EC Preps



By Adam Paul

This is a big week in football out in the East County as there are four teams still left in the playoffs. In the Open Division you have the Highlanders who if they win will keep their end of the bargain in setting up the match up that the entire city has been wanting to see since the preseason with Mission Hills if they win their quarterfinal game. In Division II you have what could be the best game of the night and also considered a championship game itself as rivals face each other once again in the All-East County clash between Steele Canyon and Granite Hills. Finally in Division IV the Monte Vista Monarchs look to get back on top and show they still have tricks up their sleeves as many people don’t give them a punchers chance as University City has rolled recently. With everything said here are the previews.


FRIDAY 11-24-17

(3) San Marcos (9-2) @ (2) Helix (10-1), 7PM

Last week the Knights took care of business against St. Augustine 41-21. The Knights are led by QB Miles Hastings who has thrown for over 2,500 yards, WR Kyle Philips who on the season has over 1,100 yards receiving and RB-LB Josh Bornes who is SDSU bound. Their offense is very high scoring as they average just over 40 points a contest and through the air over 200 yards a game. Defensively the Knights have allowed just under 20 points a contest this season through 11 games.  On the other side the Highlanders who last week led Madison 19-0 before triumphing 19-11. The Highlanders are led by QB Carson Baker who has thrown for almost 2,000 yards on the season and also has 30 touchdowns to only 3 INTs.

The ground game for the Highlanders is led by Elelyon Noa who has amassed 976 yards this season. Defensively the Helix has Rashad Scott who has 7 INTs on the season on one side and on the other side Isaac Taylor Stuart. Another weapon for the Highlanders is Isaiah Wooden who is very versatile at either WR or in the KR game as he has tallied about 1,500 total yards combined.

Both teams play stingy defense and can score points. The big sticking point will be who can force the mistakes and control the tempo of the contest. Helix hasn’t lost a contest this season at home in front of their beloved student section affectionately known as the “Dawg Pound” so that will be a small advantage.

The winner will punch their ticket to the championship game Saturday, Dec 2nd at Southwestern College.

HELIX 42-28


(7) Steele Canyon (8-4) @ (6) Granite Hills (10-2), 7PM

The Cougars come off the big win over the No. 2 Knights of Bishops 61-52 in which they set the school record for most points scored. Another record set in the ball game was Deontae McKinney who ran for 275 yards on 29 carries and scored 4 TDs. Kenneth WaOn the other side, the Eagles tson also ran for over 100 yards. Quarterback Thomas Fishburne in the game threw for 214 yards on 8 of 14 and 3 TDs. Steele Canyon really set the tempo with the 85-yard kickoff return by Perry Steele which led to a 21-0 scoring streak which put the Cougars up for good.

On the other side the Eagles traveled all the way up to Valley Center for a rematch of an earlier game in which the Eagles were defeated but this time they prevailed 49-33. Quarterback Jacob Siegfried threw for 124 yards on 6 of 8 passing and scored a couple of touchdowns. On the ground the Eagles rolled up 358 yards on 50 carries as a team.

With both teams winning, each punched a ticket to the quarterfinals for a rematch of a week 3 contest that saw the Eagles pull out a 43-41 victory on the last play of the game.  Steele Canyon thought they had the victory as Fishburne found Anderson for a 67-yard score with just about a minute left. However Siegfried was able to move the Eagles down the field to the 10-yard line when he was able to find William Burton who made an impossible catch for the game winning score.

In the week three contest both teams moved the ball pretty effectively as Siegfried rolled up 370 yards of total offense and 6 TDs. For the Cougars, Fishburne threw 230 yards on 13 of 19 and also 4 TDs. Jordan Anderson for the Cougars caught 8 balls for 186 yards and 4 TDs.

The Eagles last played in this round of playoffs back in 2014 a 21-13 loss to Hoover while the Cougars previously made this round back in 2015 a 28-18 loss to El Camino. They last made the CIF Championship back in 1979.

I predict the stands will be standing room only and it will be an electric atmosphere with once again the game coming down possibly to the final possession.




(4) Monte Vista (6-5) @ (1) University City (10-1), 7PM

Monte Vista last week had to come from behind and make a last man standing goal line stand on a 2-pt conversion to pull out the 29-28 victory over Chula Vista. University City last week on the other hand had no problem dispatching Serra 42-0.

These two teams previously met way back in the second game of the season when the Centurions pulled out the 27-15 victory. University City jumped out to a 21-0 lead but the Monarchs scored 15 points in the third. However the Centurions scored 6 in the fourth quarter.

Leading the way for the Monarchs is Jahmon McClendon on the ground who has over 1,000 yards. On the other side is Gunnar Gray for University City who has thrown for about 2,500 yards. University City has multiple backs who have ran for over 1,000 yards.

University City has won 6 games in a row and is averaging 45 points a contest while the Monarchs have a one game winning streak and are averaging about 27 points a contest.

If the Monarchs are going to have any shot at this they will have to set the tempo early and play like they did against Granite Hills a couple of weeks ago in the first half.  University City on the other hand will have to use their numbers to their advantage and get out to an early lead. The Monarchs have vastly improved since that week 2 meeting on the defensive side and have shown they can shut down the big boys.

For Monte Vista this is the second year in a row the Monarchs have made the quarterfinals as they lost 35-32 in the final minute to Santana last season. They last made the Division IV championship game back in 2013 in which they lost 7-0 to Sweetwater. University City last made the quarterfinals back in 2015 in which they lost to Bishop’s 23-7.





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