By Andrew Smith
Chula Vista (9/25/2015) – Many were wondering just how long the hangover would last for Bishop’s after last weeks’ tough loss in overtime. Perhaps they were also looking ahead to next week’s big rematch with Mater Dei. Playing on a sloppy field, they played a sloppy game and they barely survived being upset by all of about six inches as a last-second field attempt sailed wide left giving them a 19-17 victory.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” said senior A. J. BRITANICO after. “We’re a small school, but you can’t measure our hearts and we fought hard to win this one.”
The Knights (3-1) couldn’t get out of their own way in the beginning. After three plays they had to punt and it was blocked which led to a Lancers (2-3) field goal. It kept getting worse though as they dropped a sure touchdown and had a couple of sacks. Mix in a couple of turnovers and then getting beat on a double-move for a long touchdown it was 10-0 in a blink of an eye.
The answer to the trivia question….15 minutes….that’s how long the hangover lasted. It was if a light switch was suddenly flipped and Bishop’s realized even though they were the favorites, nothing was going to be handed to them.
They marched right down the field and Britanico broke off a 42-yard touchdown. Two plays later, JUSTIN WOODLEY intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards to the 4-yard line. Britanico took it in on the very next snap and all of the sudden it was 12-10 in their favor.
JEFFREY JACKSON then hit MOZES MOONEY from 15 yards out for their final score and the defense barely held on. DANIEL ANDERSON was a force in the middle, RICHARD HAGESTAD had an interception and also recovered a fumble that was caused by CESAR SANTANA. Woodley, playing with a cast on his arm, played lights out for a Bishop’s team that can’t afford to take another opponent lightly.
SANTA FE CHRISTIAN 43, Classical Academy 0 – There’s been one small typo that has misrepresented the Eagles (4-1) all season long. It has been reported numerous times that SFC was starting 22 juniors, but that was clearly a farce statement.
“I’ve kinda been flying under the radar so far this season,” said senior R. J. WALKER. “I keep hearing that we’re only playing juniors so I’ve been playing with a chip on my shoulder to let people know there’s also a senior out here making plays.”
HANK ONTIVEROS made a sack on the opening defensive possession and MATT McROSKEY returned a punt 39 yards to the 4-yard line. JOSH THOMPSON took in on the very next play. Walker then decleated a defender on a pass from CONNER WHITTON to JEFF LINGUADOCA that sprung a 3-yard play into 53 yards and ran it from 4 yards out for a 14-0 score and the route was on.
“I just ran my route and came back to make a block,” Walker recalled. He would also hauled in a 27-yard TD pass from Whitton later on. “It was definitely a good win for us. We had 3 or 4 guys come in and play for the first time on our offensive line that haven’t played before and they all did a great job.”
Whitton finished the day 5-of-8 for 109 yards. BRAD WEEKS broke off a rumbling 20-yard score and CALEB ARMENDARIZ had a one yard touchdown run.
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY 51, Montgomery 0 – One decade ago, the game of Madden was given a facelift to help running quarterbacks thanks to an old Atlanta star. It almost made the game unfair for anyone trying to play against them. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when you watch this Torreys’ (4-1) offense run by BRAXTON BURMEISTER. For the fifth straight game, he scored at least 5 touchdowns and he actually did one better this time posting six (4 rush, 2 pass).
TREVOR RUDOLPH hauled in a 49-yard touchdown pass and RYAN LARICCIA ran one in from 8 yards out to complete the scoring. Burmeister finished the scoring with a 63-yard score to DAVID WYLIE to go along with his four on the ground (3, 1, 14, 11).
After missing a game BRENNAN GORING came back strong. He made the Aztecs’ (0-5) defense look like they were on skates as he took a short pass and used two consecutive spin moves to evade tacklers and turn it into a 43-yard gain.
It wasn’t just the offense though…
A 7-0 game with a few minutes left in the first quarter suddenly exploding to a 48-0 halftime lead with a little help from the defense. Goring and BRANDON SANCHEZ both recovered fumbles, while Rudolph along with BEN PETTY-HULL each made an interception, giving the La Jolla Country Day a short field. JULIAN DAVIS finished off the scoring with a 32-yard field goal.
“It was great to see both sides of the ball playing in full gear,” said head coach TYLER HALES. “On top of that our line play was great even though were we under-sized and if our offense keeps playing like this we’re going to be pretty hard to stop.”
Rancho Christian 35, HORIZON 14 – The struggling Panthers (1-4) drove the ball into the red zone on their first drive and failed to score. But that was just the tip of the iceburg for them as multiple injuries had them playing with a makeshift lineup to the point that their right guard moved to running back.
OSCAR CORDOVA had 11 receptions for 86 yards and also ran for 30 more. Third-string quarterback MATT SIMPSON threw a touchdown pass to BASHIER JONES from five yards out. Jones also made the play of the day with a highlight 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but it was all for nought for a frustrated Horizon squad.
“The effort just wasn’t there for us,” fumed head coach LAMONT BUTLER. “We’re a young team, but we gotta grow up fast. There’s no leadership in our locker room and that’s what we need the most right now.”
