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Welcome to Left Coast Football

Left Coast Football is all about high school football on the west coast.  The west coast, especially California, is becoming more and more diverse and high school football just doesn’t get the press coverage and recognition that it has had in the past.  Left Coast Football wants to bring that publicity back!  Our coverage is through the eyes of Darrell Lutz, a former high school coach of 13 years and personal trainer whom has worked with hundreds of high school and college athletes.

This website and blog is here to give you, the players and the coaches, information you want to read about: games, player and coach interviews and any other new football related news or topics.

Mid-Season: Best of the Best

I can’t believe we have already hit the halfway point of the season, it seems to be going so quickly.  For this reason, I decided to put together a list of the best players I have seen this season thus far.

On offense there are three Quarterbacks I have taken notice of the most:

1.  Zach Kline, San Ramon Valley

2.  Tanner Trosin, Folsom

3.  Travis McHugh, Bellarmine

Kline is probably the best passing quarterback I have seen in a while.  He has a strong, accurate arm and makes good reads and decisions.  Trosin has a great combination as a passer and a big time running threat.  McHugh is great in the run game with outstanding speed, and in the game I saw last week versus Valley Christian, he rushed for 187 yards on just 10 carries.

In the back field I have seen some good Backs so far, but there are only four that really stand out:

1.  Fe’Ao Vunipola, Pittsburg

2.  Mister Cotton, Pittsburg

3.  Jordan Jabson, Moreau Catholic

4.  Tim Crawley, Bellarmine

I watched Vunipola and Cotton shred a Monte Vista defense for 400 yards between the two of them.  Jordan Jabson may be the toughest runner I have seen this season.  He is listed at 5’9″, 220 lbs. on the roster and even though that may be giving him an extra inch or two, he runs with a low center of gravity that makes it tough to bring him down.  Tim Crawley is a game changer.  He got off for 177 yards against Valley Christian, and 79 of which came on the second offensive play of the game for Bellarmine.

For Receivers/Tight Ends I have seen four that I have been impressed with:

1.  Dan Scritchfield, Monte Vista

2.  J’Juan Muldrow, Folsom

3.  Chris Baca, Moreau Catholic

4.  Sean Miller, San Ramon Valley

Scritchfield and Muldrow both have good speed and change of direction abilities, and they are both scoring threats whenever they touch the ball.  Chris Baca, as Tight End, is a big target listed at 6’5″ yet he uses his size well to take balls away from defensive backs.  Sean Miller is listed as a Tight End but I have seen SRV use him spread out as a Receiver as well.  Miller is definitely a play-maker and seems to be a favored target of Quarterback Zach Kline.

Although, there are a few Offensive Linemen that deserve some mentioning, I will get to the big boys a little bit later…

On the defensive side of the ball I am going to start with the Linebackers:

1.  Alex Wood, Folsom


2.  Ryan Dunn, San Ramon Valley

3.  Alex Manigo, Bellarmine

4.  Marco Russell, Pittsburg

5.  Joe Gigantino, Bellarmine

Alex Wood first caught my eye when he blew up a running back on a screen pass and continued to deliver hard hits all throughout the game.  Ryan Dunn can cover a lot of ground as a Linebacker going sideline to sideline making plays, and he isn’t afraid to step up and make a big hit either.  Marco Russell is a play-maker for he was a constant force for the Pitt defense.  Manigo and Gigantino are a pair of Linebackers who completely shut down what was supposed to be a strong Valley Christian offense.

In the Secondary I have only seen two guys who have really made a strong enough impression to be worth mentioning:

1.  Dilon Butcher, Washington

2.  Michael Tagliaferri, San Ramon Valley

Butcher who plays strong safety for the Huskies is as tough as nails.  He is very good in coverage but I was more impressed with his ability to step up and play the run.  Tagliaferri is a DB, with great coverage skills and has a nose for the ball.  I saw him pick off a pass in each SRV game I attended this year.

