City pride was at stake last Friday in Santee as the crosstown rivals Santana Sultans and West Hills Wolf Pack paired up on the gridiron in the teams’ annual battle for the Mayor’s Cup.
It’s hard to predict a winner each year and this year’s meeting proved to be the perfect example as the Sultans, just skimming above the pending playoff cut, managed to post a 10-3 upset of the higher-ranked Wolf Pack.
The win has major ramifications in determining this year’s Grossmont Valley League championship.
“It was a great defensive game for both teams,” Santana coach Tim Estes said. “They had a big goal-line stand and we created a couple of turnovers that put us in a position to score.
“Our running back, Linden Benson, rushed for 167 yards on 41 carries. Our offense was able to help our defense by putting together drives and getting first downs.
“Our defense came up big at the end of the game and stopped West Hills on their last drive to secure the win for us.”
It will definitely be an exciting conclusion to league play — and the regular season — this coming Friday.
El Capitan hosts West Hills while Santana hosts El Cajon
Going into Friday’s league finales, El Capitan (7-2 overall) sits alone atop the league standings at 5-0, followed by West Hills (6-3 overall) and Santana (4-5 overall) both with 4-1 league records. El Cajon Valley (4-5 overall) is a bit farther back at 3-2 in league, followed by Mt. Miguel (2-4 in league, 4-6 overall), Monte Vista (0-5 in league, 1-8 overall) and Valhalla (0-5 in league, 0-9 overall).
The mathematics aren’t too difficult to determine.
If El Capitan defeats West Hills, the Vaqueros are outright champions regardless of what happens in the Santana-El Cajon Valley game. However, if West Hills should defeat El Capitan, that would create a co-championship between those teams. It would become a tri-championship if the Sultans defeat the Braves as the Vaqueros, Wolf Pack and Santana all would have one league loss. Should the Sultans lose, they would be out of the championship picture.
El Cajon Valley thus takes on the spoiler’s role.
El Capitan shut out host Monte Vista, 38-0, last Friday. The Vaqueros are clearly riding high in the saddle heading into Friday’s Tony Burner Cup rivalry game.
“It’s going to be a huge game for both schools,” El Capitan coach Ron Burner said. “For us, we are going for the outright league title and better seeding in the playoffs.
“In the Monte Vista game, we played pretty good against a team that battled until the end. It’s now down to this coming week for the Tony Burner trophy and league title. Pretty big for both schools.”
Despite the loss to the Sultans, the Wolf Pack is still very much in the championship race.
“After Friday’s loss at Santana, we’ll need a big bounce back this week to be ready for El Cap,” West Hills coach Casey Ash said. “The Vaqueros are very fast and talented with a couple of gamebreakers and a big, tough running back.
“For us, the keys will be to control the line of scrimmage, tackle well and make the most of our offensive opportunities.”
Benson, a junior, scored the lone touchdown in this year’s Mayor’s Cup game on a two-yard plunge in the third quarter. The Sultans snapped the Wolf Pack’s league winning streak at 12 games with the victory.
The rivalry contest was tied 3-3 at halftime as West Hills senior Tyler Haley kicked a 26-yard field goal and Santana senior Jackson Scott booted a 25-yard field goal.
Sophomore Brandt Barker passed for 160 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a score to help key El Capitan past Monte Vista. Junior Julian
May scored on an 86-yard breakaway run while senior Michael Segovia (two carries, 15 yards) also scored via the run game.
Senior Angel Diaz led the Vaq ground game with seven carries for 69 yards. Senior Bruce Newland had five carries for 43 yards while junior Davion Phillips had 12 carries for 48 yards
The visitors pounded out 265 yards on 30 carries to finish the game with 433 total offensive yards.
Sophomore Chance LaChappa had seven catches for 149 yards and both El Capitan touchdown receptions.
May added seven tackles to help key the Vaquero defense that collected three sacks and one fumble recovery.
Senior Aden Ramirez had a 25-yard field goal while senior Laila Rodriguez tacked on five extra-point conversions.
Mt. Miguel 48, Valhalla 14
The host Matadors improved their playoff chances with the win over the winless Norsemen.
Junior Matthew Barton passed for 186 yards and five touchdowns without an interception while senior Antrell Burbidge rushed eight times for 87 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Matadors.
Junior Jeremiah Castillo had six catches for 124 yards – for of them touchdown receptions – while senior Chris Akridge (two catches, 43 yards) had one touchdown catch.
Junior Davian McGowan had three carries for 69 yards. Barton finished the game with 199 total yards by adding three carries for 13 rushing yards. Senior Saul Salgado had five kicking points.
