East County Sports

Undefeated Eagles win on Homecoming

Juni Harris (10) on his way to the end zone with Jack Siegfried. / Scott Barnhill - CS PRO PHOTO

DYLAN RUTTER scores for Granite Hills on Friday. / Scott Barnhill – CS PRO PHOTO

2018 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

No. 21 GRANITE HILLS 40, HILLTOP 6

 

By Dave Dickens

EastCountySports.com

 

EL CAJON (9-14-2018) – As the school day began in the Granite Hills High School gymnasium, sounds and signs posted throughout the campus was a precursor to the festivities and triumph that would soon be at hand.

A Granite Hills player scores for the Eagles on Friday night. / photo by Scott Barnhill – CS PRO PHOTO

It has been a tradition for a few years now, local San Diego News station KUSI, was soon arrive and be led by the talent anchor of the show, ALLIE WAGNER, who leads her crew into the Eagle gymnasium with loud roars of students awaiting the famed PPR Alarm Clock Pep Rally show.

Cheerleaders announcing their name and their role. Three days of practice including one day of tumbling is what one cheerleader stated. The backflips and cheering routine was a foreshadowing what was to come, as the 3-0 varsity Eagles football team ran through a makeshift tunnel as the excitement grew for players to speak how their opponent will accept defeat.

This is the day of the Homecoming game, a fired up Varsity squad, and soon a crowned king and queen, later in the evening it would be a packed house as the Eagle faithful remained on their feet.

The Eagles kicked off to the visiting Hilltop Lancers (1-4), a few plays later, junior JUNI HARRIS, a defensive back, read the Lancer quarterback JOEY CASTILLO’s eyes, stepped in front of his intended target and took it to the house for the 6-0 lead, and the first score of the game.

“My friend, AUSTIN HOLT, on our freshman team said to me at the Pep Rally that I was going to get a pick six,” Harris said.

The pick six and the successful extra point made it 7-0 Eagles early in the first quarter, and Granite got the start it needed to remain unbeaten.

“The wins just seal the deal,” Harris said. “Our team’s humbleness and composure will really start to be tested now.

“My interception was just a very well executed play by the entire defense. Every person was in the right spot where they needed to be and it forced the quarterback to throw one up with a hope that his teammate would come down with it.”

Granite was not finished picking off the Lancer QB, as GIDEON ALABA picked up a theft as the Lancers had just taken possession of the ball.

“Our defense is pretty awesome when it comes to turnovers because when we intercept the ball it’s almost like they turn into an offense and immediately start making amazing blocks.”

Next play, the Eagles went airborne from quarterback CRIS OSTRENG to JAMES JOHNSON, for a 13-0 lead as
Granite the missed extra point.

“The Lancers’ defense wasn’t really using any trickery, very recognizable defensive formations, mostly cover-three scheme,” said Ostreng. “They would rush the linebacker, leaving my receiver uncovered and Johnson makes that cut to score.”

JAMES JOHNSON races to the end zone on Friday night. / photo by Scott Barnhill – CS PRO PHOTO

The second quarter saw a lot of three-and-outs courtesy of the Eagle defense.

Two-way player DYLAN RUTTER usually plays strong Safety and wide receiver, but was asked to come in as a fullback and scored on a 1-yard push up the middle, and in for the score. The extra point up was and good, for a 20-0 Eagles’ lead at intermission.

“We didn’t have Dylan in so much for speed, it was that he has the strength to break through tackles, which he did,” said Ostreng.

Granite Hills would score a few more in the second half, Ostreng added another six with his legs, and a 60-yard bomb to Johnson to end the third quarter, as the extra point was good, making the score 40-0, Eagles.

However, as well as the Eagle defense played, the skunk came out of the box with a 17-yard touchdown pass from JAVIN DEANDA to LAI ZUMSTEIN, although the extra point misses, leaving the score at 40-6, Granite.

Hilltop had a long run towards the end of the fourth quarter, but the Eagles just overmatched the Lancers in every phase of the game.

The Eagles gift homecoming with a 40-6 final.

Granite Hills has a final non-league battle versus Southwest (El Centro) (2-2) at Valley Stadium next Friday as the Eagles attempt to continue their undefeated season at 7 p.m.

“Every opponent we play is going to want to break out streak and it just so happens that all of our opponents in the future are very talented, so come Monday, it’s grind time again.”

Granite Hills defends a pass on Friday night. / photo by Scott Barnhill – CS PRO PHOTO

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