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El Captain, West Hills steer the course while Sultans racing on the outside in three-way Grossmont Valley League title chase

With teams playing an uneven number of games because of postponements or cancelations from COVID-19 protocols, it will be interesting to see what criteria conference and section administrators come up with to determine league champions and playoff qualifiers.

Grossmont Valley League teams are affected two-fold.

Santana and Mount Miguel’s scheduled Sept. 24 game was postponed for health reasons. Mount Miguel also had one other game canceled for similar reasons and likely will not play a full 10-game schedule. The Matadors, in fact, could play as few as eight games in the regular season.

Unless Santana and Mount Miguel find a way to make up the postponement, the Sultans and Matadors will play one less game than their league foes, which could

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Photos by Phillip Brents
Santana High School’s football team returned to the win column with a 20-7 victory against visiting Monte Vista last Friday to remain in the chase for this year’s Grossmont Valley League championship.

affect championship fortunes if the current league co-leaders — El Capitan and West Hills — should drop a game over the balance of the season.

Heading into this Friday’s spate of games. West Hills is 3-0 in league play, 7-0 overall, while El Captian is also 3-0 in league play, 6-1 overall. Santana is 2-1 in league play, 6-1 overall. Mount Miguel is 1-2 in league play, 2-3 overall, while Valhalla is 1-2 in league play, 2-5 overall.

El Cajon Valley is 1-3 in league play, 2-6 overall, while Monte Vista brings up the rear in the league standings at 0-3, 0-7.

In games last Friday, West Hills defeated host El Cajon Valley, 49-14, to keep its undefeated season intact while El Capitan topped host Mount Miguel, 35-28. Santana returned to the win column following a 35-0 loss at El Capitan with a 20-7 win over visiting Monte Vista.

In games this Friday, Mount Miguel hosts El Cajon Valley, West Hills travels to Monte Vista while El Capitan hosts Valhalla. All three games kick off at 7 p.m.

Santana, West Hills, El Capitan and Monte Vista are all vying for inclusion in the upcoming Division III playoffs while Mount Miguel and Valhalla are doing the same in Division IV.

Santana currently leads the East County bunch in the Division III power rankings at No. 4 while West Hills is No. 6 and El Capitan is No. 7.

Mater Dei Catholic (6-0) tops the Division III power rankings, followed by Mt. Carmel (7-0) and Santa Fe Christian (7-0). Ramona (5-2) is No. 5.

Valhalla sits fifth in the Division IV power rankings while Mount Miguel is eighth.

El Cajon Valley is vying alongside Foothills Christian (3-3) and Mountain Empire (3-4) for inclusion in the Division V playoff field. The Braves lead the East County trio at No. 9 in the division power rankings while Foothills is 10th and Mountain Empire is 12th.

Mount Miguel appears worthy of being included in post season play after measuring up rather nicely in last Friday’s loss to El Captian.

“It was a tough game all the way as the Matadors were a tough opponent,” El Capitan head coach Ron Burner said. “They play very hard and physical. They were well prepared and fought all game long. They were probably our toughest opponent all year long in terms of a physical game.

“It was good for us to have all our starters go four full quarters as hard as they did. We haven’t done that in a while.”

The visiting Vaqueros had to play hard in overcoming a one-touchdown deficit in the first half. The Matadors had to play hard as they entered the game with a 1-1 league record with a chance to throw their hat in the championship ring with an upset victory.

El Capitan senior signal-caller Savigon Yokley collected 248 yards in offense in leading the Vaqueros to last Friday’s win. He rushed for 174 yards and scored two touchdowns and passed for 74 yards with one score. He also tacked on 35 yards in punt returns.

As a team, El Capitan racked up 387 offensive yards.

Junior Angel Diaz had 15 carries for 89 yards and scored one touchdown while senior Xavier Peace rushed six times for 80 yards and scored once.

Yokley passed for one touchdown to his twin brother Antwone (four catches, 68 yards). Antwone Yokley also had one interception on defense.

Senior Colton Dietrich added three kicking points.

“We had Xavier Peace return from a Game 2 injury, accounting for 80 yards on the ground and seven tackles,” Burner said. “Angel Diaz was a beast on offense and defense.”

Mount Miguel collected 324 yards in offense — 253 rushing and 71 passing. Sophomore Jeremiah Castillo rushed nine times for 102 yards and tacked on 71 passing yards. He scored on a 95-yard run and also threw a touchdown pass. Senior Ruben Hernandez had 20 carries for 151 yards with two rushing touchdowns.

Sophomore Davian McGowan caught two passes for 28 yards, including one for a touchdown.

Hernandez averaged 37.5 yards on four punts. Junior Chris Akridge averaged 28.7 yards on three kickoff returns, including one return for 55 yards.

West Hills 49, El Cajon Valley 14

Senior quarterback Braden Oberg recorded a career high four touchdowns as the visiting Wolf Pack remained unbeaten on the season. Oberg was the model of efficiency in the game by completing six of nine passes for 181 yards with three touchdowns and rushing seven times for 69 yards with another score. He finished the game with a 149.3 quarterback rating.

West Hills racked up 471 yards in all-purpose yards — 217 passing, 164 rushing, 88 on kick returns and two on interception returns.

Senior Dylan Snyder scored on a 35-yard run while catching two passes for 70 yards, including one for a touchdown. Sophomore Diego Calderon had two catches for 86 yards, including two touchdowns. Senior Max Conaway caught two passes for 25 yards – one good for a touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Collin Dill completed one of three passing attempts for a 36-yard TD strike.

The Wolf Pack scored seven touchdowns in the game — four receiving, two rushing and one on an 88-yard kickoff return by senior Cohen Benavente.

The West Hills defense was active with four sacks, including two by senior Trevor Imbimbo, and an interception by junior Braden Wilson.

Junior Tyler Haley collected six kicking points in the victory while senior Dani Hermiz had one PAT conversion.

The Wolf Pack, chasing destiny, has outscored opponents 284-59 this season.

El Cajon Valley received touchdown runs from senior Ahmed Sohail Ameer Hussain (16 carries,63 yards) and sophomore Darrick Dubose (three carries, 13 yards). Senior quarterback Daniel Jacobs passed for 66 yards and rushed for 17 yards.

Sophomore Paris Dixon reeled in one pass for 28 yards while classmate Shane Hopson had three catches for 38 yards.

Sophomores Damarrion White and Enrique Hernandez both recorded sacks while Jacobs had one interception on defense. Senior Ruben Cosio amassed 84 yards on four kickoff returns.

Santana 20, Monte Vista 7

Luke Nash had a rushing touchdown of four yards and also had a 28-yard scoop and score touchdown on defense to help keep the Sultans in the championship race. Ethan Wright also had a rushing touchdown while Dylan Anderson made some key receptions on offense to set up the scoring plays.

“The kids played hard and never quit,” Santana head coach Tim Estes said. “Our quarterback broke his wrist last week (in the loss to El Capitan) and we had to play with our second quarterback who had not played much since the first week. It took a little while to get the offense moving but we finally did. Our defense played great; we had a fumble scoop and score from about 30 yards out and a big goal-line stand.”

The shutout was the second posted by the Sultan defense this season.

Despite the loss to the Vaqs, the Sultans could still have a say as to which team winds up on top of the league standings when the final whistle sounds on the season.

Santana plays at West Hills in the teams’ annual Mayors Cup rivalry contest on Oct. 22 while the Wolf Pack hosts El Capitan in the final regular season game on Oct. 29.

El Captain, West Hills steer the course while Sultans racing on the outside in three-way Grossmont Valley League title chase

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Source: East County Californian

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