Up front I have a couple of guys that were a bit too much for the offensive lines to handle:

1.  Epie Sona, Bellarmine

2.  Motekial Maile, Pittsburg

Epie Sona was an absolute beast in the game against V.C.  He recorded three sacks in the game against the Warriors who only threw about 15 or so times.  Meanwhile at the Pittsburg game, Motekial Maile ate up the Monte Vista offensive line all night.  Constant pressure on Quarterback Jeff Lockie, gave the Pitt defense the upper hand.  Maile also seemed to be an emotional leader of the defense using his big plays to set the tone for a great Pitt second half.

There are a few more guys I have to mention…the Iron Men.  These guys were two-way starters that excelled on both sides of the ball:

1.  Jake Simonich, San Ramon Valley

2.  Adam Sagapolu, Moreau Catholic

3.  Jordan Whitley, Kennedy of Richmond

4.  Kenny Walker, Kennedy of Richmond

Simonich is an OL/DL for SRV, he has the size and speed to dominate a game on both sides of the football.  Sagapolu is an OL/DE who is just flat out tough, he also has a good combination of strength and speed to harass offensive lineman.  Jordan Whitley plays Running Back and Linebacker and does both very well, however, I believe he is a better running back especially for only being a sophomore this year.  And last but not least, is Kenny Walker.  Kenny plays Receiver, Defensive Back, punts and returns kicks.  I only saw him touch the ball a few times against Moreau, but he is dangerous when he gets an opportunity especially with some space to move.

From what I have seen so far, these guys were the best of the best in the first half of the 2011 season.  Who is going to step up and ball in the second half?  I can’t wait to find out!


Bellarmine vs. Valley Christian

Friday night’s contest between the Bellarmine Bells and the Valley Christian Warriors did not have the outcome that most people expected.  Bellarmine came into the game with a 3-1 record with their lone loss being to De La Salle 26-23 in 2 OT.  Valley Christian came in at 2-2 with losses to a tough Cardinal Newman team 35-28 and a 41-27 loss to a very good Vacaville program.  Valley Christian also had their highly valued Running Back Byron Marshall, returned from injury after missing the previous two games.  This game was thought to be one of the best match-ups in the West Catholic Athletic League this season.

V.C. began on offense moving the ball very well on the ground with some nice runs by Byron Marshall and Jarrod Lawson.  The Warriors’ drive stalled when they turned to their passing.  Bellarmine’s Epie Sona recorded two of his three monstrous sacks in the game on a first and third down forcing a V.C. punt.  The Bells’ wasted no time establishing their run game dominance behind Tim Crawley as he took a hand off and went 79 yards for his firt of three scores on the Bell’s second offensive play.  It was not long before Crawley scored his second touchdown rushing from 11 yards out after a V.C. fumble on their first play after regaining possession giving the Bells’ the ball at the 24-yard line.  With 3:48 left in the first quarter Bellarmine wins out to a quick 14-0 lead.

Valley Christian’s offense marched down the field once again running the ball with the combination of Lawson and Marshall.  Again, they stalled and were forced to punt after a third down sack by Bellarmine’s Joe Gigantino, which brought up a fourth down and long.  Bell then took the ball 93 yards on 12 plays with more ground and pound rushing of Crawley’s.  Also, Bells’ Quarterback Travis McHugh scored his first touchdown of the game, from 2 yards out, to cap the scoring drive.  The Warriors’ next possession ended quickly once again as the second down pass was picked off by Bells’ outside Linebacker, Alex Manigo, and taken 20 yards to the house for a score of 28-0 Bellarmine.  V.C. moved the ball well until a big hit by Linebacker Joe Gigantino seemed to re-ignite the Bell’s defensive fire.  Epie Sona came up with his third sack on a third down play putting V.C. in a punting situation once again.  Bellarmine looked to be running out the clock in the first half on third and twelve when Travis McHugh kept the ball and rushed 60 yards to the 13-yard line.  Tim Crawley rushed to the 4-yard line on the next play to end the first half.

