It appears the Eastlake Titans and Olympian Eagles have a thing going at the top of the Metro-Mesa League football standings. The Eagles got the best of the Titans in each of the past two seasons to emerge with the league championship.
Still, the Titans earned season bragging rights by winning last year’s San Diego Section Division I championship title.
The new-found rivalry continues, and Eastlake firmly put its stamp on this year’s match-up — and very possibly a stamp on this year’s Metro-Mesa title — by virtue of last Friday’s 51-0 blowout victory.
“We have a very good team, a very young team,” EHS coach John McFadden stated. “When we’re firing on all cylinders, we’re a pretty darn good football team. Our kids really showed that tonight. You can now call it a rivalry.”
It took a computer to keep track of the scoring.
Isiah Olave opened scoring 1:36 into the game on a 69-yard pass reception. The Eagles, who entered the game with a 2-0 league record to match the Titans, went three and out on the next possession, with Eastlake taking over at the Olympian 38-yard line after a short punt.
Traylon Reed made up that difference on one play to help push the hosts to a quick — and deadly — 14-0 edge with 9:04 to play in the opening quarter.
It turned out that Eastlake was only getting started.
Gabriel Housson returned an intercepted pass 56 yards for a touchdown on the Eagles’ next possession to put the visitors in a 21-0 hole with 7:00 left in the first quarter.
The third-ranked Titans (3-0 in league, 8-1 overall) upped the score to 28-0 in their favor after recovering a blocked punt by Mason Saurer. Isaiah Strayhorn capped the series with a 25-yard scoring run with 1:57 to play in the opening 12 minutes.
Dean Klaser scored on a seven-yard run with 8:56 left in the second quarter to put the hosts on top 34-0.
The onslaught continued. An Olave punt return later placed the ball at the Eagle 23-yard line. Strayhorn capped that series with a three-yard touchdown run: 41-0.
After a 50-yard Olave kick return was nullified by a penalty, the Titans still had enough field position to allow place-kicker Aden Johnson to split the uprights from 37 yards out with 10.8 seconds to play in the quarter.
44-0 at halftime.
Greg Bell accounted for the lone score in the second half after scoring on a 73-yard run with 2:31 to play in the third quarter.
After rocking the visitors for 51 points on the scoreboard, it was left for the EHS defense to record the shutout.
The Eagles managed to move the ball deep into Titan territory in the final minute and managed to set up a field goal attempt with 6.2 seconds to play in the game. But kicker Angel Garcia’s attempt from 38 yards sailed wide and it was difficult to determine if the hosts were more excited by securing the shutout win over their new rival or by earning no worse than a tie for the league title.
Perhaps appropriately, former EHS star Tony Jefferson was in attendance at last Friday’s game while enjoying a bye week with the NFL Arizona Cardinals. He clearly placed his stamp of approval on this year’s Titan squad.
“It’s great to be back home and it’s great to see the new and upcoming stars and talk to them,” said Jefferson, the catalyst of Eastlake’s history-making 2009 CIF championship squad, who has 14 tackles (13 unassisted) in his rookie NFL season. “They could be one of the best teams in school history. It’s great to see the legacy is still going.”
The Titans (8-0 against San Diego teams) will now look to attempt to close out a perfect season against section opponents when they play at Metro-Mesa rival Otay Ranch on Friday. Eastlake has yet to allow a point in league play after outscoring Chula Vista, Bonita Vista and Olympian in successive weeks by a combined margin of 109-0.
The Mustangs, however, do not look to go down easy after extending their modest winning streak to two games after dealing Chula Vista a 17-7 homecoming loss last Friday. Otay Ranch (1-2 in league, 3-6 overall) took an early lead on a field goal and touchdown run by Malik Williams.
But stopping the rampaging Titans will be a chore. Strayhorn leads Eastlake with 797 rushing yards, followed by Reed with 760 yards and Olave with 440 yards. Olave leads the team with 348 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns. Reed ranks second on Eastlake with 10 touchdowns; Strayhorn has scored nine times.
Defensively, Keifer Graham tops the Titans with 79 tackles, including 59 unassisted stops, while Ronnie Sallee has posted a team-leading six sacks.
The Titans overall have sacked the opposing quarterback 30 times. Issak Santos and Emilio Rodriguez each have posted five sacks while Housson leads the team with three picks.
Eastlake out-gained Olympian (2-1 in league, 6-3 overall) 382-145 in total yards. The Eagles collected 101 rushing yards, led by Manny Rodriguez with 50 yards on 10 carries, while passing for just 44 yards.
The Titans punted just once in last Friday’s game — and that went for 52 yards off the foot of Johnson. Starting QB Izzack Morales threw for 111 yards while Thaddeus Bell recorded one sack.
In other games on Friday, Olympian closes out regular season play with a home game against the upset-minded Bonita Vista Barons (1-2 in league, 4-5 overall). A win could land the Eagles a home game in the upcoming Division I playoffs.
