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Are you ready for some high school football? Phillip Brents | Fri, Sep 02 2011 01:03 AM

Lancers get bonus home game to kick off season

The Hilltop Lancers will have the home field advantage when they kick off the 2011 high school football season Friday against the University City Centurions. The game  originally was scheduled to be played at University City but was changed to Hilltop because the Centurions’ new turf field is not yet completely installed.

“We found out the second week of school,” HHS head coach Cody Roloef said.

Friday’s game is slated for a 7 p.m. kick-off and expects to be well attended by the Hooligans, the school’s student spirit section.

The Lancers defeated the Cents, 33-10, to kick off the 2010 season in front of a boisterous home crowd.

Hilltop is coming off a hard-hitting scrimmage against the visiting Grossmont Foothillers last Friday. Lancer senior quarterback Omar Hernandez handled the starting duties. He rushed for three touchdowns and also threw for a score in last year’s season opening victory over UC.

Hilltop finished 5-6 last season with a trip to the San Diego Section’s Division II playoffs. University City, which competes in the City Conference’s Central League, finished 4-6 last year.

“We hope to get off on a good footing,” Roloef said. “We lost 31 seniors. Not all of them were skill players but that’s still a big chunk. We’re young but hopefully we’ll have people step up and fill those holes.”

In other non-league match-ups:

Kearny at Castle Park

The Trojans finished 6-5 last season with a trip to the Division III playoffs and could be the favorite to win this year’s Metro-Pacific League championship. Castle Park defeated the Komets, 28-14, in last year’s season opener. Kick-off is 7 p.m.

El Cajon Valley at Sweetwater
Both teams finished 1-9 last season and will be looking to build momentum early. Saladin Nasser and Marco Rivera both handled the quarterback duties in last Friday’s scrimmage against Castle Park and Morse. Kick-off is 7 p.m.

Central Union at Montgomery
The host Aztecs will face the tricky task of replacing key front-line personnel lost to graduation this season. Head coach Julio Alcala believes his team can do that based on its returning depth. Duplicating last year’s 8-4 record and quarterfinal-round exit from the Division III playoffs will be a tough act to follow. The Spartans finished 5-5 last season. Kick-off is 7:30 p.m. 

Elsinore at Otay Ranch

The Mustangs will reload behind a new starting quarterback but return a host of skilled position players and a strong group of linemen. Otay Ranch dropped a 26-16 decision to Friday’s opponent in last year’s season opener in Wildomar. The game served as Lacsina’s debut as head coach. Elsinore is coming off a Southern Section Eastern Division CIF championship, so the Mustangs will get an instant barometer of where they stand this season. "We made too many mistakes in that game last year," Lacsina said. The Tigers finished 12-2 last season. Kick-off is 7 p.m.

The Mustangs somehow didn’t make the inaugural Top 20 San Diego Sportswriters Association poll. We wonder why.

Hamilton at Southwest
James Lewis will be looking for his first win as the Raiders’ new head coach. Southwest finished with an upbeat 5-5 record last season and Lewis is shooting for at least the same this season. The Raiders defeated the Bobcats, 25-18, in Anza last year to kick off the season. Southwest averaged nearly 190 rushing yards last year. Game time is 7 p.m.

Patrick Henry at San Ysidro
New Cougar coach Tyler Arciaga will be looking to debut with a positive result. San Ysidro is coming off back-to-back 1-9 seasons. Patrick Henry also finished 1-9 in 2010. The Cougars expect to showcase a stronger front line. Kick-off is 7 p.m.     

El Capitan at Mar Vista
The defending Metro-South Bay League champion Mariners kick off a challenging non-league schedule with a home game against the defending Grossmont Valley League co-champion El Capitan Vaqueros. Mar Vista led the section in rushing yards per game last season and will be operating behind a behemoth front line this year. The Vaqueros, led by quarterback Jake Alvernaz, finished 5-5-1 in 2010. Both teams are in the same Division III playoff division, so the result carries double meaning. Kick-off is 7 p.m.   

Viewpoint at Mater Dei Catholic
The Crusaders, who moved to the Metro-Pacific League this season, kick off the season with a schedule slated toward smaller enrollment schools. MDC finished 1-9 in each of the last two seasons and is looking to build a solid foundation for the future with a large freshman class this year. Viewpoint, which is located in Calabasas, finished 2-6-1 last season. Kick-off is 7 p.m.

Road warriors:

(All games 7 p.m. kick-off)
•Eastlake at Helix

This non-league game pits top Division II preseason team (Helix) versus top Division I preseason team (Eastlake). The Titans have won eight league titles and made 14 playoff appearances in their history.

•Bonita Vista at La Serna
La Serna defeated the Barons, 28-7, in last year’s season opener. Bonita Vista should be much improved from last year’s 3-8 finish.

•Chula Vista at Granite Hills
Both teams are in the same Division I playoff division; a win for either in the opener is crucial.

San Diego Section
2011 Football Rankings

San Diego Sportswriters  Association Preseason Poll

1. Helix
2. Oceanside
3. Eastlake
4. Torrey Pines
5. La Costa Canyon
6. Cathedral Catholic
7. Vista
8. Poway
9. Mission Hills
10. Mt. Miguel
11. Mira Mesa
12. Rancho Bernardo
13. Steele Canyon
14. St. Augustine
15. (tie) Lincoln
15. (tie) Madison
15. (tie) Valley Center
18. El Camino
19. Scripps Ranch
20. (tie) El Capitan
20. (tie) Olympian

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