Sweetwater downs Fallbrook, 35-6, to pick up first victory of new season

The Sweetwater Red Devils have yet to play on home turf this season and will not get the opportunity to do so while repairs are made on the artificial playing field at the National City school.

In the meantime, the Red Devils are making the most of their temporary home at Hilltop High School.

Sweetwater played its second “home” game of the season on the Lancers’ new turf field, and the second time proved much better than the first outing — a 42-0 non-league loss to visiting San Pasqual.

The Devils recorded their first win of the 2019 pigskin campaign by defeating visiting Fallbrook, 35-6, last Friday with a dominating performance in the second half by both the team’s offense and defense.

Both teams had much to prove in last Friday’s non-league encounter after having been shut out by lopsided margins in their season openers, with the visiting Warriors losing 44-0 to Del Norte.

Fallbrook scored its first touchdown of the season in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead after senior quarterback Jared McDonald combined with junior receiver Noah MacMillan on a 29-yard scoring pass.

It was all Sweetwater after that.

Junior running back Mario Villa scored on a 47-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to match the opening score by the Warriors, and SuHi junior quarterback Isaiah Atayde completed a two-point conversion pass to Nico Salazar for an 8-6 lead on the scoreboard.

Quaeterback Isaiah Atayde passed for a score and rushed for another in Sweetwater’s 35-6 win over Fallbrook. Photo by Phillip Brents

Atayde extended the Devils’ lead by scoring on an 86-yard run on the first play of the second half, followed by a one-yard run by sophomore Javier Sanchez to boost Sweetwater (1-1) to a 21-6 lead through three quarters.

The National City team tacked on two touchdowns in the fourth quarter: a 20-yard scoring pass from Atayde to Salazar and a five-yard TD run by Sanchez.

Villa rushed 16 times for 119 yards and one touchdown while Atayde rushed eight times for 134 yards and completed three of seven passing attempts for 49 yards, including one touchdown.

Salazar caught all three completed SuHi passes in the game while also rushing six times for 63 yards.

“We had a good week of getting better at practice,” SuHi head coach Bryan Wagner said. “We were slow to start in the first half, but we got going and everything clicked in the second half.

“Defensively we did well at stuffing the run and getting to the ball-carrier. Offensively we moved the ball when we went right at Fallbrook using a few plays, but with different looks.”

The Devils will look to extend their winning streak to two games when they engage the Bonita Vista Barons in a non-league match-up Friday, Sept. 6, at Southwestern College. The Barons (1-1) enter the contest riding the momentum of a 57-0 non-league victory at San Ysidro (0-2) en route to picking up their first win of the season.

The BV defense, which netted an interception and two fumble recoveries, held the Cougars to 33 total yards.

Ron Vann Jr. scored twice while George Herrero had an interception return for a touchdown.


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.


Castle Park kicks off season 2-0 after rushing past Red Hawks 41-21

The Castle Park Trojans have rewarded both themselves and new head coach Chris Livesay with a 2-0 record to kick of the 2019 high school football season.

The Trojans doubled their win total on the young season after defeating the host Mountain Empire Red Hawks, 41-21, last Friday in non-league competition. The team’s latest victory built on its 38-8 win at O’Farrell Charter to kick off the season.

Castle Park has out-scored its opening two opponents 79-29.

The Trojans will likely get a better bead on where they stack up in this year’s Division V standings when they host Francis Parker this Friday, Sept. 6. The Lancers are 0-2 following non-league losses to El Cajon Valley (13-7) and Santa Fe Christian (35-13) but advanced as far as last year’s division championship game, finishing runner-up to Orange Glen.

Livesay has to be pleased by his team’s start.

Castle Park is among just three teams in the division sporting undefeated records to start the season. Vincent Memorial and El Cajon Valley are also 2-0.

“Other than the three big plays we gave up on defense, our guys played well (against the Red Hawks),” Livesay said. “Chris Wright had a big night rushing with 144 yards on 24 carries. Ramon Cabal had 89 yards rushing and a pair of interceptions on defense. Xavier Alvarado returned an Interception for a touchdown and had 77 yards rushing.

Erik Hernandez scored two touchdowns in the win over Mountain Empire. Photo by Phillip Brents
Chris Romero caught a 25-yard scoring pass against the Red Hawks. Photo by Phillip Brents

The visiting Trojans didn’t waste time in seizing the momentum in last Friday’s game by taking a 35-7 halftime lead. They led by a comfortable 41-14 cushion entering the fourth quarter.

Castle Park amassed 408 yards in rushing offense, averaging 7.7 yards per carry, and scoring three rushing touchdowns. Junior Erik Hernandez added 74 yards on six carries and scored two touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Demarkus Lewis passed six times in the game, connecting on a 25-yard scoring pass to senior Chris Romero.

“I think that Mountain Empire’s wide receiver Marquis Davis is one of the better receivers in the county,” Livesay noted. “We double-covered him all night and he still caught two touchdowns on us.

“Other than that we played really well on defense. We were able to take them out of what they wanted to do, which was run the ball. On offense we had over 400 yards rushing. I think we’ve gotten some of our questions on the offensive line answered. However, there is still a lot of work to do there.”

Tale of the tape
Wright is the team’s rushing leading with 209 yards and three touchdowns in two games, followed by Hernandez with 120 yards and two scores.

Lewis has completed three of seven passes for 63 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in two games.

