In a Palomar League matchup that never disappoints, Rancho Bernardo hosted rival Poway for a game which proved to be exciting until the very end. For the second year in a row, it was the Broncos who claimed the victory, made even sweeter this year by winning on their home turf. Although Poway battled back in the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to just six points, Rancho Bernardo never relinquished their lead, achieving the W by a final score of 30-21.
Rancho Bernardo took a commanding lead early on, and by the second quarter the Broncos were beating the Titans 27-7. The Broncos made sure to spread the wealth, as each of the following players scored in the first half: junior running back Jack Gaylord, senior wide receiver Malcolm Ross-Turner, junior wide receiver Angelo Ducksworth, and junior tight end Dustin Connelly. Connelly’s TD was a thing of beauty, as sophomore QB Noah Morris found his open hands with a bullet 25-yard pass. Morris had a tremendous performance, with over 175 passing yards in the first half alone.
In the third quarter, Poway showed that they were willing to put up a fight. Senior QB T.J. Elkinton threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to senior fullback Garrett Van Nostrand to make the score 27-14 Broncos, just a two-touchdown deficit. In the fourth quarter, senior running back Donovan Bercasio kept it coming for Poway with a 35-yard touchdown run, and just like that, the Titans only trailed by one touchdown.
But Rancho Bernardo knew how to finish the deal. The Broncos’ defense was on their A-game, and was ready to pounce when Elkinton fumbled the football with three minutes left on the clock. Junior defensive lineman Jacob Wiggins recovered the fumble, and the Broncos re-claimed possession. Senior Matt Araiza’s 11-yard field goal put the Broncos up 30-21, which was enough to seal the deal for Rancho Bernardo.
With tonight’s win, Rancho Bernardo improves to 5-1 in league and 5-5 overall, just behind the undefeated Ramona Bulldogs in the Palomar League standings. Meanwhile Poway falls to 2-4 in league and 3-7 overall. The good news for the two teams is that they both qualify for playoffs, so the action will not stop with the end of the regular season.
Tune in next Friday at 10:30pm to catch highlights and recaps of games throughout the county in the first round of the playoffs, and be sure to follow us at @RedJacketArmy and @kusippr on Instagram and Twitter.
PREVIEW: It’s hard to believe that Week 11 is already here. The sun is setting earlier, the nights are getting colder, and the end of regular season football in San Diego is upon us. But that doesn’t mean the action stops for the Prep Pigskin Report! The excitement is just beginning as we approach the playoffs. This week, we head to Rancho Bernardo for a conference game with playoff implications. The Broncos (4-5) will take on their rival, the Poway Titans (3-6), this Friday on home turf for their Senior Night.
Ranch Bernardo, led by head coach Tristan McCoy, has been a dominating force in the Palomar League with a record of 4-1, claiming second place behind undefeated Ramona. Their league record is impressive given their overall record of 4-5. After beginning their season with four straight losses, the Broncos showed perseverance to turn things around, winning four of their past five games. On Friday night, they’ll look to achieve their fourth straight win and give themselves the best possible chance to make a playoff run.
Poway, anchored by first-year head coach Scott Coats, is fourth in the Palomar League, with a 2-3 league record and a 3-6 overall record. The Titans are coming off a tough loss to league leader Ramona last Friday, which was Poway’s Senior Night and last home game. The Titans had a solid rhythm mid-season when they beat Del Norte and Mt. Carmel, but have since lost their past three games. Poway will look to finish their season on a high note with a win against Rancho Bernardo, but it will be a difficult task on the road against a talented team.
The last time these teams met, Rancho Bernardo beat Poway 35-14 on Titan turf, handing the Titans their only loss of the 2016 regular season. This matchup has been a heated rivalry for years, and both teams will be eager to claim the victory on Friday.
Last season, the Titans went 10-2 for the season and had an impressive league record of 5-1. They made it as far as the Division II semi-finals, where they lost 27-19 to Olympian at home. This year has been marked by rebuilding, with a new coach and a handful of young players. Despite some difficult losses at home, the senior leadership has remained as strong as ever. Senior standouts to watch for on the Poway squad this Friday include senior quarterback T.J. Elkinton, and a pair of players who perform on both sides of the ball — fullback/linebacker Garrett Van Nostrand and running back/linebacker Donovan Bercasio.
In 2016, the Broncos claimed an 11-1 overall record and a perfect 6-0 league record. That took them as far as the Open Division semi-finals, where they lost to Helix by a score of 28-10. The Broncos graduated many talented seniors including running back Milan Grice, who was a 2016 Silver Pigskin Finalist. But the Broncos have the determination and grit to battle their way to the playoffs again this year, with the help of some standout players. Senior wide receiver Malcolm Ross-Turner leads the Palomar League in receiving yards at 547 yards for seven touchdowns. In his defensive position of cornerback, he also leads the league in interceptions with three. Another standout is senior quarterback Christian Lewis, who averages 117.6 passing yards per game.
Kickoff is set for 7pm. It’s a game you won’t want to miss. Make sure to tune in to the Prep Pigskin Report this Friday at 10:30pm on KUSI for recaps and highlights of this game and more throughout the county, and be sure to follow @RedJacketArmy on Instagram and Twitter.