[Photo] Great Oak’s defense comes up with a huge stop against Murrieta Mesa in their Week Eight matchup. Valley News/Rob Davis Photography
— Farewell to Week Eight, and all the pressure it brought in the playoff hunt. Winning records are necessary in order to make it to the postseason, or it is time to give younger players some reps, or, just maybe, try to be a spoiler for a team on the verge of making the playoffs, if the situation calls for it.
Key matchups this past week for local small schools included the Santa Rosa Academy Rangers and Maranatha Minutemen, who went head-to-head with their undefeated records (see recap below). The once undefeated Liberty Bison had their toughest competition thus far in San Jacinto and the message was sent by Temecula Prep, who knocked St. Jeanne de Lestonnac back down a spot in the battle for the top of the Manzanita League standings.
As for the bigger schools in our area, it is still a fight to the finish in almost every league, but in “who would have thought” news, Vista Murrieta, after facing a tough Centennial team this past week, is now 0-3 in the new Big West Upper Division. This marks the first time the Broncos have lost their first three games in league play since their inaugural season in 2004. Two games remain in the regular season, and there is a bright spot this upcoming week when Vista Murrieta takes on Roosevelt, who are also winless in league play so far.
Murrieta Valley and Chaparral also played each other this past week and both teams are fighting to stay close to Norco and Centennial, who are tied for first place in that same division. Chaparral stunned the Nighthawks though, dropping Murrieta Valley to fourth place behind them in the standings, giving the Pumas the edge as they are 10-9 overall now in their head-to-head matchup. Chaparral has now won three of their last four games against each other. Great Oak and Murrieta Mesa also duked it out for the top of the standings in the Big West Lower Division, which went the way of Great Oak, and, to use a baseball term in honor of the San Diego Padres…Temecula Valley did their best to not run-rule Santiago, who have still only won just a single game so far this season.
Here are scores, with editor’s notes to follow, for the Week Eight high school football games involving local teams inside our coverage area.
FRIDAY, OCT. 14
Big West Conference-Upper Division
Centennial (7-1, 3-0) – 42, Vista Murrieta (4-4, 0-3) – 7
Chaparral (4-4, 2-1) – 62, Murrieta Valley (5-3, 1-2) – 49
Big West Conference-Lower Division
Great Oak (5-3, 3-0) – 13, Murrieta Mesa (4-4, 2-1) – 7
Temecula Valley (5-3, 2-1) – 42, Santiago (1-7, 1-2) – 7
Whittier Christian (5-3, 2-1) – 57, Hamilton (0-7, 0-3) – 14
Maranatha (7-0-1, 3-0) – 34, Santa Rosa Academy (7-1, 2-1) – 16
Inland Valley League
*Hemet (7-1, 3-0) – 10, Canyon Springs (4-5, 0-3) – 0
Rancho Christian (3-5, 1-2) – 59, Valley View (1-7, 1-1) – 21
Rancho Verde (1-7, 1-2) – 35, Elsinore (6-2, 2-1) – 28
Orange Vista (7-1, 2-1) – 56, Heritage (0-8, 0-3) – 7
Temescal Canyon (3-5, 2-1) – 23, J.W. North (2-6, 1-2) – 14
Cal Lutheran (4-3, 2-0) – 62, Southlands Christian (4-2, 1-2) – 22
Temecula Prep (5-2, 5-0) – 35, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac (4-2, 3-1) – 14
*San Jacinto Valley Academy (1-7, 1-4) – 8, Nuview Bridge (1-7, 1-4) – 0
Mountain Pass League
*Perris (6-2, 1-2) – 14, Citrus Hill (0-7, 0-2) – 7
San Jacinto (6-2, 3-0) – 42, Liberty (7-1, 2-1) – 0
*Tahquitz (6-2, 2-1) – 19, West Valley (6-2, 1-2) – 6
Riverside Poly (4-5, 2-1) – 34, Lakeside (3-5) – 21
SATURDAY, OCT. 15
Linfield Christian (3-5, 2-1) – 41, Trinity Classical Academy (3-4, 0-3) – 6
Editor’s notes from last week will be rather short as we look at the first-place fight between Great Oak and Murrieta Mesa, a clipping of the Nighthawks’ wings, as well as a look at the two small school games that gave sole possession at the top of the standings to their counterparts.
