East County Sports

RedHawks come west, fall to Lancers




EastCountySports.com staff report


CHULA VISTA – The Hilltop Lancers defeated the visiting Mountain Empire RedHawks, 49-21, in a non-league game on Friday night.


In the second quarter, Mountain Empire’s Khaliel Whitehead threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Nick Rose, drawing the RedHawks to within 28-13.


Mountain Empire’s Jericho Brennan scored on a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter. He slipped through the line along the left and got into the open field and into the end zone.


“We left two touchdowns on the field,” Mountain Empire assistant coach Ricky Prince said. “But we played really well in the first half. They are a big, solid, physical team.


“Our boys hung in there and played tough the whole game, I was really proud of them.”


Junior Marcus Smith had a great catch for Mountain Empire. Brennan finished with 58 yards.


“They were bringing two or three linebackers blitzing every time,” Prince said. “As the game wore on, Jericho got stronger.”


Hilltop (5-1) scored first and eventually took a 14-7 lead. Mountain Empire, which tied the game early at 7-all with a 1-yard touchdown run, passed for 98 total yards.


“We play these tough games so we can be battle-tested,” Prince said. “They ran the ball really well up the middle on us but our outside linebackers did the job.’


Mountain Empire’s defense was led by sophomore cornerback Rodgiro Gonzales and junior outside linebacker Aiden Hamada.


Mountain Empire (1-5) returns home to face O’Farrell Charter next Friday.


“O’Farrell doesn’t do a whole lot of passing, ” Prince said. “Just make the tackles and we’ll be fine.”

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