The Chula Vista Spartans and Sweetwater Red Devils met for the 64th time Friday in what has become San Diego County’s longest continuing high school football rivalry. The Spartans now hold a 37-24-3 edge in the series after defeating the Red Devils, 42-12, at Gail Devers Stadium in National City.
It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Spartans since a 10-10 tie in 2005 in the long-running series.
The Legacy of Pride trophy thus remains for yet another year at CVHS.
With large turnover on both teams’ rosters, this year’s game was expected to be closer than those in the recent past (all blowouts by the Spartans) and the score was indeed close at halftime, with Chula Vista holding a narrow 14-6 advantage. But the Spartans, who head coach Judd Rachow said played “sloppy in the first half,” took firm control of the game by engineering the opening two scores of the second half to open a comfortable lead.
The result: another lop-sided Spartan win.
Isaac Martinez scored on a 12-yard run to hike the visitors’ lead to 21-6. On the next drive, sophomore quarterback Richard Estevez threw a 38-yard pass over the middle to Brandon Nealy.
Estevez threw two touchdowns in the game. He also hit Ray Holden for a 37-yard score in the final quarter.
While it was the first varsity rivalry game for Estevez, the sophomore signal-caller clearly understood the meaning of pride both teams give to this particular game.
“I just wanted to have fun and go out and win,” Estevez said. “I didn’t want to lose and disappoint all the people who had played in this game before. I didn’t want to embarrass all the people who had worn my number in the past.”
SuHi quarterback Adam Aguon scored on a nine-yard keeper in the third quarter to trim the Spartan lead to 28-12. The hosts did not threaten again.
“Sweetwater played us tough in the first half,” Rachow said. “We’ve got a young team but you can only say that for so long. We’ve got to learn to play a full game and not one of halves if we are going to be successful.”
After Holden’s TD hiked the score to 35-12 in the visitors’ favor, Donovan Mendez scored the final touchdown of the game on a five-yard run to make the score 42-12.
After Martinez scored the game’s opening points on a 55-yard scamper, SuHi’s Kristian Garcia cut the early Spartan lead to 7-6 on a rushing TD. But Chula Vista extended its lead on the following kick-off via a dazzling 97-yard sideline return by Rudy Segobia.
Chula Vista (1-1) takes its road show to Hilltop High School on Friday, Sept. 17, for the annual Chula Vista Kiwanis Bowl game between the two west side schools, longtime rivals in their own right.
Sweetwater (0-2) next plays at Granite Hills (1-1).
South County prep scoreboard
Friday, Sept. 10
Chula Vista 42, Sweetwater 12
Eastlake 42, Lincoln 21
Castle Park36, Mater Dei Catholic 7
Otay Ranch 44, Serra 7
Olympian 36, Granite Hills 28
Southwest 25, Mountain Empire 10
San Diego 21, Hilltop 17
Hoover 31, San Ysidro 7
Steele Canyon 28, Bonita Vista 14
Saturday, Sept. 11
Calvary Christian Academy (Chula Vista) 30, St. Joseph 22
South County Undefeated
(Through Sept. 10)
Eastlake Titans 2-0
Castle Park Trojans 2-0
Southwest Raiders 2-0
Calvary Christian Academy 2-0
Olympian Eagles 1-0
Montgomery Aztecs 1-0
Mar Vista Mariners 1-0
Ocean View Christian Academy Patriots 1-0