The Star-News

Do Eastlake Titans rule the South Bay's prep gridiron?

Fri, Nov 04 2011 01:59 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents

With five consecutive Mesa League championships in hand and eight league titles in the last 11 seasons, it seems appropriate to ask the burning question: Do the Eastlake Titans currently rule the South Bay like the Sweetwater Red Devils did during the 1980s?

Few teams in the history of the San Diego Section compare to the back-to-back 1983-84  CIF champion Red Devils, but statistically, at least, the Titans are starting to carve out quite a dynasty of their own in the last decade.

Whether Eastlake’s dynasty will continue will be determined Friday when the Titans face a new challenger in the guise of the Olympian Eagles.

Both teams enter Friday’s game at EHS sporting 2-0 Metro-Mesa League records. The Titans are 6-2 following last Friday’s 49-23 victory against the Bonita Vista Barons at Southwestern College in the teams’ annual Battle for the Boot rivalry contest. The Eagles are 5-3 after holding off the visiting Chula Vista Spartans 20-14.

Eastlake coach John McFadden did not have to emphasize the importance of Friday’s game against Olympian in the team’s post-game huddle at SWC. “Every game we have from now on is going to be huge for us,” he said.

The Titans remain in the hunt for one of the top seeds in the upcoming Division I playoffs and it would be unwise to falter at this point of the season. Meanwhile, the Eagles need another huge win of their own to boost them up the Division III seeding chart after already seizing prize victories against Torrey Pines and Otay Ranch.

Eastlake has retained possession of the bronzed boot trophy since 2006. “It’s a big rivalry game, so it’s always a fun game between the two schools,” said Titan junior Blake Wilson, who collected two sacks in the game. “We’re all pumped up for this game. It’s a great feeling whenever we beat those guys.”

Bonita Vista (0-3, 3-5-1) opened scoring on a 26-yard field goal by Devon Roncoroni. But the visitors quickly took up the challenge on a pair of interception returns exactly one minute apart to go up 14-3. Ronnie Cortell returned the first pick 46 yards while Darran Hall’s pick six went for 37 yards.

The Barons got back in the game on Chris Moore’s 20-yard TD reception but that only seemed to awaken the visitors’ offense as Tavarus Green scored twice to put the Titans up 28-10 at halftime.

Green, who would score three touchdowns in the game, caught a 10-yard scoring pass from Josh Palet for his first TD and then broke off a scintillating 89-yard scoring run. Green later ripped off a 91-yard TD jaunt in the third quarter, adding to a 44-yard TD scamper by track teammate Jalen Mondane.

Eastlake led 42-16 entering the fourth quarter.

Roncoroni booted two third quarter field goals (24 and 33 yards) to give her three for the game. Caleb Su closed out scoring for Bonita Vista on a three-yard run in the final quarter. Su’s TD followed a three-yard run by the Titans’ Peter Nelson as both teams emptied their benches late in the contest.

Green had a phenomenal track meet, er, football game by rushing for 259 yards on just nine carries. The three TDs made up for a fumble early in the game.

As a team, Eastlake rolled up 406 rushing yards to go with 26 passing yards.

“We didn’t execute (in some areas) as well as we wanted but we were fortunate that some guys stepped up,” McFadden said.

That has become a common theme this season for the Titans, and the EHS coach must hope it continues.

If it doesn’t, the high-flying Eagles could be in for their first Mesa League crown since moving over from the Metro-Pacific League this season.

Bonita Vista, which received 246 passing yards from Jon Manjarrez in the loss to Eastlake, has a bye this week before closing out the season with a Thursday, Nov 10, game at Olympian. The Barons racked up 150 yards on the ground against the Titans, led by Josh Santos (eight carries, 84 yards).

Moore led all players on the field with six receptions for 93 yards while teammate Sal Liang had six catches for 69 yards. BV’s Parker Brisebois had the longest catch of the night at 40 yards.

photos/jon bigornia
Eastlake’s Tavarus Green holds the coveted bronzed boot trophy after scoring three touchdowns.

Eastlake’s Jalen Mondane sprints toward the end zone in last Friday’s game against Bonita Vista..

Mesa League title chase, playoff race heating up

Olympian downed Chula Vista, 20-14, last Friday in gritty fashion: Asante Gibson returned a blocked punt 14 yards for a touchdown while Andrell Snowden scored on a 36-yard interception return. Angel Garcia had second-half field goals of 25 and 32 yards to complete the Eagles’ scoring.

Olympian rallied from a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter after CV quarterback Ricky Estevez threw two touchdown passes. The hosts then had to stave off possible defeat with a pick in the end zone to end the game.

The Eagles’ thievery on the night featured four interceptions, including two by Snowden and another by Arturo Cuevas.

Olympian’s rushing attack produced 223 yards, led by Ian Autman’s 69 yards on 20 carries, but no touchdowns.

Estevez passed for 150 yards, with 84 yards going to Richard Walker on four catches. The CV signal-caller continues to produce big plays. Walker had one catch for 45 yards while Ray Holden recorded a 34-yard reception in the game.

But the Spartans could generate only 68 total rushing yards — 57 of those by Isaac Martinez on 10 carries.

Chula Vista faces a huge opportunity to assure itself an at-large berth in the upcoming Division I playoffs by defeating visiting Otay Ranch (1-1, 5-3) in Friday’s homecoming gala. Conversely, the Mustangs need to do exactly the same.

Estevez has passed for 1,194 yards this season. Walker is averaging 15.8 yards per catch while Holden is averaging 14.2 yards per catch.

Otay Ranch’s top performers include quarterback Cody Springsguth (894 passing yards), receiver Chris Martin (19.9 yards per catch),  Anthony Williams (11.4 yards per rushing play).

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