LA JOLLA 29, CORONADO 7 — Senior wide receiver TRENTON FUDGE hauled in 3 touchdown passes from CASEY BROWN and the Vikings (2-3) shut down Islanders’ (3-2) star CHRISTOPHER HAAS to come away with the victory.
FRANCIS PARKER 2, Santa Clara 0 — The Lancers (2-3) were awarded a win on Friday night due to a forfeit.
Last Week: 6-1 (.857)
Season: 19-6 (.760)
Coronado (9/24/2015) – There’s not a whole lot of intriguing match-ups in Week Five this season. For the first time in recent history, every Coastal League team will be favored in their respective games. That’s why we’re crossing over San Diego’s most well known bridge and hitting the island to see La Jolla take on Coronado in the Coastal Sports “Game of the Week.”
The Vikings (1-3) could be considered in somewhat of a down year, but their schedule has hardly been anything to scoff at. After graduating a quarterback in that set a record for touchdowns, they are still trying to find their niche…they just never expected it to be on both sides of the ball.
Just ask Chip Kelly and he’ll say for sure that up-tempo spread offense is all fun and games if it’s working – but when it’s not – your defense is on the field more than they should be and through 4 weeks they have allowed on average 46 points. Even in their lone win on the season they allowed 42.
Close your eyes and forget everything you just read…La Jolla will win this game and here’s why.
The Islanders (3-1) might be the most one-dimensional team in the county. After their best player from last year’s team transferred to a school in Texas, it appears that all they have is a tremendous talent in running back CHRISTOPHER HAAS. The competition has been suspect, but still he has amassed 671 yards, 9 TD’s (10 total) on 72 carries.
What’s haunted La Jolla in the early part of the season is teams that can throw the ball. They have been even more susceptible against dual-threat QB’s that have the option to throw or run. Fortunately, Coronado doesn’t have that and is a one-man show.
The Vikings have won this match-up in each of the last 3 years by an average of 30-10. Unless the star of Coronado’s real name is Clark Kent and there’s a phone booth nearby expect it to….La Jolla 34, Coronado 20.
Rancho Christian (2-2) vs HORIZON (1-3) @ Helix HS – 7
For the second straight week the Eagles from the Temecula area will be facing off with a member of the Coastal League. Last week they were buried by SFC 51-10 and left for dead. The Panthers are coming off a similar type defeat after having their worst game of the year in a 49-7 loss to Santa Clarita Christian.
“Our guys are really anxious to get back on the field,” said Horizon head man LAMONT BUTLER. “We’ve had a really good week of practice and have noticed a lot of things they do on film that we should be able to exploit.”
The Panthers roster size is slowly sneaking up the charts. It started at 12, then hit 14 and now sits at 18. Rancho Christian might be rolling 40 deep, but they didn’t impress too many people last week and that’s why the slight nod goes to….Horizon 20, Rancho Christian 16.
Montgomery (0-4) vs LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY (3-1) – 7
The school’s motto on the LJCD campus reads, “Scholar Artist Athlete of Character.” It will be put to the ultimate test at Friday night’s home game versus the Aztecs marks their first annual “Celebration of the Arts.” Marching bands, ranging from 1st grade to high school will be performing at the half and there will be paintings and visuals all around the stadium for the crowd to take in that were made by the Torreys’ students.
“Our arts department is really fired up,” said head coach TYLER HALES of the event. “It’s a great thing for the entire school and it should be a blast for everyone.”
Sure the Aztecs are much bigger in size, but with losses already on their resume to El Cajon, Santana and Clairemont something tells me it won’t be a blast for them. Unless they are familiar with the works of Art Vandelay, they might want to ever visit an art museum or gallery for the rest of their lives….La Jolla Country Day 41, Montgomery 6.
SANTA FE CHRISTIAN (2-1) vs Classical Academy (0-3) – 7
The Eagles have a bye week coming up, but they might as well sit around a fire singing “Coombiya” and roasting smore’s than worry about what the Gators have coming for them. This junior class from SFC is one bad half against Bishop Diego away from being undefeated and one of the top-ranked small schools in the state. One request at halftime from the Classical Academy band might be Prince’s “1999,” because that’s how much a highlight film might cost Eagles’ fans from this game when it’s all said and done….Santa Fe Christian 49, Classical Academy 0.
BISHOP’S (2-1) vs Hilltop (2-2) – 7
The Knights are coming off a disappointing 42-35 overtime loss and the Lancers are in no way a slouch if they don’t take them serious. They very easily could’ve hung 70 points on St. Margaret’s last week without all their mistakes, so it will be interesting to see how they will respond.
There’s not a soul in the world that could convince me head coach JOEL ALLEN and his staff won’t have them ready to….Bishop’s 41, Hilltop 7.
Santa Clara (0-2) vs FRANCIS PARKER (1-3) – 7
It’s definitely been an odd start to the new era of Lancers football. Obviously, in a huge state of transition without seeing it in person makes it all the more difficult to figure out. They did however get their first victory of the season last week over Calexico and now a new unknown opponent makes it’s way to Linda Vista. The Saints have been blown out twice so far this season, but that was against a pair of much bigger schools. Having said that, my faith lays in the new Lancers’ regime….Francis Parker 20, Santa Clara 10.
