Eastlake coach Dean Tropp’s game plan was to try to keep Grossmont’s vaunted offense off the field.
Six interceptions and a huge rushing night by junior Roman Coe did the trick just fine Friday night as Eastlake came from behind to beat Grossmont 32-19 to spoil the Foothillers’ homecoming.
Grossmont (2-2) came in averaging 440 yards and 38 points per game.
“We know they’re a high-potent offense,” Tropp said. “Getting six picks definitely helped. That, and we goose-egged them in the second half.
Coe, at 5-feet-6 and 200 pounds, looks and runs a lot like former St. Augustine star Elijah Preston. Coe gained 155 yards on 31 carries before leaving with a separated shoulder. He was kept out of the zone, but Eastlake gained 355 yards to the Foothillers’ 273.
“It feels surreal,” Coe said. “We came back against the odds, and we showed them what we’re made of.”
Micah Pietila-Wiggs had two interceptions, and Robby Hughes, A.J. Hernandez, Dylan Kohler and Jalyn Jackson added one apiece for what could very well be a school record.
“I gotta look in the record books,” Tropp said.
Eastlake (3-1) has never lost to Grossmont in five games, including an epic 59-37 win in the 2012 semifinals as Eastlake went on to win the Division I championship.
Grossmont’s Jamie Odom was 10 of 25 passing for 248 yards and two TDs, but he was picked off five times.
In the first 20 minutes, Grossmont ran only 10 plays and had only two first downs. Grossmont also had a 19-10 lead.
Zach Jones blocked a field goal that Andrew Lira returned 72 yards for a 6-0 lead, getting a great downfield block from Noah Cress. Odom hit Desmond Carter on an 84-yard TD strike, then found Thomas Mangum on a 65-yard TD reception for the 19-10 lead.
Eastlake got a 27-yard scoring run from Pietila-Wiggs, and three field goals from DJ Del Fierro to make it 19-16 at the homecoming halftime.
Del Fierro added a fourth field goal in the second half. Kevin Bateman caught a 5-yard TD pass from Daniel Amon, and Parker Merrifield scored from 9 yards to lift the Titans.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Grossmont coach Tom Karlo said. “We shot ourselves in the foot too many times.”
Lindgren is a freelance writer.