The second half began with Bellarmine’s offense taking control again with their running game as Crawley and McHugh continued to run well, in addition to some nice runs by Conner Jauch and  Justin Taliaferro.  Crawley scored again extending the lead to 34-0.  The Bells’ defense continued to dominate when Tim Crawley showed his coverage skills in the secondary with an interception giving Bellarmine the ball at the 21-yard line.  Travis McHugh showed his break away speed on the next play, keeping the ball and taking it 79 yards for a touchdown.  Bells’ defense came up big again 5 plays into Valley Christian’s next offensive series with a leaping interception by Alex Manigo.  After a penalty on the interception return, the ball was placed on the 49-yard line where Bells’ Running Back, Garrett Wahler, took his first carry of the night  for a score.  V.C.’s next possession finally put them on the board with a 63 yard touchdown run by Jarrod Lawson who had 175 yards rushing in the game.  Bellarmine’s run game and a running clock in the fourth quarter would close out the game 48-6.

The Bell’s ground game was just too much for the Warrior’s on Friday night with Tim Crawley rushing for 177 yards and Travis McHugh going for 187 on just 10 carries.  In total, Bellarmine rushed for 448 yards as a team, pretty impressive.  Also impressive, was the Bells’ defense, bending but never breaking.  They were able to corral an explosive Valley Christian offense and also the big play threat in Byron Marshall.  Travis McHugh also helped to do this by kicking every kickoff into or out of the end zone neutralizing the threat of giving Marshall the ball in open space.  With this win, Bellarmine made a big statement of being the ‘team to beat’ in the WCAL this season.

Interview with Moreau Catholic Coach Andrew Cotter

This week the Left Coast got some Q & A from Moreau Catholic Head Coach, Andrew Cotter.  Last Friday I had the chance to see his boys play and win for the first time this season in a thriller against Kennedy of Richmond.  Coach Cotter’s team was very well disciplined throughout the contest as well as very tough.

LCF– How long have you been the head coach at Moreau?

CC– This is my 4th season.

 LCF– If I were going to scout your team, what players would I need to highlight on my scouting report to prepare for a game against you?

CC– #8 Chris Baca-TE, #4 Tim Kondo-SS, #74 Sean Godfrey-OL/DL, #52 Adam Sagapolu-OL/DL, #51 James Mendoza-OL/DL

LCF– Looking at this season’s schedule I know that you can not overlook anyone, but is there a game that you expect to be a particularly good battle?

CC– St. Mary’s vs Moreau Catholic.  Two Catholic schools with similar philosophies should be a great match.

LCF– What do you think is the strongest aspect of your team this year and why?

CC– Our strongest aspect this year is our defense, even though we have given up some points this season the guys on that side of the ball have had some stops when we really needed them.

LCF–Final question:  Is there anything that you can tell us about Moreau football that most people do not already know?

CC– Since being at the helm we have had 5 guys receive scholarships to play at the next level.

Moreau Catholic vs. Kennedy of Richmond

The Friday night match-up between the Moreau Mariners and the Kennedy Eagles was full of excitement.  What looked early on like a blow-out, ended up coming down to the wire with the game winning score in the last minutes of the contest.

The game started with Moreau taking control behind Quarterback, Nicholas Kinast, and their split-back veer offense.  After a couple of downs, and Kinast keeping the ball a few times, the Mariner drive would be stopped by Kennedy sophomore, Jordan Whitley, who picked off a Kinast pass and took it 67 yards down to the Moreau 8-yard line.  With Kennedy set up for what looked to be a sure score, the Moreau defense held strong and ended the Eagles scoring threat. On fourth-down, senior Defensive End Adam Sagapolu, would sack Kennedy Quarterback, Octavious Holley, for a 7 yard loss and a turnover on downs.  After a Moreau punt, Kennedy’s offense stalled again and they were forced to punt with the ball on their own 23-yard line.  A bad snap to Punter, Kenny Walker, forced him to scramble but he was stopped quickly for an 11 yard loss by Moreau’s outside Linebacker, Arthur Chitpedakorn.  On their second play of the possession, Mariner Running Back Jordan Jabson, bust through the Kennedy defense for a 7 yard touchdown run.  The Eagles were shut down on their next possession with a Sagapolu batted pass and a big tackle for a loss by Sean Godfrey and Tim Kondo.

