No. 1 Matadors, No. 4 Foothillers to play for SD-Section football titles

Photo by Phillip Brents Senior Hudson Herber leads Grossmont at the quarterback position.

They’ve had a target painted on their backs the whole season, now it’s time for the Mt. Miguel Matadors football team to forever silence any doubters.

The Matadors, the top seed in this year’s San Diego Section Division IV bracket, will meet the second-seeded Chula Vista Spartans in Friday’s Division IV championship game at Southwestern College. Kick-off is 2 p.m.

Mt. Miguel is 11-1 on the season while Chula Vista is 10-2.

The Matadors defeated fourth-seeded Santana, 37-6, in last Friday’s semifinals while the Spartans slipped past third-seeded Westview by a score of 11-8.

Mt. Miguel and Chula Vista met in the second game of the season, with the Matadors claiming a 49-0 non-league victory.

The Spartans are 9-1 since then, wanting to wash the bad taste of that loss from their mouths.

Mt. Miguel tied the school record for most wins in one season with 11 after eliminating the Sultans (5-7) in the semifinals.

Senior quarterback Matthew Barton completed 11 of 25 passing attempts for 171 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 82 yards and one touchdown.

The host Matadors, who led 17-0 at halftime and 31-0 through three quarters, scored four rushing touchdowns, including two by sophomore Parris Vernon (seven carries, 18 yards) and one by sophomore Zane Rottier (21 carries, 170 yards).

Junior Braylon Cardwell caught a 19-yard scoring pass while senior Johnny Castro had three catches for 53 yards. Vernon had three catches for 37 yards while senior Jeremiah Castillo had two catches for 35 yards. Rottier had two catches for 29 yards.

Mt. Miguel out-gained Santana 453-107 in total yards.

Barton led the Matadors with 255 all-purpose yards (82 rushing, 173 passing).

For the season, Barton has passed for 3,179 yards and 42 touchdowns in 12 games. Eight players have caught scoring passes this season, led by Castillo (56 catches, 1,072 yards) with 14 touchdowns.

Senior Alex Rico passed 63 yards to senior Michael Valenzuela for Santana’s lone touchdown in the game. Valenzuela led the Sultans with 100 all-purpose yards (63 receiving, 37 kick returns) while senior Trent Taylor collected 50 al-purpose yards (14 receiving, 36 kick returns).

Sophomore Jayden Goldman completed three of 15 passes for 20 yards with two interceptions.

The Sultans rushed 17 times of just 24 yards in the game.

Santana amassed 114 yards in kick returns.

Chula Vista generated 285 total yards to 169 for Westview. Spartan junior Izaak Baca passed for 195 yards with a touchdown to sophomore Justin Yniesta (four cateches, 98 yards). Junior Elijah Gillespie had four catches for 92 yards.

Climbing the mountain

Grossmont (7-5) defeated top-seeded Mission Bay, 30-14, in last Friday’s Division III semifinals to get a crack at sixth-seeded La Jolla Country Day (10-3) in Saturday’ championship game at Southwestern College. Kick-off is 2 p.m.

The Foothillers racked up 402 total yards, 319 yards on the rushing side as senior Isaac Aceves had 26 carries for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Hudson Herber passed for 83 yards and two touchdowns — one each to junior Parker Vanderburgh (four catches, 24 yards) and senior Elias Burlaza (four catches, 36 yards). Herber also rushed five times for 44 yards for 127 total yards in the win.

Defensively, senior Zelan Reynolds had one interception while junior Jayden Luong had one fumble recovery. Senior Walter Jackson was credited with 1.5 sacks.

Grossmont waylaid the Bucs (8-4) with nine tackles for a loss.

On the season, Herber has passed for 2,814 yards and 34 touchdowns while rushing for 237 yards and two scores. Aceves has rushed for 727 yards and seven touchdowns while senior Cody Bigley has amassed 1,079 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Sophomore Noah Walker has 597 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Seven Foothillers have caught at least one touchdown pass.

LJCD slipped past second-seeded Fallbrook (5-7) by a score of 39-38 in the semifinals on the strength of five passing touchdowns from senior Jaden Mangini.

Mangini has passed for 1,763 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushed for 984 yards and 16 touchdowns to account for 2,761 total offensive yards.

Senior Madden Craig is the Torreys’ receiving leader with 705 yards and 10 touchdowns.