Since Hilltop and Chula Vista high schools have rekindled their west side rivalry series, the Chula Vista Kiwanis Bowl has increased in stature each season. Friday’s contest, the ninth in the series, promises to be a toss-up given the turnover in rosters at both schools.
The Chula Vista Spartans currently hold a 7-1 advantage with a four-game winning streak. But pride means a lot on both sides.
“A lot of these kids grew up together playing in the same youth football program and now they are representing their own high school,” CV coach Judd Rachow said. “It should be interesting. It should be exciting.”
Both teams enter Friday’s community-minded match-up (7 p.m. kick-off) with 1-1 records.
The Spartans are coming off a big 42-12 non-league victory at Sweetwater last Friday to retain the coveted Legacy of Pride trophy in what has become the longest continuous high school football rivalry in San Diego County.
Hilltop is coming off a 21-17 loss at San Diego after kick-starting the 2010 season with a 33-10 non-league victory against visiting University City.
Chula Vista appears to have found its groove — or, at least a glimmer of one — after debuting with a 40-0 home loss to power house La Costa Canyon on Sept. 3.
With both teams having lost significant talent to graduation, this year’s Kiwanis Bowl showdown appears, on paper at least, to be a fairly even ballgame.
The Chula Vista Kiwanis Club, the game’s sponsor, will present each program with a monetary donation as well as select an outstanding offensive and defensive player from each team.
The youthful Spartans played what Rachow termed “two halves” against Sweetwater. He labeled the first half against the Red Devils as “sloppy.” Chula Vista out-scored SuHi 28-6 in the second half. Isaac Martinez scored on runs of 55 and 12 yards while Rudy Segobia broke loose for a 97-yard kick-off return. Sophomore QB Richard Estevez threw a pair of scoring passes — 38 yards to Brandon Nealy and 37 yards to Ray Holden. Donovan Mendez closed out scoring on a five-yard run.
The Lancers led the Cavers 9-7 at halftime on a two-point safety and a 25-yard scoring run by Trey Ventura but could not match the hosts in the second half in falling from the ranks of the undefeated.
San Diego, which has won its first two games of the season since 2001, scored the lone touchdown in the third quarter as Eric Judge hauled in a 53-yard pass from Khari Kimbrough to enable the hosts to go in front 14-9.
Hilltop answered back in the fourth quarter with eight points to hold a temporary 17-14 lead. Luis Herrera scored on a four-yard run and then Omar Hernandez hit Ruben Maldonado for a successful two-point conversion. San Diego took the final lead of the game when Kimbrough scored on a one-yard run.
Kiwanis Bowl IX
Friday, Sept. 17
Chula Vista Spartans (1-1) at Hilltop Lancers (1-1)
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
Chula Vista leads series 7-1