The Sweetwater High School football team has not won a league championship in 25 years. But the exceedingly long wait could be over soon for the Red Devils if they continue to play like they have in fashioning what has now become a three-game winning streak.
The National City team recorded what undeniably has to be its biggest win of the season last Friday in its Metro-Pacific League opener against two-time defending league champion Mater Dei Catholic.
The Devils won 41-14.
“It was shocking,” SuHi head coach Brian Hay admitted. “I didn’t expect this kind of output but our kids appear to have finally picked it up and are starting to roll with it.”
What the Sweetwater team has finally picked up with some degree of expertise is running the double-wing formation — a game plan that brought Hay three consecutive league titles at his previous head coaching assignment at Mar Vista High School.
“The double-wing is one of the oldest offensive formations in the history of the game but it can take a while to master,” Hay explained.
The Devils are clearly getting there after besting Hilltop, Mar Vista and Mater Dei Catholic in three consecutive weeks after suffering a four-game losing streak.
Sweetwater rushed for 405 yards in last Friday’s game. The hosts built a commanding 20-0 halftime lead and tacked on three second-half touchdowns.
Quarterback Christian Amon put the Devils on the scoreboard on a three-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. The hosts then went up 10-0 on a 25-yard field goal by Victor Alfaro to cap a lengthy eight-minute drive.
Sweetwater scored again after recording a takeaway on defense. The fumble recovery put the ball at the Crusader 30-yard line and Antonio Garcia scored on the next play.
The Devils recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and capitalized on a 32-yard field goal to end the opening half.
Mater Dei Catholic, which fell to 2-6 on the season, quickly served notice it was not going to go down meekly. The Crusaders took just 51 seconds to score the opening touchdown of the second half as QB Marco Morales connected with Iman Chatman-Dixon for a breakaway 96-yard score.
But the Devils countered with another time-consuming drive as James Zarate scored from three yards out to increase the SuHi lead to 28-7.
The hosts weren’t finished. Raven Middleton scored on a five-yard run with 9:03 left in the fourth quarter to increase the Devils’ lead to 34-7.
Chatman-Dixon caught a 17-yard scoring pass with 7:24 to play to cut the visitors’ deficit to 34-14 but, once again, Sweetwater had the last say as Jose Sandoval closed out game scoring on a short run with 3:45 to play.
So, is Sweetwater championship material?
That question will be answered Friday when the Devils host Castle Park at homecoming. The Trojans (4-4) are smarting from a 28-22 overtime loss at Montgomery last Friday that catapulted the Aztecs into a front-running position beside Sweetwater for the league title.
Mater Dei Catholic will host Montgomery Friday. Should both the Crusaders and Trojans emerge victorious, the league title chase could be thrown into disarray. However, should both Sweetwater and Montgomery post victories, the 2013 Metro-Pacific League championship game will be played Nov. 8 at Montgomery High School.
Aztecs top Trojans, 28-22, in OT to win fourth annual Warrior Bowl
Stanley Schwing scored on a 25-yard run in overtime to lift the host Montgomery Aztecs to a rousing 28-22 win over Castle Park in the teams’ annual Warrior Bowl clash. The match-up also served as the Metro-Pacific League opener for both teams.
Schwing, a senior running back/wide receiver/defensive back, senior quarterback Dion Moore and offensive/defensive lineman Elias Dorris each received Montgomery’s Player of the Game honors.
Schwing rushed 10 times for 144 yards while Moore rushed for one touchdown and also passed for one touchdown. Dorris recorded a team-high 12 tackles, including three for losses.
Chauncey Emerson led the Aztecs (4-4 overall, 1-0 in league) with two touchdowns. He rushed for 94 yards on four carries, including an 80-yard bolt from scrimmage. He also finished the game with three catches for 40 yards.
As a team, Montgomery out-gained Castle Park 283 to 187 in rushing yards. The Aztecs held a narrow 361-356 edge in all-purpose yards.
Mylik Steen led the Trojans (4-4, 0-1) with 44 rushing yards on 11 carries. He scored two touchdowns.
Feliepe Liborio booted three field goals and one PAT conversion to finish the game with 10 points. He also totaled 58 yards in kick returns.