The Knights lost a heartbreaker to one of the top small schools in the state 42-35 in overtime, but there’s no arguing the sophomore receiver/safety proved he’s one of the top players in the county, if not the best already. He was virtually uncoverable and his final stat line read….14 receptions, 210 yards, 4 TD, 6 tackles and 1 diving interception in the end zone on defense.
SANTA FE CHRISTIAN
It was his first career varsity game. He was coming off a meniscus injury. Neither of those bothered him as he dominated in the Eagles’ 51-10 victory over Rancho Christian. He made 12 tackles (9 solo, 3 ast), had 3 tackles for a loss and also made 2 sacks. When asked by his peers and coaches who to nominate the vote was unanimously overwhelming for the sophomore.
By Andrew Smith
San Juan Capistrano (9/18/2015) – Many times a heavyweight title fight doesn’t live up to the hype. That definitely wasn’t the case Friday night between Bishop’s and St. Margaret’s. It turned out to be worth every penny spent on admission as two of the top small schools in the state duked it out for 12 rounds and then some. In the end, 5 turnovers and 4 failed fourth down conversions left the Knights on the canvas wondering what might have been losing 42-35 on the scorecard in an overtime thriller.
“You can’t expect to beat a really good team when you give them too many chances,” said Bishop’s head coach JOEL ALLEN after. “I’m proud of our guys and the way they fought. They really showed a lot of heart out there. In the long run, we’re only going to learn from this experience and get better.”
Senior running back A. J. BRITANICO put the Knights (2-1) in business early. His first carry of the night went for 29 yards to midfield and he had them knocking on the door at the 4-yard line after breaking off 46 more his next attempt. They were stuffed on fourth down, but forced a three-and-out, only to fail again on a fourth down conversion in Tartans (3-0) territory.
That’s when the ball starting roll for St. Margaret’s. They had a touchdown called back on the ensuing drive and then score one that counted on the very next play. Then took a 14-0 lead after recovering a fumble.
Bishop’s sophomore MOZES MOONEY isn’t a household name just yet, but that’s only if you’re living under a rock….
The stud receiver got them on the board with a one-handed touchdown catch from 8 yards out. Trailing 21-7 with under two minutes to play in the half, Britanico went 72 yards and Mooney finished off the 99-yard drive with an 18-yard score. He caught two more touchdown passes from JEFFREY JACKSON in the second half to finish the game with a line of 14 receptions, 210 yards, 4 TD’s and one diving interception in the end zone. JACK CASE made a pair of interceptions and RICHARD HAGESTAD pounced on a loose ball, recovering a fumble on the 3-yard line for the Knights defense.
Britanico ended with over 400 all-purpose yards (295 rush, 125 ret) and scored on a 23-yard draw play with 1:45 remaining to take the game into overtime, but the Tartans had no problem scoring on their first drive. Bishop’s final fourth down play was intercepted after going just off the fingertips of the receiver and was intercepted. It was a perfect epitome of a lost Knight.
SANTA FE CHRISTIAN 51, Rancho Christian 10 – It might have taken the Eagles from Solana Beach a series or two to get adjusted, but once they did the short-handed flock wasted no time teaching the younger kids a thing or two. CHASE BAKKEBY started the scoring with a 31-yard field goal late in the first quarter the flood gates opened.
MATT McROSKEY had an interception leading to a 16-yd scamper by quarterback CONNER WHITTON. Then an 11-yard TD run by HANK ONTIVEROS combined with a pair of touchdown passes to McRoskey (35) and CALEB ARMENDARIZ (26) multiplied by DEMITRI WASHINGTON blocking a punt that was scooped up and returned by BRAD WEEKS for a score made it a 37-10 halftime lead.
In a battle of the birds, the “agitated ostrich” CALEB PHILLIPS looked like someone from Rancho Christian (2-2) had just stole his lunch money. He pounded out 10 hard-hitting tackles and also caught two passes for 67 yards.
Washington led SFC (3-1) with 12 tackles and had two sacks. Whitton rushed 11 times for 56 yards and two scores. He also threw for 176 yards and two TD’s on 7-of-15 passing.
“With 4 or 5 starters out we did a really good job of adjusting once we found our groove,” Whitton said. “We played as a team and dominated offensively, but the scoreboard doesn’t show just how physical they really were.”
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY 42, Crawford 14 – The high-powered offense of the Torreys (3-1) continued to steamroll the competition Friday night with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. After tying the game 7-7 early in the second quarter the Colts (3-1) were blind-sighted and became their latest victim, suffering their first loss of the season.
Quarterback BRAXTON BURMEISTER had a pair of 15-yard touchdown runs in the first and last quarter, but bookmarked in between was a pair of scores in each quarter. It also helped that he got one of his favorite targets back from injury in CASEY MARIUCCI. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior had 5 receptions for 109 yards and two (32, 42) scores.
“He played great for us tonight,” head coach TYLER HALES said of Mariucci. “There were a couple plays he was just throwing guys off him…it was almost Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) like. We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but we came back with a bang and played a complete game.”
TREVOR RUDOLPH helped spark the Torreys with an interception and KHALID JACKSON scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yd plunge. What makes the performance even more impressive was the fact that All-league wide receiver BRENNAN GORING wasn’t even on the field, but will be back next week to try and haunt Montgomery for the second straight year.
