There are two games each year on the Chula Vista High School football team’s calendar that evoke the most interest from alumni. The first, of course, is the team’s annual rivalry game against the Sweetwater Red Devils; the second is the team’s annual rivalry game against the Hilltop Lancers.
Both games have recently been given a facelift with large impressive-looking trophies. Chula Vista captured its eighth consecutive win in its venerable series against Sweetwater after last Friday’s 27-0 non-league victory. It was the 67th time the teams have met on the field in the annual battle pitting National City vs. Chula Vista.
The Spartans will be looking to make it a two-game sweep by defeating the Lancers in Friday’s 12th annual Chula Vista Kiwanis Bowl game. Chula Vista leads the series 9-2.
This year’s match-up has intrigue on its side, however. Hilltop is off to a 2-0 start following last Friday’s 27-21 non-league win over visiting Patrick Henry.
The Spartans (1-1) are coming off a shutout victory after playing well on both sides of the ball.
“There are two games alumni are always interested in each year — that’s Sweetwater and Hilltop,” CVHS coach Judd Rachow said.
Blue & White
The Legacy of Pride game constitutes the longest continuous rivalry football game played in San Diego County. Despite the recent winning streak by the Spartans, Sweetwater continues to lead the series 36-28-3.
Chula Vista won the game largely on the play of its physically more imposing offensive and defensive lines. However, the game was not decided until the final quarter.
The Spartans led 14-0 at halftime on two rushing touchdowns by Jayvon Reed and tacked on two fourth quarter scores to secure the victory.
Reed’s first TD came on a three-yard leap over top into the end zone; his second came on a 34-yard breakaway run down the Sweetwater sideline just seconds before halftime.
The third quarter was scoreless before the Spartans took firm control of the scoreboard. After a 44-yard run by Jaylon Candler positioned the ball in the shadow of the Red Devil goal posts, CV quarterback Hunter Gotto faked a handoff before hitting Daniel Bender for a nine-yard scoring catch.
Ty Montiero later returned a punt 45 yards for the final TD.
“All week we talked about eliminating mistakes — it was a great win but we can’t be satisfied with this,” Rachow told his team after the game.
After Rachow departed the team huddle, CV players raised the massive trophy above their heads to renewed cheers from the crowd.
Reed said the focus during the team’s halftime meeting was to tighten play even more defensively in the second half.
“It was a good win but we can’t dwell on it,” Reed said. “Our next game is against Hilltop and that’s another big rivalry game for us.”
Green & Black
The Lancers scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to come away with the one-touchdown win over the Patriots (0-2). Drake Madarang scored two rushing touchdowns while quarterback Daniel Sanchez rushed for one score and Chris Sandoval added a 99-yard kick-off return to produce the game-winner.
Madarang rushed for 164 of his team’s 239 yards on the ground while Sandoval finished the night with 128 return yards.
The Hilltop defense once again came up big with interceptions by Marco Collins and Montel Campbell, four pass deflections and four quarterback hurries, including three by Jared Akers.
David Vasquez led the Lancers with 12 tackles, followed by teammate Adrian Rios with 10 stops. Overall, Hilltop held the Patriots to 136 rushing yards.
Will this year’s Kiwanis Bowl game prove to be a clash of evenly matched teams?
Rachow makes no secret that his team likes to run the football, and the shutout victory against longtime rival Sweetwater has to be a morale boost for a rebuilding Spartan squad.
The Lancers, meanwhile, have generated a potent rushing attack with 428 yards in their first two games. Madarang leads the team with 204 rushing yards, followed by Campbell with 135 yards.
Hilltop’s passing game needs to catch on: Sanchez has completed just four of 20 attempts for 65 yards.
Prep Football Schedule
Friday, Sept. 13
All games at 7 p.m.
•Hilltop at Chula Vista
•Escondido at Eastlake
•Mar Vista at Otay Ranch
•Lutheran vs. Vincent Memorial at Hilltop
•Mater Dei Catholic vs. St. Augustine at San Diego Mesa College
•Ocean View Christian Academy vs. Julian at Mar Vista
•Castle Park at Santana
•San Ysidro vs. Foothills Christian at Seau Field, La Mesa
•Olympian at El Camino
•Bonita Vista at Mission Hills
•Southwest at El Centro Southwest
•Sweetwater at Imperial
•Calvary Christian Academy at Maranatha Christian