El Camino Wildcats 29, Rancho Bernardo Broncos 22

El Camino High School started the night in the right way by honoring all policemen and women, firefighters and soldiers in attendance for the game. It was a night for them and everyone else to remember 9/11 in their home stadium. It was named First Responders Night, and the El Camino Wildcats took that to heart against the visiting Rancho Bernardo Broncos by responding first. It was a game that came down to the very end with the Wildcats edging out the Broncos 29-22. 

After both teams traded interceptions, Daniel Naranjo put the Wildcats on the board with a 25 yard interception return to the house. El Camino quarterback Jalen Casey found receiver Wayne Steward for a 19 yard score to make it a 14-0 game. That score was quickly cut back down to 7 thanks to the Broncos’ running back Jack Gaylord and his impressive ability to avoid being downed while getting tackled for a 25 yard touchdown run. The Wildcats’ Jaden Casey then showed off his arm strength by connecting with former Orange Glen receiver Malachi Russell on a 62 yard bomb, extending El Camino’s lead to 21-7. 

Rancho Bernardo refused to give up despite the deficit, roaring back with strong defensive plays and the play of quarterback Christian Lewis. Now up 22-21 after a successful 2 point conversion, the Broncos had less than two minutes to stop the powerful Wildcat offense. Some things can’t be stopped though, especially player of the game Jaden Casey. He connected with receiver Brandon Johnson with 40 seconds left, and the Wildcat defense did the rest of the work. 

The Wildcats ability to pull off a close win despite star running back Chris Brown’s quiet night (by his own standards) shows how deep this team is. Don’t expect this to be the norm for Brown, which makes the now 2-0 El Camino even scarier heading forward. They’ll take this momentum to Citrus Hill while Rancho Bernardo will work to bounce back from their 0-2 start, starting with next week’s game versus Otay Ranch. Tune into KUSI next Friday to see what unfolds in Week 3 of the 2017 season on Prep Pigskin Report! 

PREVIEW: Week one of San Diego high school football is in the books! Although half the league is celebrating a 1-0 start while the other half look to bounce back from a loss, the direction of each team is far from decided. This Friday the El Camino Wildcats will host the Rancho Bernardo Broncos in a battle of two teams that have had nearly opposite starts to this year. 

El Camino would be considered a celebrating team after they walked into the Point Loma Pointers stadium and ruined the unveiling of brand new lights. This Wildcats team has a very similar roster compared to last years, once again led by star running back Chris Brown. As a junior, Brown averaged six and a half yards per run to go with 1442 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s joined by returning starting quarterback Jaden Casey and last years main receiver Wayne Stewart. That offense sounded deadly enough before former Orange Glen superstar receiver Malachi Russell transferred from Escondido county for Oceanside. Russell’s 87 receptions for 1742 yards and 24 touchdowns transforms the Wildcat offense from great to incredible. That talent was evident right away as El Camino dropped 34 points in their first game together. 

El Camino has an experienced roster working to drastically improve from last seasons 3-8 record. On the other side of the field, Rancho Bernardo will look to replace key losses from last seasons Open Division semi-finals squad. Gone is star quarterback Mike Salazar, the reigns are now in the hands of Christian Lewis. Meanwhile running back Milan Grice and his 1463 rushing yards will have to be replaced by the rushing duo of Tahj Martin and Jack Gaylord. It will be up to returning starters like senior receiver Michael Ross-Turner to show the other Broncos what made them successful last year. 

Rancho Bernardo was able to get a 28-17 win over El Camino in 2016s head to head matchup despite Chris Browns 208 rushing yards and 2 scores. It’ll take a new cast of athletes stepping up for the Broncos to repeat that success, but don’t count out a team that didn’t lose until their final game of last year. Find out who comes out on top this Friday only on Prep Pigskin Report! 

Categories: 2014 PPR Archive, 2015 PPR Archive, 2016 PPR Features Part 1, 2016 PPR Features Part 2, 2016 PPR Features Part 3, Week 2: September 1, 2017