EC Preps




By Adam Paul

Last week the football season got kicked off with some pretty decent games. However many of the scores were blowouts with the only real competitive game in the East was Granite Hills in their victory over Poway.

So with a week under their belts I think the landscape will be back to normal or as close as possible as there are some fantastic matchups this week. So with that in mind let’s get to the previews and predictions.



Interesting matchup between two programs that are trying to buildup. On one side you have the Braves who are under first year head coach Nick Osborn and on the other side you have the Islanders under second year head coach Kurt Hines.

The Braves will look to rebound after losing to Francis Parker 42-13 last week while the Islanders will look to keep home advantage and also stay unbeaten after they beat Maranatha Christian 21-13.

El Cajon Valley led by sophomore quarterback Joe Malone who scored on a 40 yard play against the Lancers last week will look to keep up the connection with Brandon Robinson who hauled in a 46 yard pass.

Offensively the Braves had 156 yards on the ground and 247 yards of total offense which bodes well for confidence. For the Islanders, junior quarterback Colter Maldonado threw for 108 yards and a score and also ran for 73 yards and a score. As a team they rushed for 139 yards.

Believe that this game will come down to the defenses as the Braves definitely won’t be facing such an athlete like last week in Ryan Sanborn for the Lancers.

Both coaches will have their squads ready to go but in the end the …. EL CAJON VALLEY 24-21



The Wildcats come up from the desert which is always an interesting long bus trip for either the team from the valley or the San Diego team.

Last week the Wildcats beat Gila Ridge 27-20 in which Caleb Kota threw 2 touchdowns and also 171 yards while Renan Duarte rushed for 171 yards on 29 carries and a score.

On the other side the Cougars played Carlsbad and only trailed 14-13 before the Lancers ended up taking over and running away with the result.

Big play for the Cougars came when Wes Neely returned a kickoff 97 yards for the score so you know the Cougars will have explosiveness on special teams. Another positive for the Cougars was the fact that they out gained the Lancers yardage wise. However turnovers cost the Cougars.

The Cougars this week will look to get the ground game going behind both Neely and also Kenneth Watson and if they are able to do this they should be able to control the outcome. Also defensively Steele Canyon should be ready for the Wildcats as they aren’t as physical as the Lancers.

If Nathan Barnett can air it out as well a little more than throwing for 54 yards last week than the Cougars will have one more weapon against the Wildcats.

Steele Canyon will have the home crowd behind them and also the fact they played a tougher opponent last week.

In the end it will be … STEELE CANYON 35-21



Last week the Granit Hills Eagles used both sides of the ball to procure a 17-13 victory over the visiting Poway Titans while the Mt. Carmel Sundevils were blasted by the Valley Center Jaguars 57-3.

The Eagles travel for this non-league tilt all the way to the North County but that shouldn’t bother them as they make a trip up the freeway every year to play teams from the North County.

Offensively for the Eagles Chris Ostreng will look to continue to lead as he threw for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns and had 225 total yards on the night against the Titans. Another key component for the Eagles will be Keyvon Martin and his ability to get things going. If the ground game can gain yards the passing game will be open and James Johnson and Dylan Rutter will garner yards receiving.

On the defensive side the Eagles who kept the Titans offense in check last week should be able to keep the Sundevils in check.




Last years these two teams played till the last sound of the game clock as the Crusaders came away with a 26-24 victory.

This year the Crusaders travel to Lakeside where the Vaqueros will have a healthy Wick Hauser who was injured in last year’s contest. Mater Dei last week ran into a buzz saw as they were shut out by Ramona 28-0. Despite being shutout quarterback Trevor Appelman showed he could play as he threw for 72 yards with a strong arm. Despite being sacked multiple times the potential was there.

Ground game wise the Crusaders were led by Aiden Calvert who ran for 91 yards with longs of 29 and 28 yards.

For the Vaqueros they will have to stay clean as it was early turnovers against Christian that cost them on the scoreboard and caused a deep hole.

With a week under their belts the Vaqueros should be able to clean things up and also get Donny Green going as well on the ground.

If Hauser can do what he does with his arm and get the ball to Yaphet Yokley among others than the Vaqueros should be in great shape.




In what will be one of the marquee matchups on the evening not only in the county but also the East County as these two top teams clash in a non-league contest.

The Knights last week were given a scare by the Mustangs of Otay Ranch and had to come back to pull out a 24-21 victory while the Foothillers beat the Bishop’s Knights 28-10.

San Marcos boasts one of the top quarterbacks in the county in Miles Hastings who last week threw for 194 yards and 2 scores. Also last week the offensive line took over against the Mustangs in the finals minutes as the run game was able to run out the clock.

On the other side the Foothillers have a quarterback of their own in junior Jamie Odom who last week threw a couple of scores. Also ground wise the Foothillers rushed for over 100 yards led by both Robert tucker and Jahmal Nevels.

The defense was able to hold the Knights to 10 points led by Chris Alba who had 9 tackles and Alex Golojuch who tallied 6 tackles.

Both teams are poised for either the Open Division or Division I and this contest is somewhat of a measuring stick to show people what’s what.

The last couple of years the Foothillers have shown they can play with the big boys as they have made the Open Division playoffs and playing Mission Hills in two epic battles.