Senior Nicolas Magana has recorded 13 kicking points in two games on 10 extra-point conversions and one field goal.

The CP defense has recorded three sacks: two by sophomore Oscar Sandoval and one by junior Angel Aguilar.

Francis Parker sophomore Gervy Alota has passed for 208 yard with one touchdown and one interception while freshman Chris Williams tops the Lancers with 281 all-purpose yards (130 receiving yards, 151 kick return yards) in two games.

Parker is averaging 147 rushing yards per game, led by senior Russell Childs with 85 yards and one touchdown.

Division rankings
Holtville (1-1) holds down the top ranking among the section’s Division V teams, followed by Vincent Memorial (2-0), Crawford (1-1), El Cajon Valley (2-0), Francis Parker (0-2), Palo Verde Valley (1-1), Castle Park (2-0), Mission Bay (1-1), Southwest (0-1) and Mountain Empire (0-2).

Southwest dropped last Friday’ season opener, 48-7, at Vincent Memorial as the host Scots scored six passing touchdowns and made two interceptions on defense.

The Raiders host San Gabriel’s Gabrielino (1-1) this Friday. Kick-off is 7 p.m.

Lancers, Aztecs enjoy unbeaten starts

Hilltop High School home football games are being designed as destination events this season for members of the student body.

A pre-game tailgate and spirit painting are highlights. Theme nights also are planned for each home game.

Besides all the pregame hoopla, members of the Lancer Nation certainly have something to celebrate: their team is 2-0 start to the young season.

On more than just a passing note: both wins have come against decent competition.

After taming the host Escondido Cougars, 45-42, in its season opener, Hilltop traveled east last Friday to Lakeside where the Lancers came out on top by a score of 47-41 in a match-up that featured numerous lead changes, especially in the waning moments of the non-league contest when Hilltop finally took the lead.

Lancer fans hope to have lots to celebrate in upcoming games as Friday’s home opener against the San Ysidro Cougars (0-2) kicks off a string of five consecutive home contests.

Get out that green and black body paint!

“We are excited to have won another close game on the road against a great team,” Hilltop head coach Andrew Westling said. “We’re looking forward to five straight home games.”

Hilltop running back Jeremiah Serrano scored three touchdowns in last Friday’s win at El Capitan. File photo by Phillip Brents

Running back Jeremiah Serrano had 204 yards combined rushing and receiving and scored three touchdowns in last Friday’s win.

Serrano rushed six times for 143 yards and scored three touchdowns, including one scamper measuring 65 yards. He also had four catches for 61 yards.

Javin Deanda passed for 337 yards with one touchdown, including a 95-yard score to Marko Aki (nine catches, 184 yards). The Hilltop signal-caller also rushed 11 times for 38 yards and scored twice.

Deanda was involved in three touchdowns, rushing for two and passing for another.

Abraham Avila (five carries, 35 yards) scored one rushing touchdown.

Tony Candelaria and Gage Scruggs both recorded 14 tackles to lead the Lancer defense. Sean West, Michael McShane and Scruggs each registered one sack.

Trevor Fune and Terran Pineda each caused one fumble.

Hilltop will be facing a San Ysidro team that has been outscored 77-14 in its opening two games, including by a 57-0 margin last Friday by visiting Bonita Vista.

Josue Juarez leads the Cougars with 117 rushing yards in two games while Jason Martinez keys the team’s defense with 20 tackles.

Through two games, Deanda has passed for 750 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions while Serrano has rushed for 244 yards and scored five touchdowns. Aki has made 22 catches for 382 yards with three touchdowns.

Those statistics are close to season totals for some teams.

It’s exciting to think what a full season will bring for the Lancers.

Montgomery quarterback Alexander Dixie accounted for five touchdowns in last Friday’s 54-0 win over the visiting California Military Institute. Photo by Phillip Brents

Montgomery 54, California Military Institute 0
The host Aztecs racked up 416 yards in total offense — 213 yards on the feet and arm of quarterback Alexander Dixie.

Dixie completed six of eight passing attempts for 99 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He augmented that total by rushing for 114 yards on just four carries, scoring two touchdowns, for a total of five TDs in the game.

Montgomery rushed 16 times for 312 yards with five touchdowns. Daniel Ortiz had three carries for 121 yards with two touchdowns.

Ortiz broke off one scoring run of 61 yards.

Dixie found three different receivers on touchdown passes. Ben Larsen caught one TD pass for 33 yards while Isiah King had one scoring catch for 30 yards. Zach Pearson had one TD reception for 10 yards.

The Aztecs scored eight touchdowns in the game.

Xavier Brown and Adrian Briseno led the hosts defensively with 10 tackles apiece while Larsen had two sacks and Christian Venegas had one fumble recovery.

Montgomery has five sacks and two picks on the season.

The Aztecs will put their perfect record on the line this Friday at Crawford. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. The Colts (1-1) are coming off a 39-0 win over Maranatha Christian.


Cross country:

Hilltop High School captured the boys sophomore division championship at last Friday’s Wolf Pack Invitational with 59 points to best runner-up Escondido with 66 points. Top scorers in the 2.1-mile race for the Lancers included Jimmy Byland (first, 10:37), Miguel Tisnado (third, 10:48), Eddie Castaneda (eighth, 11:20), Noah Rosenberg (21st, 12:02) and Leon McClain (36th, 12:41).

A total of 110 runners competed in the division.