Thursday, November 22, 2018

2018 San Diego Section Championship Preview

Ten teams will battle to join Cathedral Catholic as CIF San Diego Champions & advance to the State Regional Playoffs.

Division I Championship 
#3 Helix Highlanders (8-4) vs. #4 St. Augustine Saints (9-3)
Helix leads all-time series 7-3

Elelyon Noa went off on Eastlake's defense, rushing for 293 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Highlanders to their fifth consecutive trip to Southwestern College.

Helix has won three straight over St. Augustine dating back to 2004, including a 35-14 victory in their previous meeting in week 5. The streak also includes a 44-30 triumph in the 2015 Open Division Championship.

The Saints are coming off a hard-fought 16-13 win over Mission Hills in last week's semifinal.

They were led by junior quarterback Angelo Peraza, who completed 15 of 22 passes for 200 yards and two scores. Senior William Simon had two sacks, bringing his team leading total to 12 on the year.

Publisher's Pick: Helix

Division II Championship
#5 Lincoln Hornets (9-4) vs. #7 Mira Mesa Marauders (10-2)
Lincoln leads all-time series 7-6-1

The Hornets created quite a buzz after knocking off top-seed Granite Hills in El Cajon last week. If they hope to earn their first title since 2012, they must find a way to slow down the streaking Marauders.

Mira Mesa started the season 4-0 before dropping consecutive games to Steele Canyon and Christian. Six straight wins later, they find themselves in a position to win its first section title in team history.

Lincoln's offense features an abundance of athletes, including sophomore quarterback Raymond Spriggs Jr., highly-recruited Don Chapman, team rushing leader Carlito Nothaft, and Hornet's leading receiver Jamahd Monroe.

The Hornet defense will need to swarm on duel-threat Noah Tumblin, who totals 6,467 yards and 63 touchdowns this season, and was named the 2018 Eastern League Offensive Player of the Year.

Expect a high scoring affair.

Publisher's Pick: Lincoln

Division III Championship
#2 Central Union Spartans (12-0) vs. #5 Morse Tigers (8-4)
Morse leads all-time series 3-0

The San Diego Section's remaining unbeaten team will look to keep its perfect season rolling by earning the program's first-ever section championship. Central's 12 wins are a single-season team record, passing last year's 10-win campaign.

The Tigers make their first championship appearance since 1996 after stunning No. 1 seed Christian 34-6 in the semifinals last week. UCLA-bound Shamar Martin contributed with 132 rushing yards for two touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Devin Brown leads the Morse defense in tackles (140) and sacks (12).

Publisher's Pick: Morse

Division IV Championship
#1 San Diego Cavers (10-1) vs. #2 Kearny Komets (11-1)
Kearny leads all-time series 20-18

Four weeks ago, San Diego held off Kearny's late rally attempt to pull off a 21-13 win front of a packed house at Balboa Stadium. While that game decided the City League Championship, both teams will have a shot at breaking their long standing section title droughts when they meet again this Friday.

The Cavers made it to the finals undefeated last season, but fell 71-48 to Monte Vista due to a record-setting rushing performance by Jahmon McClendon. With a powerful ground attack led by Duce Reynolds, who averages 156.7 yards per game this season, the Komets will be looking for similar results.

Kenyon Williams has thrown for 32 touchdowns this season which is second among the section's top passers.

San Diego's "Big 3": Mo Jackson, Jayden Wickware, and Raiden Hunter, have combined for 3,215 all-purpose yards on the season.

Publisher's Pick: San Diego

Division V Championship
#1 Orange Glen Patriots (7-3) vs. #3 Francis Parker Lancers (11-1)
Series tied 1-1

After suffering three straight losing campaigns, both Orange Glen and Francis Parker are enjoying two of the biggest turnarounds of the season.

The Lancers travel to Otay Ranch High School this Friday night looking to leave with their first championship since their 2009 run to the state title game, while the Patriots hope to break out of a drought that dates back to 1967.

Lancers quarterback Ryan Sanborn is not only a prolific passer, but also a contender for Special Teams Player of the Year for his outstanding play in the kicking game.

Orange Glen is led by junior captain Cael Patterson, who ranks third in the San Diego Section in scoring.

Patterson is averaging nearly 200 yards per game, and has 27 total touchdowns (24 rushing). He's rushed for over 100 yards in every outing this season, and has five games over 200.

Publisher's Pick: Francis Parker

Publisher's Pick 2018 Record: 44-19 (.698)

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