The Escondido Cycle Center North County Game of the Week saw the top seeded Cathedral Catholic Dons (12-0) stay in line for an undefeated season and CIF Open Championship with a 44-21 win over Mission Hills (7-5).
Most teams in San Diego County have to play a perfect game to beat Cathedral and that was the case with Mission Hills.
The Grizzlies forced a 4th and seven, but got flagged for an illegal substitution, the Dons went for it on 4th and 2, and got it, the Drive resulted in a Jordan Genmark-Heath one yard touchdown run.
The Grizzlies got the ball back and were driving on the Dons defense before Mission Hills quarterback Jack Tuttle fumbled the ball at midfield and that turned into a Tate Haynes to Antoine Lee Touchdown pass.
In the 2nd quarter the Grizzlies had the ball twice inside the 10-yard line, the 1st time Tuttle was stopped on 4th and goal from the one, the second resulted in a Jared Leapart touchdown run. The Don’s would extend the lead to 13, when Haynes find his future Boston College teammate Patrick Brown over the middle for a score.
The game was put a away two minutes into the 3rd when Cathedral Safety Matt Stuppiello picked off Tuttle returning it inside the 10. That set up a Haynes to Adam Eastwood touchdown. Haynes threw for a season high 4 touchdown passes, as the Dons punched their ticket to the San Diego Section Finals.
Cathedral will face the Helix Highlanders (10-2) for the second time this season, the 1st time, saw the Scotties blow a 21 point halftime lead. That game will be at Southwestern Co
The Escondido Cycle Center North County Game of the Week matches up two of San Diego high school football programs that are no strangers to the post-season, but they are strangers to each other, when Mission Hills (7-4, 4-2) travels to the top seed in an Open Division Cathedral Catholic (11-0, 4-0) for a semi-final playoff match-up.
The Dons have won eight San Diego Section Championships under the guidance of head coach Sean Doyle, but in my 18 years of covering high school football in San Diego, I do not remember a better team top to bottom than the 2016 Cathedral Catholic football team.
The Dons feature two Silver Pigskin Finalists in quarterback Tate Haynes (19 Total TD’s) and Do-It-All athlete Jordan Genmark-Heath (11 TD’s). While offensive tackle Graham Valentine paves the way for a Cathedral squad that Rushes for 263 yards a game. The Dons also have Boston College commit Patrick Brown who is as good of a tight end as anyone in the County. Add to that running backs sophomore Shawn Poma (14 TD’s), and Senior Adam Eastwood (11 TD’s). All of that has lead to a national ranking of #23 from Maxpreps.com.
The defense is also one of the best in San Diego County giving up just 11 points per game, lead by Genmark-Heath (4 interceptions) and linebacker Moroni Anae (10 sacks).
So how do the Grizzlies win this one…play a perfect game. And they have proven that they can win in tough environments, as Mission Hills picked up their 1st win ever at John Carroll Stadium in Oceanside, plus a dominating win at El Camino, and last week’s shoot out at Grossmont where they beat the Foothillers 49-48 in the quarterfinals of the Open Division playoffs.
In 2016, 4-star quarterback Jack Tuttle has shown why schools from the SEC, Big-10, Pac-12 and Mountain West all want him. Tuttle is a leader, but he will have his work cut out for him against the Dons defense. Look for running back Sam Dixon and receivers Sam Cooke and Christian Esqueda to make plays on offense.
Highlights and postgame reaction from this playoff game and nine more Friday night on the Prep Pigskin Report which kicks off at 10:30 PM. I will also tweet my prediction of this open division semi-final as well as Rancho Bernardo at Helix just before kick-off of both games on Friday night. Follow me on Twitter @Rickwillis99.