Game of the Week: Mission Hills Grizzlies 20, Rancho Bernardo Broncos 13

Mission Hills hung in there after a slow start and beat Rancho Bernardo 20-13 to advance to the quarterfinals against #1 seed La Costa Canyon in the Division I playoffs. Impressively, the Grizzlies got it done with a quarterback who was called up from JV and a wide receiver named Smith.

The Broncos seemed to set the tone on the opening drive by methodically going the length of the field on a drive that took over 9 minutes. But Quinton Hadnot picked off Noah Morris in the end zone to leave Rancho Bernardo nothing to show for their efforts. RB struck first in the second quarter when Landon Ogles hit a 39-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. He would hit another field goal from 25 yards out to make it 6-0 and the Broncos looked like they would extend the lead late in the half when McKyle So’Oto picked off Zeke Payne.

Mission Hills came back to tie the game on a pair of Ezekiel Mata field goals, both from 28 yards out, in the 3rd quarter. Then sophomore quarterback Jackson Oksnee, called up from the JV team, threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Quinton Hadnot and a 13-6 lead. The Broncos tied it midway through the 4th quarter when Noah Morris threw to Jack Gaylord in the flat for a 5-yard touchdown. However, Oksnee connected with Joe Smith for 50 yards on the ensuing drive then Smith finished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run on a jet sweep and a 20-13 Grizzlies lead with just 2:41 remaining.

Smith finished with 4 catches for 100 yards and the game-winning touchdown run. Mission Hills will play at #1 seed La Costa Canyon next week.

PREVIEW – The Cox Communications Game of the Week has the #9 seed Mission Hills Grizzlies (3-6) traveling to Rancho Bernardo to face the #8 seed Broncos (7-3) in the first round of the CIF San Diego Section Division I playoffs.

The Grizzlies began their 2018 schedule with three consecutive road games and two of those were against top 40 teams in California. Presumably, that was to get Mission Hills ready for the playoffs. They did win back-to-back games against Carlsbad and Ramona respectively and had a pair of close losses to Oceanside and Torrey Pines. The Grizzlies like to use the run to set up the pass. Junior wide receiver Joe Smith led the team with 459 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Quinton Hadnot is a reliable target as well leading the team with 39 catches for 430 yards and a touchdown.  Defensively a pair of sophomores lead the way; Linebacker McKyle So’oto with 82 tackles and Strong safety Jason Boyle with 80.

Rancho Bernardo was riding a 5-game winning streak before Poway came from behind to beat them last week. Junior quarterback Noah Morris seems to be heating up at the right time. In his last two games he has thrown for a combined 485 yards and 5 touchdowns. This, after not breaking the 200 yard mark or throwing for more than one touchdown in each of his first 8 games. Defensively, junior defensive back Jonny Tanner is a difference maker. He leads the team with 95 tackles and 6 interceptions. Senior middle linebacker Luke Manos leads the team with 13 sacks.

The winner of this game will play at #1 seed La Costa Canyon next week. For highlights of this game tune into “1st & 15” on KUSI at 10:45 pm. For updates on this game and the rest of the postseason games follow us on Twitter @RedJacketArmy.

Categories: Game of the Week, This Week’s Games