Santa Clarita Christian 49, HORIZON 7 – Things looked good for the first 7 minutes. Even though their opening drive resulted in a blocked field goal attempt, freshman ARYOM HARR made an interception and OSCAR CORDOVA caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from THOMAS MARCUS. Harr also rushed for 124 yards on 17 carries, but that’s where the good news ended for the Panthers (1-3) on this night.
The Cardinals (2-1) were almost unstoppable from that point on posting touchdowns on 7 of the next 9 possesions. Horizon had no answer for their passing attack, as they threw for 355 yards on just 17 completions and rushed for another 84 yards on 11 attempts. Maybe the loudest stat was the Panthers going 0-for-10 on fourth down attempts….that is not a typo.
FRANCIS PARKER 20, Calexico 14 – Not much was reported about the Lancers’ (1-3) first win of the season, but one thing we do know is that rookie head coach DJ WALCOTT captured his first career victory.
West Hills 42, LA JOLLA 22 – It seems like the Vikings’ (1-3) defense has been playing in the dark all season long giving up an average of 46 points per game. That trend continued against the Wolf Pack (2-2) and it got so bad the staff at Mission Bay pulled the plug early. It was clear that they had seen enough, as the lights went out and the game was mercifully called with 1:42 still left in the game.
CORONADO 46, St. Mary’s (CAN) 6 – The exchange rate on Canadian currency sits at 73% south of their border right now. The Islanders (3-1) charged that and then some for a vacation weekend on the island.
Last Week: 5-1 (.833)
Season: 13-5 (.722)
San Juan Capistrano (9/17/2015) – We’re back after being clipped from behind with technical difficulties and we do apologize to everyone for that. It’s been a long time since that has happened to Bishop’s. The Knights (2-0) hold San Diego county’s longest winning streak at 15 games and it’s been 671 days since they last were dealt a loss. They travel up the coast to take on a feisty St. Margaret’s (2-0) team that has won 17 of their last 18 games and that’s what makes it the Coastal Sports “Game of the Week.”
“This will be a huge test for us and i’m excited about that,” said Bishop’s head coach JOEL ALLEN. “Our guys know they’re in for a battle against another small school that’s almost a mirror image of ourselves and we feel like we have something to prove.”
Just how similar are the two teams….
Last season, both teams went undefeated in the regular season and won C.I.F. championships. Both teams had a #2 on their roster that were named player of the year in their respective leagues. Heck, both schools even have an apostrophe in their names.
However, the Knights were almost unfairly held out of the state playoffs, while the Tartars advanced. They came down to face a Christian team – that some say was their best ever – and blew them out 48-21 to reach the C.I.F. State Bowl Game. They went on to lose to Central Catholic 31-19, but only lost 7 seniors off that squad.
Unfortunately the St. Margaret’s #2 Nick Shanks was only a junior then. The Tartans look to put the ball in his hands as much as possible with toss sweeps, quick screens, returning kicks and he’s also the holder for the kicker. Just last week he took the snap on a short field goal and out-sprinted everyone to the corner on the end zone.
The stars on the Knights’ defense have to shine brighter than they ever have before if they hope to gain respect with huge state playoff implications on the line. I could see Bishop’s extending their streak to 16 straight, but they will be the underdogs for the first time in what seems like forever. There’s no doubt this will be a blood bath to the end and playing on the road the favorite has to be….St. Margaret’s 21, Bishop’s 20.
SANTA FE CHRISTIAN (2-1) vs Rancho Christian (2-1) – 7
This match-up is for the birds…no really this is being hyped as the “Battle of the Eagles.” The two schools might share the same mascot, but the similarities stop right there. Santa Fe Christian has a long, rich history of being one of the top small schools in California and Rancho Christian is in it’s fifth year of existence.
“It might be a newer school, but they have invested heavily into their athletic program,” praised SFC head coach JON WALLACE. “They have a bunch of really, really good freshmen so they have a bright future ahead of them.”
That doesn’t bode well for Rancho Christian because SFC is two years ahead of the grading curve with a bunch of really, really good juniors and the future is now.
One of those juniors that stood out in last week’s 41-6 win over Big Bear was HANK ONTIVEROS. The fullback/linebacker might only be 175 pounds, but he looks and plays like he’s 230 serving up pancakes breakfasts to any defender in his path. He recovered 2 fumbles in that game and led the team with 65 yards on 9 carries. He’s even being labeled by the SFC broadcast crew as “El Camino” because he’s like an old classic.
One of the players to watch for Rancho Christian is sophomore quarterback Carter Treadway. The three sport star (basketball, baseball) leads their spread attack, but unlike La Jolla who challenges you vertically it’s more of a horizontal attack trying to get guys in space to make a move. Another is 275 pound nose tackle Teddymax Talanoa who can disrupt an offense just with his size.
If this game were to be played next year, Rancho Christian with a little more experience at the varsity level might have much more of a chance. Playing their first home game of the season will definitely give them a boost, but the higher soaring Eagles will be…..Santa Fe Christian 41, Rancho Christian 14.
