The Santana Sultans and West Hills Wolf Pack both picked up non-league victories last Friday to join the idle Helix Highlanders as the lone remaining undefeated Grossmont Conference high school football teams.
Both the Sultans (40-27 over visiting Mar Vista) and Wolf Pack (41-12 at Olympian) are 3-0 while the Highlanders, who had their game against Mater Dei Catholic canceled because of COVID-19 issues within the Crusaders program, are 2-0.
The Christian Patriots are also 3-0 to hike membership in East County’s 2021 undefeated club to four teams after taking care of business with a 41-14 non-league win over the Mission Bay Buccaneers Saturday at Granite Hills High School.
West Hills has outscored opponents 117-19 in three games while racking up 16 total touchdowns.
“We played well in all three phases,” Wolf Pack head coach Casey Ash said. “It was a nice bounce-back after struggling on offense and special teams the previous week (in a 21-7 win over the visiting Imperial Tigers). “
West Hills senior quarterback Braden Oberg accounted for four touchdowns with two passing scores and two rushing scores. He completed eight of 14 passing attempts for 148 yards with TD strikes to seniors Max Conaway (four catches, 111 yards) and Elias Sanchez (two catches, 17 yards).
Senior Dylan Snyder and junior Donovan Mjelde both had interceptions on defense for the Wolf Pack, which collected three sacks in the game.
West Hills opened scoring with the only touchdown of the first quarter but piled up the points to lead 24-6 at halftime and 38-12 through three quarters. Junior Fredrick Rowbotham scored on a 14-yard rushing play to net the first points of the contest.
The Wolf Pack out-gained the Eagles (0-3) in total offensive yards 340-191.
Junior Tyler Haley kicked field goals of 43 and 23 yards and converted on two extra-point attempts to add eight points to the visitors’ tally on the night.
Olympian freshman quarterback Kristian Noriega passed for 135 yards and two touchdowns to sophomore Jake Marcial (four catches, 41 yards). The Eagles closed to within 21-12 but a two-point conversion failed.
Oberg has passed for 370 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception in three games while rushing for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Conaway has 15 pass receptions for 293 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns.
Defensively, the Santee team has rang up five sacks, six interceptions and one fumble recovery in its opening three games.
West Hills will attempt to remain perfect on the young season when it tackles the Escondido Cougars (2-1) in a key Division III matchup in North County.
Meanwhile, the Sultans won a battle of unbeaten teams as Mar Vista entered last Friday’s game also sporting a 2-0 record. The Mariners proved hard to beat, especially after Diego Arrizon returned a fumble recovery 45 yards for a touchdown and Nathan Ramos scored on a 60-yard interception return.
The game was tied four times before the hosts finally went ahead to stay in the third quarter. Santana prevailed despite five first-half turnovers.
“That shows you the character of the team — that the kids were able to react to adversity,” SHS head coach Tim Estes said. “They kept plugging and plugging and it worked out with a victory.”
The Sultans got out of the gate offensively as senior Brayden Breshears rushed for a career-high 189 yards and scored two touchdowns, while junior Luke Nash (52 rushing yards) and senior Logan Jorden (six-yard touchdown run) also contributed to the comeback victory.
Santana led 27-20 at halftime and out-scored Mar Vista 13-7 in the second half to win by a two-touchdown margin.
Breshears broke off a 65-yard run to enable the Sultans to tie the score 20-20.
Sophomore Linden Benson also scored a touchdown for Santana.
Christian 41, Mission Bay 14
Junior Chris Davila passed for 195 yards and two touchdowns while junior Joey Merritt completed an 82-yard scoring pass to junior Hunter Provience to lift the host Patriots to their third consecutive win to start the season. Davila also scored two rushing touchdowns to finish the game with 229 total offensive yards.
Provience had six receptions for 157 yards while Merritt caught eight passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Christian out-gained Mission Bay 389-259 in total yards. The Patriots had three sacks, one interception and two fumble recoveries on defense.
Junior Aaron Shebloski keyed the victors with eight tackles, one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Davila passed for one touchdown and rushed for two more as the Patriots defeated host St, Margaret’s 20-16 on Aug. 27. Merritt had six catches for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Davila has passed for 358 yards and five touchdowns without an interception and rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns to start the season while accumulating 529 yards in total offense.
Christian, which is now ranked seventh among Division II teams, will put its undefeated record on the line in Friday’s non-league game at likewise unbeaten Santa Fe Christian (3-0).
High School Football Schedule
Friday, Sept. 3
Steele Canyon 29, San Marcos 23
West Hills 41, Olympian 12
Santana 40, Mar Vista 27
Madison 34, Granite Hills 14
Warren (Downey) 40, Grossmont 7
Coronado 33, El Capitan 28
Vincent Memorial 14, El Cajon Valley 12
San Pasqual 48, Valhalla 6
Patrick Henry 56, Monte Vista 6
Saturday, Sept. 4
Christian 41, Mission Bay 14
Friday, Sept. 10
Santana at Sweetwater, 6:30 p.m.
Mount Miguel at Crawford, 6:30 p.m.
Eastlake at Granite Hills, 7 p.m.
Clairemont at El Cajon Valley, 7 p.m.
Mt. Carmel at Valhalla, 7 p.m.
El Capitan at Rancho Buena Vista 7 p.m.
West Hills at Escondido, 7 p.m.
Helix at Cathedral Catholic, 7 p.m.
Grossmont at Rancho Bernardo, 7 p.m.
Steele Canyon vs. St. Augustine at Mesa College, 7 p.m.
Christian at Santa Fe Christian, 7 p.m.