It was far more than just a league game at Poway High Friday night. It was a game of history, it was the 41st time the Kiwanis Cup would be at stake, and it was a game of overcoming odds. The Mt. Carmel Sundevils visit the Titans not having won a road game all season, and the hosts having yet to win at home. After a tight and competitive 60 minutes, it will be the Titans who will be remembered as the winners of this year’s Kiwanis classic.
“This goes back to 1975. There’s a lot of people that still remember the old days at Poway and Mt. Carmel. So it’s a really good rivalry for us,” explains the Sundevils’ head coach John Anderson.
10 minutes into the game, Poway would strike first with quarterback T.J. Elkinton connecting with Noah Araujo on a 56-yard touchdown pass. The response by the Sundevils’ wouldn’t take long as they scored on the ensuing drive thanks to a 10-yard pass from Mathew Holmes to Grant Walby.
Despite having two turnovers, the rest of the first half belonged to the Titans. The defense proved stubborn keeping the Sundevils’ drives scoreless. Poway tacked on two more touchdowns, one came again from T.J. Elkinton this time tossing it over to Garrett Van Nostrand for a 22-yard score. Then it was Justin Kramer punching it in from three yards out, but the extra point would not be completed. 20-7 at the half.
Second half the Sundevils’ came back to life. On their first drive, the offense got rolling again when running back Brandon Hernandez took it 28 yards to house. Then on their following possession, they went through with a risky play that payed its dividends. On fourth and one, they ignored the field goal and decided to go for it. The result, a 28-yard touchdown run from Spencer Jackson. 21-20, Mt. Carmel.
Finally, the lead would be in their grasps but the grip on it would not last long. Late into the third, the Titan’s Donovan Bercasio’s broken tackle would give him a clear path to the end zone and a 22-yard run. Following that was not only the Garrett Van Nodstram’s two-point conversion, but a deficit the Mt. Camel couldn’t come back from.
Poway added another touchdown and a field goal, and Mt. Carmel failed to respond the rest of the way. The game concluded with a score of 38-21 and the Titans hoisting the Kiwanis Cup another year.
Sundevils fell to 1-5 as the Titans improved to 3-3 on the season. In addition to the cup, they captured their first home win of the season. They travel next to Westview to face the Wolverines and Mt. Carmel will host the Ramona Bulldogs.
Up in North County, Poway High School will feature a showdown between the Titans and the visiting Mt. Carmel Sundevils. The Titans are entering the matchup with a win in their league debut before last week’s bye week, putting them at 2-3 overall. The Sundevils are coming off their bye week as well, standing at .500 in league and 1-4 overall.
By looking at both squad’s home and road record, you’d get the impression that perhaps home field advantage won’t really be a factor. While Mt. Carmel is visiting with no wins in their three road games, Poway has yet to win a game at home as their both have resulted in losses. Perhaps the Titans can figure things out as a likely packed stadium will not only be watching the game, but enjoying homecoming show as well.
An all-around effort on offense and defense helped Poway steamroll past their last opponent. They put up 49 points while limiting them to only seven points. The team is averaging 39 points per game, proving they are more than capable of winning.
Mt. Carmel on the other hand still has plenty to prove on the offensive side of the ball. They’ve struggled to push the ball and are averaging only 15.8 points per game.
The game begins at 7:00 PM. If you can’t make it or just want to catch the highlight, you know the Pre Pigskin Report will have the what you need to get your Friday night lights recap starting at 10:30 PM.