Crawford (3-0) vs LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY (2-1) – 7
Friday is “Staff Appreciation” day on the LJCD campus. During the day, each member of the football team will be giving his white jersey to a teacher and it will be worn at the game by the recipient. Then there will be a halftime ceremony honoring all of the staff members with hand-written notes from students. One thing you can’t teach though is speed and stop me when you’ve heard this one before…the Colts have a lot of really fast athletes this year.
“We have to try and keep them contained,” said head coach TYLER HALES. “They run the ball a ton and when they are all fast it only takes one wrong move or missed assignment and they’re in the end zone.”
If the Torreys’ offense keeps playing like they have been for the first three weeks of the season it won’t matter. Averaging 44 points per game with no signs shown of slowin down isn’t good news for Crawford.
We all know about their QB, but what has been lost in the cracks is just how good his receivers have been. Eleven different Torreys have hauled in a pass with BRENNAN GORING (13-195-3) and DAVID WYLIE (13-265-4) leading the way. However, CASEY MARIUCCI appeared in only the first game against La Jolla and caught 5 balls for 133 yards, 2 TD’s and appears on his way back onto the field.
“He’s really been chomping at the bit to get out there again,” added Hales. “David (Wylie) has done such a great job for us kinda filling in for him that now we have even more weapons at our disperse.”
The only hope the Colts have is to not fall behind early and force some turnovers. If they can bust a few big plays and then control the clock with long drives they might have a shot. I think the Torreys’ teachers might give them an A- grade for their performance in the game when it’s over, but it would take a C or worse to not pass this test….La Jolla Country Day 35, Crawford 13.
Santa Clarita Christian (1-1) vs HORIZON (1-2) @ San Diego HS – 7
There might be fireworks in the air at Balboa Stadium Friday night and no…Katy Perry isn’t performing at halftime. Those could come thanks to the Cardinals’ passing attack. Through two games, junior quarterback Tristan Miller has thrown 718 yards and his top two weapons – Jacob Moss (16-332-2) and Michael Uribe (10-128-2) – are are going to cause problems. Then thers’s also the fact that their third and fourth options have combined for 16 catches, 199 yards and 5 scores.
“They are very well coached and have really good spacing in their spread offense,” said Horizon head coach LAMONT BUTLER. “They are sound in everything they do, but I think we may have few better athletes so it will be a good test to show us where we’re at right now as a team.”
Luckily, for the Panthers, their defense has been their bright spot so far in the early going. They are coming off a shutout and have only allowed 10 pts/gm on their side of the ball. This will be a different kind of test though. With such a lack of roster depth will they be able to hang with a fast-pace offense? We will soon find out but for now the jury rules….Santa Clarita Christian 21, Horizon 14.
West Hills (1-2) vs LA JOLLA (1-2) @ Mission Bay HS – 5
This is one of those games that make you say hmmm. Neither team has a true home field advantage and both have lost to teams that are undeniably better than them. The Wolf Pack lead the non-league series 6-5 including a nail-biting 26-24 win last season. Away from their blue turf they are a different team and the team that’s going to get back to .500 is….La Jolla 27, West Hills 21.
FRANCIS PARKER (0-3) vs Calexico (0-2) – 7
The trip out to the desert just might be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Lancers to get away from everything. No doubt they are rebuilding, but they are improving. Last week they score 27 points against Mater Dei and that’s nothing to ever scoff at. This week the Bulldogs are gonna have their hands full. In a battle of the win-less the first team to get off the schnide is….Francis Parker 28, Calexico 10.
St. Mary’s (CAN.) (0-0) vs CORONADO (2-1) – 7
The Islanders non-league schedule wouldn’t exactly be considered murder’s row eh. For the third straight week they are facing a cupcake, but not much is known about this St. Mary’s team from Canada eh. Usually when a team is an international one and they only play 3 or 4 games a year it could be glorious or horrific eh. I’m staying positive against the unknown eh….Coronado 42, St. Mary’s 6.
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY
It was just another ho-hum 5 touchdown performance for the junior star in a 42-7 beatdown over Classical Academy. He went 16-of-21 for 212 yards and 3 touchdown passes and added 82 yards on the ground and a couple of more scores, including a few highlight reel plays….oh yeah it was also in one half of play.
All things getting past the Panthers’ defense must get by the senior linebacker first. He was a force in their 45-0 victory over Tri-City Christian to earn their first win of the season in shutout fashion. The individual stats were not recorded, but on film you can see he had a hand in what seemed to be like every single tackle.
Last Week: 5-1 (.833)
Season: 8-4 (.666)
San Diego (9/10/2015) – If there was an award show last season to name the “Game of the Year” around the entire county, no one would have to look any further than the La Jolla-Fallbrook game. The two teams combined for 107 points and the final score was 55-52, but the Warriors (1-1) claimed the victory in the final 30 seconds of the game. That’s why this year’s Week 3 rematch is the Coastal Sports “Game of the Week.”
Even though the Vikings (1-1) had a quarterback setting records last season, they still could never win the close games late. Ending the season 6-6 wasn’t the tough part. The tough part would be where they would rack up 680 yards on offense only to lose on the opponents final possession.
La Jolla head coach JASON CARTER still has nightmares about that particular loss. To make matters worse, only 130 of those 680 yards last year were by an underclassman. Two-way star TRENTON FUDGE made 9 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown in that game, but with a whole new offense around him, the senior needs more than an entire Game of Thrones cast to back him up to survive this battle….Fallbrook 38, La Jolla 27.
