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Titans, Mariners serve notice in narrow setbacks Phillip Brents | Fri, Sep 06 2013 02:21 PM

Both the Eastlake Titans and Mar Vista Mariners look to be very competitive in their respective leagues and playoff divisions based on the outcome of their season openers over the weekend.

Mar Vista dropped a 34-33 non-league decision at Valley Center last Friday in  a rematch of last year’s San Diego Section Division IV quarterfinals — a game won 23-21 also by the Jaguars.

Eastlake, meanwhile, found itself staring at a 28-0 halftime deficit against seven-time Arizona state champion Hamilton in a game Saturday at Cathedral Catholic High School as part of the Under Armour Brothers in Arms Classic. However, the Titans rallied with 17 second-half points to make a statement.

Valley Center scored the game-winning points on a two-point conversion after Daniel DeLeon scored with 6.4 seconds left in regulation to bring Valley Center to within a point on the scoreboard.

It was a disappointing finish for the Mariners, who appeared to be in the driver’s seat to pick up a tough road win after scoring twice in a span of 26 seconds in the fourth quarter. But the Imperial Beach team was unable to hang on to hand new coach Tyler Arciaga a win in his first game.

“We went back and forth with them throughout the entire game,” Arciaga said. “At the end of the day, we made a couple more mistakes than Valley Center. We have to learn from these mistakes and then move on as we have a tough opponent in Serra this week.

“We lost to them (the Jaguars) last year in the playoffs by two points and then this year by one point, so we need to find a way to finish off the game. The kids came in Saturday with a positive attitude and wanting to watch the film in order to better themselves.”

Brandon Scales completed a 56-yard scoring pass to Pono Cavaco, Daniel Lujon scored on a one-yard running play and Jimmie Hill rushed for 244 yards and scored three touchdowns to pace the MVHS scoring attack.

An interception by Scales set up Lujon’s TD run.

Eastlake coach John McFadden called Saturday’s contest played in exceedingly warm and humid weather conditions a game of two halves, with his team winning the second half.

Aeden Johnson put the Titans, ranked eighth among San Diego Section teams to start the season, on the scoreboard with a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter; teammates Isiah Olave (35-yard pass from Justin Scott) and Isaiah Strayhorn (15-yard run) both tacked on fourth quarter touchdowns to close the gap.

Eastlake ran out of time in furthering its comeback bid against the Chandler team, ranked 24th in the nation.

The Titans return home for a Friday non-league game against Vista. Kick-off is 7 p.m. at EHS.

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