Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Prep Football: Publisher's Picks (Week 1)

Games of the Week

#8 La Costa Canyon Mavericks at #1 Cathedral Catholic Dons

Last year these teams opened the season with their first meeting ever, which ended with La Costa Canyon pulling off a 19-7 victory. Since then, Cathedral has gone on to win 12 straight games before falling in the state championship. Meanwhile LCC finished 6-4 with their season ending in the second round of the Division I playoffs.

The Dons will defend their Open Division title without the help of key offensive weapons such as running back Shawn Poma and wide reciever Zion Sorani, but quarterback DJ Ralph returns along with five offensive linemen. Seniors Jordan Allen, Devin Dye, and Logan Berzins will be key factors in Cathedral's front seven.

Marshall Eucker will be the Mavericks' starting quarterback once again, and he'll have fellow senior Trevor Gonzales back as one of his top targets. On defense, expect First Team All-State defender Austin "Ozzie" Nicholas to add another stellar season to his resume. Nicholas put up 3.5 sacks in last year's win over the Dons.

Publisher's Pick:

Eastlake Titans at #10 Steele Canyon Cougars

Coming off two straight winning seasons, Steele Canyon hopes to begin the 2019 campaign with their first-ever win over Eastlake, who leads the all-time series 6-0.

The Cougars return 14 starters from last year's squad who upset Helix and forced a three-way tie in the Grossmont Hills League. Chance Johnson and Antoine Walker will make it hard for opposing offenses in the passing game. They will be joined by fellow senior Cameron Ewert, who could be one of the top linebackers in the county this year. Steele Canyon will have a new quarterback, but the explosive play-making ability of junior running back Wesley Neely III should take some pressure off him.

Despite losing key players to graduation and transfers, the Titans are still the team to beat in the South Bay. Cole McFarlane will be the new QB1 after Richard Colmenero III transferred to St. Augustine during the off-season. Linebacker Maximus Susi returns looking to fill the void left by Joshua McCurty, last season's Defensive Player of the Year.

Publisher's Pick:

#5 Lincoln Hornets at Monte Vista Monarchs

This will be only the third matchup between these programs with Lincoln leading 2-0 by a combined score of 90-7. The meetings took place in 2009 and 2010, when current Monte Vista head coach Ron Hamamoto was leading the Hornets.

The Hive created more buzz this off-season by adding key transfers to a roster that already features 12 returning starters coming off a state championship berth. After reaching the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2018, Keyshawn Smith appears to be in mid-season form following a three-touchdown performance during Lincoln's SDFNL scrimmage against San Marcos. Quarterback Chris Davila's abundance of targets also includes Ke'shun Ford, Raymond Spriggs Jr., along with transfers Benjo O'Brien (Westview) and Darius De Los Reyes (Eastlake). L
inebacker Marquese Allen-Patmon will make many plays for the swarming Hornets' defense.

The defending Grossmont Valley League champions will be young this season due to many impact players graduating, including Silver Pigskin Player of the Year running back Jahmon McClendon. With only seven starters returning, the Monarchs will look to seniors like defensive end Sebastian Valdez and linebacker Logan Schmidt to spark the rebuilding process.

Publisher's Pick:

Best of the Rest

✔ Madison Warhawks at Rancho Bernardo Broncos
✔ Bishop's Knights at La Jolla Vikings
Mira Mesa Marauders at Grossmont Foothillers ✔
Crawford Colts at San Diego Cavers ✔
✔ Granite Hills Eagles at Poway Titans
Santa Fe Christian Eagles at Christian Patriots ✔
✔ Serra Conquistadors at Scripps Ranch Falcons

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