SANTA FE CHRISTIAN (1-1) vs Big Bear (2-0) – Saturday 1:30
There’s several rumors floating around the coast that the coaching staff of the Eagles scheduled a game up in Big Bear for a weekend round of golf and other shenanigans. It may look like that on the outside, but it’s actually the Eagles’ principal that has ties leading to this inaugural meeting of the two schools.
“This is the first time we’ve ever played them so I’m just going completely off of what I see on film,” said head coach JON WALLACE. “They run the triple option well so we have to be discipline on defense.”
I have a feeling that this particular Santa Fe Christian squad is much more than about the X’s and O’s of the game. They are coming off a crushing 29-21 loss against one of the best small schools in So. California year-after-year in a game they held a 21-10 lead versus Bishop Diego while starting 22 juniors.
“I really feel like we are going to definitely have some tough growing pains like last week with such a young group,” Wallace added. “They are so well-knit though we are going to get better faster than you can imagine.”
From what I’ve seen from SFC so far this season, they might be a year away from greatness, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they figured things out quickly and made a push for the Coastal League crown. I’m not exactly ordering a Fritos pie yet, but I’m definitely drinking the Eagles’ Kool-Aid….Santa Fe Christian 35, Big Bear 14.
Classical Academy (0-1) vs LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY (1-1) – 7
The Torreys have a Division V match-up against a team that is the complete opposite of them. Running the ball and trying to control the clock is right up Classical Academy’s alley. However, boding well for QB BRAXTON BURMEISTER is that their defense gave up an average of more than 400 yards of offense a game last season and they still made it to the semifinal round against a team LJCD beat for the title.
“I think we should be able to move the ball really well against these guys,” said a hopeful head coach TYLER HALES. “Our focus is to really try and get the running game going this week. That would really open up the field even more for us if we can crack that code.”
LJCD is also honoring local law enforcement with a special tribute for the anniversary of 9/11. At halftime any fan that donates by buying a nerf football with a tail has a chance to throw it into a trash can at midfield for prizes. It’s sadly going to take even more of a hail mary shot for Classical Academy to pull off a Tchaikovsky “1812 Overture”….La Jolla Country Day 48, Classical Academy 18.
Tri -City Christian (0-1) vs HORIZON (0-2) @ San Diego HS – 7
It’s the first week of school for the Panthers’ kids on their Clairemont campus. Oddly enough, it’s also homecoming week as well. In the long run, that doesn’t guarantee anything on the field, but no matter the outcome it should be an entertaining time.
“We’re going to be in every game this year,” said head coach LAMONT BUTLER. “Even though we haven’t posted a victory yet, our defense is playing great. If they keep that up and we start producing some points we are going to be good.”
The Panthers’ defense has only allowed 16 points this season, but their offense is still learning on the fly. Like I said last week, Horizon must win a game with their anemic roster to get the nod….Tri-City 12, Horizon 10.
Mater Dei (2-0) vs FRANCIS PARKER (0-2) – 7
For a first year head coach taking over for a legend, the early season schedule couldn’t be much tougher than it is for the Lancers. Scrambling to find players is a very odd feeling on the Linda Vista campus. The Crusaders aren’t going to make things much easier....Mater Dei 35, Francis Parker 7.
Escondido Charter (0-2) vs CORONADO (1-1) – 7
The Islanders showed up last week and made a statement. It’s just unclear exactly what that statement was. Senior stud CHRISTOPHER HAAS rushed for 205 yards and 2 scores on 23 carries leading them to a 16-0 shutout over Village Christian. Now the White Tigers are being let loose on the Island, but unless your name is Siegfried or Roy that’s not much of a scary thought….Coronado 40, Escondido Charter 6.
There was no question the senior running back would have a big year for the Knights…the only question was how BIG?! In a HUGE Week Two 42-7 win over La Jolla he rushed for 173 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns. He also caught two balls out of the backfield for 26 and another score.
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY
The junior linebacker leads all of San Diego county with 33 tackles through the first two weeks of the season. He more than kept the Torreys in the game last week with 23 tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a blocked extra point. He followed up that performance with another double digit tackling performance (in one half of play) with 10 tackles (5 solo, 5 ast) helping to lead LJCD to a 48-26 win over Flintridge Prep.
By Andrew Smith
Mission Bay (9/5/2015) – Experts say deja vu is the illusion of having experienced something actually being encountered for the first time. Things were supposed to be the other way around. La Jolla has had an offense averaging 37.2 points per game since head coach JASON CARTER has taken over. However, that’s only if you take away the two nightmarish games the Vikings (1-1) have had against Bishop’s – as for the second straight year the Knights soundly won versus La Jolla in Week Two by a score of 42-7.
“It’s kinda crazy the score came out exactly the same,” said Bishop’s (2-0) head coach JOEL ALLEN after. “We recognize a couple things they try to do offensively and our defense was just phenomenal once again. Give them all the credit.”
Not to be outdone by the defense was quarterback JEFFREY JACKSON in his second start for the Knights. He ended the game with 4 touchdowns through the air, including one to his brother JACOB JACKSON.
