East County Sports

Hawks smash Eagles again, win this time

Mountain Empire's Cody Whitehead carries on Friday night. / Rustic Memories

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE 51, MARANATHA CHRISTIAN 0

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

4-S RANCH — Just five months ago, the Mountain Empire RedHawks pretty much dominated their spring season game with the Maranatha Christian Eagles only to walk off their home field in defeat after the defense completed a shutout, but a pair of defensive scores by the Eagles beat them.

Three ‘Hawk touchdowns were called back and MEHS could manage just one TD on the afternoon despite controlling nearly all facets of the game, particularly time, tempo, and field position.

On Friday night at the Eagles’ home field, Mountain Empire once again proved the far better club but this time got a far-more impressive result by taking a 51-0 victory back home.

Senior Larry Clark had 136 yards of total offense and scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving), while sophomore Corey Vann passed for three scores as the RedHawks proved they could be ready for a dramatic reversal in trajectory after snapping a nine-game losing streak, which included an 0-6 mark in the spring.

“We couldn’t let the refs be a factor this time,” Clark said. “The whole team went into the game wanting to destroy (the Eagles).”

Senior Cody Whitehead had two rushing touchdowns, as well, finishing the night with a team-high 132 yards rushing.

All three of Vann’s TD passes came from throws to the flat. Two were to Mannix Gonzalez and the other to Clark from 20 yards.

Vann was a modest 5-for-9 for 116 yards. MEHS stopped throwing by the second quarter.

“It was a great start and overall great performance,” Vann said. “It was a mixture of both my guys were open on flats and beating their guys when there was man coverage. It felt really great to come out and perform like that. And we came out guns blazing using our last spring season as motivation this season.”

Gonzalez caught six passes for 66 yards total.

“We played a great game compared to what our previous season showed,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve been working really hard this offseason getting in shape and it’s great to have people around us to support us and to see who we really are.”

Defensively, the RedHawks read everything to perfection.

Maranatha Christian finished with minus-48 yards rushing. Combined with just 34 yards of passing offense, the RedHawks held the Eagles to negative yardage.

Senior Chaz Ennis had a pair of sacks for the RedHawks.

Clark had a monster night defensively with 16 solo tackles.

Seniors Darrel Benton and Lukas Spencer both had sacks to add to the negative yardage.

Nakai Lindholm added an interception for MEHS.

Caitlyn Noland and Melina Delgado both kicked successful PATs, as well.

“I think one of the stories of the night was the play of our O and D lines,” Mountain Empire assistant coach Ricky Prince said. “Our line did A great job of beating them to the punch all night. Outside and inside runs were both working all night. Our defense of line did a great job and our outside backers did a fantastic job of containing and not letting them outside all night. We looked aggressive and swarmed to the ball as a unit.”

The 51-point shutout in the best by the RedHawks since downing host Mabel O’Farrell Charter in 2019 — the Falcons’ debut season. It is also the school’s largest shutout win since blanking Borrego Springs, 64-0, in 1980. They also own a 63-0 triumph over Boys Republic High of Chino Hills (the Ramsno longer play football) in 1970.

Two seasns earlier (1968), MEHS took down San Pasqual Valley, 54-0. The Warriors, a former member of the CIF-San Diego Section, is based in Winterhaven, Calif. (across the Colorado River from Yuma, Ariz.), but now participates in the Arizona Interscholastic Association

Meanwhile, the shutout loss was the second-largest in Maranatha Christian history, nearly eclipsing the mark of a 52-0 road loss at Capistrano Valley Christian in 2014.

SUMMARY
REDHAWKS 51, EAGLES 0

Mountain Empire (1-0).,,,.. 14 14 10 13 -- 51
Maranatha Christian (0-1)..  0  0  0  0 --  0

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