East County Sports





By Ramon Scott



LA MESA – The Helix Highlanders are coming off a stunning 45-27 victory over nationally-ranked Cathedral Catholic.

The win promoted the Scotties to the top spot in the local media poll just a couple of points ahead of now No. 2-ranked St. Augustine.

Still, the official computer ratings have Helix behind both clubs in the chase for the four coveted Open Division playoff spots.

The 2-1 Highlanders will have to prove themselves again tonight when they face the 4-0 Saints at Mesa College at 7:30.

The Saints actually received 16 of the 31 first-place votes by the panel, while Helix got 14. The Dons, who rank ahead of both teams in those computer rankings and were ranked ninth in the country before last Friday’s upset, still got one vote.

St. Augustine has earned its position despite playing a softer schedule than both Helix and Cathedral Catholic. Still, the team is arguably as deep in top-level talent as both of their rivals in this “Gauntlet Series.”

The Scotties took a big step on offense last week with the breakout performance of senior quarterback Kamryn Brown.

Brown has completed 58 percent of his passes this season for 370 yards and four touchdowns.

Helix senior running back Elelyon Noa has over 600 yards of total offense yards this season.

Sophomore Christian Washington also had a big debut for the Highlanders with a touchdown reception and a 93-yard kickoff return.

The Saints two quarterbacks have passed for 774 yards with 10 touchdowns so far this season while running back Byron Cardwell has rushed for 434 yards and nine touchdowns.

St. Augustine is allowing an average of just three points-per-game so far this season.

These teams met twice last season with Helix winning at home 35-14 but the Saints won the game that mattered more, winning the San Diego CIF Division I championship game over the Scotties, 21-20, in overtime.

The loss was a point of emphasis for Helix head coach Robbie Owens in trying to keep his team focused coming off a monumental regular-season victory, even for such a prestigious program.

The ratings would suggest a letdown for the Scotties in an expected close matchup on the road but the win over the Dons opened everyone’s eyes… HELIX, 29-28.

All the other games this week are at 7 p.m.

No. 6 STEELE CANYON (3-0) at OTAY RANCH (2-2) – Cougar junior back Wes Neely had 220 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns and Steele Canyon registered another shutout in a 28-0 win over Bonita Vista last Friday.

Steele Canyon’s Villamu-Ah-You Morse had two tackles for loss, while teammate Colton Guerrero had a team-high five tackles.

Otay Ranch, led by quarterback Paco Puente’s 464 yards this season, spent a week in the top ten a couple of weeks ago but the Cougars’ defense is on a level that few local offenses can truly conquer

The Cougars won last year, 25-7, as Chance Johnson had a 53-yard touchdown reception and an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown, as Neely missed the contest… STEELE CANYON, 22-13.

VALLEY VIEW (1-3) at No. 10  GROSSMONT (3-0) – Foothiller junior Robert Tucker had a breakout performance with six touchdowns, as he had 275 yards on the ground and 116 yards receiving as Grossmont won over Olympian, 52-28 after trailing 14-10 at halftime, giving head coach Tom Karlo his 100th career win.

Grossmont senior quarterback Jaime Odom threw for 277 yards and rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown as the Foothillers had 658 total yards. Odom eclipsed 5,000 career passing yards during the game.

Chris Alba had a Foothiller-record 21 tackles, including three for loss in the win.

Grossmont is in the midst of a record-breaking offensive season and should pile up more numbers against the visitors from Moreno Valley… GROSSMONT, 49-21.

SANTANA (4-0) at MONTGOMERY (4-0) – One of the biggest games in the county this week matches the top two teams in the Division IV power rankings.

Nathan Temple passed for 284 yards and four touchdowns last Friday as Santana shutout Sweetwater, 48-0. Randy Smith caught a pair of touchdowns for the Sultans in the win.

The Aztecs, who equaled their best start in 36 years, are coming off an upset of Kearny and average eight yards per rush, as well as, two sacks per game on defense.

Montgomery quarterback Andrew Dixie has produced 765 yards of total offense this season. Running back Jaheem Williams had 187 yards and two touchdowns rushing, as well as, a punt return for a score last week. Sophomore Christian Venegas leads the team with five rushing touchdowns and also has 28 tackles on defense.

Santana dominated in a couple of victories over the Aztecs in 2015-16… SANTANA, 28-26.

VALHALLA (2-1) at MOUNT MIGUEL (1-2) – Valhalla ran into a fellow upstart last Friday in the Hilltop Lancers, which halted the Norsemen, 27-13, handing them their first loss.

Kegan Baker rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown for Valhalla. He has nearly 600 yards this season and nine touchdowns.

Valhalla lost to the Matadors at home last season, 25-13, despite 154 passing yards from quarterback Luke Pillsbury.