On the season, Barton has passed for 2,005 yards in 10 games with 28 touchdowns against 12 interceptions while Castillo has logged 21 touchdowns (20 receiving TD) to go with 1,301 total offensive yards.
Valhalla had two sacks – one each by junior Jaylen Cruz and senior Ashak Reheema.
Mt. Miguel has now finished regular season play. The Matadors enter this week ranked 11th among the section’s Division IV teams. Twelve teams qualify for the playoffs in the division.
Mt. Miguel have wins over both 12th-ranked Chula Vista and 13th-ranked Sweetwater in the form of a buffer zone, but 14th ranked Kearny (4-5) is just percentage points behind.
The Norsemen will be out to avert a 0-10 season with a win over the visiting Monarchs this Friday.
The game, while likely not for a playoff berth, is definitely one for pride. Valhalla enters the week No. 16 in the Division IV rankings while Monte Vista is 17th among the 17 teams.
The Norsemen remain the only winless team in the division. Monte Vista and 10th-ranked Westview (1-7) both have one win.
San Diego Section Football Power Rankings
(Through Oct. 22)
Division I: 1. Carlsbad (8-1), 2. Madison (9-0), 3. Mission Hills (6-3), 4. Lincoln (8-1), 5. Poway (9-0), 6. Cathedral Catholic (4-5), 7. Helix (7-2), 8. El Camino (6-3), 9. Mater Dei Catholic (5-4), 10. La Costa Canyon (5-4), 11. Torrey Pines (3-6), 12. St. Augustine (3-7), 13. Eastlake (3-6), 14. Rancho Bernardo (5-4), 15. Scripps Ranch (2-7), 16. Steele Canyon (1-8)
Division II: 1 (tie) Granite Hills (7-2), Christian (5-4), 3. Central Union (5-3), 4. Mira Mesa (6-3), 5. Ramona (5-4), 6. La Jolla (5-4), 7. Brawley (7-2), 8. San Marcos (4-5), 9. Valley Center (4-5), 10. Mt. Carmel (5-4), 11. Santa Fe Christian (8-1), 12. Otay Ranch (3-5), 13. Grossmont (0-9), 14. Oceanside (0-9), 15. San Diego (4-5), 16. Vista (0-7)
Division III: 1. University City (7-2), 2. Del Norte (5-3), 3. Point Loma (7-2), 4, Imperial (6-3), 5. Bishop’s (6-2), 6. Rancho Buena Vista (5-4), 7. San Pasqual (6-3), 8. El Capital (7-2), 9. Morse (5-4), 10. Santana (4-5), 11. West Hills (6-3), 12. Patrick Henry (2-6), 13. Escondido (3-6), 14. Bonita Vista (2-7), 15. Canyon Hills (1-6), 16. Olympian (3-6), 17. Orange Glen (0-4)
Division IV: 1. Fallbrook (6-3), 2. La Jolla Country Day (6-3), 3. Mission Bay (6-3), 4. Montgomery (7-2), 5. Palo Verde Valley (9-1), 6. Calexico (6-3), 7. Francis Parker (4-5), 8. Coronado (6-3), 9. Hilltop (5-4), 10. Westview (1-7), 11. Mt. Miguel (4-6), 12. Chula Vista (5-4), 13. Sweetwater (3-6), 14, Kearny (4-5), 15. Holtville (3-6), 16. Valhalla (0-9), 17. Monte Vista (1-8)
Division V: 1. Crawford (8-1), 2. Escondido Charter (7-2), 3. Army-Navy Academy (8-1), 4. El Cajon Valley (4-5), 5. Classical Academy (7-2), 6. Vincent Memorial (6-2), 7. Mar Vista (4-5), 8. Castle Park (3-5), 9. Southwest El Centro (1-8), 10. Mountain Empire (2-7), 11. Hoover (4-5), 12. San Ysidro (3-6), 13. Clairemont (3-6), 14. Maranatha Christian (4-5), 15. O’Farrell Charter (0-9), 16. Southwest San Diego (4-6), 17. Tri-City Christian (1-8), 18. Calipatria (0-8) 8-Man: 1. St. Joseph Academy (7-1), 2. Victory Christian Academy (8-0), 3. Rock Academy (7-1), 4. San Pasqual Academy (4-2), 5. Coastal Academy (8-1), 6. San Diego Jewish Academy (4-3), 7. Foothills Christian (6-2), 8. Horizon Prep (3-4), 9. Borrego Springs (5-3), 10. Calvin Christian (7-5), 11. Warner (2-4), 12. Julian (2-5), 13. West Shores (1-4), 14. Ocean View Christian Academy (0-6)