Eastlake Titans 42, Chula Vista Spartans 17
The Titans were supremely confident coming into the match-up against the struggling (1-8) Spartans. Most South Bay high school football fans anticipated a lopsided victory including the Eastlake coach, Lee Price, who received the Charger Coach of the Week honors during the coin-toss. Before the game he said, "The unfortunate thing about this game is that by winning, we still end up losing points due to strength of schedule.” Early on, the Titans validated their coach’s confidence jumping out to a 14-0 lead, mainly led by a relentless and punishing ground attack. The Spartans were reeling and in need of a spark plug, which they found in the form of their omnipresent two-way player Cameron O’neal. O’neal was a force on defense, making touchdown saving tackles on multiple occasions, but his impact was more heavily felt on the offensive side where he proved to be the only legitimate pass receiving option throughout the game for the Spartans. He brought his team back within a touchdown near the end of the second quarter after hauling in an 11-yard touchdown reception in the corner of the end zone, making it 21-14.
After the half, with the score 21-17, the Titans scored 21 unanswered points to finally put to bed any ideas the Spartans had of completing the comeback and handing the home team an upset.
The (5-5) Titans looked poised for a playoff and the Spartans hope to have built the foundation of an improved team next year as they have many juniors returning.
One week remains in the regular season but when the Spartans and Titans get together for their yearly rivalry, records and reputation don’t matter, they just plain don’t like each other.
Eastlake’s season has been a bit surprising because of their losing record, 4-5. This record is misleading however, because the Titans have played perhaps the most difficult non-conference schedule in the county. Losses to Helix, Cathedral Catholic and St. Augustine were supposed to toughen up the Titans for conference play. What wasn’t supposed to happen was Greg Bell. The Eastlake to Bonita transfer led the Barons against his old team to an epic, last-minute, 28-23 victory over the Titans, to put the Barons in position to take the Metro-Mesa League Title, barring a match-up with Otay Ranch this week.
Chula Vista (1-8) comes in on a 5-game losing streak including a 47-14 loss to Bonita Vista last week, in which Barons running back Greg Bell ran over the Spartans for more than 300 yards on just 13 touches. The Spartans lone win came at the hands of Sweetwater 36-21.
It has been nine long years since the Spartans came away with a victory over the Titans, a 21-13 thriller at Eastlake in 2006. The Barons ended their decade long drought against the Titans just a few weeks ago, with the Spartans do the same? Tune into the PPR at 10:30 to find out.