East County Sports

Burner Trophy is El Cap’s thanks to Wick

Wick Hauser throws a pass on Friday night. / photo by Melissa Honick

/ photo by Melissa Honick




EastCountySports.com staff report


SANTEE (9-21-2018) – If ever there was a high school football rivalry game of the week, this highly entertaining battle lived up to the hype.

All week long this highly anticipated game of the week was publicized in every media vehicle available in all of San Diego County.

/ photo by Melissa Honick

The stands were filled close to capacity not only on the host side, but the visitors also came out in herds, both also in support of a fantastic young man who had touched so many lives and two schools participating in memory of Tony Burner, not just the player and the coach, but a man of compassion and honor.

Tony had used his success on the field in school and in business to create the Tony Burner Foundation to provide the same opportunity to others that might otherwise be able to chase their dreams.

As the captains from both squads met at midfield, the host Wolf Pack won the toss and chose to defer and defend.

Awaiting the delivery of the opening kickoff were eager and excited fans, as it sounded as if the playoffs had come early this year.

/ photo by Melissa Honick

As the kick was delivered and received by the Vaqueros, this wonderfully created memorial game was underway.

Senior RENE PONCE bobbled the catch but quickly recovered for a rather rewarding return.

The visitors would have to punt after a three and out delivered by a Wolf Pack defense that up to this point had allowed the fewest points in the Grossmont Conference.

The Wolf Pack would start in decent field position, then two plays later, the speedy quarterback JORDIN YOUNG, who always seems to find a hole to slip through, took it to the Vaquero 14-yard line.

Four plays later, senior kicker JACK BROWNING attempted a long field goal and it ended up no good with 6:58 left in the first quarter.

/ photo by Melissa Honick

On the second possession, the Vaqueros saw a very long drive with two big runs by Junior RB DONNY GREEN, and then a beautiful pass from quarterback WICK HAUSER to the left corner of the end zone to senior wide receiver NATHAN SCHUNK for the score. The kick was good, so it was 7-0 El Cap with 3:47 left in the first quarter.

After playing some stellar defense so far, the Vaqueros come up with another gem as El Cap senior BRYCE SMITH picked up the rock after a fumbled pitch and ran in for the scoop-and-score for 37 yards. The kick was good, and it was 14-0 Vaqueros with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

West Hills was not going away quietly as the Jack “of all trades” Browning scampered into the end zone on a nice run to make it 14-7, as the kick from Browning was good as well, cutting the Wolf Pack deficit to one score, 14-7 Vaqueros in front with 8:37 left in the second quarter.

/ photo by Melissa Honick

The Vaqueros were not receptive to the Wolf Pack cutting into their lead.

Once again, Hauser found Schunk for six. The extra point was good, making it 21-7 Vaqueros heading into the half.

To show how determined the visiting Vaqueros were in winning the Memorial Trophy, the Vaqueros were on that field well before halftime had concluded to stay warm and loose.

However, Coach CASEY ASH had a word with his Pack in the Den, as would show coming into the second half of play.

With 3:56 left in the third quarter of play, Young looked off the safety, ran around to the left and slithered in for the touchdown. The score was now 21-13 Vaqueros, as the extra point is blocked by El Cap.

/ photo by Melissa Honick

Things were looking up, as the West Hills defense shut down El Cap as the third quarter ended up a goose egg for the Vaqueros.

Who would have predicted how this final act would conclude as the fourth quarter began?

The Vaqueros, already up, instead of going for it on fourth down, elected a chip shot, but from the left hash. It was up and good, extending the score to 24-13 early in the fourth quarter with 10:09 remaining.

The Wolf Pack were playing to win, however, both sidelines were now being charged with late hits, dead ball personal fouls, face masks, the traditional false starts, with just entirely too much laundry on the field.

However, there was one last sprint for the ever evasive Young, as he took a long run into the end zone for six. Coach Ash also elected for the two-point conversion try.

Coach Ash made the right call as a short pass to Trent Oberg for two was a success. The score was now 24-21 El Cap in a thriller of a game and still 9:47 left in regulation.

/ photo by Melissa Honick

As mentioned before, the laundry piled high with many more penalties, but the play to seal the win, was a two-yard QB keeper as Hauser went up and over a defender for six. The extra point successful, making it 31-21 El Cap.

Time was ticking as only 3:05 remained in the game. Before victory formation could take place, the last defensive play for the win was a huge sack for a loss by junior JACOBO VILLA.

Two kneel downs and the visitors’ sideline and bleachers sounded like a stampede as the Vaqueros would not only be the first to win the First Annual Tony Burner Memorial Trophy but also pick up their second win in a row.

El Cap will open up league play with Helix at home at 7 p.m. next Friday.

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