EC Preps

WOLFPACK CLAIM PEARL ANNIVERSARY VICTORY ON EMOTIONAL NIGHT

 

2018 EASTCOUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

BY ADAM PAUL

ECPREPS.COM

WEST HILLS 21, SANTANA 11

SANTEE – In one of the more bizarre games of the “Mayors Cup” Rivalry games of late including this 30th Anniversary edition the name of the game was defense as both teams went back and forth holding each other until the second half.

Prior to what ended up being a defensive battle a moment of silence was held for a very special man of the community. The Wolf Pack held a moment of silence for Jeff Armstrong who passed away on Wednesday of an apparent heart attack. Armstrong, 63, had been a longtime staple at West Hills serving as the boy’s varsity basketball and girls varsity golf coach for over 20 years after serving stints at St. Augustine and Granite Hills.

“I personally dedicated this game to him (Jeff Armstrong).” “To someone who has done so much for this community and this school, it’s such a sad situation.”

After the emotional tribute, both teams took the field with Santana getting the first crack but their drive would be hampered by a fumble on the second play of the game that was recovered by Trent Oberg which put the Pack at the 26-yard line.

On the very next play, the Pack took advantage as Jordin Young found Jack Browning for a 26-yard strike barely a minute into the contest to give West Hills a 7-0 early advantage.

The Sultans were ready to go back on offense and were ready to answer back. Santana had no issues moving the ball down the field as they drove down but unfortunately would stall and Colton Snipes would come out and attempt a 42-yard field goal but the attempt was to the right side and no good. Santana on the drive would run 16-plays and come away with no points on the board.

Still leading by the one score the Wolf Pack thought they had the momentum on their side as they were able to move down the field behind the running of Jake Maheu who was able to run for 11 yards and a first down to put the Pack in excellent field position. West Hills thought they had extended their lead as Young was able to connect with Hunter Gauthier who outran the defense to the house for what looked like a 51-yard score which brought the Wolf Pack fan base to their feet yelling and screaming but it was all for not as they would be called for an ineligible player downfield.

SULTAN BALL CARRIER RUNNING / PHOTO BY T. RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

With a little momentum on their side, the Sultans got the ball back with not much time left in the first half. They would drive down the field once again running 13 plays moving 86 yards where they would face a fourth down play. The Sultans on fourth down with a couple of seconds remaining tried to run a trick play but the play was snuffed out by the Wolf Pack thus ending the first half and shutting out the Sultans once again despite moving down the field.

The final play of the first half started when Jared Forster took the handoff from Sean Iverson who then flipped the ball to Chaz Baker who moved to the right and found Iverson who was tackled for the loss.

Neither team would score in the third quarter as each team went back and forth. In fact, it wouldn’t be until the early fourth quarter when the Sultans got on the board behind a Snipes 35-yard field goal to pull within 7-3.

Attacking the run the entire night the Sultans were doing an excellent job containing. However, they would finally be bitten when Young was able to hook up with Kole Klingerman for a 67-yard strike to make it 14-3. Klingerman was able to get behind the defense on what looked like blown coverage but nonetheless did the damage.

JORDIN YOUNG RUNNING / PHOTO BY T. RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

West Hills would again come up big on defense and force the Sultans to punt the ball away again. The offense would come back out onto the field and take over at the Sultans 45-yard line. Young and the offense would run a big chunk of the clock while moving the ball and a couple of plays later would extend their lead as Young hit Travis Deal for an 11-yard touchdown strike to make it 21-3 with under 2 minutes remaining in the game.

Santana knew they would have to hurry up and do something on offense and again were able to work some magic as they moved the ball. Temple on the drive would hit multiple receivers including Snipes for 13 yards, Randy Smith for 9 yards and 55 yards again to Snipes. The long catch by Snipes would give Santana excellent field possession and they would capitalize as Iverson hit Forster for the 3-yard score with under a minute remaining. The 2-point conversion was good which made the score 21-11.

West Hills who likes to control the ball on offense which leads to big clock usage was thrown out of their plan as the Sultans were able to control the majority of the clock but couldn’t punch it in on multiple occasions.

Offensively the Wolf Pack finished with 208 total yards while Santana tallied 337 yards of offense.

Young on the night finished 5-of-6 with 111 yards and 3 TDs and no interceptions. He also garnered 51 yards on the ground.

His counterpart Drew Temple threw for 205 yards on 11-of-12 passing and no interceptions. Forster led in receiving as he caught 5 balls for 74 yards.

“Santana’s offense did a really good job keeping the ball away from us, but our offense came up big when we needed it to.” Said Jordin Young. “It was a team effort, not just myself. I can’t do it without the rest of the team supporting me.”

WOLF PACK CELEBRATE THE BIG VICTORY / PHOTO BY T.RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

With the win, the rivalry series record now stands at West Hills leading 22-8 and now have won 7 in a row which is the most for them in the long series and keeping the Mayor’s Cup on the Westside for at least another year.

Next up for the Sultans is their homecoming game against the Monte Vista Monarchs while the Wolf Pack host Escondido in a non-league contest.

 

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