East County Sports

Cougars hand Eagles sack of reality




EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The Steele Canyon Cougars put the heat on Granite Hills with five sacks, including three by senior VILIAMU-AH-YOU MORSE, and the visitors separated themselves from the Eagles in a 28-13 Grossmont Hills League-opening win at Valley Stadium Friday night.

The Cougars also got a touchdown on offense and a sack on defense from senior JUNIOR AKINTUNDE, who turned out to be a fantasy sleeper on the local prep football recap show.

A game that was expected to possibly be a defensive test had 28 points scored in the first quarter, 21 of which were scored by Steele.

Explosive senior receiver CHRIS CARTER opened the scoring with a 70-yard touchdown reception with 8:36 left in the first quarter.

However, the Eagles countered with a 42-yard catch-and-run by sophomore ZACH BURTON, who burned the Cougars after he wasn’t covered. This came with 5:43 left in the first quarter.

“Since they run a lot of man coverage we thought that would be a good play,” Burton said. “We dialed it up at the right time and it was wide-open.”

Steele Canyon junior back WESLEY NEELY III had a touchdown in the opening seconds of the second quarter.

Then the defenses finally settled in for the next two quarters.

Senior CHANCE JOHNSON ended up leading the Cougars with eight tackles for the game from his secondary spot.

Junior linebacker COLTON GUERRERO had seven tackles, including a sack, and an interception.

The Eagles’ defense had its moments, as well, including JEREMIAH SATBERRY’s two sacks, one of which the senior said was “Merry Christmas.”

“I’m just picking up reads more often,” Satberry said. “I’m just seeing things I am supposed to see.”

The Eagles recovered a pair of fumbles, including one with 2:50 left in the third quarter.

“We just executed,” Satberry said. “We were in the right place at the right time. We just tried to get the ball out of their hands.”

The Eagles were still in the game late, getting a touchdown connection from junior quarterback JUSTUS MCCOMB to senior receiver CARLOS DELEON. A penalty led to a missed PAT, leaving Steele Canyon with a 21-13 lead. There was still 7:39 left to play.

“We just knew we needed to stop Justus,” Steele Canyon head coach SCOTT LONGERBONE said. “He kills you by getting the tough first downs on second- or third-and-5 or less.”

Both teams had possessions late, and the Cougars turned the ball over to the Eagles, giving the hosts an unexpected chance.

“Those last few minutes were a roller coaster,” Burton said. “Our defense did their job. Satberry with his sacks and (linebacker) ZO CUERO filling up the holes.”

But following a holding penalty, Granite Hills fumbled on a short pass and Steele Canyon senior JAMES BRADLE picked up the ball and ran it to the end zone for a 20-yard score.

“We thought we were fast enough to stop their run game because we could keep extra guys in the box since our secondary could handle the receivers,” Longerbone said. “We focused all week on tackling and no yards-after-catch.

Steele Canyon senior quarterback JEREMY MENDEZ-GAL passed for 175 yards on 7-of-12 attempts.

Senior CAM EWERT had three receptions for 35 yards. He also had six tackles on defense.

“MITCH BURTON, our offensive coordinator, called a great game,” Longerbone said “And kudos to (Granite Hills defensive coordinator) VINNIE SAN FILIPO. He made great adjustments in the second half.

“It was a typical great game between our two programs.”

Sophomore kicker DAVID MARTINEZ made all four of his point-after tries for Steele Canyon.

Steele Canyon (6-0, 1-0) will host El Capitan (0-6, 0-1) next Friday in a Grossmont Hills League game.

Granite Hills (4-2, 0-1) will face Grossmont (5-1, 1-0) next week at Valley Stadium in another GHL matchup.

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