East County Sports

‘Banged up’ Comets face Mt. SAC Saturday

2018 COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL

 

By Tom Saxe

Special to EastCountySports.com

SAN MARCOS (10-12-2018) – Palomar will be back at Escondido High School’s Chick Embrey Field at Wilson Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m. to face Mt. SAC, a team that in many ways closely resembles two-time defending state and national champion Fullerton College, the top-ranked team in the state that defeated the Comets last week at the same site.

“They’re real good. They’re fast. They’re physical. Defensively they like to bring pressure, just like Fullerton,” Palomar coach Joe Early said of the Mounties (4-1 overall), who come into their National (State Playoff-Eligible) Division opener ranked No. 8 in the state following a bye last week.

“In fact, they might bring more pressure than Fullerton. Defensively, they like to create confusion and chaos. They swarm like sharks in bloody water, and we’re banged up offensively. And they’ve had two weeks to prepare for us. We have a big challenge ahead of us.”

Offensively, Mt. SAC is a little different than Fullerton, which would rather throw the ball than run it. The Mounties want to establish the run first.

However, with the success the Hornets had passing against the Comets, Early said he expects the Mounties to test the Comets with their passing game as well.

“In any case,” Early said, “we have to limit their explosive plays.”

Earlier in the week, it was announced that Fullerton, as anticipated, has been put on probation by the Southern California Football Association and the California Community College following unspecified violations that the college self-reported.

The probation includes being barred from 2018 post-season play, and the Hornets’ 2017 wins, their conference and state championships are all being vacated.

The result of all of the above on every team that has played the Hornets the last two seasons is undetermined so far, depending on who the ineligible players actually were and which games they’ve played in during the last two years.

Plus, Fullerton is expected to appeal the actual punishment for the infractions.

“As it stands, unless there is some change, if we win out in the National Division Central League, we win our league and go to the (Southern California Community College playoffs),” Early said.

Until a final determination is made, Palomar and Fullerton are the only teams to play a Central League game, and the Comets are still 0-1 in the league going into Saturday’s game.

“Even as dinged up as we are on offense, we’ve proven we can move the ball and put points on the board,” Early said.

The status Saturday of one of the Comets’ remaining quarterbacks, Connor Curry, remains up in the air after Curry, who heals remarkably quickly from injuries, finished last week’s loss to Fullerton on the sideline on crutches.

Offensive coordinator Dan Early won’t name a quarterback starter until game time between Curry, if he’s cleared to play, and Shea Morales, who started the season as the Comets’ No. 4 quarterback but was National Division Offensive Co-Player of the Week two weeks ago when the Comes nearly upset then-state No. 2-ranked Ventura on the road.

Palomar finally gets its bye week, with a chance to heal up a week from Saturday, on Oct. 20.

PROBABLE PALOMAR LINE-UPS

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Shea Morales (6-4, 210, Fr., Carlsbad HS)

-or-

Connor Curry (6-2, 200, Fr., Evangel Christian HS, Shreveport, LA / Ouachita Baptist University)

Running Back

Shevell Sterling (5-10, 190, Fr., Grossmont HS)

Fullback

Arnold Yoder (6-1, 260, 260, So., Toledo HS, Toledo, WA / USMC)

Receivers

Logan Gamble (6-6, 200, Fr., St. Anthony HS, Long Beach / Cal)

Malachi Russell (6-0, 160, Fr., El Camino HS)

Mikel Barkley (5-11, 165, Fr., Temecula Great Oak HS)

Bryce Walker (6-0, 180, So., Bartram Trail HS, Jacksonville, FL)

Zack Morel (6-2, 193, So, Vista HS)

Slot Receivers

Devin Nilson (6-0, 187, So., Carlsbad HS)

Johnny Armentrout (5-10, 175, Fr., El Camino HS)

Johnny Arzola (6-0, 195, So., Oceanside HS, Dixie State)

Tight End

William Gonzalez (6-4, 230, Fr., Murrieta Valley HS)

Left Tackle 

Donovan Pati (6-3, 260, Fr., Vista HS)

Left Guard

Francisco Rodriguez (6-4, 300, Fr., Sicks HS, Tampa, FL)

Center

Anthony Escalante (6-2, 240, Fr., Rancho Buena Vista HS)

Right Guard

Braydon Lindholm (6-6, 290, Fr., Moses Lake HS, Moses Lake, WA)

Right Tackle

Will Eoff (6-6, 290, Fr., Vista Murrieta HS)

DEFENSE

End

Mason Simeta (6-3, 240, Fr., Lacey HS, Timberline, WA)

End

Marin Bonaccu (6-1, 230, Fr., Oceanside HS)

Tackle

Koa Evalu-Robinson (6-3, 275, Fr., Lahainaluna HS, Maui, HI)

Tackle 

Nick So’oto (6-2, 300, Fr., Parkway HS, Bossier, LA / Northeastern State)

Linebacker

Spencer Kaoanga (6-1, 220, Fr., Oceanside HS / Air Force Prep)

Linebacker

Chris Calhoun (6-1, 210, Fr. Mission Hills HS)

Cornerback

Jihad Hightower (5-9, 171, Fr., Creekside HS, St. Johns, FL)

Cornerback

Louie Flores (5-10, 180, Fr., Mission Hills HS)

Safety

Jay Craft (5-11, 180, Fr., Cherry Creek HS, Cherry Creek, CO / Kansas State University)

Safety

Orion Diaz (6-0, 160, So., Escondido HS)

Safety

Josh Bernard (5-11, 205, So., Oceanside HS)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kickoffs, PAT’s, FG’s)

Mark Meador (5-8, 147, Fr., Del Norte HS)

Punter

Jacob Stepanek (6-3, 205, Fr., Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore)

Holder

Jacob Stepanek

Long Snappers

Ryan McCowan (5-8, 170, Fr., Valley Center HS)

Edwin Vorachack (5-10, 175, Fr., Escondido HS

Anthony Escalante

Kickoff Returners

Lamar Raboteau (5-8, 165, Fr., Mira Mesa HS)

Damon Wigand (5-10, 180, Fr., Mission Hills HS)

Punt Returners

Devin Nilson

Johnny Arzola

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