East County Sports

Wolf Pack has Arm-Stronghold of Cup

Santana rushes against West Hills on Friday night. / Melissa Honick

West Hills wraps up a Santana runner on Friday night. / photo by Melissa Honick




By Jim Lindgren

Special to EastCountySports.com


SANTEE – In ideal conditions, West Hills likes to control the ball and the clock with a misdirection ground offense and a talented running quarterback in Jordin Young. But the battle for the Mayor’s Cup is rarely conducted with ideal conditions.

On Friday night in the annual fight for Santee bragging rights against rival Santana, West Hills rarely had the ball and gained only 97 rushing yards.

West Hills senior JAKE MAHEU takes a tackle against Santana on Friday night. / photo by Melissa Honicks

Instead, Young passed for a career-high three touchdowns to lead the Wolf Pack to a 21-11 victory to win the Mayor’s Cup for the seventh consecutive year.

That Young completed only two other passes mattered little. That Young failed to rush for a score for the first time this season mattered little. That Santana held a sizable advantage in time possession and total yards mattered little.

West Hills won the scoreboard battle to improve to 6-1 and 2-0 in the Grossmont Valley League, while the Sultans fell to 4-4, 0-2.

“They did our thing to us,” West Hills coach Casey Ash said. “It was ugly. Thank goodness we won.”

Indicative of the game, Santana’s offense ran 18 of the first 19 plays, but West Hills led 7-0.

Wolf Pack senior Trent Oberg pounced on a fumble on the second play of the game to give his side the ball at the 26-yard line.

Next play – West Hills’ first – Young fired to Jack Browning for a 26-yard touchdown just 51 seconds into the contest on the Smurf Turf at West Hills.

Santana answered with an insane, 16-play, non-scoring drive after a 42-yard field-goal attempt by Colton Snipes lined short and right of the target.

Moments later, Jake Maheu rushed for 11 yards for West Hills’ second and final first down of the half. The Wolf Pack faithful went frantic three plays later when Jordin hit Hunter Gauthier for a 51-yard apparent score that was called back by a penalty for ineligible player downfield.

Late in the first half, Santana reeled off an insane, 13-play, 86-yard, non-scoring drive after a fourth-down trick play was stomped by the Wolf Pack for a 2-yard loss on the final play of the half.

Try and follow this:

Sophomore Drew Temple, who platooned at quarterback with Sean Iverson, both replacing the injured would-be starter Nathan Temple, Drew’s older brother, completed all six of his first-half attempts for 88 yards. Drew Temple tossed to Jared Forster for 39 yards and then again to Forster for 12 yards. Temple then connected with Iverson for an 11-yard gain, but the drive stalled three plays later. Forster took a handoff from Iverson, pitched the ball back to slotback Chaz Baker, who rolled right and tossed to Iverson, who was stuffed for a 2-yard loss on the final play of the half.

West Hills JORDIN YOUNG looks for running room on Friday night against Santana. / photo by Melissa Honick

From the third play of the game to the first play of the fourth quarter, no one would score until Snipes booted a 25-yard field goal to make it 7-3 West Hills.

The Wolf Pack answered three plays later, however, when Young fired a strike to Kole Klingerman on a seam route that went for a 67-yard TD and a 14-3 Wolf Pack lead with 10:18 to play.

After a three-and-out and a punt by Snipes gave West Hills possession at the Santana 45-yard line, the Sultans ran 10 plays and a good chunk of clock into a 21-3 lead when Young threaded an 11-yard pass to Travis Deal for a touchdown with 1:47 to go.

On Santana’s final possession, Temple completed passes of 13 yards to Snipes, 9 yards to Randy Smith and 55 yards to Snipes to set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Iverson to Forster with 0:46 left to play.

Young finished 5-of-6 passing for 111 yards and three TDs without an interception. He also led all rushers with 51 yards on 13 attempts.

“We were nervous about their quarterback running the ball,” Santana coach Tim Estes said. “He’s a really talented athlete.

“They don’t normally throw the ball that much, but they caught us by surprise a couple times. Even though they didn’t have the ball much, they did a good job of mixing it up.”

West Hills finished with 208 total yards. Santana had 337 yards.

Temple was 11-of-12 passing for 205 yards without an interception. Iverson was 2-of-5 for 18 yards and a TD. Forster was the leading receive with 5 catches for 74 yards.

“Our offense moved the ball well,” Santana coach Tim Estes said. “We just couldn’t finish.”

Said Young, “Santana’s offense did a really good job of keeping the ball away from us, but our offense came through when we needed it.

West Hills drives back a Santana ball carrier on Friday night. / photo by Melissa Honick

“It was a team effort, not just myself. I can’t do it without the rest of the team supporting me.”

West Hills’ offensive line deserves credit for protecting Young and providing enough holes for key gains. They are Josh Alagata, Nathan Jones, Alex Leggate, Martin Daily and Gianni Grimm.

The Wolf Pack defense was equal to the task, especially Jake Maheu, Charlie Cruz, Harrison Pattengill, Austin Ruiz-Castaneda, Gauthier and Oberg.

“Defensively, even though they held the ball so long, we did a good job keeping them out of the end zone,” Ash said.

West Hills plays host to Escondido for a nonleague game next week before continuing its quest for a Grossmont Valley League title shot with finishing games against Mount Miguel and Monte Vista.

Santana plays host to Monte Vista next week before a bye and then a final regular-season game against El Cajon Valley.

Both West Hills (Division III) and Santana (Division IV) are looking for deep runs in their respective playoffs.

Before that, however, there is some grief and sorrow to get through.

Santana players were given the weekend off so coaches could attend a memorial service for former Grossmont College coach Dave Jordan at 10 a.m. Saturday at Shadow Mountain Church in El Cajon.  Jordan and his wife of 60 years passed away last month.

West Hills players had a heavy heart after Jeff Armstrong died on Wednesday of an apparent heart attack. Armstrong, 63, had been the boys basketball and girls golf coach for the past 22 years at West Hills after stints at St. Augustine and Granite Hills. He was also a teacher at West Hills and grievance counselors were on campus Thursday and Friday to assist.

“I personally dedicated this game to him,” Young said. “To someone who has done so much for this community and this school, it’s such a sad situation.”

West Hills trips up a Santana ball carrier on Friday night. / photo by Melissa Honick

Grossmont Valley League



Santana    0 0 0 11 – 11

West Hills 7 0 0 14 – 21


WH – Jack Browning 26 pass from Jordin Young (Jack Browning kick)

S – FG Colton Snipes 25

WH – Kole Klingerman 67 pass from Jordin Young (Jack Browning kick)

WH – Travis Deal 11 pass from Jordin Young (Jack Browning kick)

S – Jared Forster 3 pass from Sean Iverson (Chaz Baker pass from Sean Iverson)

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