East County Sports


Santana's Dylan Anderson with the ball against Valhalla last week. / Don De Mars




EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – For now, Friday night’s Grossmont Valley League contest between the Mount Miguel Matadors and Santana Sultans has been officially postponed because of health protocols.

That’s unfortunate for the Sultans, who were set to host their Homecoming.

The teams seem to have come to an agreement that the game is postponed, instead of just being canceled or ruled a no contest, meaning the game could be made up before the end of the championship season.

However, there doesn’t seem to be any other opening to play the game before the postseason begins.

It would take a mess of creativity and compromise to complete a full-circuit for the league.

Because of the possible missed game, Santana could end up playing one less game than their likely championship rivals in the GVL.

Although Santana was a relatively strong favorite in the game against the Matadors (likely between two-to-three touchdowns), a Sultan victory shouldn’t necessarily be a given.

During regular championship seasons, a team would be required to play nine regular-season games to be eligible for the postseason.

The San Diego Section CIF has already suggested that the rule could be waived, primarily if games were called off due to health protocols.

The Sultans are now on pace to play nine games unless a creative solution can be worked out.

Mount Miguel, unfortunately, could be suffering its second possible cancellation of the regular season.

GROSSMONT (2-3) at No. 19 MIRA MESA (1-2) – The Mira Mesa Marauders will be playing their first home game since the passing of their head coach, Chris “Thompy” Thompson, who died from complications of COVID-19 on Sept. 4.

Grossmont rookie head coach Chris Holmes served as an assistant with Thompson for one championship season at Helix just a few years ago.

Grossmont was up against the Cajon Cowboys last week, and that was a tough game up in the IE, as the Foothillers fell, 39-7.

After a 2-0 start, Grossmont has been outscored 111-20 in three consecutive losses, all to quality competition. Grossmont also has losses to Warren and Rancho Bernardo.

Mira Mesa and RB are rated nearly identical in this week’s computer ratings and Grossmont lost to the Broncos on the road, 32-6.

The Foothillers still have that win over El Camino in their back pocket but the team has to perform better on the road.

Grossmont is averaging just 1.5 yards per rush this season, so the Hillers have to find a ground game to go with its lethal passing offense.

Mira Mesa traveled to play Loyola, of LA, last week and lost, 42-20.

It had to be emotional for everyone involved in the program, and this contest will be too, for all.

Alex Zappia passed for 267 yards last week against the Cubs, while Makai Thompson rushed for over 100 yards, and Tajon Evans had two receiving touchdowns, so the Marauders performed incredibly well in honor of their late coach.

Mira Mesa lost to Helix, 28-20, in the season opener.

The Hillers lead the series, 2-0 (2011, 2019). In the 2019 game, Grossmont won an early-season contest, 43-14.

Mira Mesa might carry this on pure emotion… MIRA MESA, 27-21.

CHRISTIAN (4-1) at LA JOLLA (2-3) –
The red-hot Christian Patriots will travel to Scripps Field to face a familiar foe in the La Jolla Vikings.

Christian has battled with the Vikings in the Eastern League for the last few years before La Jolla’s promotion this season to the Western League.

The Vikings really did a number and knocked off the Patriots, 37-7, in the spring campaign.

Despite the disparity in the records, the contest this week is very closely rated.

Christian High was the third-highest-rated East County team in the latest computer ratings following last week’s play.

The Patriots are 23rd in the computer power ratings, only Helix and Granite Hills are rated higher among local teams.

But after a 44-28 come-from-behind victory over the host Central Spartans at Cal Jones Field in El Centro last Friday, the Patriots may be focused on a bit of revenge from a 37-7 loss to La Jolla in the spring.

Christian High junior quarterback Jake Davila went from the emergency room last Friday night to back in the lineup not a week later, completing 21 of 28 passes for 298 yards.

Senior J.C. Gustin scored three touchdowns for the Patriots.

Christian High had two pick-6 touchdown returns against the Spartans.

