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Mixed showing for local prep pigskin teams in season openers Phillip Brents | Fri, Sep 09 2011 01:56 PM

It was a mixed bag for last weekend’s high school football season openers. Twelve of the Metro Conference’s 13 teams saw action last Friday, and six came away victorious. Two of the South County’s three small private schools also strutted out on the gridiron, and one walked off the field with a win.

Eastlake, by virtue of its heart-pounding 21-14 victory over preseason No. 1 Helix, enters Friday’s home game against Scripps Ranch as San Diego County’s new top-ranked team.

Also scoring non-league victories in their first outings were the Mar Vista Mariners, Montgomery Aztecs, Southwest Raiders, Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders and Sweetwater Red Devils. The Ocean View Christian Academy Patriots also got into the win column by defeating visiting Warner Springs, 38-14, in eight-man play.

Besides Eastlake’s top 10 win, both Mar Vista (28-17 over visiting El Capitan) and Montgomery (40-6 over visiting Central Union) recorded impressive season debut victories.

Southwest rewarded new coach James Lewis with a 27-0 win over visiting Hamilton while Mater Dei shook off the dust from a 1-9 season to score a 34-6 victory against visiting Viewpoint for third-year coach John Joyner. Sweewater rolled past visiting El Cajon Valley with a huge second-half surge to claim a 31-20 win in a match-up of 1-9 teams a season ago. 

Taking tough season opening losses were the Chula Vista Spartans, Hilltop Lancers  and San Ysidro Cougars.

The Spartans dropped a 22-21 heartbreaker to the host Granite Hills Eagles on a last-minute touchdown and ensuing two-point conversion. San Ysidro fell to visiting Patrick Henry after holding a 14-3 first-half lead while Hilltop fought through some ragged play early on — and a 28-7 halftime deficit — to give the visiting University City Centurions all they could handle in eventually absorbing a 42-34 setback.

Greg Raby will be looking to pick up his first victory as Bonita Vista’s head coach this Friday against Steele Canyon at Southwestern College after the Barons dropped a 32-14 decision last Friday at La Serna.

Daniel Hernandez rushed for 179 yards and scored on a 76-yard romp in Castle Park’s game against visiting Kearny but the Komets came out on top, 47-14, in the non-league match-up.

On the crusade

The Crusaders had seven different ball-carriers collect 296 yards rushing. "We had more than 350 total yards of offense, but most importantly, we held them to under 150 total yards of offense," MDC coach John Joyner said.

Cole Lewis had a touchdown run and an interception for a touchdown, while Joe Legrette ran for two scores and also caught a touchdown pass.

Cougar country

Chandler Tarrant had six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, Kaleyl Carey had three catches for 69 yards and quarterback Chris Garcia completed 10 of 16 passes for 179 yards with two TDs and one interception for San Ysidro. The loss spoiled the head coaching debut of former BVHS standout Tyler Arciaga.

The Cougars let a lead slip away as Patrick Henry racked up 24 unanswered points to take a 27-14 lead.

"We are on the brink of being successful, but we need to learn how to win in adverse circumstances," Arciaga said. "The team is working hard to change the culture of San Ysidro football and we need to get a win to get the momentum rolling for the season."

San Ysidro hosts Castle Park on Friday.

Eight is enough

Oceanview Christian made a triumphant return to eight-man play behind the play of standout Josh Smith, who scored four touchdowns and also scored on three two-point conversions. Smith scored on runs of 58, two and four yards and also scored on a 30-yard interception return.

The Patriots next tackle National City’s Kuyper Prep in a Sept. 10 Sunset League game at 2 p.m. at OVCA.

Add South County
Eastlake’s Gabe Harrington threw a pair of touchdown passes and fellow South Bay resident Jesse Brookins scored on a two-yard run to lead Francis Parker past visiting Rio Hondo Prep, 26-14, last Friday. Harrington passed for 241 yards while Brookins rushed for 115 yards in the non-league win.

Chula Vista’s Joey Moreno helped quarterback defending Smalls Schools Division State Bowl champion Bishop’s to a season opening non-league victory against View Point Prep, also last Friday.

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