East County Sports

Pack claims title, trophy, history

West Hills celebrates following the win over El Capitan on Friday night.

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

No. 13 WEST HILLS 27, No. 14 EL CAPITAN 21

 

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EastCountySports.com staff report

 

The Wolf Pack won a league championship in their second year as a program in 1990 and captured five consecutive league titles starting at the turn of the century.

But no West Hills football team had ever accomplished what this one did on Friday night.

The 2021 Wolf Pack will go down as the first (and only for now) West Hills squad to finish the regular season undefeated (10-0) after the team captured the Grossmont Valley League championship with a 27-21 victory over closely-rated rival El Capitan.

West Hills also wrangled back the Tony Burner Memorial Trophy back from the Vaqueros just seven months after taking hold of it for the second time, as the award has changed hands in each of the four meetings.

The Grossmont league banner is the program’s 12th in its history and second for current head coach Casey Ash, who guided the Pack to their last GVL title back in 2014.

West Hills (10-0, 6-0 GVL) has won 12-straight games dating back to last spring, its last loss coming to the Vaqueros in Week 3 of a five-game spring schedule.

In fact, the championship effort was executed pretty much exactly as the team has dismissed its previous nine opponents, with near-perfect precision on offense and a defense that is as smart as it is strong and fast.

The Wolf Pack defeated the Vaqueros by rushing for over 300 yards and limiting the big plays of El Cap’s spectacular play-makers.

‘Perfect Teams’
East County football teams
which went undefeated in the
regular season (21st Century):
Year  
School
CIF SDS
2021
2016
2014
2012
2010
2006
2004
2000
West Hills
Christian
El Capitan
Helix
Helix
El Capitan
Monte Vista
Helix
TBD
Lost Final
Champions
Lost Semis
Lost Semis
Lost Semis
Lost Final
Champions

Note: in 2015, Helix went 9-0 vs. CIFSDS (lost to Arizona school in the season opener), then won CIFSDS.

West Hills senior quarterback Braden Oberg rushed for three touchdowns and had 189 yards of total offense.

Sophomore running back Diego Calderon also rushed for a score.

Xavier Peace scored on a 2-yard run for El Capitan on the game’s first series but Oberg’s first rushing touchdown on the ensuing series countered the initial score.

However, the score was still 7-all at halftime.

 

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The Wolf Pack opened the second half with a touchdown drive that started just outside their own 10, capped by a 6-yard score from Oberg.

After West Hills forced a turnover on downs, the Pack went on another scoring drive as Oberg scored from 5 yards out, giving the hosts on two-score lead.

El Capitan senior Savigon Yokley brought his team back to within 20-14 on a 16-yard touchdown run.

Calderon put the Pack back up by 13 with his short touchdown with just under four minutes to play in the game.

The Vaqueros’ Julian May scored a touchdown on a reception from Yokley which covered 19 yards with under two minutes to go for the final margin.

Max Conaway, Trevor Imbimbo, and Braden Wilson recorded sacks of El Cap’s usually elusive quarterback.

For much of the season, Yokley had been able to usually always find an escape route to deliver throws to take off running.

While the star still made a handful of great plays, the Wolf Pack defense was there for many of Savi’s usual twists and turns.

The teams were very close in total yards from scrimmage on the night with both teams going over 375 yards each.

Ash is now 59-41-1 in 10 seasons with the team, which covers two stints as the head man (2008-09, 2014-current).

West Hills, despite its historic finish, could earn no better than the No. 5 seed in the Division III playoffs, which featured a handful of the county’s top 15 teams entering the final week of the season.

The Wolf Pack will host 12th-seeded Bonita Vista (4-5) in the first round on Friday night.

Seventh-seeded El Capitan (8-2, 5-1 GVL) will host 10th-seeded Orange Glen (5-4), also on Friday night.

Both teams are considerable favorites in their respective matchups.

 

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