The Eastlake Titans, Olympian Eagles and Mar Vista Mariners each have won no worse than a share of their respective league titles after recording key victories last Friday. All three teams will be out to remain in the win column this Friday to officially sew up outright championships.
Eastlake can wrap up its fifth consecutive Metro-Mesa League title by defeating the host Mater Dei Crusaders on Friday. The Titans’ championship fortunes were set in motion by last Friday’s 35-13 victory against the arch rival Bonita Vista Barons in the teams’ annual Battle for the Boot rivalry game.
Olympian can secure the rights to the inaugural Metro-Pacific League championship by defeating the visiting Sweetwater Red Devils on Friday. The Eagles’ championship fortunes were brought about by last Friday’s 42-0 shutout victory against the visiting Castle Park Trojans.
Mar Vista can emerge with the Metro-South Bay League title — its first league championship since 1987 — by defeating the visiting Southwest Raiders on Friday in the teams’ annual Battle for the Bell rivalry game. The Mariners’ championship fortunes were set in motion by last Friday’s 40-27 victory at Hilltop, thus spoiling both the Lancers’ own championship aspirations as well as the host team’s homecoming gala.
Eastlake 35, Bonita Vista 13
The top-ranked Titans (3-0 in league play, 9-0 overall) extended their winning streak to 20 consecutive games — the longest such active streak among San Diego Section teams — and increased their unbeaten streak to 22 games (20-0-2).Chris Fletcher and Tavarus Green each scored two touchdowns and Jude Isbell added his team-leading ninth touchdown, all on scoring runs.
With a win on Friday, Eastlake will record the school’s first-ever 10-0 regular season. The Titans went 8-0-2 last year before tacking on three playoff victories.
“We’re excited about possibly going 10-0,” EHS head coach John McFadden said. “When you’re going through something like this, you don’t pay that much attention to it. But it’s an amazing accomplishment. It’s exciting.”
The Titans built a 14-0 first quarter lead, led 20-0 at halftime and zoomed in front 28-0 before the Barons (2-2 in league, 3-7 overall) could scored their first touchdown in last Friday’s game.
Fletcher got the Titan scoring machine rolling with a 47-yard scoring romp, followed by a 16-yard score by Green to give the hosts a two-touchdown advantage in the first quarter.
Green then ripped off a 47-yard TD jaunt to complete scoring in the first half.
Isbell scored on a one-yard run and Fletcher caught a two-point conversion try from quarterback Josh Palet as Eastlake put up the only points of the third quarter.
Bonita Vista scored twice in the final quarter as Felix Garcia scored on a nine-yard run and Ryan Miguel scored on a five-yard run. Eastlake’s Fletcher squeezed in an eight-yard scoring run between the two BV touchdowns.
Isbell rushed 14 times for 145 yards while Green amassed 105 yards on just six carries and Fletcher gained 90 yards on seven carries. Palet completed four of seven passing attempts for 47 yards, including a 22-yarder to Travis Gardner and a pair of passes totaling 22 yards to Isbell.
Isbell remains an amazing player, period. He has rushed 93 times for 993 yards, is averaging 165.5 yards per game and 10.7 yards per carry.
“He’s having a step out season, no question,” McFadden said. “I think both he and Aaron Baltazar (currently injured) have kind of surprised people. I think Jude’s a very good player, a Division I prospect. He’s got all the tools. He’s has very compact speed and powerful. He’s even better on defense at strong safety but we use him on offense as well. In college, he’ll probably play defense. He was our leading tackler our first four games.”
Baltazar, who is expected back for the playoffs, has rushed for 539 yards on 51 carries, is averaging 90 yards per game and 10.6 yards per carry. He has scored seven touchdowns.
Fletcher (13 catches, 315 yards) ranks second on the team with eight touchdowns while Green (28 rushes, 271yards) has scored six touchdowns and Zach Bannon (43 rushes, 288 yards) has scored five TDs.
Mater Dei (0-3 in league, 1-8 overall) is coming off a 35-21 loss at Chula Vista. Joe Legrette, Andrew Martinez and Manuel Zea (67-yard pass from Andrew Baynes) each scored one touchdown for the Crusaders, who trailed 14-0 at halftime and 28-0 in the third quarter before rallying late in the second half.
Olympian 42, Castle Park 0
Injury-riddled Olympian continues to amaze not only its own coaching staff but that of opponents as well with its ability to overcome adversity. The victory over Castle Park — the Eagles’ seventh consecutive after a 28-0 loss to Torrey Pines on Sept. 17 — was the second of three steps needed to capture the league title, according to OHS head coach Gil Warren.
“It’s pretty exciting but we have Sweetwater next — they have some talent,” Warren said. “The goal is to win your league every year and we were surprised how well it went for us against Castle Park. Our defense played well and Cobrin Humphrey, our quarterback, continued to show why he should be the MVP in our league by the way he’s progressed through the season.”