“He’s definitely is playing really good for us right now and that’s exciting to see as a sophomore,” Allen added. “He’s only going to get better with time and that’s a scary thought.”
Senior running back A. J. BRITANICO also left his mark on the game. The speedster had a 15-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter to make it a 13-0 game and then broke off a 62-yard score as he just outran the entire La Jolla roster. He then quietly put the Vikings to rest taking a swing pass 11 yards for the games’ final score.
Bishop Diego 29, SANTA FE CHRISTIAN 21 – Experts say deja vu is the illusion of having experienced something actually being encountered for the first time. Everything was in the cards for the Eagles to finally take down a team that had haunted them with such bad memories in the past. Luckily, the majority of the current SFC roster didn’t really feel that past pain, but man did they experience it on Saturday.
Bishop Diego (2-0) punched them in the mouth with speed to open the game and the Eagles (1-1) responded with a 10-play drive eventually culminating with a 5-yard touchdown catch by RJ WALKER from CONNER WHITTON.
At that point, their feathers slowly began to puff out a little over time…
They forced a punt and REECE WALKER make a touchdown saving tackle on 3rd-and-short near the goal line, even though the Cardinals converted and SFC was trailing 14-10 at the half, you could see the confidence in this young group building.
HANK ONTOVEROS capped off their opening drive of the second half rumbling over tacklers for a 9-yard score. RJ Walker then picked off an throw and a double pass from MATTHEW MCROSKEY to CALEB PHILLIPS for a beautiful 48-yard touchdown gave the Eagles a 21-10 lead late in the third quarter.
“Hank played one heck of a game for us today,” praised SFC head coach JON WALLACE. “He had never punted a ball until two weeks ago and pinned them on the 1-yard line. He also filled in at running back and played the entire game defensively.”
From that point on…the wheels began to slowly, then quickly fall all the way off.
All of the sudden Bishop Diego had a sense of urgency and marched right down the field in what seemed like a matter of seconds, even though it was a 9-play drive. A touchdown combined with a blocked extra point cut the lead to 21-16.
With the Eagles unable to do much offensively after building their 11-point lead, they might as well had Doc Brown and Marty McFly on speed dial…
Sweetwater was 0-for-3 on fourth down attempts last week, but like it has is the past the game came down the finish. Fast forward to the future and the Cardinals converted all 3 of their attempts. Two of them were quick hits to a receiver with at least an 8” advantage on a DB. The latter set them up with a 1-yard QB sneak giving them a 22-21 lead.
Play calling was suspect for both teams at times offensively, but if Bishop Diego hadn’t pulled off the comeback not giving the ball to Av Bennett more should’ve raised a few eyebrows in Santa Barbara. He only was given 7 touches and turned that into 154 yards (118 rush, 36 rec). Making the final score look worse than it actually was, he intercepted a late pass and returned it 29 yards for a score.
“My hat is off to them,” added Wallace. “Teams around the county might get a lot more talent, but they are the best coached team we face every year. They are just solid from top-to-bottom and today we just couldn’t finish.”
Whitton ended the day 10-of-18 for 146 yards and Phillips had 121 yards and one score (from Mcroskey) on 3 receptions.
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY 48, Flintridge Prep 26 – It didn’t take long for the Torreys (1-1) to have flashbacks of their San Diego Division V C.I.F. Championship Saturday night’s on the road in Los Angeles. BRENNAN GORING took the Rebels opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and they never looked back.
“After giving up 52 points last week it was good to get the first win out of the way,” a happy head coach TYLER HALES said after. “We definitely had a bad taste in our mouths and the guys came out and really put it to them tonight.”
University of Arizona commit BRAXTON BURMEISTER went 13-of-16 passing for 340 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also ran for two scores on the ground, including a highlight reel 60-yarder.
The Torreys finished the game with over 300 yards in the return game. Goring finished the game with 5 catches for 110 yards and a score. Other junior receivers stepped up as well. TREVOR RUDOLPH scored his first career touchdown from 50 yards out and DAVID WYLIE reeled in 5 receptions for 130 yards and two scores. One of his touchdowns literally couldn’t have been any longer as he took a play 99 yards after a goal line stand.
Maranatha Christian 10, HORIZON 6 – What a difference a year can make. Last season the Panthers led the county in passing yards and now they can’t move the ball offensively if their life depended on it. OSCAR NAVARRO scored on a 2-yard touchdown run on Horizon’s first possession and then it was nada.
“No matter what we do right now we keep making too many little mistakes to move the ball,” said a frustrated Panthers’ head coach LAMONT BUTLER. “We can’t put anything together as a group, but our defense is keeping us in games and that’s encouraging.”
Entering the fourth quarter, Horizon held a 6-2 advantage and had only given up one big play all night. It was the wrong time to give up a second which resulted in the Eagles’ game-winning touchdown.
“I’m tired of almost winning,” Butler fumed. “We make a lot of bonehead plays and every game for us this year is going to be a challenge.”
Hoover 42, FRANCIS PARKER 0 – The young Lancers (0-2) are looking for answers and quickly. The Cardinals (2-0) were way too much for them to handle. Clearly in a transition year it will take time, but given their rich history it’s only a matter of time before head coach DJ WALCOTT gets them back on their feet.
