The date of Oct. 20 is certain to be circled on the calendar of both the head coaches of the Granite Hills High School and Helix Charter High School football teams.
That’s when Granite Hills is scheduled to host Helix in a pivotal Grossmont Hills League match-up. Both teams remained undefeated on the season at 6-0 following lopsided wins in last week’s league openers.
Granite Hills defeated host Santana, 42-6, last Friday while Helix topped host West Hills by a score of 41-7 the night before in a special Thursday match-up.
Both teams are now 1-0 in league play and continue to vie for berths in the upcoming San Diego Section Open Division playoffs. The Oct. 20 match-up looks to go a long way in determining which team claims this year’s league title and an Open Division playoff berth.
“It’s always nice to get a win and it was nice to see all of my kids play,” Helix coach Damaja Jones said. “However, with the expanded league play (five instead of three games), it doesn’t help us in the power rankings or Cal Preps rankings or MaxPreps … or whatever system we are using at the time.
“It also doesn’t help schools like West Hills because they have to adjust their schedule as well. I don’t know what the solution is, but I would like it to be competitive and fair for everyone.”
The visiting Highlanders didn’t waste time in getting the scoring going. Senior Kevin Allen III broke along the sideline for a 70-yard scoring run, followed by a rushing touchdown from senior quarterback Ryland Jessee.
Jessee, looking for an open receiver, eventually took off and scored through a huge hole in the Wolf Pack defense.
Sophomore Brandon Arrington added yet another touchdown via a 60-yard punt return.
The visiting Eagles also didn’t waste time in getting on the scoreboard. Granite Hills led, 28-0, after the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime.
The Eagles found many different ways to tally up the points, including two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown from freshman signal-caller Zachary Benitez and a 45-yard interception return by junior Trevor Smith.
The win was the 15th consecutive for Granite Hills dating to last season.
The Highlanders remain third in the MaxPreps Division I rankings while the Eagles are No. 4. Carlsbad (6-0) continues to top the section rankings, followed by No. 2 Lincoln (7-0).
Steele Canyon built an early 16-0 lead in its GHL opener against the visiting Grossmont Foothillers before the Hillers rallied to post a high-scoring 39-36 victory.
The win was the second in a row for Grossmont (4-2) while Steele Canyon (3-3) had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Senior Hudson Herber continued his assault on the Foothiller passing records by completing 29 of 42 attempts for 552 yards and six touchdowns. He has thrown 11 scoring passes in his last two games and 23 on the season.
Sophomore Noah Walker (10 catches, 188 yards) caught four touchdown passes while senior Cody Bigley (seven catches, 205 yards) caught two scoring passes.
The Hillers roared back from their early deficit with 32 unanswered points but the Cougars out-scored Grossmont 20-7 in the final minutes to just come up short on the scoreboard.
Younger brother Joshua Herber keyed the host Cougars with 172 passing yards and one touchdown (a 70-yarder to sophomore Nico Jara) while also rushing 10 times for 20 yards and one score.
Senior Simon Gerfren Simeon had 24 rushing yards and one touchdown and two conversions.
Senior Dante Nathan scored on a 70-yard kickoff return for the game’s opening points while sophomore Matt Guzman kicked three field goals.