La Jolla lost to Mater Dei Catholic, ranked fourth in this week’s media poll, giving up 56 points last week. Two weeks ago, the Vikes suffered a big upset loss to Del Norte.

Christian won a memorable 2014 CIF game, 42-38, behind four touchdown passes from David Jeremiah at Valley Stadium.

La Jolla leads the series, 9-3, but it’s just 3-2 this century… CHRISTIAN, 31-27.

Helix takes the long road
Helix High football vs. Out-of-Area opponents, regular season (21st Century). Record: 10-7(.588)

Year  Opponent Result         
2007 Highland-Lone Park UT W 14-7
2011 at Venice W 42-20
2013 Honolulu-Punahou HI (@CC)
Layton-Northridge UT
L 6-10
W 32-0
2014 Ventura-St. Bonaventure (#CC)
Loomis-Del Oro (@Oceanside)
W 24-20
W 34-10
2015 Scottsdale-Chaparral AZ (#CC) L 19-23
2016 Provo-Timpview UT
Concorde Clayton Valley @Mission Viejo)
L 21-28
W 13-0
2017 Herriman-West Herriman UT
Lancaster-Paraclete (@CC)
W 35-0
L 6-23
2018 San Bernardino-Cajon
Arroyo Grande
Scottsdale-Saguaro AZ (@CC)
L 3-43
W 34-3
L 21-29
2019 San Bernardino-Cajon
Herriman-West Herriman UT
Westlake Village-Oaks Christian
W 28-22
L 19-26 OT
W 42-17
2020 contests canceled; pandemic
2021 Anaheim-Servite (@Orange Coast Col.)
Mission Viejo
Sept. 24
Oct. 1

No. 8 HELIX (3-1) at SERVITE (4-0), 7:30 – Servite is the third-ranked team in the Trinity League, which also makes them the third-ranked team currently in the state.

The Friars defeated Mission Viejo, Helix’s opponent next week, 44-7.

Senior quarterback Noah Fifita, of the Friars, has almost 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns. Mason Graham six sacks for Servite.

Helix has been impressive in its three victories, including last week’s win over St. Augustine. The eighth-ranked Highlanders dismissed visiting Saints, 35-14, at Hart Stadium.

Highlander senior Christian Washington is one of the hardest-working elite two-way players in the county.

Helix sophomore quarterback Ryland Jessee appears to be improving rapidly but this will be a tremendous learning experience for all the young Scotties.

The Scotties should be realistic about their goals in a matchup of this caliber… SERVITE, 49-14.

No. 15 GRANITE HILLS (3-2) at WALDEN GROVE (Ariz.) – The Eagles will travel out of the state for a game for the first time in school history, and it will be the team’s first contest out of the section since a 1980 trip to face Pacifica High, of Garden Grove, a game won by Granite Hills, 10-7.

The Eagles, 13th in the computer ratings, should certainly be a favorite to win when they meet Walden Grove, of Sahuarita, Ariz. The Red Wolves are the Eagles’ second lowest-rated opponent on this season’s schedule, with only Valhalla rated lower.

Granite Hills’ junior quarterback Lance Rodgers, who shined last week in a 35-14 win over Otay Ranch, will not accompany the team on the road trip.

The Eagles will have Nico Tomasello, who is returning from an injury, return at quarterback but may also debut newcomer Parlan Sanders, who came in last month from Helix.

Walden Grove has won the last two including 56-0 last week and is averaging almost 400 yards per game of total offense. Receiver Duncan Hoover has accounted for five of the seven TD receptions by the team.

Considering the way veteran Eagle defense performed last week, Granite should head home with a victory against the lower-rated opponent despite the unfamiliar commute… GRANITE HILLS 28-21.

No. 2 CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC (3-2) at STEELE CANYON (1-4) – The Cathedral Catholic Dons are the No. 2-ranked team in the county but have the highest computer power rating.

It’s understandable, top-ranked Carlsbad is undefeated, but the Dons really are unbelievable. They took a 14-0 lead over De La Salle, of Concord, last week before succumbing to the national power.

