Fri, Oct 21 2011 01:55 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
When the Hilltop Lancers found yet another way to drop an excruciatingly close football game in going down to the visiting Bonita Vista Barons, 14-3, Oct. 7, head coach Cody Roelof was visibly disappointed by the result on the scoreboard but not so much by the performance of his team.
“That shows our youth,” he said in reference to several miscues committed by his squad that either set up the Barons in scoring position or thwarted Hilltop’s own scoring opportunities.
The Lancers missed two field goals, set up Bonita Vista’s go-ahead touchdown via a fumble and, after blocking a Baron punt, promptly fumbled the ball on the BVHS five-yard line on their first play from scrimmage.
“We’ve found ways,” Roelof said.
Despite the adversity, much of it self-created, Hilltop hung in there against the Barons, pulling off first downs on fake punts and driving toward the end zone as time expired.
“I can’t be disappointed by their effort,” Roelof said. “They’ve given it all they have and, as a coach, you have to be pleased with that. I think if we can put it all together that we have something special.”
The Lancers showcased their potential in last Friday’s 23-7 non-league victory at Castle Park to improve to 2-4 on the season and maintain a glimmer of hope for inclusion in the Division II playoffs.
Hilltop quarterback Omar Hernandez once again left his signature on the game by scoring on touchdown runs of 10 and one yard and kicking a career-best 52-yard field goal. Dustin Downs scored the Lancers’ other touchdown on a 20-yard run and also tacked on a two-point conversion run.
In a game in which the Hilltop passing game faltered, the Lancer defense also left its calling card by holding the host Trojans to 78 rushing yards.
Daniel Hernandez rushed 14 times for 51 yards and scored once to pace Castle Park, which fell to 1-5 in non-league play.
Omar Hernandez completed just one of 11 passing attempts for five yards but made up for that with 10 carries for 54 yards. Downs helped carry the load for Hilltop by rushing for 97 yards on 18 carries. Montel Campbell had 34 yards on 10 rushing attempts.
The Lancers accumulated 195 rushing yards to control the ground war between the teams.
Hector Guillen completed four of eight passes for 82 yards for the Trojans, who trailed 14-7 at halftime. David Anderson had three catches for 51 yards.
Joel Guadarrama led Castle Park with nine tackles while Jose Garcia had one sack.
The playoffs are not out of reach of either team despite lop-sided losing records at this point of the season.
Castle Park must face a 5-1 Mar Vista team enjoying one of its best ever seasons this Friday, but then kicks off Metro-Pacific League play Oct. 28 with a game against Sweetwater, followed by league contests against Mater Dei Catholic and Montgomery.
There doesn’t seem to be any favorite to capture this year’s Metro-Pacific title, though Mater Dei and Montgomery both have had the better of non-league play with 4-2 records.
Montgomery dropped a hard-fought 13-0 decision to visiting Mar Vista last Friday.
The Metro-Pacific champion receives an automatic playoff berth.
Hilltop hosts Montgomery this Friday in a homecoming contest before jumping into Metro-South Bay League play for the final three weeks of the season against Southwest, Mar Vista and San Ysidro.
A 5-5 finish to the season — or better — is not out of reach of the Lancers’ grasp.
“Our whole season is still in front of us,” Roelof said.
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