East County Sports

Wolf Pack ready for Valley challenge




EastCountySports staff report


SANTEE – West Hills has the winning part down. Now all the Wolf Pack have to is work on the celebration part.

The Wolf Pack defeated the El Cajon Valley Braves on Homecoming, 27-0, in the Grossmont Valley League opener for both teams on Friday night.

Senior Cole Klingerman caught a pair of touchdown passes as the Wolf Pack improved to 4-2.

Senior running back Jake Maheu added a rushing touchdown for West Hills, which has now won three-in-a-row.

“Every time we’ve played the Braves they’ve played hard for four quarters,” West Hills head coach Casey Ash said. “They’ve always impressed me with their effort. I think Coach (Nick) Osborn and his staff are doing a phenomenal job over there.”

West Hills’ defense set up the offense in a good position against the Braves.

Josh Alagata blocked a punt to set up the first touchdown for the Wolf Pack, and Ryan Nicholas had an interception to set up the second score.

“The defense played well in throughout,” Ash said.

Hernandez hit Klingerman for a 43-yard score for the Pack’s first touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Braden Oberg also threw a touchdown pass to Klingerman, although El Cajon Valley blocked the point-after try.

Hernandez’s second touchdown pass was to Dylan Snyder, which increased the lead to 20-0.

The only problem West Hills seemed to have was that after scoring, a couple of the touchdown makers were knocked to the ground by their teammates trying to celebrate.

El Cajon Valley (3-3) converted a fourth down with a positive-yardage play out of punt formation.

“Joe (Malone) had some big plays and runs,” Osborn said of his Braves club. “Jayden Barnett stepped up for us carrying the ball and making some key stops on defense.”

The Braves trailed just 13-0 at halftime.

“At this point, we have everything in our playbook that we need to win a game,” Osborn said. “The only adjustments we need to make is on how our guys prepare themselves each week.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities throughout this game and, unfortunately, the score doesn’t show how close a game it really was.”

West Hills all of a sudden is in preparation for the game of its season against “former” cross-town rival Santana.

The Wolf Pack has somewhat proclaimed over the last few years that El Capitan as a more comparable, maybe even more competitive, rival of late.

But that has changed this season with Santana’s surge to the top of the county’s Division IV rankings and undefeated record.

West Hills has held over their adversary for the Santee Mayor’s Cup for seven straight years but the Sultans are at home this time around and appear to have the stronger team at this time. Plenty of motivation for a team that is still looking for respect.

El Cajon Valley will travel to face undefeated Castle Park (6-0).

“We’ve got a lot of humbling to do outside and going into this next week,” Osborn said. “I do like how our guys responded afterward by taking ownership of the loss and I believe it brings us closer together. I expect a more complete game next week but first, it starts with a more complete week of preparation.”

Junior Damarius Hyde led El Cajon Valley with 49 yards rushing. Teammate Clarence Johnson caught a couple of passes for 22 yards.

“I was happy with how our O-line played but what killed us was mistakes and execution,” Osborn said.

Barnett led the ECV defense with seven tackles.

“West Hills played a good game and lots of respect for Coach Ash and his squad,” Osborn said. “The game should’ve ended up a lot closer than it ended up being. Our guys have to focus on one game at a time.”

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