The Eastlake Titans continued their great start to the season by using a hard-hitting, opportunistic defense to set up an offense that took full advantage of great field position all night long in a 38-7 win at home against the Valhalla Norsemen.
It was the home opener for the Titans who improved to 4-1. The student section called for a blackout wearing all black and the defense called for a shutout but gave up a garbage time touchdown with 3:35 remaining in the game. LB Dylan Kohler set the tone in the first quarter with a strip fumble recovery setting up QB Daniel Amon for an 11 yard touchdown run. RB Parker Merrifield had a nice game as well consistently running hard and scored touchdown in the second half. Team leader Josh McCurty pitched in with two of the team’s five sacks on the night.
Valhalla came out with some hard hitting defense but wore down as the game went on. RB Connor Buckley scored their only touchdown of the night on a 29 yard run.
McCurty, before the game, indicated that the Titans are playing with some extra motivation after finishing 2-9 a season ago. They have vowed that their play will be more intense and that they will hold each other more accountable.
Next week Eastlake, 4-1, goes back on the road at Otay Lakes in their Metro-Mesa League opener and Valhalla, 2-2, hosts Otay Ranch.
PREVIEW: The Eastlake Titans appear to be playing the 2017 campaign with renewed vigor and a collective chip on their shoulders. After a disastrous 2016 season going 2-9 they have already surpassed that win total this year and have shown success on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, the Valhalla Norseman have won two of their first three games and are eager to show they are up to the task against Eastlake.
The Titans opened some eyes when they began the season on the road at Rancho Bernardo and dominated both sides of the ball en route to a 21-3 win. After giving up just 7 points the following week at Hilltop Eastlake showed they could generate some offense too. In a 2-point loss at Santiago they put up 41 points then last week at Grossmont scored 32 in a win. The opportunistic Titans defense has 17 sacks and 9 interceptions through their first four games.
The Norseman have played two of their first three games on the road and Friday will make it three of their first four. The Valhalla program takes pride in their defense will be looking to slow down the Titan attack. The front seven held Mount Miguel to -2 yards rushing last week in a 24-14 win. They will need to make Eastlake one dimensional to be effective again this week.
This will be the home opener for Eastlake. Tune into the PPR on KUSI Friday night at 10:30 for all the highlights. Remember to follow us on Twitter @RedJacketArmy and Instagram ‘kusippr.’