Last Week: 3-3 (.500)
Season: 3-3 (.500)
Mission Bay (9/3/2015) – There’s never been a season in recent memory where we learned so much in the first week of the season for each team involved. So much was the case for La Jolla in that it was the system – not the individuals – head coach JASON CARTER is using.
Record-setting numbers that were posted by the Vikings’ offense meant nothing to the Knights of Bishop’s last season and it feels like they won’t be that impressed with another Week 2 rematch of last season after their 42-7 drumming on La Jolla’s home field a year ago in the San Diego Coastal Sports “Game of the Week.”
Yes COLLIN RUGG threw for 46 touchdowns last year for La Jolla, but when you speed up the game like the new era of high school coaches are doing…throw out the old record books.
In my time, I’ve seen at least 20 better quarterbacks at passing the ball than Grossmont’s ANTHONY LAWRENCE and he now holds all the San Diego C.I.F. marks.
NEWS FLASH….stats will become a little absurd in those types of conditions on both sides of the ball. Just like last year though, the Bishop’s coaching staff is more focused on the defensive side of things.
“This more than the first game will really let us know where we are as a team,” said head coach JOEL ALLEN. “This is a great bunch of kids/athletes and I think if everyone buys into doing their jobs we are going to have great results again…they are that talented as a group.”
If the Knights’ are going to parlay last season into a 15-game winning streak it first and foremost relies on linebacker JUSTIN WOODLEY and defensive tackle DANIEL ANDERSON to anchor their defense. All-around stud MOZES MOONEY can turn any play into a touchdown and that’s why I’m voting for….Bishop’s 38, La Jolla 27.
Bishop Diego (1-0) vs SANTA FE CHRISTIAN (1-0) – Saturday 2
The Cardinals from Santa Barbara are one of the top rated small schools in California year after year. They never seem to fall off, they just reload. The two teams have faced each other the last 3 seasons with Bishop Diego winning all three, but two came down to the final play.
It was widely known that Sweetwater was in a true rebuilding mode this season, but the way the Eagles dominated them was eye-popping to say the least. Starting 22 juniors, they all rose to the occasion. If that was considered a pop quiz, then this one is a final accounting for the majority of your grade.
“We’ve played them tough over the years with a few heart breakers in there,” head coach JON WALLACE recalled. “Last week was a great win for this group, but now we really get to see what these guys are made of.”
Quarterback CONNER WHITTON has a touch on the ball SFC fans haven’t seen in a while and are excited about. Fellow Coastal Sports “Player of the Week” CALEB PHILLIPS is a force to be reckoned with and should be a household name sooner than later in the Solana Beach area.
It took 14 fourth quarter points for the Cardinals to win their opener 14-9. That Righetti team might be better than Santa Fe Christian, but the young flock of Eagles can make a huge statement throughout all the small schools of California with a victory. Look for SFC to go toe-to-toe for 12 rounds in this one, but they need to show they can hang with the heavyweights and provide the knockout punch before they officially get the nod. This one reads on the judges scorecard….Bishop Diego 12-9.
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY (0-1) vs Flintridge Prep (1-0)
@ Occidental College – Saturday 7
The Torreys played their hearts out in their offensive shootout with La Jolla last week. What was lost in that mix though, was the efforts of junior middle linebacker RYAN LARICCIA. To put it bluntly…he was in BEASTMODE, but no Skittles were involved. He finished the 52-42 defeat with 23 tackles (14 solo, 9 ast), 1.5 sacks, one interception, a forced fumble and a blocked extra point.
“He really is the quarterback of our defense and to see how much he’s grown since the beginning of last year is really special,” admitted a proud head coach TYLER HALES. “He’s also our backup quarterback so he can really read the field on both sides of the ball.”
The Big Blue of La Jolla Country Day aren’t nearly facing another opponent like last week’s. If the Rebels were in San Diego County they would be just another Division V team the Torreys would dismantle with quarterback BRAXTON BURMEISTER at the helm. Anything but a double digit victory would be shocking….La Jolla Country Day 49, Flintridge Prep 27.
HORIZON (0-1) vs Maranatha Christian (1-0) – 7
After dropping a big thud in the season opener, the Panthers look to rebound against an Eagles’ squad that breezed to a 42-0 victory last week. Horizon looked lost at certain points last week and will need to cut down on the mistakes to have any chance at winning. Still with a roster of 12, maybe 13 they need to prove they can win one before they get the nod….Maranatha 28, Horizon 20.
FRANCIS PARKER (0-1) vs Hoover (1-0) – 7
This definitely doesn’t seem like a good time for the young and rebuilding Lancers to go up against one of the fastest teams in the county. In many ways it just doesn’t seem fair either. The Cardinals beat Monte Vista 37-26 in Week One and the score board might look worse this week if Parker doesn’t find some answers and quickly….Hoover 42, Francis Parker 7.
Village Christian (1-0) vs CORONADO (0-1) – 7
No one ever knows what to make of the Islanders, unless they are really good. That’s the only time people around the entire island get excited about football and show up to root on their team. The Crusaders pounded out 330 yards on the ground in their season opener against a tough team from Nevada. Unless, Coronado truly shows they care about football again don’t expect much in return….Village Christian 28, Coronado 13.
MORE PREVIEW TO COME…