Some will say that is the past but many of the players from this year’s squad were on the team that played Mission Hills the eventual Open Division runner-up very well will use that as an experience chip.

So will San Marcos come into La Mesa and show whose boss and how great the Avocado League is or will the Foothillers finally get over the hump and get that signature victory that has eluded them of late?




Last week the Wolf Pack traveled all the way down to the Valley to take on Southwest EC in which they came back with the victory 20-3 while the Norsemen had no answer for Gunnar Gray and his arm as he threw for 6 TDs in the Centurions 41-14 victory.

Despite the lopsided loss the Norsemen had a couple shining lights in Kiare Worthy who ran back a 96 yard kickoff for a touchdown and also Kegan Baker who scored a rushing touchdown.

Meanwhile the Wolf Pack who were able to overcome the heat and also some non-clean play were led by both Jordin Young who had 87 yards and Jake Maheu on the ground as he ran for 84 yards.

West Hills also had three rushing scores against the Eagles.

The defense for the Wolf Pack stepped up in the second half and shut out the Eagles.

Last year these two met out in Santee and the contest came down to the last minute or so with the Wolf Pack coming out on top 24-21.

Will the result be the same?? WEST HILLS 28-14



In a matchup that will have some impact on seeding the Conquistadors travel inland to take on the Sultans in what should be an entertaining matchup as each team is pretty young.

Last week the Conquistadors lost to Scripps Ranch 28-22 while the Santana Sultans beat Mountain Empire 42-7.

In the victory over the Redhawks, Sultans quarterback Nathan Temple threw 3 touchdowns and Colton Snipes had a 76 yard score. Wide receiver Randy Smith caught 3 scores.

On the other side in the loss against the Falcons, Timmy Zebroski threw for 175 yards and a score while Dustan Ellison ran for over 100 yards on the ground and scored twice.

The Sultans were able to pull away as their size and numbers really took a toll on the Redhawks but that won’t be a factor against the Conquistadors.

All the numbers are pretty even but the survey says … SERRA 24-21



The Eagles of Arroyo Grande, California who come into the contest ranked #6 respectively in their section will take the 4+ hour bus ride to take on the Helix Highlanders in one of the other marquee matchups of the evening.

In another tough non-league contest the Highlanders will possibly be playing with Elelyon Noa as he went out last week’s loss and didn’t return.

The Eagles come to La Mesa off a 56-21 victory over San Luis Obispo in which they ran for over 350 yards as a team on the ground and scored 6 touchdowns. Helix on the other hand was held to only a field goal in their 43-3 loss to Cajon.

Even if Noa isn’t able to play the Highlanders have Joshua Shields who ran for 67 yards and also Daniel Amon should be able to get on track at quarterback.

One of the things Helix has going for them is that they will be back in the friendly confines of La Mesa to whereas the Eagles have to take the long bus ride. So we will see if that has any effect on the Eagles.

The Defense for the Highlanders led by Michael Shawcroft with a week under their belt should be ready at home.

It has been quite some time since the Highlanders started the season 0-2 and also quite a while since they have had a two game losing streak in a season.

Will any of these two scenarios occur??? HELIX 23-20



Last season these two teams split but the Monarchs won the game that counted the most on the road in the playoffs 30-20 on their way to winning the Division IV Championship.

Both teams have the capability to put points on the board as each blew out their week zero opponents as University City won 41-14 over Valhalla and the Monarchs defeated Mar Vista 44-0.

For the Centurions Gunnar Gray leads the way at quarterback with a strong arm as he threw for 6 TDs last week while both Casey Granfors and Tariq Jefferson each had over 100 yards receiving.

For Monte Vista like the Centurions they put the contest away pretty early in fact so early Jahmon McClendon didn’t play the second half as he finished the evening with a couple scores and over 70 yards on the ground.

Both teams defensively didn’t allow much. The key to the game will be if the secondary for the Monarchs can stop both Granfors and Jefferson who are both over six feet tall. For Monte Vista the key will be to get the run game going early and open the passing game a little bit but fr the most part get McClendon rolling and let the defense do the rest.

With both teams in Division III this year this game will have playoff implications and will possibly be a preview for what is to come.

Should be a packed house in Spring Valley and also a lot of fireworks offensively and could possibly be a Holiday Bowl result with whoever has the ball last wins.

If it’s anything other than a barnburner it will be a shock as both can put up points. In the end the last team standing will be …. MONTE VISTA 44-35



The Patriots according to Google map will be taking a super long ride to Santa Clara, California so that will be interesting. I assume they might be flying so that won’t be too bad if they are. However if they aren’t according to Google maps the trip is over 7 hours long

Taking away the bus ride the Patriots are used to long rides as they have played out of town the last couple of years.

Christian who is coming off the 41-6 victory over El Capitan in which Javier Jimenez ran for 81 yards and a touchdown. Also Alex Gonzalez returned a kickoff for 88 yards for a touchdown.

The defense for the Patriots forced four turnovers and put the game away early as they took advantage of those turnovers to lead 26-0 at the half.

Interestingly enough this will be the first game of the season for the Knights of King’s Academy.

Will the ling trip have any toll on the Patriots??? CHRISTIAN 35-24




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