East County Sports

Hillers prove new status, edge Cougars

Grossmont's Cody Bigley. / RK2 Photography
ECS staff report

JAMUL — The Grossmont Foothillers trailed 16-0 in the second quarter following three straight field goals but rallied to shock the host Steele Canyon Cougars, 39-36, in Friday’s (Sept. 29) Grossmont Hills League opener.

It could’ve easily been promoted as a rare matchup of opposing brothers facing off at starting quarterback with senior Hudson Herber of Grossmont squaring off against junior Joshua Herber, of Steele Canyon.

Steele Canyon received consecutive field goals of 25, 27, and 20 yards from its left-footed placekicker, Matti Guzman, but the three wasted trips deep into the Hillers’ red zone would cost them the victory.

For Grossmont (4-2 overall, 1-0 GHL), they avenged a 31-19 loss to the Cougars which capped its 2022 winless campaign, noting a complete change to the program which capped a 3-game road trip with two straight triumphs.

The score was also a reminisce of a 2021 CIF playoff first-round game when Steele Canyon had also the early lead at home but lost, despite just defeating Grossmont one week earlier in the regular-season finale.

Also in 2020 was the last time Grossmont won a GHL affair, stopping Granite Hills, marking the turn-around point of the Eagles’ program.

In the fourth quarter, sophomore Nico Jara scored on a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass from Joshua Herber. A subsequent two-point conversion pass by Herber was good to draw the Cougars to within three with 5:43 left at 39-36.

Grossmont’s Hudson Herber fired off his sixth touchdown pass of the night, a 5-yard zip to Cody Bigley with 11:34 left to give Grossmont a 39-22 lead.

Steele Canyon’s Joshua Herber scored on a 1-yard sneak with 6:44 left in the fourth to make the score 39-28. He finished with 166 yards passing on the night, as well.

Senior Gerfren Simeon scored on a 22-yard touchdown run for the Cougars to make the score 32-22 in the third quarter.

Noah Walker caught a 17-yard touchdown pass for his fourth touchdown reception of the night from Hudson Herber. Herber also had a 92-yarder to Cody Bigley for a touchdown.

Walker had three touchdown receptions in the first half. He caught 10 passes for 168 yards.

Hudson Herber had four TD passes in the first half and passed for over 550  yards in the game.

Bigley had seven receptions for 205 yards.

Grossmont’s Amari Riley added seven receptions for 106 yards.

The Cougs’ Johnathan Sablan rushed for 106 yards on 24 carries.

Dante Nathan ran back the opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown for Steele Canyon (3-3, 0-1 Grossmont Hills League).

Walker had a 2-yard touchdown reception from Hudson Herber in the first quarter with 3:44 left, as it was 7-6, SC, early.

Hudson Herber’s had a 6-yard touchdown pass to Walker for Grossmont late in the first quarter as it was 12-7 Grossmont.

Herber’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Walker was the receiver’s third TD reception of the first half.


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