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D-V final: LJCD vs. Vincent Memorial

11/27/2014, 3:00pm PST
By Kirk Kenney

Torreys, Scots to match high-powered scoring machines in football championship game


La Jolla Country Day receiver Brennan Goring, who has 75 catches for 1,158 yards and 15 TDs, will try to get open Friday against Vincent Memorial.

San Diego Section Championship

DIVISION V

Vincent Memorial vs. La Jolla Country Day

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: DeVore Stadium, Southwestern College

Radio: 1090-AM

Preview: Second-seeded Vincent Memorial and No. 5 La Jolla Country Day met during the regular season each of the past five years — with the Torreys compiling a 5-0 record — but didn’t schedule a game this season. Perhaps they knew they’d be seeing each other with a little more on the line. Vincent’s semifinal victory gave the school its first 10-win season. The Scots have averaged 30.5 points a game while allowing 10.9, all against Division V opponents. LJCD has averaged 32.1 points a game and allowed 29.4, the numbers skewed by playing eight games against Division III and IV teams. The Torreys have outscored their four Division V opponents 196-47.

Prediction: La Jolla Country Day 42, Vincent Memorial 24.

VINCENT MEMORIAL

Record: 10-1.

Coach: Ricky Castro, 2nd year.

Players to watch: The running game is led by a pair of senior RBs in Ernesto Araujo (793 yards, 11 TDs) and Fidel Ruiz (405 yards, 6 TDs), who is averaging a team-leading 11.3 yards per carry. Junior QB Hector Robinson (1,052 yards, 10 TDs) spreads the ball around a handful of receivers led by senior Alejandro Garcia (55 catches, 434 yards, 4 TDs). Ruiz and Araujo are the top tacklers on defense. Senior DE Emiliano leads the team with seven sacks.

Season highlight: Marching through the playoffs with a 24-15 win over Crawford and a 30-0 victory over Classical to reach the finals for the first time.

Quotable: “To be successful, we need to stick to what we do best and then find a way to stop them,” said Castro. “We’re a well-balanced team, so we’ll take what they give us.”

Championship past: No previous appearances.

Little-known fact: The school opened in 1949 as Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy, an all-girls school. It moved to its current site in Calexico in 1966, became coed and was renamed Vincent Memorial.

LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY

Record: 6-6.

Coach: Tyler Hales, 1st year.

Players to watch: A trio of sophomores have made a huge impact — QB Braxton Burmeister (2,691 yards, 27 TDs passing/544 yards, 12 TDs rushing), WR Brennan Goring (75 receptions, 1,158 yards, 15 TDs) and WR/DL Casey Mariucci (25 receptions, 414 yards, 6 TDs/10 sacks). So has do-it-all senior RB/DB Cole Goldklang, who has eight touches in two playoff games for 324 yards and 5 TDs.

Season highlight: LJCD has had something to prove after being seeded No. 5 in the playoffs, so knocking off top-seeded Holtville, the defending Division V champion, 53-20 last week had to feel good.

Quotable: “We have something to prove,” said Hales. “We want to show we’re the best team in Division V. ... It’s a championship game. You don’t get these opportunities very often, and that’s what we’ve said to the players.”

Championship past: LJCD finished runner-up to Christian for the 1994 Division IV title. The Torreys reached the 8-man finals seven times from 1989 to 2004, winning championships in 1990 and 2002-04.

Little-known fact: There were those who questioned the ability of LJCD RB Rashaan Salaam in the early 1990s because he played 8-man football. His talent was confirmed when he won the Heisman Trophy in 1994 for Colorado. Salaam also played four years in the NFL.

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