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Eastlake 2013 football preview

08/24/2013, 3:41pm PDT
By Steve Brand, Special to the U-T

Key players, scouting report, facts & figures

Last year: 10-3

Coach: John McFadden, 13th year

League: Metro Mesa

Division: Open

Key players: Isiah Olave (RB-DB), Keifer Graham (LB), Wes Braddock (TE-DL), Emilio Rodriguez (OL-DL), Nasser Ali (LB), Isaiah Strayhorn (RB-LB), Armando Alvarado (OL-LB), Matt Lao (OL-DL), Stephen Tapia (OL), Mason Saurer (LB).

Scouting report: The Titans have traditionally been known as a team that started strong but then faded as the season wore on. Not last year. Eastlake played its best ball in the playoffs, rolling to the San Diego Section Division I title. Now Eastlake is in the Open Division, where the likes of Oceanside and Helix will be waiting. Though 32 of the 62 varsity players return, there is a lot of rebuilding to be done. McFadden has been around long enough to know how to do it, and in Olave he has a back who rushed for almost 500 yards and caught passes worth 220 more, all in a backup role. Linemen like Braddock (6-4, 245) and Rodriguez (6-3, 255) will make it easier, but the real question will be which of the two quarterback candidates, junior Justin Scott or sophomore Issak Morales, will start the opener against Chandler, Ariz., power Hamilton, which finished 12-2 and won a state title last season. Chandler is ranked in the national top 25 by USA Today. Eastlake’s strength is linebacker, where all-section player Graham and Ali lead five veterans.

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