East County Sports

Brave wins now may mean Nov. success

El Cajon Valley's Clarence Johnson lines up on defense Friday. / photo by Dave Dickens




By Dave Dickens



EL CAJON-(8-30-2019) – A majority of the county has all but forgotten about the El Cajon Valley Braves team.

This coach Nick Osborn-led squad will not be forgotten. They are 2-0.

As summer camps concluded, the media conglomerates had Monte Vista as the leading favorites to win the Grossmont Valley League title for a second year straight.

The El Cajon Valley Braves will plead their case, as well.

El Cajon Valley did just that on Friday night as they hosted their non-league contest versus the Hoover Cardinals.

Hoover came into the contest at 0-1.

As kickoff approached even Principal Kim Patterson was present and was excited about the direction the Braves were headed this year.

The stands on the home side continued to fill as the visitors, well, didn’t seem to have very many more than 20 patrons.

El Cajon Valley won the coin toss and elected to receive.

The Braves, in particular, were playing serious defense, but there was a lot of punting from both squads.

With 1:44 left in the first quarter, the Cardinals put together their first scoring drive as DA’VONTE WARD bulldozed himself into the end zone for six, however, the extra point sailed wide right, leaving the score 6-0 Hoover.

After a fumble recovery from MARIO JACOBS with 2:20 left in the second quarter, the Braves were in business.

With 2:05 left in the 2 nd quarter, junior DAMARIUS HYDE took it to the house for a 70-yard score. The Braves’ point-after also missed, leaving the score tied, 6-6.

Hoover would score yet again after tremendous defensive efforts on behalf of the Braves. Hoover would lead, 13-6, as the point-after was successful with 6:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Upon the Braves next possession, with 5:46 left in the third, Hyde would leave defenders in his rearview for a 61 yard score. The point-after was good, leaving the score at 13-13.

The Braves were in business after a beautiful pass to CLARENCE JOHNSON from JOE MALONE.

With the amount of noise at Priest Field, it was as if they had won the league title, but it was a heck of a battle.

The Braves led 20-13, as the extra-point was successful, which ended the third quarter.

Unfortunately, with 5:03 left in the fourth quarter, as Malone was running down the Brave sideline, a horse-collar tackle was made by the Cardinals. This caused sidelines to start clearing, however, the referees, coaches, and players were able to diffuse the situation quickly and professionally. The personal fouls offset all penalties assessed.

With under three minutes to go, the Braves missed a field goal to put the game away, which gave Hoover new life.

To add to the already crazy evening, Hoover got the ball back and with under 2:00 to play, as the Cardinals’ QB completed a 70-yard pass.

Hoover then scored on a scamper into the end zone with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter.

The Braves stalled the attempted two-point conversion by the visiting Cardinals.

There was still time, the Cardinals lined up for the onside kick, but the Braves recovered it and would take a knee to preserve a wacky 20-19 victory.

“I told my team after the game what I admire most is that they continue to fight, no matter where the ball is on the field, which differs from last years team,” said Osborn.“They really take pride in their defense, and really on both sides of the ball.”

“Joe Malone and Mario Jacobs were making plays on defense in the backfield.” Said Osborn.

Up next is a rematch with the Islanders from Coronado coming to El Cajon this Friday.

The El Cajon Valley Braves, as a team, are ready to show Coronado they are a new and undefeated team.

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