East County Sports





By Ramon Scott

EL CAJON – The Christian Patriots are long-known for having high-scoring games usually thanks to a high-flying offense.

And while the Patriots have had some good defensive players over the year, several of which have also lined up for that team’s offense, that workload, combined with some letdowns here and there because of their usual shorter roster, often leads to opponents being able to stay in games.

But this year’s Christian High squad, and in particular the defense, did something last week that no team in the county has done in a mighty long time.

Last Friday night against small-school rival Bishop’s, the Patriots recorded a 27-0 shutout, marking the first time that the Knights had been shut out in a regular season game since Week 4 of 2006 when TBS fell to St. Margaret’s, of San Juan Capistrano, 3-0. The Knights weren’t shut out for the next 145 games until Christian’s shutout performance last week.

That brings up this week’s opponent for the Patriots – none other than the Tartans of St. Margaret’s, who will come to Valley Stadium on Saturday evening.

Christian earned their 27 points last week with Shane Bailey making his first start at quarterback in place of injured starter Jake Davila, who sat out the game but is expected to return for this one.

Last season, in Week 2, Christian pulled off a terrific 20-16 win at the Tartans’ cozy and intimate stadium, 20-16, with Davila rushing for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Also, the Christian defense stopped St. Margaret’s on three consecutive fourth-quarter drives and held the Tartans to 2-for-13 on third down.

This will be the third meeting between the clubs, which includes a 48-21 St. Margaret’s win at home back in a 2014 Southern California regional playoff game.

Christian (1-1) was blanked by a very good Ramona team in its opener, 28-0, but this year’s Tartans are 0-2 and are a considerable underdog this time around… CHRISTIAN, 28-17.

San Marcos (1-1) at Steele Canyon (1-1) – The Cougars ended up with just three wins last season playing a monster schedule but one of those wins was a thrilling 29-23 win at San Marcos.

The Cougars trailed 23-7 after three quarters but scored three TDs in the fourth quarter for a massive comeback. Major Givens, following a slow first half, finished with 245 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including two in the final 10 minutes.

The matchup tonight features two teams usually in or near the top ten, but the clubs have slipped a notch for now.

The Cougars ran into a juggernaut last week in No. 3 Madison on the road, but superback Major Givens still had a big night against one of the county’s most respected defenses, rushing for 225 yards on 30 carries.

It was Steele that allowed 300 yards on the ground to the Warhawks.

The Knights won their opener but fell last week at home against Mira Mesa, 28-21. In starting to compare the Cougars’ chances for a title in the Grossmont Hills League this season, it should be noted that the Marauders were rocked by Helix in the season opener.

The Knights can throw, that’s for sure. Freshman quarterback Kreet Makihele has thrown for 735 yards and eight touchdowns in the two games. San Marcos passes at better than a 2-to-1 ratio.

San Marcos has six sacks on defense, as well.

Steele Canyon has rushed 89 times this season and completed just 7-of-15 pass attempts.

Steele has won a pair of playoff games in the series history (2009, ’12), both at home.

This is a contrast of styles that should make for another close, exciting game… STEELE CANYON, 24-23.

Mount Miguel (2-0) at Montgomery (1-1) – The Matadors are one of the surprise teams in the county after a pair of shutout wins, including last week’s 22-0 road shutout of Chula Vista.

Combined with a 42-0 win at home in the opener over Sweetwater, the Matadors could have a chance to extend that streak, considering the Aztecs managed just six points last week, although they defeated another Grossmont Valley League team, Santana, in a 6-0 shutout at home.

The Aztecs lead the series 3-0, with wins in 1986, 2001, and ’02., but all were close games with 4-, 9- and 6-point margins.

The Matadors have a legit passing combo in junior quarterback Matthew Barton and fellow junior Jeremiah Castillo at receiver. The pair make up the best tandem in the GVL thus far with 12 connections, including four touchdowns.

But they aren’t one-dimensional, as backs Davian McGowan and Antell Burbidge have helped the Matadors average six yards per attempt.

The Matadors have also made big noise on the defensive side of the ball, racking up 12 sacks in the two games, including four from junior Aaron Carter.

The Aztecs lost to Coronado in their opener, 13-6, before last week’s win over Santana. The Islanders face the Sultans this week.

