In a battle of East County rivals Friday night, the El Capitan walk away with bragging rights. It wasn't the easiest of games for the Vaqueros, but they had their fist held high at the end of their 24-17 victory over the West Hills Wolfpack.
Playing underclassmen has been a roller coaster for Coach Ron Burner so far this season, but the key Frosh came through Friday. With yet another good showing from Freshman quarterback Wick Hauser the Vaqueros pulled out their first league win of the season. Hauser finished with two passing touchdowns and let his defense do the rest.
West Hills behind big powerful fullback Griffin Guinn established it's run game. Guinn carried players all over the field, but the offense just could not find the end zone. Jovan Bea was also effective at times as the change of pace back from the big bruiser Guinn. Again, the offense moved the ball but just could not score at significant points of the game. After being down 17-3 in the third quarter the Wolfpack did however bring the deficit to seven not once but twice in the second half.
The turning point of the game and one West Hills wishes they could change, is a fumbled handoff exchange that was scooped and returned to the house by El Cap's Oscar Valenzuela. That score would be the down fall of the Wolfpack. El Cap took the 24-10 lead in the fourth quarter, killing enough time off the clock for only one more West Hills score leading to the 24-17 loss.
Next Week: West Hills at Grossmont Steele Canyon at El Capitan
West Hills and El Capitan come into week 10 both reeling from Grossmont Hills League play. Schedules in the East County never lack difficulty with San Diego powerhouses not far away. Both squads have taken lumps from Helix, Grossmont, and Valhalla, but will now have a chance to assert themselves against each other Friday. In the last five years of this matchup the West Hills Wolfpack hold the 3-2 advantage over the El Capitan Vaqueros.
The Wolfpack are coming off their worst game of the season, a blowout by the hands of the top 9 ranked Helix Highlanders. West Hills has now lost two of it's last three and hold a (1-2) record in the Grossmont Hills League standings. It has been a good season overall for the Wolfpack however and it shouldn't be marred by just league play. West Hills needs to get back to playing the way they did when they earned a 4-1 record and beat league foe Steele Canyon. The boost in play will come with giving the ball more often to rushing fullback Griffin Guinn. Guinn is a load out of the backfield and commands multiple tacklers to bring him down. Defensive arm tackles equate to extra yards, first downs, and touchdowns for Guinn as he often carries piles. West Hills looks like a physical football team when Griffin Guinn has the ball in his hands.
El Capitan is getting tired of their schedule, but the lessons learned in a tough season will lead to much better days.The old saying says losing teaches you much more than winning and the Vaqueros need to keep that in mind. A three game losing streak to Grossmont, Helix, and last week 31-7 to Valhalla have taught Freshman Wick Hauser valuable lessons. Hauser now knows what it takes to play against the upper echelon teams and it should show this week against West Hills. Despite the scores, Hauser has shown flashes of what he could be as an upperclassman and looks this week to get the Vaqueros first league win.
Matchup of the week: El Cap running back Connor Roosa vs. West Hills front seven
Freshman Wick Hauser would have a much easier time getting the El Cap passing game going if the run game stepped up. Enter Connor Roosa and his 4.3 yards per carry and 5 touchdowns. The only stat that Roosa lacks in is carries. 97 is far too little carries for someone the caliber of Roosa. One can only hope to see this duel between Roosa and his O line vs the Wolfpack front seven. West Hills has given up the same amount of points in their last two losses as they gave up combined in their five wins this season. West Hills needs to show that staunch defense that allowed only 18 points per game in their wins, but Roosa with more carries is no defensive coordinators dream scenario.