The Matadors are coming off a 35-20 road loss at Santa Fe Christian after falling behind 28-0 after three quarters.

The combination of junior quarterback J.D. Laverdiere and senior receiver Jahiem Allen-Pompey hooked up three times in a fourth-quarter frenzy but never threatened.

Laverdiere had 358 yards through the air and surpassed 4,000 career passing yards. Allen-Pompey had 10 receptions for 235 yards.

In last season’s win over the Norsemen, Laverdiere passed for 368 yards.

Mount Miguel limited Valhalla early behind current seniors Ulices Monje and Quincy Snipes Jr.

This will be the third-straight road game for the Norsemen, which is difficult for any team at any level to overcome… VALHALLA, 31-30.

CENTRAL (3-1) vs. CHRISTIAN (2-2) (at Valley Stadium) – The Christian High Patriots distanced themselves from Monte Vista with an impressive 46-6 road win over the Monarchs last Friday.

Senior running back Nate Stine rushed for four touchdowns and junior quarterback Gabe Krug had 156 yards passing, along with a 65-yard touchdown run, for Christian.

Christian Salacup had a pair of touchdowns last week for the Pats, which lost receiver Carson Stroman to a broken clavicle.

The Central Spartans are coming off a loss – which is rare for them – to Gila Ridge, of Yuma.

Senior quarterback Deniro Osuna has passed for 379 yards and six touchdowns this season for Central, which also averages over six yards-per-rush. Senior Michael Sullivan is the main receiving threat.

Central has 11 sacks this season, including three by senior Christian Morse.

The Spartans advanced to the Division III title game last season, losing to the Morse Tigers, the team which eliminated the Patriots in the semifinals a week earlier… CHRISTIAN, 28-27.

VINCENT MEMORIAL (4-0) at EL CAJON VALLEY (3-1) – The Braves’ three-game winning streak was halted by Clairemont last Friday, as El Cajon Valley took a scoreless game into the fourth quarter before falling, 13-7, to the host Chieftains.

Senior Joe Malone had a 17-yard keeper for the only El Cajon Valley score, which tied the game. Senior Mario Jacobs, the team’s leading tackler on defense, saw the majority of snaps at quarterback. Malone has two sacks on defense.

Senior Damarius Hyde is averaging over 100 yards-per-game on the ground and has five touchdowns.

El Cajon Valley sophomore Daniel Jacobs has two of the team’s four picks this season.

Now, the resurgent Braves get a shot at home against the top-rated team in Division V with very little to lose against the favored Scots at Priest Field.

Vincent Memorial senior quarterback Hernan Olivas has over 925 yards passing to-date but the team also has rushed for over 700 yards. Junior Alejandro Cervantes had 15 catches and five touchdowns this season.

A tough opponent on Homecoming but surely an entertaining game is on tap… VINCENT MEMORIAL, 20-13.

MONTE VISTA (1-3) at IMPERIAL (1-3) – The Monarchs are looking to bounce back off the loss to the Pats but will have their work cut out for them on a trip to face the Tigers.

Isaiah Gardner scored a touchdown for Monte Vista last week but the Monarchs will be underdogs in the IV.

Imperial is coming off back-to-back 37-34 losses to Gila Ridge, and last week, at Valley Center. The Tigers have passes for nearly 900 yards this season and rushed for over 500 yards.

Monte Vista also gets contributions running the ball from Niamiah Alston and Jovani Olivas.

Junior Daysen Mikha checked in at quarterback last week and threw a completion to senior Julian Robledo.

Monte Vista coach Ron Hamamoto currently sits on 228 wins. His next win will move him into a tie for fourth on the section’s all-time victory list… IMPERIAL, 28-21.

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE (1-3) at CORONADO (2-2) – RedHawk Khaliel Whitehead had a 50-yard interception return for a pick-six and threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to help his team to a 16-7 lead over Mission Bay last week.

However, the Bucs turned the game around completely in the third quarter to take a 41-16 lead just 12 minutes later.

Mountain Empire travels to Coronado Island on Friday night.

The Islanders are coming off a 42-41 double-overtime home win over Mar Vista… CORONADO, 33-25.

FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN (4-0) at BORREGO SPRINGS (2-1) – The Knights outlasted the visiting Avalon Lancers, of Catalina Island, 40-36, at Junior Seau Field on Friday night.

Knights quarterbacks Tony Mroz and Kevin Helfers combined for 436 yards of total offense. Mroz passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, while Helfers rushed for two scores. Junior Jason Oliveira had a 95-yard touchdown on a pass by Mroz.

Tanner Corey had an interception for the Knights, who are the top-rated 8-man squad in the section. FCHS has held over Borrego in the series of late, but the Rams are the fifth-rated 8-man outfit.



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