Final score: Mission Hills 13, Phoenix Desert Vista 0
Key plays: Mission Hills linebacker Fred Warner made an interception two minutes into the second quarter Saturday and blocked a Desert Vista punt on its next possession, highlighting the efforts of the Grizzlies’ defense and special teams.
Key stats: The Mission Hills defense ruled the day, limiting Desert Vista to 20 yards rushing on 34 carries. There were 13 plays for zero or negative yardage. The Thunder had just 123 total yards, and nearly half of those came on one final, futile drive. Mission Hills ventured into Desert Vista territory on eight possessions but had just an Anthony Bautista TD run and two Esteban Senteno field goals to show for it. The Grizzlies’ offense produced just 136 yards.
Quotable: Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser was pleased with his defense. The Grizzlies’ offense? Not so much. Said Hauser: “One side of the ball was terrific. The other side of the ball was a nightmare.”
Quotable, too: “Coach has me coming off the edge and dropping into coverage, so I feel like I’m very versatile,” Warner said. “We came out with the mindset that we were going to get a shutout and be 1-0, so I’m real proud of my guys.”
Phantom fumble?: Midway through the first quarter, Mission Hills’ Ricky Liuchan carried for 3 yards and an apparent touchdown — an official even raised his arms to signal a TD — but it was ruled that Liuchan fumbled before he crossed the goal line. The confusion didn’t sit well with Hauser, who grew more infuriated a couple of plays later when a Grizzlies defender was sent off for a play to remove inappropriate equipment. “You’re more worried about sweat bands,” Hauser yelled toward the officials.
Wynn win: Mission Hills quarterback Connor Wynn, among the county’s top QBs, was playing on a sore knee he banged up last week in a scrimmage.
Catching some rays: Friday Night Lights were replaced by midday sun for an 11 a.m. start at Cathedral Catholic High as part of the Under Armour Brothers in Arms San Diego Classic. “It was different, but I liked it,” said Wynn, who completed 8-of-23 passes for 80 yards. “It reminded me of Pop Warner.”
Word of the day: Hydrate. Heat and humidity are uncommon — and uncomfortable — in San Diego, but one player from an Arizona team here for the Classic scoffed when he heard there was a high heat warning for the area. The Zonies have been practicing in 108-degree weather. “This feels good,” he said.
Bloodlines: Desert Vista QB Cade Van Raaphorst has East County roots. His father Jeff and uncle Mike were QBs for Grossmont and Helix, respectively, before embarking on college football careers. Cade has earned a college scholarship to Duke — for lacrosse.
Cathedral cuisine: The Dons dog was sizzling and juicy from the concession stand (three lines, no waiting). Real good, earning four burps on our five-burp scale. Disappointed that their house root beer was Barq’s, however. Mug would have been a better pairing with the wiener.