Friday, September 8, 2023

Prep Football: Games to Watch (Week Four)

Can Steele Canyon put an end to El Capitan's undefeated run?

Game of the Week

#4 Helix Highlanders (3-0) at #5 Madison Warhawks (2-1)

This game should have a significant impact on the Open Division Playoff race. Last week, both teams participated in the Honor Bowl, where Helix secured a 30-22 victory over Red Mountain (Mesa, AZ), while Madison faced a narrow defeat by Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills, CA) with a final score of 22-20. Kevin Allen III showcased his versatility for the Highlanders in the previous game, making an impact on both offense and defense. He rushed for an impressive 160 yards, scoring two touchdowns. Additionally, he contributed defensively by recording a sack and capitalizing on a fumble recovery for a score. Warhawks Jaylon Brown (RB/CB) and Martell Hughes (WR/FS) are standout players who have a significant influence on both sides of the ball.

Publisher's Pick: Helix

Best of the Rest

Steele Canyon Cougars (1-2) at El Capitan Vaqueros (3-0)

El Capitan found themselves trailing 21-0 but staged an incredible comeback to defeat La Jolla in a thrilling contest. They managed to score 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter after blocking a punt. Julian May, the running back for El Capitan, rushed for 77 yards and scored two touchdowns. Quarterback Brandt Barker contributed with a rushing score and a 45-yard touchdown pass. Barker ranks third among the county in passing yards (805). Chance LaChoppa had an impressive performance with six receptions for 112 yards and a trip to the end zone. He currently ranks fourth in receiving yards (396) and third in touchdowns (7). Shune Hayes contributed to the win with 12 tackles, a blocked punt, and a sack for the Vaqueros defense. This could be a great test against a talented Steele Canyon offensive line featuring senior tackle Joseph Hunt and junior guard Eneas Paredes. The Cougars are seeking their first victory against a San Diego Section opponent this season.

Publisher's Pick: El Capitan

#15 Mount Miguel Matadors (3-0) at Grossmont Foothillers (2-1)

The Matadors have outscored their opponents 137-14 so far this season, pitching shutouts in their last two outings. Grossmont suffered its first loss of the season after giving up over 400 total rushing yards to visiting Palo Verde Valley in a 40-38 edging. This will be the first meeting between these teams since 2015.

Publisher's Pick: Mount Miguel

Rancho Bernardo Broncos (2-1) at La Jolla Vikings (2-1)

The Vikings return home following a heartbreaking loss to El Capitan, where they saw their 21-0 lead fade away. Carson Diehl stepped up on both sides of the ball, recording 8 catches for 128 yards and 3 interceptions on defense. Rancho Bernardo escaped Point Loma with a 10-7 win, helped by a clutch interception from senior safety Tanner Whitford. 

Publisher's Pick: Rancho Bernardo

#3 Granite Hills Eagles (2-0) at Eastlake Titans (0-3)

Eastlake remains winless after a tough 31-17 loss to Del Norte. In a thrilling game, Granite Hills' freshman quarterback Zachary Benitez secured a victory with a game-winning six-yard touchdown pass to Maxwell Turner with just 21 seconds remaining, edging out St. Augustine 24-21. Benitez showcased his skills with 209 passing yards and the game-winning score, completing 20 of 29 passes. The Eagles extended their winning streak to 11 consecutive games. Isaiah Jackson contributed with two rushing touchdowns from the Wildcat formation. This matchup marks the third encounter in a series currently tied at one win each. In the previous season, the Eagles triumphed over the Titans with a decisive 38-9 victory. In 2021, Eastlake had claimed the initial meeting with a 31-0 shutout.

Publisher's Pick: Granite Hills

#11 San Marcos Knights (3-0) at Torrey Pines Falcons (1-2)

Led by sophomore quarterback Kreet Makihele, who finished 19/28 for 252 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Steele Canyon, the Knights have been on a roll to start the season, averaging 38 points per game. Junior Jase Nix is amongst the top receivers in the county, hauling in eight catches for 105 yards and three trips to the end zone last week. The Falcons earned their first win of the season with a 48-0 rout over Escondido. 

Publisher's Pick: San Marcos

#9 La Costa Canyon Mavericks (2-1) at Mira Mesa (1-2)

The Mavericks look to bounce back from a 28-0 loss to San Clemente (CA). Mira Mesa is coming off its first win of the season, where receiver Chris Brown had five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-14 win over Otay Ranch. 

Publisher's Pick: La Costa Canyon

Point Loma Pointers (1-2) at University City Centurions (0-3)

Rematch of last season's Division III section finals. Centurions sophomore quarterback Quentyn Demara is currently Top 5 in the county in passing yards, while his top target Josh Dixon is having a breakout season as well. Demara put up 429 yards and 4 touchdowns in last week's loss to Trinity Valley. Point Loma's Brady Allen has been a reliable offensive weapon this year, leading his team in rushing, receiving, and touchdowns.

Publisher's Pick: University City

Poway Titans (2-1) at Ramona Bulldogs (2-0)

Ramona is off to a strong start as they prepare for their first game against a Division I program. Their early season success includes wins over Vista and Central. They are led by sophomore quarterback Atticus Enriquez, who has over 225 yards in two games, and his brother Axel who has rushed for 360 yards and found the end zone four times. The Titans are aiming for their second consecutive victory after a decisive victory over Valley Center. They suffered their only loss to St. Augustine in week two.

Publisher's Pick: Poway

Christian Patriots (1-2) at Santa Fe Christian Eagles (0-3)

Christian travels to Solana Beach seeking a better showing than last week's 37-0 setback at Scripps Ranch. Meanwhile, the Eagles will be looking to avoid their first 0-4 start since 2014.

Publisher's Pick: Christian

Week 3 Record: 8-2
2023 Record: 22-8

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