The Southwest El Centro Eagles soared into the Division 3 CIF Championship after beating the Hilltop Lancers 62-18.
It was the Eagles dominating in the beginning, middle, and end. In their first drive of the game the Eagles scored on a 4 yard touchdown from Derek Guzman. Guzman had 82 rushing yards on the night.
Their next possession saw a similar result when Cameron Jungers found Tyler Saikhon for the 31 yard touchdown. Jungers and Saikhon were the stars of the night. Jungers went for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns and Saikhon ran for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.
After another Saikhon rushing touchdown the Eagles’ defense wanted to get involved as Logan Chell picked off a Daniel McPherren pass and took it back 29 yards for the pick six.
El Centro would score twice more before the half was over and went into the locker room up 41-0.
The second half would be better for Hilltop. Jerimiah Rivera scored twice and brought the score to 56-18 but in the end it was too much El Centro for the Lancers to handle.
The Southwest El Centro Eagles are flying into their first ever trip into the CIF Finals. It will be Eagles vs Eagles in the Division 3 Championship as El Centro will face Santa Fe Christian.
PREVIEW: As Thanksgiving comes to a close there is still one feast to be had on Friday. It is the delicious matchup between the Southwest El Centro Eagles (1) and the Hilltop Lancers (4).
It is a semi-final game in the Division III CIF Playoffs. The matchup features two league champions facing off. The Eagles have been perfect so far at 11-0. The Lancers are 7-4 going undefeated in league play. El Centro won the Imperial Valley Football League. Hilltop won the Metro South Bay League.
It has been over a decade since these two programs last met.
For the Eagles, after a first-round bye they took down the Mount Miguel Matadors 39-21. This game, just like the season, had a balanced offensive attack.
Cameron Jungers went 6 for 16 with 156 yards and three touchdowns. On the season Jungers has thrown for over 1400 yards and has 18 touchdowns.
The offense is kept at balance with Tyler Saikhon who has rushed for over 1300 yards and found the end zone 21 times. Saikhon is also a receiving threat as he has caught eight touchdowns and has 550 receiving yards on the season.
The defense has also been a huge part of the Eagles’ success. They have posted 5 shutouts this season and only two teams have scored more than six points.
One of the defensive standouts this season has been Trey McAllister who has over 100 tackles on the season and 10 tackles in their quarter-final matchup.
The Eagles will look to stop another balanced offense in Hilltop.
Hilltop also benefited from a first round bye. In the quarter-finals they jumped out to an early 21-0 lead and held off the Imperial Tigers 36-35.
Hilltop got huge performances by Jerimiah Rivera and Noe Sanchez in their win against Imperial. Rivera had 25 carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Sanchez had 5 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Rivera has been a standout all season rushing for over 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball it has been a team effort all season. The Lancers have 21 different players in the double digits for total tackles. Josh Brown who has lead the Lancers this season with 88 total tackles had 16 in the win against Imperial.
It is one of the most enticing matchups of the week. The winner will play in the Division III final against the winner of the Santa Fe Christian and San Pasqual matchup.
Be sure to tune in to see the highlights on Friday at 10:30PM on KUSI. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @redjacketarmy to get updates from this and all other matchups across the county.