San Diego’s four horsemen stampede into state bowl football finals


Angelo Peraza, an alumnus of St. Rose of Lima School, helped lead St. Augustine High School to this year’s San Diego Section Division I football championship. Photo by Phillip Brents

All six of this year’s San Diego Section divisional football champions advanced to last weekend’s Southern California regional championship games. In a show of force, four have advanced to upcoming state bowl championship games.

Cathedral Catholic, which captured this year’s section Open Division title, leads the parade of state bowl-bound local teams that also includes the Division II champion Lincoln Hornets, Division IV champion San Diego Cavers and Division V champion Orange Glen Patriots.

Cathedral Catholic defeated the visiting Narbonne Gauchos, 24-21, last Friday to advance to this year’s California Division 1-AA championship game on Dec. 14 at Cerritos College.

Cathedral Catholic will take a 12-1 record and 12-game winning streak into the state championship game against the Northern California regional champion.

Folsom (12-1) will play at Central Fresno (13-0) on Friday, Dec. 7, to determine the Northern California representative.

Other San Diego Section champions advancing to the state playoffs included St. Augustine (Division 2-AA), Lincoln (Division 3-AA), Morse (Division 4-AA), San Diego (Division 5-AA) and Orange Glen (Division 6-A).

Lincoln ran a wild comeback to defeat host Culver City, 54-42, last Friday. The Hornets (11-4) advance to the state final on Dec. 15. Menlo Atherton (11-2) will play at Eureka (12-0) on Friday, Dec. 7, with the winner meeting Lincoln.

San Diego defeated Linfield Christian from Temecula, 42-31, in come-from-behind fashion last Saturday. The Cavers (11-2) will play at Colfax (13-0) on Dec. 15 for the state title.

Orange Glen defeated Los Angeles Locke, 22-14, last Saturday. The Patriots, enjoying a history-making season with a 10-3 record, will play at San Francisco Lincoln (12-0) on Dec. 15 for the state title.

St. Augustine and Morse both ended their seasons with losses in the regional playoffs.

St. Augustine (10-4) lost, 28-14, to Grace Brethren (13-2) in a game played last Friday at Cal Lutheran University while Morse (10-5) dropped a 30-14 decision at Central Valley Christian (12-2) last Friday following a six-hour drive to Visalia.

Chula Vista native Angelo Peraza completed 14 of 31 passing attempts for 163 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the setback for St. Augustine. The junior signal-caller tossed touchdown passes to Sam Scaife III (five catches, 32 yards) and Michael Ambagtsheer (one catch, 25 yards).

The Saints, who were tied 7-7 at halftime, were limited to 79 rushing yards in the loss.

Grace Brethren advances to meet either Mountain View St. Francis (11-2) or Loomis Del Oro (12-1) in the Division 2-AA state bowl championship Dec. 14 at Cerritos College.

Peraza ended the season with 2,559 passing yards and 27 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 258 yards and scored two touchdowns in 14 games.

Shawn Poma scored on touchdown runs of 33 and 80 yards while place-kicker Dean Janikowski drilled a 40-yard field goal to stake Cathedral Catholic to a lead in its game against Narbonne. But the game-decided play took place on defense as Jalen Dye intercepted a pass in the end zone to deny the Gauchos the game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds of the game.

Poma, named the San Diego Section Offensive Player of the Year, rushed for 246 yards to lead the Dons to the state bowl championship.

Narbonne quarterback Jake Garcia passed for 328 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Joshua Johnson Jr. had nine catches for 117 yards and one touchdown while classmate Elijah Queen had 11 catches for 91 yards and one touchdown.

The Gauchos tacked on 210 rushing yards to finish with 538 total offensive yards in the loss.

