East County Sports

Griffins, Comets roll; Olympians stunned

San Diego Mesa's Blaze Zito celebrates his fourth sack of the game. / Nicole Noel

2021 COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ECS staff report

Grossmont 28, Victor Valley 7

VICTORVILLE —- Grossmont College defenders were at the forefront once again in the Griffins’ current three-game winning streak, nearly throwing a no-hitter in stopping Victor Valley College, 28-7, in the high desert.

Except for one play, the Griffins yielded just 213 yards to the Rams in rarely getting threatened, as the hosts were a mere 4-for-19 on third- and fourth-down conversions.

Grossmont linebacker Jagger Giles, a candidate for the top community college player from San Diego County this season, again paced the defense with 12 tackles (10 solo). Giles also forced a fumble.

The Joe Roth Award used to be given annually to the county’s top performer each year but hasn’t been awarded since 2012 (Chris Bonner, quarterback, Grossmont College).

Similar to a week ago, when Grossmont tallied two touchdowns in every quarter, the G-House scored one touchdown in all four quarters on Victory Valley to slowly stretch to a comfortable victory.

Receiver Chris Carter, who missed last week’s game with Pasadena, came back to catch his fifth touchdown pass in as many outings. Carter’s 42-yard reception from Brady Abt opened the scoring just seven minutes into the contests.

In the second quarter, Keiyon Holloway capped a 38-yard drive with a 3-yard rush, giving the Griffins a 14-0 halftime lead.

The drive was set up on a Victor Valley punt of just 13 yards.

The second half saw Grossmont’s lone mistake of the ballgame. On the first play from scrimmage, Rams back Kenyard Edwards broke through the line for a 64-yard burst. Two plays later, Edwards scored from the GC 3 to make it 15-7.

However, Grossmont controlled the rest of the afternoon.

Abt sneaked the ball in from the VVC 2 to cap a 10-play, 32-yard drive, again set up on a short punt in the third period.

In the fourth, Abt fired his second TD pass, hitting Javaya Boyd for 32 yards.

Grossmont (5-2 overall, 2-1 conference) is now tied for second place with Pasadena, which they defeated last week, sitting one game behind Mt. San Jacinto. Victor Valley fell to 1-5, 0-2 in the American Conference’s Mountain Division.

Palomar 45, Chaffey 10

ESCONDIDO —- A week ago, Palomar College faced its former coach in Tom Craft, who now guides defending state champion Riverside. The Comets must’ve recalled some of Craft’s old tricks in the process.

In the school’s most explosive start since the Craft Era ended, Palomar raced to a 28-0 first-quarter advantage, easily taking down winless Chaffey College, 45-`10, at Escondido High School Stadium.

What was unusual was Palomar’s offense, which accounted for six touchdowns and a field goal on just 246 yards in total offense. That’s because two of the first-period scores were accounted for by Comets defender Ricky Davis, Jr.

Leading 7-0, Davis, a defensive back from Las Vegas, intercepted a pass on the first play of Chaffey’s ensuing drive, romping 30 yards for the score.

Then on the final play of the period, a 21-0 cushion expanded again as Davis collected a loose football and rambled 28 yards on a fumble recovery runback.

Palomar’s other forced turnover was an interception by Brandon Wilson, featuring a 24-yard return to set-up another short drive for a score.

Comets quarterback Zeke Payne threw for 190 yards (17-for-30) and a pair of scores. The first went to Tyler Pye (20 yards) to open the scoring, then  Malachi Russel (8 yards) on the open snap of the fourth period.

Rushing scores came from Ranse Garner (5 yards) and Dorian Richardson (2).

Meanwhile Comets placekicker Landon Ogles accounted for nine points with six PATs, plus a 50-yard field goal.

The top Palomar tackler was Lance DeSorbo, who has 12 stops, including sharing in a pair of sacks. DeSorbo’s tackle total was double the number by teammates  Luke Manos and Sid Weddington.

Palomar is now 3-4 overall (1-1 National/Central), while the visiting Panthers plummeted to 0-7.

San Bernardino Valley 37, No. 7 San Diego Mesa 29

SAN BERNARDINO —- Trailing 21-0 in the opening quarter, the defense for San Diego Mesa again performed admirably in the second half, but the offense could only move to within a touchdown in the final minutes in falling to the host San Bernardino Valley, 37-29, at SBVC Stadium.

The Wolverines ran all over the Olympians in posting three rushing touchdowns before Mesa could make any meaningful adjustments.

Mesa rallied behind quarterback Gunnar Gray, who scored on a 16-yard scramble, then a trio of TD passes to Cael Patterson (51 yards), Jevin Dorse (16), and  Josh Butler (1), with the latter moving the Olys to (move to within eight points following a 2-point conversion run by Josh Butler.

Then Mesa then forced a punt, getting the ball back with 40 seconds remaining, but could only advance the ball from their 27 to the SDVC-47 before a Hail Mary on the game’s final play went unanswered.

Gray passed for only 219 yards (20-for-39 passing), but two interceptions aided SBVC (2-4 overall) to grab the early lead. Meanwhile, Wolverines QB Cooper Justice passed for 287 yards and three TDs with no picks.

Former Helix Highlander Blaze Zito registered four sacks for the Olympians.

Mesa falls to 5-2 overall, Both sides are 1-1 in conference play.

No. 12. Fullerton 31, Southwestern 0

CHULA VISTA —- The Jaguars were shut out for the second straight ballgame for the first time since 1975, although Southwestern’s football record book is incomplete.

With the pandemic, the Jaguars have basically played short-handed this season.

Still, with a record-setting kicker with NCAA Division I talent, you’d figure the coaches would give Asher Booth, who earlier equaled the CCCAA state record with a 56-yard field goal, would be given the importunity to avoid the shutout for the struggling offense.

However, many coaches don’t consider that as a face-saving move, so Fullerton’s defense followed key first-down plays by Zach Brogden (interception) and Troy McDonald (the leading tackler) in a 31-0 shutout.

It’s first shutout in the series since the Hornets blanked the then “Apaches” ib Southwestern’s inaugural campaign in 1962, a 14-0 blanking.

Fullerton opened the scoring just 5:06 into the contest on a 16-yard run by quarterback Tra Edwards on a play-fake to the running back,, completing a naked bootleg against the grain.

In the second quarter, Fullerton sandwiched a pair of 34-yard field goals by Cesar Velasquez around a safety, when Southwestern snapped the ball over the punter and through the end zone, making it 15-0 at the break.

The second half saw Fullerton (5-2 overall, 2-0 Southern Conference) politely keep the ball on the ground, while the defense completed the shutout by registering a season-best seven sacks on quarterbacks from Southwestern (2-4, 0-2 conference).

The Hornets remain in a tie for first place with Golden West (6-1, 2-0). The Rustlers skated past Saddleback, 34-3, in Huntington Beach.

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