East County Sports

GHL: Conference’s best get clocked

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

 

ECS staff report

EL CAJON —- The Grossmont Foothillers finally scored late in the third quarter on Friday (Sept. 10) — and that was the best any of the four Grossmont Hills League schools could do on a dreary, forgetful evening of high school football for the strongly-rated league.

Grossmont, along with Helix, Steele Canyon, and Granite Hills, were trailing at halftime by a composite count of 112-0. By the time the “contests” came to merciful conclusions, the final count was 135-6, as the Foothillers were the lone GHL squad to avoid a blanking among the lopsided losses.

Did someone say the GHL had three teams in the CIF-San Diego Section rankings just two weeks ago? Not any more.

 

Rancho Bernardo 36, Grossmont 6

RANCHO BERNARDO —- Even when Grossmont finally tallied a touchdown (on a 1-yard run by Brennan Sanders late in the third quarter), the way things were going on this night, you know they had to miss the point-after conversion.

Meanwhile, the Rancho Bernardo Broncos piled up 26 first-quarter points to put this one into the “W” column early; at least Grossmont won the coin flip prior to the opening kickoff.

Senior Frankie Franchina ran the ball for more than half of the Broncos’ plays on the opening drive, capping the march with a 4-yard touchdown gallop.

An interception by RB linebacker Spencer Layne set up a 76-yard scoring drive. Most of the ensuing yardage came on a 73-yard pass, setting up a 1-yard QB sneak for a 12-0 lead.

The Grossmont mistakes continued with a punt block, setting up a 12-yard TD run and an 18-0 cushion (yet another missed PAT).

And when the Hillers fumbled the ball away at their own 17, Franchina needed just one play for his second score. The 2-point PAT made it 26-0 with 0:48 remaining in the period.

“RB was stout,” Grossmont head coach Chris Holmes said. “We had to stop their run and we needed to get ours going. We did neither of those things. We have a lot of work ahead of us to right the ship.”

In the second quarter, “Frankie Franchise” tacked on a 7-yard score for his third touchdown and a 32-0 margin.

Senior quarterback Camden Cowgill rushed for a pair of touchdowns for RB, as well.

Both sides are 2-2 overall.

The Foothillers scheduled another challenge next Friday night when the (San Bernardino) Cajon Cowboys visit the East County.

“No time to waste because we have another extremely tough game next week,” Holmes said.

 

Cathedral Catholic 52, Helix 0

CARMEL HIGHLANDS —-The Dons handed the Highlanders their biggest loss in school history at Manchester Stadium.

The previous mark came in the Scotties’ third season in 1953, in a 50-0 whitewash by a (then) powerhouse Cardinals program at Hoover High.

It was also the first Helix has been blanked since the season opener to Oceanside, 27-0, back in 2006, snapping a streak of 187 games.

Cathedral Catholic entered the week averaging 45 points over three outings.

Helix finished with just over 200 yards of total offense, including 118 yards passing by sophomore quarterback Ryland Jessee. Three-star transfer Elijah Ortiz saw his first action at quarterback, as well, for the Highlanders.

Helix senior Christian Washington compiled 70 yards of total offense, which included three receptions.

Xavier Van had a pair of catches, good for 39 yards, for the Highlanders. Nine receivers caught balls from the two quarterbacks, but three passes were intercepted by the Dons.

Helix junior Puka Noa forced and recovered a fumble for the Scotties.

Cathedral Catholic (3-1) led at the break 42-0. Helix, which saw last week’s contest at Mater Dei Catholic called off due to COVID-19 protocols at MDC, fell to 2-1 overall.

The Highlanders complete their Gauntlet Series matchups next Friday night when they host Saints at Hart Stadium.

St. Augustine 27, Steele Canyon 0

KEARNY MESA —- Trailing at halftime 21-0 is one thing. But when the second half starts by allowing an embarrassing easy touchdown, the Steele Canyon Cougars really knew it would a long night at Mesa College’s Merrill Douglas Stadium.

The only thing St. Augustine (1-3) did wrong all night was miss the conversion in its fourth touchdown in the third quarter.

Steele Canyon quarterback Matthew Barton, a sophomore, threw for 151 yards, while junior running back Major Givens finished with 68 yards on the ground for the Cougars.

Nathaniel Gillis had six receptions for 69 yards, including a 49-yard reception. Junior Quentin Stevens had his finest game for SC with five catches for 40 yards.

Temo Rangel paced the Cougar defense with seven tackles, including three for loss.

For Steele Canyon, it was the school’s first shutout loss in non-league play — not counting the COVID-19 delayed Spring 2021 season (the Cougs lost to Cathedral, 49-0) — since Monte Vista turned the trick in 2015, 40-0.

Both the Cougars and Saints are 1-3 overall, as St. Augustine snapped a 5-game losing streak, the school’s longest skid this century; they last dropped five straight in 1999.

Steele Canyon will get a chance to make some noise next week but would have to come up big against the third-ranked Lincoln Hornets.

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