Still room to improve for Chula Vista Spartans

The Chula Vista High School football team bursts through its spirit banner to kick off last Friday’s non-league game against visiting Mount Miguel. Photo by Phillip Brents

It’s difficult to gauge the fortunes of high school football teams based on one game alone, especially season opening games.

There are too many variables: strength of schedule, adapting to new game plans, losses due to graduation or incoming transfers to a program.

But charting teams two games into a season makes projections somewhat more meaningful.

That being said: three Metro Conference teams find themselves with perfect 2-0 records to kick off the 2019 prep pigskin campaign, six teams are 1-1, one team is 0-1 and three teams are 0-2.

It’s a smorgasbord of talent, to be sure.

The Chula Vista Spartans (0-2) are somewhere in the lower half of the mix, at least for now.

The season is still young and there is plenty of room to grow.

In fact, the progress report may not be completely filled in until the Spartans kick off Metro-South Bay League toward the end of the season due to an exceedingly tough non-league schedule.

Chula Vista hosts pass-happy Escondido this Friday, then travels to West Hills and Mater Dei Catholic in successive weeks before hosting defending CIF champion Morse on Sept. 27.

Escondido, a 45-42 loser to visiting Hilltop in its season opener, trounced defending Division V champion Orange Glen, 49-29, last Friday as junior quarterback Robbie Ramos passed for a school record six touchdowns while collecting 451 yards.

The Cougars are averaging 47 points in two games while the Spartans have allowed an average of 42 points. It’s not a dream match-up on paper.

But it could be time for Chula Vista to make a statement of some kind, especially coming off last Friday’s 44-7 non-league setback to the Mount Miguel Matadors in the Spartans’ home opener.

Martin Jellison, the Spartans’ impact newcomer, breaks into the secondary. Photo by Phillip Brents

By the numbers
Chula Vista has been out-scored 84-27 in its opening two games of the season.

On the plus side, Chula Vista is generating some decent offensive numbers. The Spartans piled up 408 total yards in offense in their 40-20 loss to La Jolla Country Day in the teams’ season opener on Aug. 23.

The Spartans generated 287 total yards in last Friday’s home opener despite scoring just seven points.

In fact, Chula Vista appeared to control the opening stages of last Friday’s game against the Matadors but came away empty handed despite driving to the Mount Miguel five-yard line on its first possession and moving the ball to the four-yard line on its next possession.

The hosts were thrown back by the Matadors defense on their first crack at the goal line and eventually missed a 23-yard field goal. The Spartans fumbled the ball on their second attempt at getting the ball into the end zone.

In the meantime, the Matadors raced to a 17-0 lead, with a pair of safeties marring Chula Vista’s home debut. Quarterback Omar Perez was called for intentionally grounding the football while standing in the end zone.

On the second defensive safety, Perez was sacked in the end zone.

The Spartans cut into the early Mount Miguel lead with an up-tempo drive to finally hit pay dirt 37 seconds before the halftime intermission when senior receiver Dylan Sallee caught a 10-yard scoring pass from Perez.

But the Matadors dominated the second half with a 27-0 scoring advantage that featured one recurrent theme: stretching the Spartan defense with deep passes.

Mt. Miguel junior quarterback Jacob Laverdiere passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns. Photo by Phillip Brents

Mount Miguel junior quarterback Jacob Laverdiere passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns while senior receiver Jahiem Allen-Pompey made seven catches for 180 yards and scored three touchdowns.

The Matadors scored six touchdowns in the game while recording two safeties on defense.

Laverdiere scored one rushing touchdown on a one-yard sneak while hitting junior receiver Jordan Williams on a 24-yard scoring pass. Senior tight end Jordan Williams closed out scoring in the fourth quarter on a five-yard run.

Mt. Miguel senior receiver Jahiem Allen-Pompey made seven catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns against the Spartans. Photo by Phillip Brents

Turnovers and other assorted miscues plagued the hosts all evening long.

After throwing for 311 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener, Perez completed 10 of 32 attempts for 170 yards with one touchdown before leaving last the game with an injury.

Junior transfer Martin Jellison rushed eight times for 40 yards while Sallee had three catches for 61 yards. Other top receiving targets included seniors Alex Guzman (three catches, 58 yards) and Karlos Jimenez (two catches 33 yards).

Sallee had a 40-yard reception to ignite the crowd besides his one TD catch.

Seniors Daniel Fonseca and James Cibrian both had one sack while Sallee made one interception to lead the Spartan defense.

Division rankings
Santana (2-0) currently tops the section’s Division IV rankings, followed by Escondido (1-1), Orange Glen (1-1), Serra (0-2), Tri-City Christian (2-0), Del Norte (1-1), Patrick Henry (1-1), Mount Miguel (1-1), La Jolla Country Day (2-0) and Montgomery (2-0).