The Mariner offense started the second quarter by going on a 14-play, 73 yard scoring drive behind more hard running of Jordan Jabson’s and some tough running by Michael Truong.  The drive was capped by Jabson’s second touchdown run of the evening, bowling his way into the end zone from a yard out.  The Eagles offense was awakened on the following possession when Octavious Holley connected with Receiver Eric Mims on a 32 yard pass for a score.  After a missed PAT, the following kickoff was returned 88 yards for a touchdown when Jeremy Imlach turned on the jets and out ran everyone on the field.  The returned kick seemed to deflate the Kennedy offense on the next series as Linebacker, Tim Kondo, came up with a sack on first down.  Two plays later, things went from bad to worse for Kennedy when Moreau’s Dominic Monterosso came up large with a fumble recovery giving the Mariner’s good field position at the 48-yard line.  The Mariner offense drove to the 13-yard line when on a long fourth and eight, Nicholas Kinast connected with his big Tight End, Chris Baca, in the end zone for a touchdown.  Baca ended his night with four catches for 64 yards.  Moreau’s two-point conversion gave them a 29-6 lead.  Holley lead the Eagle offense 65 yards in six plays with the sixth being a 20 yard touchdown to Receiver, Kenny Walker.  Jordan Whitley rushed for the two-point conversion making it a 29-14 Moreau lead that would be taken into the half.

Moreau took control of the ball in the third quarter, eating up almost eight minutes on a 14-play drive that stalled because of a sack by Kennedy’s Takkarist McKinley and a couple of incomplete passes.  The Eagles went 92 yards on their next possession with strong running by Jordan Whitley, Francisco Ortiz, Kenny Walker, and Jonathan Whitley.  Octavious Holley rumbled into the end zone from 2 yards out for the score.  Kennedy converted on the two-point again to bring the score to 29-22.  With a big shift in momentum, the Eagle defense came onto the field fired up and stuffed the Mariner’s next offensive series with Daniel Lee leading the way with a big tackle for a loss.

Holley came back and wasted no time as he hit Jonathan Whitley for a 24 yard touchdown pass.  Jeremy Imlach made a nice stop to prevent the two-point conversion.  The Mariner offense gained two first-downs from penalties on their next offensive series.  As they clung to a 29-28 lead,  a fumble was scooped up and taken 40 yards for a score by Kennedy’s #42 to give the Eagles a 34-29 lead for the first time in the game.  Kennedy lined up and went for two to try and extend their lead to 7-points, but they were stopped by a huge tackle from Mariner Cornerback, Matt Wong.  Moreau got the ball back with 8:31 left on the clock for a chance to make a comeback.  The first play of their offensive possession looked as though their shot at a comeback might be ended as soon as it began when a fumble was recovered by Kennedy’s Daniel Lee, to give the ball back to a red hot Eagle offense.  After more hard running by Jordan Whitley, who ended his night with 95 yards rushing, Kennedy attempted a field goal from 31 yards out but it was missed giving Moreau another shot with the ball and 4:51 remaining in the fourth quarter.  Kinast lead his team down the field with tough running and also a big completed pass of 35 yards to Receiver, Ian Roxas.  Jordan Jabson carried the ball 13 yards down to the 2-yard line to set up his own touchdown run on the next play to regain the lead 35-34.  Jabson lead all rushers with 100 yards for the night and three scores.  Kennedy halted the 2-point trying to keep the game at a 1-point difference.  The Eagles had one more chance to change this as they got the ball with 55 seconds left in the game.  The Moreau defense held tight and forced a couple of incompletions and a 9 yard sack, by Seth Borneman, to stop the Eagles last scoring threat.

As I mentioned, what looked to be a blow out early turned out to be a great game.  It is crazy to see how a shift in momentum can change the game so quickly.  This game was an outstanding match-up to begin league play.

