that the star is fine but will likely miss a couple of weeks.

Running back Robert Tucker, an up-and-coming sophomore, suffered a concussion, according to Karlo.

“We had a lot of injuries tonight,” said the coach. “It was a tough night all around for us.”

In addition, starting linemen Joe Toledo and Max Rodriguez are out multiple weeks with knee injuries.

Skip Waltower had three catches for 44 yards to lead the Foothillers.

Freshman quarterback AJ Duffy had 384 yards passing for RVHS.

“It doesn’t matter to us (how far we have to travel),” said Mustangs senior Ty McCullouch, who caught TD passes of 11, 53,  and 25 yards. “We’ll play anybody.”

McCullouch caught 10 passes total for 162 yards.

“Once we get going I think nobody can stop us,” said McCullouch, who now has 10 touchdowns on the season. “Once (Xavier Ugorji) and Jordan Jefferson open it up with our linemen, we just started to air it out and it was over.”

Ugorji, a senior running back, had 143 yards on 11 carries.

Jefferson had a 42-yard punt return in the second quarter to make it 33-0.

The Mustangs allowed the Foothillers (1-3) just 66 yards in the first half on 34 plays, an average of 1.9 yards per play.

“Usually when we travel we go to a park and do a little walkthrough and have a team meal,” Duffy said. “This time it was a little different. This one was 10 times better. We’re learning how to do that. It’s kind of cool to go on the road and see how we bond.”

Grossmont’s Jaime Odom was 14-of-24 passing.

The Foothillers host Poway next Friday for Homecoming.

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