Photo Gallery by Phillip Brents


Fright Night Lights

Friday, Aug. 30

Hilltop 47, El Capitan 41
Castle Park 41, Mountain Empire 21
Montgomery 54, California Military Institute 0
Bonita Vista 57, San Ysidro 0
Sweetwater 35, Fallbrook 6
St. Augustine 47, Eastlake 0
Valley Center 17, Otay Ranch 7
Poway 50, Olympian 30
Grossmont 59, Mater Dei Catholic 26
Vincent Memorial 48, Southwest 7
Santa Ana Valley 40, Mar Vista 6

Friday, Sept. 6
Montgomery at Crawford, 6:30 p.m.
Eastlake at Lincoln, 6:30 p.m.
Otay Ranch at Point Loma, 6:30 p.m.
Sweetwater vs. Bonita Vista at Southwestern College, 7 p.m.
San Ysidro at Hilltop, 7 p.m.
Escondido at Chula Vista, 7 p.m.
Francis Parker at Castle Park, 7 p.m.
Gabrielino (San Gabriel) at Southwest, 7 p.m.
Mar Vista at Santana, 7 p.m.
Olympian at Torrey Pines, 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 7
Mater Dei Catholic at Bishop’s, 7 p.m.


St. Augustine quarterbacks Richard Colmenero III, left, and Angelo Peraza, both South County products, helped account for three touchdowns in last Friday’s 47-0 win over host Eastlake.

Aggressive Saints defense, offense equals 47-0 win

It’s no secret the defending Metro-Mesa League champion Eastlake Titans boast one of the San Diego Section’s most challenging schedules.

So do the St. Augustine Saints.

According to on-site analysts, last Friday’s 47-0 victory by second-ranked St. Augustine over host Eastlake was one of the most dominating displays of defensive expertise exhibited by a section team in some time.

The Saints (2-0) recorded seven sacks, three interceptions and caused one fumble in limiting the defending Metro-Mesa League champion Titans (0-2) to just four offensive yards.

The takeaways obviously tilted the game’s outcome. The Saints offense, led by South County quarterbacks Angelo Peraza and Richard Colmenero III, accumulated 344 total offensive yards — just about evenly split with 183 passing yards and 161 rushing yards.

Peraza, a senior, started the game and completed seven of 15 passes for 106 yards with one touchdown and one interception while Colmenero, a junior, completed three of eight passes for 77 yards and one touchdown — a 41-yard scoring strike to senior receiver Tyson McWilliams.

McWilliams caught both St. Augustine touchdown passes in the game while collecting 111 receiving yards on four receptions.

Junior running back Byron Cardwell rushed for 65 yards on 17 carries, scoring three touchdowns, to lead the visitors’ ground attack that produced five rushing touchdowns overall.

Peraza rushed six times for 80 yards and scored on a 23-yard run. Senior Luke Ghosn had two carries for nine yards, scoring one touchdown.

Senior Connor Heffler led St. Augustine with four sacks and nine unassisted tackles.

Senior Michael Ambagtsheer, junior Maximus Simon and sophomore Gracen Halton all recorded one sack.

Seniors Christian Scott and Eavan Gibbons, along with sophomore Justin Steams, all had one interception.

St. Augustine led 21-0 at halftime and tacked on 26 unanswered points in the second half, putting the game away with a 20-0 run in the third quarter.

Eastlake has scored just one offensive touchdown this season while yielding nine touchdowns on defense.

The Saints will aim to stay undefeated on the season when they host Loyola (1-0) Friday at 7:30 p.m. at San Diego Mesa College.

Meanwhile, Eastlake will be out to pick up its first win of the season when the Titans visit undefeated Lincoln (2-0) for a 6:30 p.m. non-league encounter.

The Hornets are keyed in part this season by former Eastlake standout Darius De Los Reyes, who has five catches for 72 yards and one touchdown in two games.


Around South County
Four teams tasted defeat for the first time in 2019 last Friday:

  • Olympian (1-1) lost, 50-30, to visiting Poway (1-1). Senior quarterback Lukas Hamilton passed for 265 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the setback.
  • Otay Ranch (1-1) lost 17-7 to at Valley Center. Ethan Knight (three carries, 25 yards) scored the lone touchdown for the Mustangs, who actually out-gained the Jaguars (1-1) 289-178 in total yards. QB Paco Puentes passed for 193 yards while Otay Ranch held VC signal-caller Frank Stehly to 81 yards.
  • Mater Dei Catholic (1-1) lost, 59-26, at Grossmont (2-0) as QB Jamie Odom lit up the Crusaders for 437 passing yards and five TDs.
  • Mar Vista (1-1) lost, 40-6, at Santa Ana Valley.


Give them a cheer — Eastlake High School
Photo Essay by Jon Bigornia