East County Sports

Pack equal record ninth straight win




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EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The West Hills Wolf Pack can always hang its hat on the defensive side of the football as long as head coach Casey Ash is around.

With defensive coordinator Quentin London, the Wolf Pack have allowed just 59 points in the seven victories this season (8.4 points per game).

West Hills’ backbone of a defense has now helped the team equal the longest winning streak in school history – nine games – following the Wolf Pack’s decisive 49-14 Grossmont Valley League victory over host El Cajon Valley on Friday night.

Braden Oberg passed for four touchdowns and ran for another and West Hills led 49-0 after Cohen Benevente returned the second-half kickoff for an 88-yard touchdown.

“It was good to see us get out there and start fast against the Braves,” Ash said. “We’re really happy with the maturity the kids have shown throughout the season thus far.”


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Ash, a former free safety for a successful Wolf Pack club in the mid-1990s, including a club that won its first nine games in 1995 to establish the school’s longest winning streak, is the son of one of the most successful defensive coordinators in Grossmont Conference history in former Helix legend Rick Ash.

The father-and-son have even put their coaching minds together for many years in Santee after Casey took over the program as a 28-year-old in 2007.

Certainly, this Wolf Pack defense can be compared to the ’95 group, which had allowed 12.8 points per game through its first seven consecutive victories.

The group could also be compared to the West Hills team of 2018, which also had a stout defense. That group came up short of its goals, however.

This Wolf Pack team has won its nine straight games dating back to the official spring season following victories in the last two games of the shortened campaign.

The result wasn’t much in doubt other than El Cajon Valley knocking the first five minutes off the clock with a hard-trying drive that was stopped on downs.

From there, Oberg found Diego Calderon for a 60-yard catch-and-run score but a minute or so later, and again on a 31-yard touchdown connection with just over a minute left in the opening period.

Then it was Dylan Snyder’s turn for a round-trip ticket to the end zone, as he rushed for a 35-yard touchdown in the opening minute of the second quarter, then turned in a 65-yard score on a pass from Oberg just a couple of minutes later.

“We’ve been working on coming out of the gates and attacking,” Snyder said. “I think that reflected on the scoreboard.”

Oberg connected with Max Conaway for a 15-yard scoring strike with over seven minutes to play in the first half, giving the Pack its fifth touchdown.

Oberg had his rushing touchdown – from 32 yards out – with a little over a minute to go before halftime.


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West Hills (7-0, 3-0) had 381 yards of total offense.

“Coach Ash does a great job keeping us humble and focusing on the next game,” Snyder said. “Nobody on our team really thinks twice about being 7-0. We are just all having fun and playing for each other.”

Junior linebacker Braden Wilson recorded an interception and had a sack for the Pack, while Trevor Imbimbo registered two sacks on the quarterback.

El Cajon Valley (2-6, 1-3) outscored the Wolf Pack, 14-0, over the final 23-plus minutes of the game, scoring a touchdown midway through the third quarter.

The Braves scored again in the fourth quarter.

Darick Dubose and Ahmed Sohail Ameer Hussein found paydirt with rushing touchdowns for the Braves. Ameer Hussein led the Braves on the ground with 63 yards on 16 carries.

“(Running back Kal-el) Gordon was out with an injury,” El Cajon Valley head coach Nick Osborn said. “We did start well but had a lot of execution issues. That is a tough team we played and they are having a heck of a year.”

Shane Hopson, a sophomore, had a team-high three receptions for 38 yards for ECVHS. Paris Dixon added a 28-yard reception for the Braves.

Sophomore Demarrion White led the Braves with four tackles, including a sack. Enrique Hernandez also recorded a sack for ECV.

Daniel Jacobs had an interception for El Cajon.

“Our guys finished the game well and we are proud of them for that,” Osborn said. “Some young guys and others that hadn’t played in certain positions stepped up for us when we needed them. But we can’t wait until later in games to come alive. We still have to compete these next few weeks. There’s still a lot left on the line. Hopefully, we can get some guys healthy to finish things out.”

The Braves are in upset mode visiting Mount Miguel next Friday.

West Hills will smash into winless Monte Vista next Friday night, also in Spring Valley.

The Wolf Pack are eager to end three years of Monarch dominance that has seen Monte Vista outscore West Hills, 123-6, including twice in league title games in 2018-19.

“We’ve had a chip on our shoulder for Monte Vista because of the past seasons so I think we’ll be prepared for them,” Snyder said. “We just need to have a great week of practice.”


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