After losses to rival Otay Ranch each of the past two seasons, Eastlake wasn’t going to have any more of it.
The Titans, who had won 10 straight over the Mustangs until the recent setbacks, clinched the Metro Mesa League football championship Friday with a 14-0 homecoming shutout over Otay Ranch at Eastlake High.
“We were definitely not going to let it happen again,” said senior cornerback McKinley Egland-Young, whose 62-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter clinched the game for the Titans. “I promised that to my teammates and came through.”
Egland-Young jumped a quick pass by Mustangs quarterback Jonte Stewart and raced to the end zone with 1:17 left to play.
“I saw (the receiver) do a little slant out and I broke real good on it,” said Egland-Young. “From there it was a sprint to the end zone.”
The Titans (9-1, 4-0) got all the points they would need in the first half on a 4-yard shovel pass from Richard Colmenero III to Darius De Los Reyes around the left side to cap the Titans’ 10-play, 65-yard opening drive.
“I just followed my guard, spun and dove into the end zone,” said De Los Reyes, who was playing with a heavy heart after the death of his 4-month-old sister Evana Mari-Stela. “That score was for her.”
Otay Ranch (6-4, 3-1) had trouble moving the ball all night. Stewart was held to 47 yards on 20 carries, with six plays for negative yardage. He got all but 11 of his 124 yards passing in the second half.
The rivals could meet again. Eastlake received a bye in the Division I playoffs and will face the winner between Oceanside and Otay Ranch in the quarterfinals.
Farmer is a freelance writer.
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