East County Sports

Vaqueros hold off Matadors’ challenge

Head coach Ron Burner addresses the Vaqueros following the game. / ECHS




EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – The Mount Miguel Matadors have been the East County’s least publicized team.

That will happen when two of the team’s six previous games had been either canceled or postponed.

The El Capitan Vaqueros may have heard or seen what was in store before they traveled to face the Matadors on Friday night but they might’ve come to realize how good they had to be to escape with a terrific 35-28 Grossmont Valley League victory on Mount Miguel’s Homecoming night.

County renown superstar Savigon Yokley had 232 yards of total offense, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing another to his brother, Antwone, to make sure the Vaqueros stayed on pace for its chance for the league championship.

“We had a good game plan and worked hard all week,” Savigon said. “We knew we were playing a good team. We didn’t underestimate them. We fought until the end to win.

The Matadors were quietly playing for their league title hopes, as well.

Mount Miguel came in with a 1-1 league record to face the 2-0 Vaqueros and performed as advertised as dual backs Ruben Hernandez and Jeremiah Castillo combined for over 250 yards and three touchdowns.

El Capitan’s Angel Diaz had 89 yards rushing on 15 carries, while Xavier Peace added 80 yards on eight carries, as both teams enjoyed success on the ground.

“Angel Diaz had a bruising game at running back,” El Capitan head coach Ron Burner said.

Mount Miguel started the game on its own 5 after mishandling the kickoff, but on the first play from scrimmage, Castillo raced 95 yards.

“Every one of our guys wanted this game bad,” Castillo said. “We practiced hard all week preparing for El Cap. They are a very tough team.”

El Capitan (6-1, 3-0 GVL) answered with five minutes left in the first quarter on a 1-yard score by Diaz.

“The O-line was doing a great job tonight,” Diaz said. “It was a close game but the coaches kept us motivated at halftime, letting us know we had the teamwork and skill to leave with a win. Mount Miguel gets overlooked but they had a better run game than we expected. We just had to keep pounding the ball up the middle, too.”

The Vaqueros took the lead on the first play of the second quarter on the touchdown connection between the Yokley brothers for a rather pedestrian 2-yard score given the usual long-distance house calls between the pair.

Mount Miguel (2-3, 1-2) scored back-to-back touchdowns to take a second-quarter lead and the upset alert was officially on.

Hernandez scored on a 6-yard run with 9:13 left in the first half, then completed an 11-yard touchdown score to Davian McGowan with 4:09 left before halftime.

“Our (offensive) line was doing a great job in the running game,” Castillo said. “Davian and Ruben did very well when they had the ball.”

Savigon Yokley, however, made sure his team led at halftime with a 49-yard touchdown run with 2:25 left in the second quarter.

“(Savigon) is a great dude,” Castillo said. “He helped stretch out Ruben after he was cramping up during the game. Not a lot of big-time players do that.”

Peace scored on a 6-yard run in the third quarter to extend the Vaquero lead with 4:33 left.

However, Hernandez scored on an 18-yard run just 4:05 later to keep the Matadors’ upset chances very much alive.

Savigon Yokley added a 3-yard touchdown run with 9:04 left in the game for the final margin.

“Mount Miguel is way better and more physical than anyone gives them credit for,” Burner said. “They battled us toe-to-toe all night long.”

Anwtone Yokley had an interception on defense and caught four passes for 61 yards.


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