It wasn’t a shootout, rather a defensive show out by both teams as the Great Oak Wolfpack defeated the host Murrieta Mesa Rams 13-7 in a pivotal Big West Conference Lower Division football game Friday, Oct. 14. With a touchdown early on from Murrieta Mesa running back Ian Montoya, who sprinted 43 yards for a touchdown, the Wolfpack defense stepped up. Great Oak would hold Murrieta Mesa scoreless the rest of the game, force three turnovers, and have five sacks.
A Great Oak interception before the half by Julian Silva would set up a Troy Bean touchdown, to tie the game at 7-7. On their first drive of the second half, the Wolfpack went 70 yards in 15 plays to take a 13-7 lead on a two-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Lopez. With the win, Great Oak (5-3, 3-0) took sole possession of first place. Murrieta Mesa dropped to 4-4 and 2-1 in league. Vasquez led the Wolfpack, completing 25 of 39 passes for 174 yards to seven different receivers. Cade Bryant hauled in a team-leading eight receptions for 56 yards. Montoya led the Rams, gaining 96 yards on 16 carries.
Chaparral and Murrieta Valley squared off in what turned out to be a battle of offenses, with the Pumas taking a 7-0 lead less than 2 minutes into the game. Murrieta Valley’s high scoring offense was slowed just enough by Chaparral and coupled with Nighthawk turnovers allowed the Pumas to come away with a 62-49 victory and inch closer to a Big West Upper Division playoff spot. Chaparral quarterback Caron Tyler almost beat Murrieta Valley with his scores alone as he led the way for the Pumas with 228 yards passing (17 for 28), 3 passing touchdowns, 3 rushing touchdowns and 228 yards on the ground (24 carries). Junior Stacey Dobbins hauled in two of Tyler’s TD passes, and senior Raymond Valencia also found the endzone with his lone catch of 38 yards.
On their home field in Pasadena, the Maranatha Minutemen scored 34 unanswered points to remain undefeated in a 34-16 win over previously unbeaten Santa Rosa Academy in Cottonwood League play this past Friday. It looked like Santa Rosa Academy had the game in the bag early on as the Rangers took a 16-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Minutemen defense stepped up, held the Rangers ground attack at bay, forced two key fumbles in the second quarter and only allowed 214 total yards. SRA was led by senior quarterback Daniel Gonzalez, who actually had 111 rushing yards, and a TD on the ground. Century Castle was another top performer for the Rangers with a score and 47 rushing yards. Both Castle and Gonzalez converted two-point conversions as well.
The other big game, from the small schools, was the Temecula Prep matchup against St. Jeanne de Lestonnac, who have one of the top running backs in the area, on paper. The Patriots, on the road, did their part to hold Malik Douglas to 160 yards rushing and just one TD, which was key to their victory. Douglas averages 3 TDs a game and over 200 yards rushing. Temecula Prep was led offensively by QB J’sun Villalobos (15 for 18, 190 yards, 3 passing TDs) who tossed touchdowns to Jayden Scott (2) and Jacob Sanchez.
As noted, other Week Seven wins came from Temecula Valley, Temescal Canyon, Rancho Christian, Cal. Lutheran and Linfield Christian, as well as schools from just outside this year’s sports coverage area with Hemet, Rancho Verde, Orange Vista, San Jacinto Valley Academy, Perris, Tahquitz and San Jacinto all prevailing last week.
*For the 2022-2023 prep sports season, the Valley News Sports Department will have photographers and game reports for schools and sports inside a limited coverage area due to print space and manpower. Those schools include Great Oak, Temecula Valley, Chaparral, Murrieta Valley, Murrieta Mesa, Vista Murrieta, Linfield Christian, Rancho Christian, Elsinore, Paloma Valley, Liberty, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac, Heritage, Temecula Prep, Hamilton (Anza), Cornerstone Christian, Temescal Canyon, Lakeside and the River Springs Charter Schools (no football programs). Scores and schedules may be posted for other area schools, but full coverage cannot be guaranteed.
All stats, schedules, photos and scores are supplied by local high school athletic directors, MaxPreps, CIF-SS offices, contributing writers/photographers and countless fans of the games via social media. Is your team’s score missing? Let us know if your school is inside our coverage area and would like to be mentioned.
To submit any additions or corrections to the schedule or stats, please email email@example.com.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.