East County Sports

Trisby gets cornered into playing defense

Kenneth Watson scores for Steele Canyon on Friday. / photo by Andy Fierro




By Ramon Scott



SPRING VALLEY – Steele Canyon senior CAZZ TRISBY may not have realized what he agreed to after hearing from Cougar head coach SCOTT LONGERBONE early in the week before the team’s Senior Night game against visiting Grossmont High on Friday.

Trisby, who hails from a football family, was quick to commit to an emergency assignment at cornerback against the pass-happy Hillers.

Steele Canyon and Grossmont during a play on Friday night. / photo by Andy Fierro

“I texted him on Sunday and we threw him out there on Tuesday,” Longerbone said. “We kept a lot of cover two and man, nothing too complicated. I was genuinely nervous.”

Trisby had a pair of pass breakups and ended up matched up against Grossmont’s leader in receptions.

“Cazz played absolutely lights out,” Longerbone said. “I said, ‘I know you haven’t played defense since middle school,’ and he said, ‘yeah, no problem, I got you, coach,’ what a great game for the young man. It was literally awesome to watch.

“We were going to switch the coverage for him, but after the first series, I knew he was going to be okay.”

The Foothillers, fighting hard through a rash of injuries the entire season, came to play, taking a first-quarter lead then staying within a pair of scores for the most part, but Steele Canyon prevailed in 49-38 Grossmont Hills League victory.

The win keeps the Cougars chances alive for a three-way championship for the Hills banner, providing they upset fourth-ranked Helix next Friday in La Mesa.

Steele Canyon rushed for 352 yards as senior Kenneth Watson scored three touchdowns and senior quarterback Nathan Barnett added a pair of scores.

Steele Canyon (7-2, 3-1 GHL) trailed early when Grossmont senior Conner Sanchez had the Hillers’ first pick on the game on opening drive, which set up a field goal by junior Axel Gonzalez from 41 yards out.

Grossmont (2-7, 1-3 GHL) led 10-7 late in the first quarter on a touchdown pass from Jaime Odom to Brody Schicker.

Steele Canyon makes a stop against Grossmont on Friday night. / photo by Andy Fierro

The short drive was set up by an interception from former Cougar Danny Yanez.

However, Steele Canyon junior Chris Carter displayed explosive end-to-end speed once again for the Cougars, turning in a 98-yard kickoff return to regain the lead. 

Carter has made explosive plays in each of the last several weeks.

Watson’s first score of the game came with 1:31 to go before halftime, as the Cougars led 21-10.

Grossmont junior quarterback Jaime Odom connected with senior Thomas Mangum on a 40-yard play for a score just 1:25 into the second half.

But sophomore Wesley Neely III returned the kickoff 39 yards to midfield, then added a 40-yard run down to the 1, where Barnett snuck in for his second score, keeping the Steele lead at 11 points.

Grossmont senior Alex Golojuch recorded an interception – Grossmont’s third of the night – then Odom completed a pass to Schicker inside the red zone.

Odom displayed speed a toughness racing around the right side and down the line for a score with under a minute to play in the third quarter as the Hillers continued to hang around.

But Watson turned in a series of runs, which resulted in his 3-yard score just a couple of plays into the fourth quarter.

Neely added a 41-yard touchdown sprint with 9:21 to go, making it 42-24, but Odom scored on a 3-yard run with 7:04 to play, drawing Grossmont to within 42-30 following a failed two-point conversion attempt.

Watson would add his third score later in the fourth and Grossmont would tack on a late touchdown by Damari Crawford from a yard out.

BRODY SCHICKER scores a touchdown for Grossmont. / photo by Andy Fierro

Neely had 142 yards on the ground while Watson finished with 137.

Seniors Spencer O’Gorman and Ian Miller combined on a fourth-quarter sack for Steele.

Odom passed for over 300 yards and had over 400 yards of total offense.

Senior James Bond had a sack for Grossmont.

The game “featured” 25 penalties for over 175 yards.

“It got to be pretty ridiculous,” Longerbone said.

The Cougars chances for the title were almost an afterthought by many as the game wound down after post-game media continued to tout the other Grossmont Hills League contest at the league championship game.

“The big thing for us tonight was to try and get in position for a home game in the playoffs,” said the Cougar coach, although it appeared as if Steele was still short of that goal after Friday’s results.

For Longerbone, the game against the Highlanders is another opportunity against the school that got him his start on the local coaching scene.

“I coached there for three years under Jim Arnaiz,” said the coach. “I was there in the 90s and everyone wanted to beat us then. I’ve got a lot of friends over there, but we are looking at it as a playoff game.

“I think they take a lot of pride in those championship banners and we haven’t had one since ’05, so it would be nice to hang a banner up there.”

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