High School Football Week 7 Preview

Lolita's High School Football Hour with John Kentera

Braden Surprenant
September 28, 2018 - 12:39 pm

League play has officially started! We got a little tease of league play when the Avocado league opened up a couple weeks ago, but now every league in the county has started figuring out their champion. There are going to be some great races down the stretch! The constant battles in the Avocado league and Western league are going to be thrilling!  Will there be a be a team in the Grossmont Hills league that can overcome Helix? Is Kearny the team to beat in the City league, or does CIF finalist from a year ago, San Diego High have something up their sleeve? Finally, can Southwest San Diego (3-2) win two more games to give themselves their first winning season since 1992, and potentially their second ever league title? They are on pace to do so and have a favorable schedule. All those questions will start getting answered tonight!

Before we get into this week’s games, here is how the San Diego Union Tribune poll looked like entering the week:

Rank    Team               Record             Opponent This Week

1.Torrey Pines           5-0               @ #11 Carlsbad (3-2)

2. La Costa Canyon   5-0              @ #9 San Marcos (4-1)

3. Cathedral Catholic 4-1               vs #6 Madison (4-1)

4. Helix                      2-3              @ El Capitan (2-3)

5. Eastlake                  5-1              idle

6.Madison                  4-1              @ #3 Cathedral Catholic (4-1)

7. St. Augustine         4-1              vs #8 Lincoln (5-0)

8. Lincoln                   5-0              @ #7 St. Augustine (4-1)

9. San Marcos            4-1              vs La Costa Canyon (5-0)

10. Mission Hills       2-3              @ Oceanside (2-3)

Last week we went (3-2) in game picks, which gives us (48-18) record on the season. Rankings outside the top 10 are according to calpreps.com.

Game of the Week: #14 Vista Panthers (4-1) @ #24 Poway Titans (4-2) 7pm

Series: Vista (29-13-1); LM: 2017 Vista Won 21-7

This might be the most interesting game of the week because both teams are still trying to find their identity. Vista enters the game (4-1) on the year with their only loss coming from the hands of the second best team in the county, La Costa Canyon. Besides La Costa Canyon, Vista’s opponents have an average rating of (-2.4), so there four wins have not necessarily been spectacular. Poway has just one more blemish on their schedule than Vista, but have played noticeably better competition, including a 51-21 victory over a Grossmont team, that is going to hold their own in their difficult league.

It is a toss up game for me, and I could go either way…but I think the slight edge goes to Vista and their athleticism. Vista’s running back, David Flores, has 545 yards rushing this season with 8 touchdowns on 50 carries. Poway has a running back with identical stats by the name of Josh Butler, who has 522 yards and 6 touchdowns of his own. Poway’s defense is also stingy as they have shut out half of their opponents this season and opponents are only averaging 8 points per game against the Titans.

Poway slows down Vista, but Vista prevails 24-21.

Grossmont Hills League: #17 Granite Hills Eagles (5-0) @ #12 Steele Canyon Cougars (4-1) 7pm

Series: Steele Canyon (10-6); LM: 2017 CIF Semis Steele Canyon Won 28-27.

Steele Canyon has owned this East County rivalry since their first football season in 2002. That being said these two teams traded blows last year twice and both times the games were great. Granite Hills won the regular season matchup between the two schools a year ago, 43-41. The two teams then met again in the Division II CIF Semi-finals and Steele Canyon edged out the Eagles 28-27, as they went on to win a California State Championship.

Granite Hills is out for revenge, and have not lost a game since the game against Steele Canyon in the playoffs. Granite will look to their star receiver, James Johnson to light it up on offense, while defensive back Ethan Bishop tries to shut down Steele Canyon’s big threat receiver Chance Johnson. Just like the last two meetings between these teams, I expect the game to be close. I am going to give Steele’s strength of schedule the edge in this matchup.

Steele Canyon 42-40

Valley League: #32 San Pasqual Eagles (3-2) @ #20 Ramona Bulldogs (3-2) 7pm

Series: San Pasqual (21-10); LM: 2017 Ramona Won 34-7

I integrate the history of every matchup we break down here in San Diego for perspective and a fun fact. When you look at the series history for this game and the last time the two teams faced, a lot has changed. Yes, San Pasqual has been on the upper end of most of the games against Ramona. Yes, Ramona won convincingly in the most recent meeting. However, Ramona is not the same team they were a year ago, and San Pasqual has not been the dominant force they were in a long time.

Ramona had a remarkable undefeated run that came up just short of a CIF championship a year ago, but most of that team is not back. San Pasqual has been reeling ever since their loss to Cathedral Catholic in the Division I CIF Championship game in 2013, but are looking more like the 2013 team, than the teams of recent history.

San Pasqual has a great receiving core that rivals any in the county with Trevor Jungman, DJ McNeil and Jacob Moore. Ramona has a great all-around athlete, D1 baseball commit, and potentially high Major League Baseball draft pick, Derek Diamond at the helm of their offense.

San Pasqual has played the tougher schedule but Ramona has been in more games against their tougher opponents.

We will see how the Eagles climb the mountain to Ramona, but I like the Bulldogs in this one.

Ramona 35-17

Eastern League: #28 Mira Mesa Marauders (4-1) @ #9 Christian (5-0) @Granite Hills High @7pm

Series: First ever meeting

The recurring theme in the games we have taken an inside look at revolve around teams with great records and poor strength of schedules going against teams with ok records and better strength of schedules. This game is the same except both teams have great records against lackluster competition.

One thing is for certain however, the quarterback play in this one is going to be fun to watch! Noah Tumblin of Mira Mesa is putting up great numbers in his senior season. The lefty quarterback can make things happen with his feet but can also make great throws in the pocket. With over 851 yards passing and 9 touchdowns, he will pose as a challenge for Christian’s defense. His favorite receiver? Javelle Brown. Look for the two of them to have a big day if the Marauders want to start off Eastern league play 1-0.

As for Christian, they are led by their quarterback Owen Easley, who has also thrown for over 800 yards this season.

Both teams are well coached. Both teams have athletes. Both teams were picked to win the Eastern league. Only one team will prevail.

We are going with Christian in a shootout 56-49

Quick Hits

Orange Glen over Classical Academy

#10 Mission Hills over Oceanside

#2 La Costa Canyon over #9 San Marcos

#7 St. Augustine over #8 Lincoln

#3 Cathedral Catholic over #6 Madison

#1 Torrey Pines over #11 Carlsbad

For a more in depth on these games listen to the High School Football Hour with John Kentera HERE or below, as well as our videos on Facebook. Be sure to tune in to 97.3 The Fan every Thursday night at 9pm as Coach John Kentera and Braden Surprenant break down High School football in San Diego!