In statistics available through eight games, Rodriguez led Olympian with 11 touchdowns and 773 all-purpose yards, including a team best 311 receiving yards, and team co-leading three interceptions. Meanwhile, Quarterback Gary Cannon had thrown for 651 yards and five scores in eight games.
PREP FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD
Friday, Nov. 1
Eastlake 51, Olympian 0
Otay Ranch 17, Chula Vista 7
Sweetwater 28, Castle Park 7
Mater Dei Catholic 42, Montgomery 14
Metro-South Bay League
Hilltop 48, Southwest 8
Mar Vista 56, San Ysidro 0
Chula Vista Calvary Christian Academy 62, Lutheran 27
Sunset League (8-Man)
Ocean View Christian Academy 50, St. Joseph 14
Metro Conference Standings
Eastlake (3-0, 8-1), Olympian (2-1, 6-3), Bonita Vista (1-2, 4-5), Otay Ranch (1-2, 3-6), Chula Vista Spartans (1-3, 3-6)
Sweetwater (2-0, 5-4), Montgomery (1-1, 4-5), Mater Dei Catholic (1-1, 3-6), Castle Park (0-2, 4-5)
Metro-South Bay League
Hilltop (2-0, 8-1), Mar Vista (2-0, 4-5), San Ysidro (0-2, 3-6), Southwest (0-2, 0-9)
League title showdown game set for Hilltop, Mar Vista
The showdown is set for Friday in Imperial Beach: the Hilltop Lancers and the Mar Vista Mariners for the Metro-South Bay League championship. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the two schools have met in the league title game, and the Lancers are looking to break a three-year championship run by the Mariners.
Mar Vista will host Hilltop at 7 p.m. Both teams are undefeated in league play at 2-0. The Lancers have the better overall record at 8-1 compared to the Mariners’ mark of 4-5.
However, the winner is crowned the league champion — and receives an automatic berth in the upcoming San Diego Section playoffs.
Both teams appear ready to do battle. Hilltop is coming off a 48-8 win over visiting Southwest last Saturday while Mar Vista shut out host San Ysidro 56-0.
“We are looking forward to the game against Hilltop,” Mariners coach Tyler Arciaga said. “Mar Vista and Hilltop have battled for the South Bay League championship for the past three seasons and all have been very close games. Hilltop has some good offensive weapons as well as some veteran defensive players who know how to win. They are 8-1 going into the game and have been able to close out games. I know our kids will rise up to the challenge and I wouldn’t expect anything other than a close game.”
The Lancers scored five rushing touchdowns against the Raiders (0-2 in league, 0-9 overall), including two by Kameron Smith and one each by Daniel Sanchez, Jake Alvarado and Teddy Simmons. Sanchez also completed a touchdown pass to Isaiah Dillon (three catches, 106 yards) while Luis Hernandez scored on an 84-yard kick return.
The Hilltop defense recorded five sacks (three-and-a-half) by David Vasquez) and two interceptions.
Jimmie Hill rushed for 332 yards and scored four times in Mar Vista’s win over the Cougars (0-2 in league, 3-6 overall). Brandon Scales (seven carries, 83 yards) scored one rushing touchdown while quarterback Dan Lujon threw a pair of scoring passes — one each to Scales and Beto Garcia.
Mariner defenders intercepted SY signal-caller Alan Godoy three times and held the Cougars to 139 rushing yards.
Mar Vista amassed a whopping 619 yards in total offense, including 439 rushing yards.
Sweetwater will have the opportunity to sew up outright possession of this year’s league title with a victory at Montgomery on Friday. If so, it would be the Red Devils’ first league title in 25 years.
However, the host Aztecs have just as much to gain. With a win of its own, Montgomery would secure a share of this year’s banner.
Waiting in the wings are the Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders, who will be at Castle Park on Friday to close out regular season play. An Aztec victory coupled with a Crusader win would forge a tri-championship.
Sweetwater took care of business last Friday by defeating visiting Castle Park 28-7. Antonio Garcia (20 carries, 211 yards) scored the Devils’ opening two touchdowns on runs of 56 and 26 yards. Angel Reyes (17 carries, 141 yards) then broke off a 31-yard touchdown run for a quick 21-0 lead.
Felipe Liborio put the Trojans (0-2 in league, 4-5 overall) on the scoreboard via a 64-yard scoring burst. But Reyes later scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard run to secure the win. Sweetwater (2-0, 5-4) rushed for a staggering 492 yards in the game.
Meanwhile, Mater Dei Catholic quarterback Marco Morales passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another against Montgomery (1-1, 4-5). Morales twice connected with Evan Bebee and also hit Iman Chatman-Dixon on a scoring route. Alonso Alzua and Evan Davis also scored rushing touchdowns for the Crusaders (1-1, 3-6).
Stanley Schwing (16 carries, 141 yards) scored both Aztec TDs in the loss.