Some of East County’s best come home to win

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When it comes to recruiting top local talent, San Diego State’s current coaching staff is making strong efforts to keep the best San Diego County prospects in town. Under a previous coaching regime, prior to Brady Hoke’s arrival (before to continued his career at Michigan), many of the area’s best went elsewhere.

When it comes to recruiting top local talent, San Diego State’s current coaching staff is making strong efforts to keep the best San Diego County prospects in town. Under a previous coaching regime, prior to Brady Hoke’s arrival (before to continued his career at Michigan), many of the area’s best went elsewhere.

On Saturday, some of those players — many with East County roots — came back to bite the Aztecs.
With assistance from Helix High alum Anthony Larceval, a third-year starter at defensive end, the Spartans rallied with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to nip SDSU, 38-34, in a non-conference shootout at Qualcomm Stadium.
 

“Really, San Diego State didn’t look at me, so at first my best offer came from Sacramento State,” said Larceval. “Then San Jose State approached me and I liked how they were going to rebuild the team.”

 San Jose State ranks anything but a power in football, sporting just a single winning season this century. The Spartans most recent string of success came under former Aztecs coach Claude Gilbert, posting consecutive 10-win seasons in 1986-87.
 

However, with Larceval, a junior who has started since arriving on campus as a freshman, and former Highlanders standout cornerback Jimmy Pruitt on defense, SJSU moved into position to win four games prior to October with a road win this weekend at Navy. The turnabout has been so strong, the Spartans even snagged a pair of honorable mention points in the national rankings
 Also, it was the first win in San Diego by any San Jose State football team since 1952 — a span of 60 years.
 

“That’s a long time,” said SJSU head coach Mike MacIntyre. “It’s a great win for us. A great win for San Jose State.”.
 A frantic fourth quarter saw four lead changes, the final one coming when quarterback David Fales fired his third touchdown pass of the quarter with 50 seconds remaining for the game winner.
 

The defense, which surrendered a season-high 484 yards, secured the win when Travis Johnson sacked Aztecs quarterback Ryan Katz on fourth down with 17 seconds left. It was one of five Spartans sacks; Larceval gained one of the others.
 

“As a defense, things don’t always go your way and you want the other team to step it up,” Johnson said. Larceval is a three-time all-East County selection and the region’s defensive player of the year in 2008. He is joined on the San Jose STate roster by other local standouts, including offensive lineman Jake Peterson (6-4, 316, West Hills). and young receivers in Sean Linton (Helix) and Hanssell Wilson (Valhalla).
 

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