After three and a half hours of football, No. 1 seeded Mission Hills Grizzlies (11-0) sealed the victory over Grossmont High School by ten points, winning 52-42.
For a game that is only 48 minutes of regulation play, it was both a long one and a high scoring one.
On the first opening drive of the game, Mission Hills set the tone for the night with an 82-yard passing touchdown from senior quarterback Jack Tuttle to senior wide receiver Chris Olave.
Arguably one of the scariest duos a defense needs to worry about across San Diego County, the pair had another connection later on in the second quarter for an 18-yard touchdown.
Grossmont tried to take away this duo, specifically targeting Tuttle in the pocket. Despite the loss, the Foothillers were successful in their attempt to take the quarterback out of his game. On the night, Tuttle had two critical turnovers that resulted in Foothillers touchdowns.
With only a couple snaps in to game, Tuttle was intercepted by Eric Shanks and returned for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Later on in the second quarter, the Utah commit fumbled the ball on their 25-yard and was returned by Julian Sander lain to bring the Foothillers within three with 9:30 left to go in the first half.
Mission Hills responded with 21 unanswered points, putting the Grizzlies up 45-21. One of the Grizzlies scoring drives came from Chris Calhoun III himself, who picked off Grossmont quarterback Jamie Odom and returned the ball for a touchdown.
This wouldn’t be his only interception of the night. The senior linebacker sealed a victory for the Grizzlies after picking off Jamie Odom with 1:30 left to go in the game.
With a 52-42 victory, the Grizzlies will host No. 5 seed Torrey Pines Falcons (7-4) next week for the semifinals of the Open Division.
Make sure to tune into the Prep Pigskin Report next Friday for playoff coverage and highlights from next week’s match-ups. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @KUSIPPR and @RedJacketArmy for live updates and all kinds of PPR exclusives.
PREVIEW: There’s a lot on the line this Friday night for the Grossmont football team (7-3, 4-1) as they head up North to take on the undefeated Mission Hills Grizzlies (10-0, 6-0). The Foothillers played the Grizzlies last year in the 2016 Open Division quarterfinals, giving up a 42-35 lead in the fourth quarter, and losing by merely one point to cut their season short. Grossmont is looking for redemption this year as they are getting another chance this postseason to change the course of last year’s history. Will they garner the upset of the night or buckle under the pressure?
Head Coach Tom Karlo took over the Grossmont program in 2012, crafting his team into one of the top powerhouses in San Diego County. Despite being a younger squad, the Foothillers finished the regular season as the Grossmont-Hills League runner-ups with only one loss in conference play to the No. 2 ranked Helix Highlanders (9-1, 5-0).
With the graduation of Hunter Gaines last season, Coach Karlo tossed the torch to sophomore quarterback Jaime Odom to continue the Foothillers trend of having dominant quarterbacks. In his first year inside the pocket, Odom has thrown for 1868 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging nearly 187 yards per game. Not bad for a first-year starter, but there’s more – he can run too. The sophomore has also garnered himself eight rushing touchdowns on the season, easily classifying himself as a dangerous dual-threat quarterback.
Odom isn’t the only offensive threat Mission Hills is going to need to worry about this Friday. They’ll also need to focus in on senior running back Shevell Sterling Jr. The Foothillers veteran could be considered one of the backbones of this young team, leading the team with 938 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. This season alone, Sterling Jr. has had five games where he’s rushed for over 100 yards and averages nearly two touchdowns per game.
Other than Grossmont’s running game, their team has multiple threats in the receiving game as well. Quarterback Jamie Odom has the luxury of throwing to three well-sounded wide receivers: junior Desmond Carter, junior Thomas Mangum, and senior Josh Moala. Moala leads the pack with six receiving touchdowns, but all three can produce big numbers.
Finishing the regular season ranked No. 1 in the county, Mission Hills is coming in to the Open Division quarterfinals feeling confident, but humble. Head Coach Chris Hauser began building this program back in 2004 when the school first opened, and is in his 14th season with the Grizzlies. In the 14 years of football history at this school, 2013 was the only year the Grizzlies won a CIF Championship. This 2017 squad is arguably one of the best group of guys to come through this school, but they will have to get through Grossmont first before they can possibly classify themselves as that.
Senior quarterback Jack Tuttle is the fourth Grizzly in program history to be named one of the Silver Pigskin Finalists and will be graduating a semester earlier to start his collegiate career next semester at the University of Utah. The four-star has had great year to say the least – spending his off-season attending The Opening, getting an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals, leading his team to an undefeated season, and of course being ranked No. 1 in the county.
However, Tuttle couldn’t have accomplished all of this by himself. Another big factor on the Grizzlies’ offense this year is senior Chris Olave. The wide receiver has had a breakout season, getting the attention from multiple collegiate programs across the country, including powerhouses like USC, Ohio State University, Utah, and Michigan. Olave spent this past weekend taking an official visit to the University of Ohio, but has yet to make a commitment to a program.
Grizzly running back and line backer, Samuel Dixon, also spent the weekend taking his official to the Naval Academy where he will be continuing his career next fall.
With two weeks of preparation, this could be anybody’s game. The No. 1 seeded Grizzlies are a strong contender for taking home the victory, but No. 8 seeded Grossmont have been known for doing the inevitable.
There is no injury report for either team. Both programs are expected to be playing with full, active rosters.
The winner of Friday’s game will play the winner of the Torrey Pines versus La Costa Canyon game in the next round of the Open Division Playoffs.
Highlights of this game and 21 others from around San Diego County can be seen on the Emmy-Award winning high school football show "Prep Pigskin Report." Kick off is at 10:30 every Friday night during the fall on KUSI-TV Channel 9/51. Live streaming of the show will also be available on KUSI.com.