Humphrey unleashed three touchdown passes — one each to a different receiver — and the Eagles (2-0 in league, 8-1 overall) tacked on three rushing scores to overpower Castle Park (1-1 in league, 6-3 overall) in the scoring department. Olympian led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime.
Humphrey, who has emerged as one of the Metro Conference’s more consistent and surprise passers this season, reeled off scoring passes to Steve Exum (71 yards), Kevun Ehm (44 yards) and Justin Gaskin (10 yards). Humphrey finished the game with 153 passing yards.
Olympian, which is better known for its battering-ram running game, continued to rack up yards on the ground — 269, to be exact — despite a plethora of injuries to its starting back field. Seven players took hand-offs in the game.
Devon Flores scored on a 12-yard run while Rickey Standard scored on a 15-yard run and Dre Gibson scored on a two-yard run. Gibson led the committee work with a team-high 60 rushing yards.
The Eagles amassed more than 220 yards in offense in the first quarter.
CP totaled 98 yards in the game.
Sweetwater (0-2 in league, 1-8 overall) is coming off a 37-20 loss to visiting Montgomery (1-1 in league, 6-3 overall). The Red Devils have been playing their best football in the second half of the season and held the Aztecs to a scoreless first quarter standoff before going down 10-0 at halftime. Montgomery won the scoring battle 27-20 in the second half between the teams.
SuHi quarterback Adam Aguon passed for 193 yards while Kristian Garcia rushed for 107 yards and Daniel Castro caught 10 passes for 86 yards. Aguon, Garcia and Orendo Bennett (seven carries, 25 yards) each scored rushing touchdowns.
For the season, Aguon has passed for 1,656 yards and 12 touchdowns while Garcia has rushed for 515 yards and five TDs this season.
Mar Vista 40, Hilltop 27
The Mariners (2-0 in league, 6-3 overall) guaranteed themselves their first winning season in 11 years and a chance to nail down an automatic entry into the San Diego Section Division III playoffs by defeating Hilltop in a must-win game for both teams. Mar Vista coach Brian Hay, who previously coached the Lancers for four years, called the 2010 edition of the Mariners the best during his six years with the team, and likely well before that time span.
“When you play hard, good things happen,” the MVHS coach said succinctly.
The win was the fifth consecutive for the Mariners, who are suddenly bidding for a home game in the opening round of the Division III playoffs.
Hay said the key to his team’s success against Hilltop was its ability to keep the ball moving on the ground.
“I have total respect for their offense,” Hay said. “We had to keep moving the ball to keep it away from them. If we didn’t move the ball, they were going to move it.”
Behind a solid performance by the team’s offensive line, the visitors did just that by rolling up a staggering 505 rushing yards. Quarterback Jordan Lertique completed his only passing attempt of the game for 42 yards to give Mar Vista 547 yards in total offense.
Hilltop racked up half that total — 176 rushing yards and 87 passing yards for 263 total offensive yards.
Translated: The Mariners’ game plan worked.
Rommel Cooper rushed 18 times for 168 yards and scored two touchdowns while Ruben Gonzales rushed 15 times for 145 yards and scored twice. Demarcus Henderson had six carries for 100 yards and scored one touchdown while Justin Peoples had 13 carries for 73 yards and Lertique had two carries for 13 yards, including a three-yard TD keeper.
Hilltop’s magic man, quarterback Omar Hernandez, completed nine of 15 attempts for 87 yards but added 96 rushing yards on 14 carries. Trey Ventura tacked on 77 yards on nine carries to help boost the Lancers’ rushing game that totaled 176 yards on 25 carries.
Ruben Maldonado caught six passes for 58 yards to lead Hilltop’s receivers.
The Mariners recorded a pair of sacks (one each by Lashon Riggens and Junior Tafoki) while Lertique snared a fourth quarter interception to blunt a late Lancer rally after the hosts had recovered an onside kick.
Noted for its passing game, Hilltop (1-1 in league, 4-5 overall) scored all four of its touchdowns against the Mariners on runs, with Hernandez and Ventura each scoring twice.
Mar Vista led 12-0 before the Lancers made it 12-7. But the visitors quickly went in front 20-7 and pulled off a bit of trickery by recovering an onside kick with just 18.7 seconds left in the half. Cooper took a hand-off with 9.7 seconds left and sprinted 46 yards into the end zone as time expired. The two-point conversion made it 28-7.
The hosts got to within two touchdowns in the second half on two occasions but each time the Mariners responded with a score of their own.
Cooper played sparingly in the second half due to a minor injury, with Henderson taking over the primary rushing duties to much success. “We don’t just have one back — we have backs,” Hay said.
Cooper has rushed for 1,634 yards this season and has scored 19 touchdowns. “It would be nice to get him 2,000 rushing yards for the season,” Hay said.
Peoples has rushed for 808 yards while Gonzales has racked up 535 rushing yards and has scored seven TDs this season. Lertique has passed for 364 yards with one TD and has rushed for 332 yards and scored four times on runs.
The Mariners showed a bit of class by kneeling the ball in the final seconds rather than add another rushing score while poised deep in Hilltop’s end.