Cal-Hi Sports ranks Carlsbad 13th in the state and Cathedral, despite the two losses, 20th.

Cathedral already pounded Steele Canyon’s league rival, Helix, 52-0, just two weeks ago.

The Dons lead the all-time series 8-3, which includes a forfeit.

The teams met meeting over 10 straight times (2003-12), and the teams stopped playing until last spring, as the Dons handed Steele their biggest shutout loss in history, 49-0.

Cathedral Catholic is a considerable favorite here… CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC, 42-7.

Leaders of
the Pack
Best starts to a season by West Hills football:
Record   Year
9-0-0 1995
5-0-0 2021, 2012,
4-0-0 2018, 2013,
2006,  2001,

WEST HILLS (5-0, 1-0 GVL) at VALHALLA (1-4, 0-1 GVL) – West Hills looks for its best start since 1995 when it travels to face the Valhalla Norsemen in a Grossmont Valley League game on Friday night.on Friday night.

The Wolf Pack are rated third in the first release of the CIF Division III postseason power ratings, behind very sharp-looking clubs Mater Dei Catholic and Santa Fe Christian.

Valhalla is trying to find some winning form but it could be noted that the Norsemen defeated West Hills in Santee, 24-14, in a Week 2 matchup during the last full regular season in 2019.

West Hills did come back and return the favor in the playoffs, 21-14, on Valhalla’s old turf.

West Hills leads the all-time series, 14-13-1 and the series is tied, 8-8, this century.

Still, the Pack rates as a two-touchdown favorite or more on the road here… WEST HILLS, 31-14.

EL CAJON VALLEY (1-4, 0-1 GVL) at MONTE VISTA (0-4, 0-0 GVL) – The Monte Vista Monarchs will look to get in the win column on Friday night. But the visiting El Cajon Valley Braves will have plenty to say about it.

Despite the poor records of the teams, this could be one of the closer games involving East County clubs this week.

The Braves were worn down by visiting El Capitan last week, 48-7, but still shined early and got off to a great start, displaying their true ability when matched on even terms.

The Monarchs have scored just 12 points this season but El Cajon Valley represents its best chance for victory on this season’s schedule at this time, according to the ratings.

“Monte Vista, as always, will be a big test against a grind-it-out team,” El Cajon Valley head coach Nick Osborn said. “We are somewhat similar in that respect so I expect us to improve on ball security this week and reducing the number of mental errors. There were definitely some glimpses of success on our part (against El Capitan). (Our) team is only going to get better as the season continues on to the back half. I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks look like.”

Monte Vista leads the all-time series, 31-14-1, including 12-2 this century (2007-present).

The Monarchs have won five straight against El Cajon Valley as the Braves haven’t won a league game since 2015 when the opponent was… Monte Vista… EL CAJON VALLEY, 15-13.

HOOVER (1-3) at MOUNTAIN EMPIRE (1-3) – The first-ever meeting between these teams will be on Homecoming at Mountain Empire.

The Mountain Empire RedHawks can gain a win here over Hoover but things have been tough for the RedHawks with a mountain of injuries.

Several of the team’s best players, including rising quarterback Corey Vann, are currently out for the RedHawks.

That has made winning difficult, as Mountain Empire firmly thought it was set up for success this season.

This has been tougher, however, but still, MEHS should handle the Cardinals in what could be a low, one-score game, in which, like many RedHawk games, anything can happen.

The computers rate Mountain Empire a touchdown, or more, better than Hoover here but the hardware doesn’t account for the injury bug.

Hoover did score a big upset in a season-opening 30-15 win over El Cajon Valley. The Cards lost last week, however, at Foothills Christian, 18-8.

A more significant comparison, however, might be Hooryde’s 44-21 loss to RedHawk rival Holtville on Sept. 2.

Mountain Empire will have to start winning soon in order to make a run at a Division V playoff berth. The same can be said for the Cards… MOUNTAIN EMPIRE, 14-8.


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