East County Sports

Mismatches expected in East County





EastCountySports.com staff report

EL CAJON — It’s hard to find any competitive matchups week-after-week in the East County.

Friday night presents another series of apparently one-sided games.

One anticipated game over the last few seasons has been Helix-Steele Canyon, but the Cougars are in a bit of a rebuild at this time while the Highlanders are battling to reach the Open Division playoffs once again.

There are still some big games to determine league championships that will happen, but those are on the last night of the season.

The Grossmont Hills League season gets underway tonight and lasts just three weeks with the four-team circuit, with Granite Hills hosting Helix in the finale, which will surely determine the championship.

No. 5 HELIX at STEELE CANYON — This game has been one of the biggest locally over the last few seasons but the Highlanders will be a considerable favorite tonight despite being on the road.

A few times over the last several years, the Cougars have been on par with the Highlanders, even springing an upset in 2018 to share the Grossmont Hills League title.

Helix leads the all-time series, however, 18-3, including 12 of the last 13 meetings.

Helix (5-2) currently sits outside the four-team Open Division playoff picture and might not have a way into the bracket, which would leave them as the probable No. 1-seed in Division I.

Steele Canyon (1-6) is still a quality program that has fallen victim to a tough schedule. The Cougars are in the postseason since they are in Division I.

The Highlanders can only beat the teams in the Grossmont Hills League from here to try and improve their rating according to the CIF power rankings. Two of the top four teams in the rankings – Madison and Lincoln – will meet on the final night of the season.

Helix will still have to slow Steele Canyon star Major Givens, one of the county’s top running backs, but the Cougars’ aren’t showing enough diversity offensively to make the Scotties worry enough to spread themselves outside of the box.

The Highlanders’ Kevin Allen III is one of the hottest backs in the county and isn’t really getting much attention county-wide. Should he be able to produce a bigger game here than Givens, maybe more observers will take note.

Helix does have the versatility on offense and these Highlanders can likely compete with the county’s top four teams but a large margin of victory isn’t going to help their standing… HELIX, 38-7.

GROSSMONT at No. 7 GRANITE HILLS — Seventh-ranked Granite Hills (5-3) is in the midst of one of the best seasons in school history. They can confidently think they can compete with Helix on the final night of the season.

The Eagles can avoid a look-ahead to the last two games of the season against Steele Canyon and the Highlanders because there is just too much of a talent disparity between these two clubs.

Grossmont (0-7) is, unfortunately, going to be underdogs in all three Grossmont Hills League games and is headed to a winless season.

The Eagles lead this all-time series 28-32-1, but the Foothillers lead this century, 9-3. Granite Hills is 14-4 all-time against the Hillers at Valley Stadium.

Granite Hills has a strong running game but could use this game to try and fine-tune their passing attack. The Eagles know they can rumble past the Hillers but the opportunity is there to work on some needed versatility from their passers.

Hopefully, Grossmont can be in a rebuild mode, otherwise, it could be facing some lean years as a member of the GHL… GRANITE HILLS 49-7.

MONTE VISTA at WEST HILLS — Just a few years ago, these teams were playing league championship-determining games but for now, the Wolf Pack have a perennial championship-contending team, while the Monarchs are struggling to find spots to win.

Monte Vista (1-7) leads this all-time series, 16-7 but the last 12 years have been split at 6-all.

West Hills (5-2) can gain valuable experience for its roster tonight in preparation for the final two games of the season against city rival Santana and the El Capitan Vaqueros, which will surely decide the Grossmont Valley League championship.

West Hills will likely host a home game in the CIF Division III postseason, while the Monarchs are going to miss the playoffs this year… WEST HILLS, 35-7.

MIRA MESA vs. CHRISTIAN (at Valley Stadium) — On Saturday, the Patriots have a tough matchup with 10th-ranked Mira Mesa.

The Marauders and Patriots have been relatively evenly-matched over the last few seasons and Christian leads the all-time series, 3-1.

The teams just met in the postseason last year with Mira Mesa collecting a 34-16 victory. The regular season meeting was canceled following the death of Mira Mesa head coach Chris Thompson a week earlier.

Christian (3-4) hasn’t been consistent enough this season to warrant upset consideration of the Marauders at this time.

Mira Mesa has losses to Helix and Madison, a pair of top-five teams in the county.

Senior running back Makai Thompson has over 1,000 yards of total offense for the Marauders.

The Patriots haven’t been consistent enough to warrant upset consideration here… MIRA MESA, 35-14.


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