Cathedral Catholic High School senior Shawn Poma has been named the San Diego Section Offensive Player of the Year for the 2018 season. Photo by Phillip Brents

All-San Diego Section Football Team

QB: Miles Hastings (San Marcos), 12
QB: Noah Tumblin (Mira Mesa), 12
QB: Kyrin Beachem (Oceanside), 12
RB: Jahmon McClendon (Monte Vista), 12
RB: Shawn Poma (Cathedral Catholic), 12
RB: Elelyon Noa (Helix), 11
RB: Kenan Christon (Madison), 12
RB: Mac Bingham (Torrey Pines), 12
WR: Casey Granfors (University City), 12
WR: Jamahd Monroe (Lincoln ), 12
WR: Daniel Stokes (Madison), 12
OL: Brian Driscoll (Torrey Pines), 12
OL: Edward Hill (Valley Center), 12
OL: Ross Maseuli (Cathedral Catholic), 10
OL: Isaiah Jatta (Helix), 12
OL: Vincent Santos (Eastlake), 12

QB: Deniro Osuna (Central Union), 11
QB: Jonte Stewart (Otay Ranch), 12
RB: Dorian Richardson (Rancho Buena Vista), 12
RB: Isaiah Thompson (Morse), 12
RB: Cael Patterson | Orange Glen | Jr.
RB: Duce Reynolds (Kearny), 12
RB: Sean McDonald (Ramona), 12
RB: Josh Butler (Poway), 11.
WR: Tuupash Turner (Valley Center), 12
WR: Sam Sciafe (St. Augustine), 11
WR: Javelle Brown (Mira Mesa), 12
OL: Christopher Alvarado (Helix), 12
OL: Logan Berzins (Cathedral Catholic), 11
OL: Rudy Archuleta (San Pasqual), 12
OL: Michael Malauulu (Morse), 11
OL: Jack Carlson (San Marcos), 12

DL: Akili Butler (Lincoln), 12
DL: Quinn Roff (San Marcos), 12
DL: T’ray Kirkland (Lincoln), 12
DL: Isaac Anderson (Mission Hills), 12
LB: Michael Shawcroft (Helix), 12
LB: Ozzie Nicholas (La Costa Canyon), 11
LB: J.T. Penick (St. Augustine), 12
LB: Joshua McCurty (Eastlake), 12
LB: Raiden Hunter (San Diego), 12
LB: Jordan Allen (Cathedral Catholic), 11
DB: Don Chapman (Lincoln), 12
DB: Jayden Wickware (San Diego), 12
DB: Delshawn Traylor (Helix), 11
DB: Shamar Martin (Morse), 12
DB: J.L. Skinner (Point Loma), 12
DB: Jonny Tanner (Rancho Bernardo), 12

DL: Carson Drake (Santa Fe Christian), 12
DL: Miles McCormick (Cathedral Catholic), 12
DL: Blake Schmidt (Monte Vista), 12
DL: Damon Thomas (Mar Vista), 12
LB: Luke Manos (Rancho Bernardo), 12
LB: Connor Heffler (St. Augustine), 11
LB: Ethan Simley (Cathedral Catholic), 12
LB: Michael Stearns (Torrey Pines), 12
DB: Xavier Hamlett (Helix), 11
DB: McKinley Egland-Young (Eastlake), 12
DB: Ke’ontae Springs (Madison), 11
DB: Chrishawn Gordon (Valley Center), 12
DB: Devon Jones (Kearny), 12
DB: Marcus Dean (Mira Mesa), 12
DB: Thaddeo Campbell (Central Union), 12
DB: Michael Linguadoca (Santa Fe Christian), 12


Top Individuals

Offensive Player of the Year:
Shawn Poma (Cathedral Catholic), 12

Defensive Player of the Year
Michael Shawcroft (Helix), 12

Kicker of the Year
Ryan Sanborn (Francis Parker), 12

Coach of the Year
Tract McNair (Morse)

San Diego Section Champions
Open Division: Cathedral Catholic Dons
Division I: St. Augustine Saints
Division II: Lincoln Hornets
Division III: Morse Tigers
Division IV: San Diego Cavers
Division V: Orange Glen Patriots


Jahmon McClendon led Monte Vista to last year’s San Diego Section Division IV championship by rushing for 383 yards and scoring a section-record eight touchdowns in the championship game win over the San Diego Cavers. Photo by Phillip Brents

Monarchs’ Jahmon McClendon named       KUSI-TV Silver Pigskin Award winner

Eastlake’s McCurty receives Defensive Player of the Year honors

KUSI-TV held its annual Prep Pigskin Gala Tuesday evening aboard the U.S.S. Midway museum along the San Diego waterfront. The television station’s prep football programming staff presented several awards. They included:

Silver Pigskin Award: Jahmon McClendon (Monte Vista)
Offensive Player of the Year: Kyrin Beachem (Oceanside)
Defensive Player of the Year: Josh McCurty (Eastlake)
Underclassman of the Year: Elelyon Noa (Helix)
Play of the Year winner: Noah Tumblin (Mira Mesa)
Special Teams Player of the Year: Ryan Sanborn (Francis Parker)
Iron Hog Award (Lineman of the Year): Brian Driscoll (Torrey Pines)
Coach of the Year: Tracy McNair (Morse)

McClendon, who firmly imprinted his name on local football scene by rushing for 383 yards and scoring eight touchdowns in last year’s San Diego Section Division IV championship game, earned top honors as this year’s Silver Pigskin Award winner, emblematic of the San Diego Section Player of the Year.

McClendon was nearly unstoppable throughout the season at the running back position, using his size (6-2, 210) to trample opposing defenders. For instance, he rushed for 378 yards and scored five touchdowns in a 35-0 win over West Hills to enable the Monarchs to capture this year’s Grossmont Valley League championship.

Included in the yardage count was a 99-yard touchdown run.

Monte Vista finished 9-2 this season following a 27-17 loss to visiting Santa Fe Christian on Nov. 9 in the Division III quarterfinals.

McClendon, who has committed to UCLA, became the first Monarch to hoist the trophy.

“It feels amazing, it’s the best feeling of my life right now,” McClendon told a live television audience. “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I want to shout out to my whole team, my defense, all the coaches, my o-line I wouldn’t be able to do it without you guys. Thank you guys for pushing me all the way.”

Eastlake High School senior Josh McCurty, left, earned honors as KUSI-TV’s Defensive Player of the Year. Photo by Jon Bigornia

McCurty, who resides with his family on a ranch in Jamul, has made more than 399 tackles in each of the past two seasons. The 6-1, 230-pound inside linebacker logged a team-leading 193 tackles this season while making eight tackles for a loss, nine sacks and three fumble recoveries.

He scored one touchdown on a fumble recovery and also caught a touchdown pass as a receiver.

He has received an offer from Idaho to compete at the next level as well as interest from Arizona State, Colorado, Dixie State and Fresno State.

Beachem accounted for 3,084 yards in total offense this past season for the CIF quarterfinalist Pirates, including 2,218 yards passing with 18 touchdowns and 941 rushing yards with 10 scores.

Sanborn, who will play next season at Stanford University, has been invited to play in the upcoming high school All-American Bowl. The game, which has produced 380 NFL Draft picks, will be played Jan. 5 in San Antonio.

It will be telecast live at 10 a.m. PT by NBC-TV.

Sam Darnold (2015) of the Now York Jets, Jalen Ramsey (2013) of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Odell Beckham Jr. (2011) of the New York Giants Andrew Luck (2008) of the Indianapolis Colts and Tim Tebow (2006) of the Denver Broncos have all played in the high school All-American Bowl game.

Sanborn, a multi-dimensional player, joins Francis Parker alums Matt Wile (2011) and Zach Schmid (2014) as invitees to the prestigious high school game.

Wile is currently the punter for the NFL Minnesota Vikings.

Schmid just completed his fourth season as a punter at Harvard University.

As a quarterback Sanborn threw for 2,055 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2018 while rushing for 609 yards and 13 touchdowns. As a place-kicker, he averaged 65.8 yards on 75 kickoffs with 66 touchbacks and 42.1 yards on 18 punts with 10 balls deposited inside the 20-yard line.

Sanborn led the Lancers in scoring with 148 points on 14 touchdowns and 64 kicking points. He was 58-for-59 on extra-point conversions and perfect on two field goal attempts, including a 47-yard field goal.

On defense, he ranked third on the team with 82 tackles. As a defender, he recorded three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one sack.

Noa, who played youth football for the Eastlake Panthers as an eighth-grader, collected 2,364 all-purpose yards for the Division I runner-up Highlanders this season. He rushed for 2,326 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also logged one interception while playing defense.

During the special broadcast, television viewers were serenaded by a special performance by Olympian High School band on the deck of the World War II-era aircraft carrier.

Helix High School junior Elelyon Noa earned honors as KUSI-TV’s Underclassman of the Year award-winner. Photos by Jon Bigornia