Fri, Sep 17 2010 10:30 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Players from the Hilltop Lancers behaved just like they had won a championship after defeating the visiting Chula Vista Spartans, 35-14, last Friday — and they had.
The Lancers won the Kiwanis Bowl championship for only the second time in nine meetings against the Spartans in the west side teams’ rekindled rivalry series.
It might not count in the league standings for either team but the prestige points were huge, especially for Hilltop.
Last Friday's contest was likely one of the most competitive of the nine games thus far in the series. Chula Vista had won the last four games by blowout margins. Hilltop’s last win came in 2005.
Chula Vista continues to lead the series 7-2.
“This is huge — this is a big win for us,” said Lancer first-year head coach Cody Roelof, whose team snapped a four-year losing streak to Chula Vista. “These guys just wanted it.”
An emotionally-charged Hilltop (2-1) never trailed in the game, going up 7-0 on an early pass reception for a touchdown by Paul Greene and extending its halftime lead to 14-7 on one of the more bizarre and opportunistic plays that can be imagined.
Greene went up with a CV defender for a pass with seconds ticking down in the half. Greene slid on his back along the goal line, with the ensuing tipped pass falling into his waiting arms.
Greene promptly jumped to his feet with the ball as the linesman, just a few feet away, signaled a touchdown. The festive Lancer fans, many sporting green body paint, went berserk.
There were more theatrics to come.
Hilltop quarterback Omar Hernandez scored on an 80-yard run on the first play of the second half to boost the hosts to a 21-7 lead and Keondre Alejandre later returned an intercepted pass 21 yards for a touchdown with 5:21 left in the game to seal the Lancers' heroic non-league victory.
The game is sponsored by the Chula Vista Kiwanis Club, which handed out a $1,000 check to the victorious Hilltop program and a $500 check to the Spartans.
Last Friday's contest was likely one of the most competitive of the nine games thus far in the series. Chula Vista (1-2) had won the last four games by blowout margins. Hilltop’s last win came in 2005.
Hernandez and lineman Ryan Taylor were selected as the Lancers’ offensive and defensive players of the game, respectively, while Chula Vista’s MVPs included Richard Walker (offensive) and Brandon Nealy (defensive).
Walker caught a 21-yard scoring pass from CV quarterback Richard Estevez with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter to narrow the Hilltop lead to 21-14. It appeared the Spartans would narrow the score even further on their next possession before Taylor blocked a 27-yard field goal attempt.
Hilltop scored on the ensuing possession to further extend its lead to 28-14 as Ruben Maldonado broke into the end zone on a 10-yard run.
“We worked hard all week — we wanted to win by working hard for this,” said Taylor, a defensive end.
“We came out in the second half and just executed,” summed up Hernandez, a threat both passing and rushing the ball.
Could a league championship or playoff berth be on the horizon for this improved Hilltop team?
“I don’t even want to consider that right now,” Roelof said. “I’m not looking past our next game against Mission Bay.”
The Division IV Bucs have fallen on hard times this season following the graduation of Silver Pigskin winner Dillon Baxter, now at USC. Mission Bay dropped to 0-2 following Friday's 34-17 loss to Otay Ranch.
By the numbers
Hilltop’s Hernandez turned in a monster performance with 168 rushing yards on 15 carries and 88 passing yards on eight completions in 19 attempts.
The Lancers controlled both the field and the clock with 313 rushing yards on 48 plays. A total of 11 players received hand-offs. Maldonado rushed eight times for 36 yards while Mark McGuire had 33 yards on two carries.
Greene had two receptions for 31 yards — both TDs. McGuire had three catches for 38 yards. Christian Luna kicked five PAT conversions.
CV’s Estevez passed for 179 yards while Isaac Martinez rushed 10 times for 82 yards. Walker had four catches for 79 yards, Ray Holden caught five passes for 55 yards and Martinez had one catch for 31 yards.
Defensively, Leonel Anguiano led Hilltop with seven tackles while Taylor and Alejo Cabral each had one sack.
Chula Vista Kiwanis Bowl
Chula Vista Kiwanis Bowl Series
2002: Chula Vista 44, Hilltop 14
2003: Chula Vista 57, Hilltop 37
2004: Chula Vista 27, Hilltop 20
2005: Hilltop 32, Chula Vista 13
2006: Chula Vista 47, Hilltop 7
2007: Chula Vista 42, Hilltop 19
2008: Chula Vista 42, Hilltop 8
2009: Chula Vista 49, Hilltop 18
2010: Hilltop 35, Chula Vista 14
•Chula Vista leads series 7-2
2010 South County
Prep Football Scoreboard
Friday, Sept. 17
Hilltop 35, Chula Vista 14
Eastlake 34, El Camino 6
Otay Ranch 34, Mission Bay 17
Montgomery 54, Kearny 33
San Ysidro 26, El Cajon Valley 20
Chula Vista Calvary Christian Academy 35, Kuyper Prep 8
Grossmont 23, Castle Park 7
Torrey Pines 28, Olympian 0
St. Augustine 56, Mater Dei Catholic 7
Madison 37, Bonita Vista 14
Morse 26, Mar Vista 14
Rock Academy 34, Southwest 27
Granite Hills 34, Sweetwater 0
Saturday, Sept. 18
Ocean View Christian Academy, 48, Classical Academy 6
Friday, Sept. 24
(All games 7 p.m. unless noted)
Hilltop at Mission Bay, 3 p.m.
Steele Canyon at Eastlake
Olympian vs. Bonita Vista at Southwestern College
San Ysidro at Castle Park
Orange Glen at Montgomery
Crespi (Encino) at Chula Vista
Otay Ranch at Ramona
Southwest at California Military Institute (Perris)
St. Joseph (Santa Maria) at Mater Dei Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25
Mar Vista vs. Bishop’s at LJHS
Best of South County
Eastlake Titans 3-0
Otay Ranch Mustangs 2-1
Chula Vista Spartans 1-2
Sweetwater Red Devils 0-3
Hilltop Lancers 2-1
San Ysidro Cougars 1-2
Bonita Vista Barons 0-3
Montgomery Aztecs 2-0
Castle Park Trojans 2-1
Southwest Raiders 2-1
Mar Vista Mariners 1-1
Olympian Eagles 1-1
Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders 0-3
Calvary Christian Academy Royal Knights 3-0
Ocean View Christian Academy Patriots 2-0
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