East County Sports

Well-trained Falcons make Patriots prey

Joey Merritt, of Christian, and head coach Danny Mitchell on Friday night.




EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The Scripps Ranch Falcons keep winning and they might not be stopped.

The Falcons captured their first of two key Eastern League championship tests on Friday night by knocking down the Christian Patriots, 41-23, at Valley Stadium.

Jax Leatherwood, a junior, passed for 292 yards and two touchdowns to just outduel the Pats’ Jake Davila, who went for 250 yards. Both QBs threw a pair of scores but Davila also rushed for 56 yards a touchdown.

But it was Scripps ultra-talented back Jalen Shaw who scored three touchdowns by rushing for 108 yards and giving the Falcons their seventh win of the season without a loss.

Scripps Ranch improved to 2-0 in the Eastern League and are tied atop the standings with Mira Mesa.

For Christian, which had its game with the Marauders canceled, the game was the first league encounter of the season.

“We battled but they are a really talented team,” Christian High head coach Dan Mitchell said. “There is a reason they are undefeated but that is the hardest we battled all year. Jake Davila had a great game against that defense.”

Scripps Ranch’s Conor Lawlor scored on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Leatherwood to make it 34-17 late in the second quarter.

Christian junior Hunter Provience kicked a 36-yard field goal with one minute left in the first half.

Christian receiver Joey Merritt caught both touchdowns from Davila, including a 71-yard hookup.

“What made this team tough was that they don’t make mistakes on offense and they are very hard to stop,” Merritt said. “We were a couple of mistakes away from making this game a lot closer than it was. We hope to see them again in the playoffs.

Merritt also forced a fumble and completed a 41-yard pass to Provience.

“We played our hearts out,” Provience said. “Every single one of us gave it our all on every play. If we just clean up a couple of mistakes, that game could go our way.

“Scripps Ranch is a solid team. They have a lot of talent and are also coached very well.”

Nijah Richards scored an 86-yard touchdown on a pass from Leatherwood.

J.C. Gustin led the Patriots defensively with three solo tackles.

“We were a much-improved team over last week against La Jolla (in a 35-7 road loss),” Mitchell said. “If a couple of things go our way, we are right in there with (Scripps Ranch). Flags did plague us but didn’t determine the outcome. We walked away from this loss saying that we can compete with (the Falcons).

Next up for Christian (4-3, 0-1) Eastern) is Homecoming next Friday against Canyon Hills (1-6, 0-2 Eastern) right back at Valley Stadium.

“We can put ourselves in a pretty good position,” Mitchell said. “Finishing 6-3 and would be fantastic. That was an encouraging loss. We are definitely getting better.”

Meanwhile, the Falcons will host Mira Mesa (5-2), presumably for the league championship.




Scripps Ranch 14 20 7 0 — 41

Christian      0 17 6 0 — 23


SR  Richards 86 pass from Leatherwood (Rohrer kick)

SR  Shaw 51 run (Rohrer kick)

C  Davila 1 run (pass failed)

SR  Shaw 2 run (Rohrer kick)

C  Merritt 71 pass from Davila (Davila run)

SR  Shaw 2 run (Rohrer kick)

C  FG Provience 36

SR  Lawlor 31 pass from Leatherwood (kick failed)

SR  Kaehey 2 run (Rohrer kick)

C  Merritt 28 pass from Davila (pass failed)






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