EL CAJON For a hungry team hoping to taste the playoffs for the first time since 2005, El Cajon Valley needed a win like the one it cooked up Friday night.
Behind 220 rushing yards and five touchdowns by junior Matthew Shearin, the Braves trounced visiting Orange Glen 38-13 in a key Division IV matchup.
“It’s a huge win,” ECV coach Norman Whitehead said. “If we’d have beaten Montgomery, I’d feel really good about our playoff chances. But this definitely helps. We have another big Division IV game next week at Monte Vista.”
Shearin scored on runs of 11, 56, 3, 19 and 47 yards as the Braves (2-4) posted 322 total yards and shut out the Patriots (2-4) for three quarters in taking a 31-0 lead. Shearin upped his season totals to 842 yards and 11 TDs.
Orange Glen was playing without its top three offensive weapons, quarterback Santana Ocegueda (shoulder), 500-yard rusher Roger Rickman (broken fibula) and wide receiver Josh Spina (dislocated shoulder).
“We’re really limping right now,” OG coach Kris Plash said.
Turnovers didn’t help either as ECV turned three of them into 17 first-half points.
The Braves’ Jose Solis recovered an onside kick to start the game. Eight plays later, Shearin scored the first of his three first-half TDs.