Montgomery will have its work cut out for them this week, having gained just 357 yards so far this season. The Aztecs’ fine defense is led by junior Arath Leyva, who has three sacks so far.

The Matadors have already made themselves a sure outside contender in the GVL… MOUNT MIGUEL, 21-14.

Olympian (1-1) at West Hills (1-1) – The Wolf Pack could only manage three points last week in a trip to face the Imperial Tigers last week.

After crunching the Grossmont Foothillers in the opener, 24-6, West Hills may have wilted a bit in the desert heat.

The Pack figure to bounce back this week against the visiting Olympians, but still, look to improve on offense with new quarterback Collin Dill.

Dill, one of the fastest players in the East County on the football field, might be more of a running threat than a passing force at this point but West Hills may need more diversity on offense if it hopes to repeat as league champions.

West Hills will need to focus on Eagle sophomore quarterback Kristian Noriega, who has passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions so far.

The Wolf Pack defense can likely handle the assignment. West Hills probably possesses the GVL’s No. 1 defensive unit, which they will rely on maybe even more heavily than last year, led by star Braden Wilson.

Olympian appears to have a pretty decent defense, as well, recording 13 sacks in two games, including three players with three sacks each.

Last year was the first-ever meeting between the clubs, as the Pack won, 41-12, at Olympian, also in Week 3.

Junior Tyler Haley, one of the best placekickers in the county this season, had two field goals, including a 43-yarder, while Noriega threw for the two touchdowns, both to now-junior Jacob Marcial, who is also part of this year’s club… WEST HILLS, 21-14.


Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.) (0-0) at No. 6 Helix (2-0) – The Highlanders’ early returns are still impressive in wins over Mira Mesa and Otay Ranch.

Last week’s 52-0 win over visiting Otay Ranch was over early, as the Highlanders led 49-0 at halftime.

Helix junior quarterback Ryland Jessee may finally be starting to gain attention around the county with eight touchdown passes thus far with no interceptions.

But it’s Highlander senior tight end Quincy Herron that has been one of the top performers in the county thus far with six touchdowns on just nine receptions.

Helix unior defensive back Jackson Daniels had three interceptions last week against the Mustangs, returning one for a touchdown.

The Highlanders’ defense is stout and has plenty of talent, but they might be just a strong unit that doesn’t need a standout defender.

This is the season-opener for Mountain View, of the Arizona Class 6A division. It’s the season opener for the Toros, who went 7-4 last season.

Toro QB Jack Germaine, a junior, is the son of head coach Joe Germaine, the former Ohio State QB who led ASU to a 1997 Rose Bowl victory (Michael Wiley of Monte Vista played for the Buckeyes in that game).

Jack Germaine passed for 2,342 yards with 22 TDs and 0 INTs last season.

Receiver Jackson Bowers, a BYU commit, returns for senior season after a season in which he had 861 yards and five touchdowns.

Mountain View is ranked 10th in the state in their division. The No. 6-ranked team in the division, Red Mountain, hosts Chula Vista Mater Dei Catholic, also on Friday.The Toros don’t have the talent to match up with the Highlanders but the sweltering conditions may favor the Arizona invaders… HELIX, 28-14.

El Capitan (2-0) at La Jolla (0-1) – The Vaqueros have allowed just 13 points in their two wins so far, including last week’s 9-7 win over Hilltop on the road.

Senior Austin Cordeiro has a pair of interceptions thus far for El Cap and also leads the team with 18 tackles, including eight solo.

Offensively, El Capitan may have even more of a serious passing attack than last season’s spectacular club, as quarterbacks Bruce Newland III and Brandt Barker have combined for 411 yards and four touchdowns.

Senior Julian May has been a terror in the yards-after-catch department, racking up 199 receiving yards on just seven receptions. Sophomore Chance LaChappa leads the team with eight receptions.

Still, the game figures to be a tough one for the Lakesiders against the Vikings, who won against a good Scripps Ranch club, 28-21. La Jolla dropped its opener to rival Bishop’s, 28-7. The Knights were shut out by Christian High last week on this very field.

Junior quarterback Jackson Diehl has passed for 350 yards and five touchdowns in the two contests for the Vikes, who are a balanced team with the ball but have yet to score a touchdown on the ground.

This is the first meeting between the clubs… LA JOLLA 24-20.

