Week 5: Rancho Bernardo Broncos 35, Del Norte Nighthawks 14

The Rancho Bernardo Broncos were able to leave Del Norte with a win on Friday night, beating the Nighthawks, 35-14.

Both teams came out ready to play, as the first quarter was full of some big-time plays.

On the Broncos ‘first possession, senior quarterback Zeke Payne was able to get the ball to multiple receivers for first downs to push the ball downfield. That led to Rancho Bernardo scoring the first touchdown of the game on a short goal-line carry from junior running back Javen Jovero.

On the Nighthawks’ following possession, Bronco defensive back Raun Lyde sacked the quarterback, forcing a fumble. Junior linebacker Ryan Bartolomei was able to scoop the ball up and return it for a 23-yard score.

A long kick return on the ensuing possession gave Del Norte some momentum back.

Quarterback Jack Borer made a few big throws to get into scoring position. That led to Borer finding sophomore wideout Eddie Lujan for the 14-yard touchdown to cut the Broncos lead to 14-7.

From the second quarter on, however, it was all Rancho Bernardo. A balanced offensive attack helped move the ball down the field with relative ease.

A passing touchdown from Payne to senior wideout Caleb Armstrong pushed their lead to 21-7. A rushing score before the half by sophomore running back Frankie Franchina extended the lead to 28-7 at the break.

It was much of the same in the second half, as Del Norte wasn’t able to get any rhythm going on the offensive side of the ball.

The Bronco defense was swarming and was close to scoring another defensive touchdown. Defensive back Ja’shon Williams had an interception returned for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a penalty.

Each team was able to score another touchdown in the second half but didn’t affect the outcome of this one.

The Broncos were able to take this one by a final score of 35-14. Rancho Bernardo moves to 3-2 on the season and head to El Camino next week. Del Norte falls to 2-3 and will play at Westview High next Friday night.


We’re onto Week 5 in San Diego high school football, and this week we’re headed to Del Norte high, where the 2-2 Nighthawks will play host to the Rancho Bernardo Broncos (2-2).

After dropping to 0-2 to start the season, Rancho Bernardo has bounced back with some impressive shutout wins over Valley Center (17-0) and Point Loma (38-0).

Last week’s game against Point Loma saw senior quarterback Zeke Payne throw for 211 yards to along with two touchdowns. That puts him at 881 yards and eight scores through four games into the season. Look for Payne to keep airing it out against the Del Norte defense this Friday.

On defense for the Broncos, look for senior linebacker Nick Blanchard to have his nose in on every play. He’s averaging nearly 14 tackles per game, and has also recovered two fumbles for his team this season.

Del Norte has had an up-and-down season so far. The team absolutely scorched Fallbrook back in week one, winning 44-0. In the three games since, the offense has only been able to muster up 24 points.

The Nighthawks had 321 yards on the ground in Week 1, so look for the offense to get their rhythm going on the ground against Rancho Bernardo this Friday.

The Del Norte defense looked dominant against La Jolla last week, allowing only seven points. The team forced three turnovers, including two interceptions on the opposing quarterback.

Senior linebacker Ryan Larramendy led his team with six tackles and a sack last week. Keep an eye on him and fellow senior linebacker Daniel Latanca, who made four tackles and had a sack of his own.

The last time these two teams met was last year, which saw the Broncos beat the Nighthawks, 59-14. Del Norte will surely be looking for revenge come Friday night.

For highlights, tune into the Prep Pigskin Report on KUSI Friday at 10:45 p.m. To get live updates throughout the game follow us on Twitter @RedJacketArmy.

Categories: This Week’s Games