East County Sports

Cougars’ defense never rests




EastCountySports.com staff report


CHULA VISTA – Two years ago, Steele Canyon earned its first San Diego Section title at Southwestern College, followed two weeks later with its first state championship, also at Southwestern College.

On Friday night, the Cougars returned to the Chula Vista community college and pitched an impressive shutout in deposing Bonita Vista, 28-0, on a balmy evening in the South Bay.

No. 6-ranked Steele Canyon improved to 3-0 and has allowed only 20 points this season.

Wesley Neely III rushed for 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added 51 receiving yards.

“We came with passing and saw that was kind of off, so we went with the run and that starting working,” Neely said.

“Defense shut everybody down.”

The passing wasn’t exactly off.  In his first season as a varsity quarterback, Jeremy Mendez-Gal completed 8-of-16 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

In fact, he opened the scoring by rolling to his left and finding a wide-open Antoine Walker at the 33-yard line for a 65-yard touchdown and a 7-0 first-quarter lead.

In the second quarter, Neely made it 14-0 with a shifty, nifty run over right tackle in which he cut back untouched for the 19-yard score.

Junior Akintunde followed that with a 25-yard touchdown scamper around the right end.

Neely’s second score came on another cutback run, this one from 46 yards. Neely caught three passes for his 51 receiving yards.

The Cougars opened the season with a defensive gem against No. 9-ranked Eastlake for a 17-6 win, prompting coach Scott Longerbone to state: “Our defense is pretty stout.”

A week later, Steele Canyon limited Madison’s vaunted offense and came away with a 19-14 win over the No. 8-ranked Warhawks.

Against Bonita Vista, Cameron Ewert had an impressive sack and several big hits to help limit the Barons to 142 total yards. Colton Guerrero had seven tackles, including one for a loss. Villamu-Ah-You “Rugby” Morse added five tackles, including two for losses, and Chance Johnson also played superbly.

Johnson chased down a ball carrier inside the 5 to keep the Barons out of the end zone on an 81-yard pass completion.

Two years ago, Steele Canyon reeled off eight straights wins, including a state-record six playoff wins, to capture the state Division 3-A title with a 44-42 win over Half Moon Bay at Southwestern College.

Two weeks prior to that, the Cougars had defeated Ramona, 33-29, in the section Division II title game at Southwestern.

Next week, Steele Canyon returns to the South Bay for a game at Otay Ranch. The Mustangs (2-2) had an impressive 28-24 win over San Marcos in Week 1, but fell 62-0 to No. 2 St. Augustine on Friday.


Steele Canyon 7 14 7 0 – 28

Bonita Vista  0  0 0 0 – 0

SC – Antoine Walker 65 pass from Jeremy Mendez-Gal (David Martinez kick)

SC – Wesley Neely 19 run (David Martinez kick)

SC – Junior Akintunde 25 run (David Martinez kick)

SC – Wesley Neely 46 run (David Martinez kick)


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