Oceanside (0-2) at Granite Hills (1-1) – The Eagles won last season’s CIF game in Oceanside, 31-14, and are the likely favorites here at home.

After losing their opener to now-No. 8 Poway, 31-19, Granite Hills beat up former rival Valhalla, 59-6, last Friday.

The Eagles’ Joaquin Thomas Jr. has a pair of touchdowns to lead the team. Granite quarterback Nico Tomasello has passed for three scores.

Oceanside lost to San Clemente in their opener, 48-7, then lost to St. Augustine, 27-24 in double overtime, last week.

The Eagles lost the 1975 Division 2A title game at SD Stadium, as Oceanside won, 25-14. Herb Meyer beat Dwight Morris in a meeting of legendary coaches.

This will be the Pirates’ first foray to Valley Stadium and they should still be able to make it a good contest… GRANITE HILLS, 24-21.

Vincent Memorial (2-0) at El Cajon Valley (1-1) – El Cajon Valley is coming off a historic shutout of visiting Hoover, but the 2-0 Scots present a serious challenge to the Braves’ momentum.

El Cajon Valley senior Kal-el Gordon scored five touchdowns last week but hardly gets the attention he deserves. But that’s just fine with the El Cajon Valley star, who thrives on his team’s overall success.

Vincent quarterback Jacobo Elias has 742 yards of total offense so far this season, including 617 through the air. Senior receiver Armondo Apodaca has eight receptions for 189 yards thus far.

The Scots won a meeting last year in Calexico by just a 14-12 margin. The Braves led 12-7 in the fourth quarter before the Scots scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Jacobo had 268 yards of total offense in that one. Gordon rushed for 85 yards and had an interception.

The teams met twice in 2019, winning a regular season meeting, 35-6, in El Cajon, before shutting out the Braves, 23-0, in a playoff meeting in Calexico.

The Braves have a cohesive club but this is a tough matchup… VINCENT MEMORIAL, 27-22.

Coronado (1-1) at Santana (0-2) – The Sultans won a thriller on the island last season in one of the most exciting games of the season involving an East County team as the Sultans came home with a 10-7 win in overtime.

Friday’s matchup figures to be just as close, as the Sultans are looking for their first win of the season.

Santana was shut out last week by Montgomery, which scored the only touchdown of the game on a pass completion in the fourth quarter.

Sultan senior Logan Ellis had four sacks in the loss. Keith Mizell has two interceptions for Santana this season – one in each contest.

The Sultans also lost their opener, 48-10, to a good Point Loma club.

The teams already have a common opponent, as Coronado knocked off the Aztecs, 13-6, in the season-opener.

Coronado followed that win up with a loss against Sweetwater, 9-7.

This will be Coronado’s third-straight road game.

Islander junior quarterback Graham Bower has 190 yards of total offense but has thrown three interceptions with no touchdown passes.

The Sultans lead the series, 5-1. Santana recorded its only postseason shutout win ever in a 44-0 rout in 2014.

Given those early returns, the teams may need a road map to find the end zone… CORONADO, 13-7.

Warren (1-0) at Grossmont (0-2) – The Bears, of Downey, beat Grossmont, 40-7, in week three last season, and this year’s matchup doesn’t figure to be much closer despite the home-field advantage.

Downey features five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava, who has committed to Tennessee.

Iamaleava passed for 350 yards and six touchdowns against the Foothillers.

Grossmont junior quarterback Hudson Herber has passed for 168 yards with no interceptions so far this season. He also has 52 yards rushing.

The Foothillers have nearly been shut out in each of the first two games but managed to score a touchdown in the game’s final minute in each game.

The Hillers opened the season with losses to West Hills and El Camino… WARREN, 56-7.

Point Loma (1-1) at Valhalla (0-2) – The Norsemen host a pretty good Point Loma team and will be considerable underdogs at home.

The second meeting may not be as close as the first, which came in a 2006 CIF playoff game at Point Loma, which the Pointers won, 30-18.

Alton Finner turned in a 55-yard touchdown run last week in a 59-6 loss at home against Granite Hills.

Point Loma senior quarterback Jackson Emerson has passed for 306 yards in two games, which includes a 49-10 win over another GVL club, Santana.

The Pointers lost to Central, of El Centro, last Friday, 30-16, but the Spartans are ranked 12th in the county… POINT LOMA, 42-7.


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