East County preps graduate to Montezuma Mesa

0
26

The San Diego State University football team wrapped up its second week of practice with the team’s annual FanFest intra-squad scrimmage Aug. 18 at SDCCU Stadium. Those in attendance had a chance to watch both present and future Aztec standouts as the team squared off in an offense versus defense format.

The SDSU defense showed it could be something to contend with this season after holding the offense to a scoreless tie.

Following the scrimmage, fans in attendance had a chance to meet selected Aztec players during an on-field autograph session.

The San Diego State University football team wrapped up its second week of practice with the team’s annual FanFest intra-squad scrimmage Aug. 18 at SDCCU Stadium. Those in attendance had a chance to watch both present and future Aztec standouts as the team squared off in an offense versus defense format.

The SDSU defense showed it could be something to contend with this season after holding the offense to a scoreless tie.

Following the scrimmage, fans in attendance had a chance to meet selected Aztec players during an on-field autograph session.

Former East County prep standouts Carson Baker and Rashad Scott, both Helix High School graduates, along with Christian High School alumnus Jesse Matthews, all got a chance to begin their SDSU careers in front of family and friends gathered at the FanFest scrimmage.

Baker, who won San Diego Section Open Division championships as a member of the Highlanders in 2015 and 2017, completed a 35-yard pass to former St. Augustine receiver J.R. Justice during his short time on the field while Scott, a safety, was credited with one tackle and one pass-breakup on defense.

Matthews had one catch for six yards.

It is a starting point for the three Aztec freshmen.

Baker passed for 2,749 yards and 37 touchdowns last season while rushing for 330 yards and five touchdowns.

Scott racked up eight interceptions, 11 pass deflections and one sack as a defensive force for Helix in 2017, scoring three times on picks and once on a kick-off return.

Scott totaled 1,104 all-purpose yards as an offensive weapon, including 450 catches for 534 yards and eight touchdowns as a receiver.

Matthews proved equally adept in the scoring department as a senior with 57 catches for 888 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also had 35 tackles to go with three interceptions and two recoveries on defense.

SDSU head coach Rocky Long was complimentary of his team’s defensive showing in the intra-squad scrimmage but remains ever mindful the Aztecs will be fielding a rather young team for the 2018 campaign.

“These first two weeks (of camp) have been just basically against our defense and going against them trying to implement our offense,” Long said. “We’ve got some talented younger guys, but they haven’t played much football. We’re not as sure of what kind of team we are going to put out there like we have in the past, especially early in the season.”

Locals only

SDSU features a total of 24 San Diego County High School alumni on its 2018 fall roster.

Heading the list are senior quarterback Christian Chapman, a graduate of Carlsbad High School, and sophomore safety Tariq Thompson, an alumnus of St. Augustine High School.

Chapman passed for 1,873 yards and 13 touchdowns in leading the Aztecs to a final 10-3 record and a 42-35 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl in 2017. Thompson registered 63 tackles and five interceptions, including one pick that went for a touchdown.

The SDSU roster features just 14 seniors this season, among them fullback Chad Woolsey (Rancho Bernardo).

Juniors among area returners include cornerback Garrett Binkley (Ramona) and linebacker Troy Cassidy (Carlsbad).

Cassidy turned in 31 tackles last season.

The SDSU sophomore class includes offensive linemen Dominic Gudino (Olympian) and Zachary Thomas (Carlsbad), safety Will Stricklin II (Mission Hills) and fullback Grady Vazquez (Ramona).

Notable newcomers include freshman kicker/punter Matt Araiza (Rancho Bernardo), freshmen linebackers Josh Bornes (San Marcos) and Andrew Alves (St. Augustine), freshman defensive lineman Cameron Thomas (Carlsbad), freshman offensive lineman William Dunkle (Eastlake) and freshmen receivers T.J. Sullivan (Mt. Carmel) and Justice.

Dunkle stands above the crowd at six feet, five inches tall and 355 pounds.

Transfers entering the program include sophomore defensive lineman Joah Robinett (San Marcos) and junior cornerbacks Nolen Harris (Patrick Henry) and Luq Barcoo (Castle Park).   

Barcoo, who previously played two seasons at Grossmont College, led the SDSU defense with six tackles and one forced fumble at this year’s FanFest. He played on both sides of the ball for the Griffins, logging 35 receptions for 767 yards and seven touchdowns last year while recording three interceptions in two seasons as an all-conference selection.

Barcoo, who earned three letters at Castle Park, did a little bit of everything for the Trojans. He rushed for 472 yards and six touchdowns his final two seasons with Castle Park while catching 71 passes for 1,314 yards and 15 touchdowns. On defense, he tallied 74 tackles (52 solo stops), four tackles for a loss, five interceptions, nine pass breakups and one blocked field goal.

Harris previously played at San Diego Mesa College after recording four interceptions and two fumble recoveries during his varsity career at Patrick Henry while Robinett started two games as a true freshman at Oregon State in 2016 before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury.

Redshirt freshmen include quarterback Mark Salazar (Rancho Bernardo) and long snapper Cameron King (Cathedral Catholic).

Salazar completed three of eight passes for 32 yards at the FanFest event.

Araiza, the section’s three-time Kickerof the Year, starts his SDSU career after making 37 of 48 field goal attempts in high school with a longest kick of 53 yards. He also averaged 41.7 yards on punts as a Bronco.

The 37 career field goals set a new CIF record.

Former St. Augustine head coach Richard Sanchez joins the SDSU coaching staff this season as an assistant coach with the team’s secondary/special teams units.

Extra points

SDSU kicked off its 2018 schedule with last Friday’s 31-10 non-conference loss at 13th-ranked Stanford University. It was be a chance for the youthful Aztecs to make a statement on a national footprint level and the game was close throughout the first half.

The Aztecs took a 7-0 lead on a four-yard scoring run by sophomore running back Juwan Washington in the first quarter and trailed, 9-7, at halftime.

A 30-yard field goal by John Baron trimmed the Stanford lead to 16-10 midway through the third quarter before the Cardinal closed out the game with a pair of unanswered touchdowns.

SDSU rushed for 150 net yards and totaled 263 yards in total offense. Washington gained 158 net yards on 24 carries with one touchdown. He finished the game with 194 all-purpose yards.

Chapman finished 10-of-15 for 113 yards from the signal-calling position but was sacked five times.

J.J. Whiteside led Stanford with 226 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

The Aztecs will host Sacramento State in their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 8. The non-conference contest, which will feature the annual SkyShow fireworks extravaganza, is scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here