Last Friday’s Mesa League opener between the host Chula Vista Spartans and Eastlake Titans was such an attractive match-up on paper that it attracted television coverage from Time Warner Cable SportsNet SD for a regional broadcast.
With four cameras covering the field, it was time for both teams to ramp up their energy levels. The visiting Titans did the best job in recording a 49-21 victory.
“We had a lot of energy but the key was executing,” EHS coach John McFadden said. “If we execute, we’re difficult to stop.”
Though the Titans won big, they found themselves down early on a 30-yard interception return by Jaylon Candler. The teams then traded touchdowns as Eastlake’s Tavarus Green scored on a five-yard run and CV’s Jevante Reed scored on a two-yarder.
The Titans (4-2 overall) seized the momentum after that by scoring the next three touchdowns and six of the next seven.
Isiah Olave’s five-yard scoring run (the extra point failed) brought the score to 14-13 in Chula Vista’s favor. A 21-7 scoring outburst in the second quarter put the visitors up 34-21 at halftime.
Green added a 26-yard touchdown run and Aaron Baltazar tacked on a six-yard score before the Spartans (0-1, 4-2) could finally answer on a four-yard TD pass from Ricky Estevez to Ray Holden.
Green (seven rushes, 86 yards) then scored his third touchdown of the game on a 19-yard run.
Eastlake scored the only 15 points of the second half. Olave blocked a 24-yard field goal attempt and teammate Keifer Graham returned the loose ball 90 yards for a touchdown. Baltazar scored on the ensuing two-point conversion. Big turn-around: Instead of being 34-24, it was 42-21.
Baltazar closed out scoring in the game on a 50-yard run. He finished the game with 189 yards on 16 carries compared to Chula Vista’s Reed, who was held to 86 yards on 20 carries.
“We made some changes in our defense and definitely played well,” McFadden said. “It’s a tough league and we’re taking each game one at a time. We’ll focus on Bonita Vista (Oct. 19). We’ve got to keep up our energy level.”
Estevez threw for 182 yards in the loss; Holden had five catches for 94 yards.
“The first half, we kept it close,” CV coach Judd Rachow said. “That’s what we wanted to do. We knew they were going to be that strong. They’re a good football team. I don’t think we had enough speed to keep up with them.”
EHS quarterback Ty Stevens completed eight of nine passing attempts for 158 yards; the Titans collected 351 rushing yards compared to 107 for the hosts.
The fumble return was a first for Graham. “The ball bounced right in front of me, I scooped it up and ran as fast as I could because I knew No. 2 (Reed) was coming after me,” Graham said. “It was a great feeling.”
Around South Bay
•Hilltop (2-4) won its second consecutive game by defeating host Castle Park, 44-15, as Daniel Sanchez passed for 211 yards and four touchdowns and Dustin Downs (11 carries, 90 yards) scored twice on rushes. Sergio Vidrio, Treyvonne Lomas, Drake Madarang and James Lett each caught scoring passes.
Juan Luna (quarterback run) and Aaron Leon (85-yard punt return) scored for Castle Park (1-5), which mustered just 49 rushing yards.
•Mar Vista (3-3) rolled up 578 rushing yards in its 42-7 win over visiting Montgomery (1-5). The Mariners limited the Aztecs to 34 passing yards and 49 rushing yards. Landon O’Connell led MV with three TDs while Landon Clark scored twice.
Friday, Oct. 5
Eastlake 49, Chula Vista 21
Otay Ranch 40, Bonita Vista 10
Olympian 41, El Capitan 6
Hilltop 44, Castle Park 15
Sweetwater 27, Southwest 6
Mar Vista 42, Montgomery 7
Mater Dei Catholic 39, San Ysidro 7
Friday, Oct. 12
Otay Ranch at Olympian, 7 p.m.
Bonita Vista at Chula Vista, 7 p.m.
Warner at Ocean View Christian Academy, 7 p.m.
Castle Park at Mar Vista, 7 p.m.
Hilltop at Montgomery, 7 p.m.
Sweetwater at San Ysidro, 7 p.m.
Mater Dei Catholic at Southwest, 7 p.m.
Lutheran vs. Upland Christian at Hilltop High School, 7 p.m.
SAN DIEGO SECTION RANKINGS
SD Sportswriters/Sportscasters Poll
Top 10: 1. Oceanside 5-1, 2. La Costa Canyon 5-1, 3. Helix 4-1, 4. Cathedral Catholic 4-2, 5. Mission Hills 4-2, 6. Poway 4-2, 7. Olympian 6-0, 8. St. Augustine 5-1, 9. Otay Ranch 6-0, 10. Grossmont 6-0.
Others: 11. Eastlake 4-2, 12. Valley Center 4-2, 13. West Hills 5-1, 14. Madison 5-1
PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFF TICKER
Division I: Otay Ranch 6-0, Eastlake 4-2, Chula Vista 4-2
Division II: San Ysidro 3-3, Hilltop 2-4, Bonita Vista 2-4, Sweetwater 1-5
Division III: Olympian 6-0, Southwest 2-4, Montgomery 1-5, Castle Park 1-5
Division IV: Mater Dei Catholic 3-2, Mar Vista 3-3
Division V: CV Calvary Christian 4-1