Luq Barcoo and Steve Calderon led the Trojans defensively with nine tackles each; Kameron Bradley and Jose Enriques each had fumble recoveries for the Aztecs.
Each team had one sack in the game that were credited to Castle Park’s Robert Stretch and Montgomery’s Bradley.
No. 3 Eastlake, Olympian to square off for Metro-Mesa League lead
They stand poised like two championship prize fighters. In one corner: the third-ranked Eastlake Titans. In the other corner: the two-time defending Metro-Mesa League champion Olympian Eagles.
Since there are no more ties in California high school football games, one of these teams is going to come away with undisputed rights to the Metro-Mesa League lead following Friday’s clash of South County behemoths at Eastlake High School.
“This game means a lot to both teams — it is all about playing at the highest level, bragging rights,” said Eastlake coach John McFadden, whose team enters Friday’s high profile contest with a 7-1 overall record.
Olympian coach Paul Van Nostrand concurred.
“This is what we have worked for — a chance to play for the league championship,” said Van Nostrand, whose team enters Friday’s marquee match-up with a 6-2 overall record. “We will need our best effort against Eastlake.”
Both teams are 2-0 in league play and are coming off key wins last Friday.
Isiah Olave scored on a 65-yard interception return, 78-yard breakaway pass-catch and five-yard run to finish with three touchdowns in Eastlake’s 27-0 victory against Bonita Vista in a game played at Otay Ranch High School.
Meanwhile, Olympian received two touchdowns from Manny Rodriguez and an 80-yard fumble return for a score from Rey Osuna in its 21-9 win over visiting Chula Vista (1-2 in league, 3-5 overall).
The Eagles scored single touchdowns in each of the first three quarters. Osuna’s TD negated a potential Chula Vista scoring drive while Rodriguez continued to pile up points this season on a four-yard touchdown run and a 13-yard scoring catch.
The Titans retained possession of the Battle for the Boot rivalry game trophy against the Barons (1-2, 4-5) as Traylon Reed capped scoring on a 31-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Otay Ranch kept its playoff hopes alive for at least one more week after downing host Escondido, 20-12, in a non-league game played in North County last Friday. The Mustangs, who improved to 2-6 overall, snapped a five-game losing streak. Justin Doton led Otay Ranch with two touchdowns, including a 67-yard score.
Hilltop, Mar Vista emerge as front-runners in Metro-South Bay League
The Hilltop Lancers and Mar Vista Mariners each won lopsided contests last Friday to emerge as the front-runners for this year’s Metro-South Bay League title.
Hilltop improved to 7-1 overall following its 41-0 victory at San Ysidro while Mar Vista hiked its overall record to 3-5 after out-dueling host Southwest 55-29 in the team’s rivalry game.
Jimmie Hill rushed for 339 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Mar Vista’s rushing attack while teammate Brandon Scales gained 96 yards and scored four touchdowns.
Drake Madarang (seven carries, 40 yards) and Jake Alvarado (12 carries, 57 yards) each scored two touchdowns for Hilltop.
PREP FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD
Friday, Oct. 25
Sweetwater 41, Mater Dei Catholic 14
Montgomery 28, Castle Park 22 (OT)
Olympian 21, Chula Vista 9
Eastlake 27, Bonita Vista 0
Metro-South Bay League
Mar Vista 55, Southwest 29
Hilltop 41, San Ysidro 0
Chula Vista Calvary Christian Academy 16, Julian 10
Borrego Springs 64, Lutheran 19
Otay Ranch 20, Escondido 12
Sunset League (8-Man)
Ocean View Christian Academy 44, San Pasqual Academy 38
Metro Conference Standings
Eastlake (2-0, 7-1), Olympian (2-0, 6-2), Chula Vista Spartans (1-2, 3-5), Bonita Vista (1-2, 4-5), Otay Ranch (0-2, 2-6)
Sweetwater (1-0, 4-4), Montgomery (1-0, 4-4), Castle Park (0-1, 4-4), Mater Dei Catholic (0-1, 2-6)
Metro-South Bay League
Hilltop (1-0, 7-1), Mar Vista (1-0, 3-5), San Ysidro (0-1, 3-5), Southwest (0-1, 0-8)