Washington vs San Ramon Valley

The Friday night match-up between the Washington High Huskies and the San Ramon Valley Wolves turned out to be full of excitement.  Going into the game, the Wolves were expected to come in and push the Huskies around, however, someone forgot to tell Washington that.  Although Washington came into the game with an 0-3 record and 22 players suited up against the 2-1 SRV squad with 40+ players, the Huskies went toe-to-toe with the EBAL powerhouse until late in the fourth quarter.

The contest would start out sloppy for SRV’s offense when on their second play from scrimmage, a fumbled screen pass would produce the first of four Wolves’ turnovers of the night.  Washington got a slow start as well on offense, with the SRV defense forcing 3-and-out’s in the Huskies first two possessions with a big sack from SRV’s Jake Simonich and a big tackle for a loss by Kyle Haggard.  Eventually, SRV’s third possession would produce the first score of the night.  Most of the Wolves nine-play 81-yard drive would come from Kareem Dabney on the ground, before Zach Kline connected with Tight End, Sean Miller, on a five-yard touchdown pass which would be the first of Miller’s two scores of the night.

The next three possessions all had the same outcome…interceptions.  The first, was by San Ramon’s Linebacker Brendan Clancy.  The WHS defense, however, did not backdown as Josh Selles picked off a 2nd down pass by Zach Kline.  On the Huskies next drive, SRV’s Scott Callens intercepted a Kyle Malpede pass to take control of the ball again.  With good field position, San Ramon took the ball to the 19 yard line when once again they gave up the ball on a fumble that was recovered by the Huskies Paul Gill.  Washington’s offense would take the ball 78 yards, being helped along the way by a few key SRV penalties, for their first score on a 20-yard touchdown run by Brandon Sewell.  San Ramon’s Jake Simonich, then blocked the WHS PAT to keep the lead 7-6.  The Wolves would try to go into their hurry-up offense and get a score before the half but due to good coverage in the WHS secondary and a 12 yard loss on a sack by the Huskies Zach Noorzad, the threat was put to an end and SRV took the slim 7-6 lead into the half.

The third quarter began with San Ramon trying to establish dominance, forcing WHS to go 3-and-out with a couple of big hits by senior Linebacker Ryan Dunn.  The Wolves scored quickly on a 29-yard touchdown strike from Zach Kline to wide receiver Matt Turner, who would end up with eight catches for the evening and 95 yards.  Husky Quarterback Kyle Malpede, wasted no time when he hooked up with Receiver Andrew Lanos on a deep 74-yard T.D. pass.  After the score ,Washington went for two and got it to tie the score at 14.  SRV was then able to retake the lead on a 27-yard field goal by Kicker Matt Anderson to cap an 11-play drive.  The Wolves defense forced a Huskies punt on the next series and the Washington special teams would catch a break as the punt return was muffed and Richard Weathington came up big with the fumble recovery.  Some hard running by Dilon Butcher took the game to the end of the third quarter.  Also he ended his game with 70 yards on the ground on offense and a sack and tackle for a loss on defense.  Butcher, along with Hanitelli Lousi, seemed to be some of the tough, physical leaders of the Husky defense.

What looked to be an unobtainable 4 & 16, turned into a huge 25 yard scoring run by Kyle Malpede.  The Washington PAT would be blocked giving them a 20-17 lead 12 seconds into the fourth quarter.  The San Ramon offense looked shocked to be in the position they were as a fired up Washington defense forced a punt after Butcher’s sack and a big tackle, for a loss, by Jordan Fereira.  The Huskies offense would try to grind on the Wolves’ defense and the clock with their run game, only to have their drive stall and be forced to punt after a series of three straight plays with penalties.  In fact, penalties were a pretty common scene in the game that had 16 flags thrown.  It seemed a little excessive to me, but I don’t wear a black and white shirt.  Finally, after the WHS punt, Zach Kline went to work.  The Cal bound Quarterback drove his team 68 yards for a score to regain the lead as well as taking a three yard bootleg into the end zone himself.  San Ramon kicked-off to Washington with a 24-20 lead and 4:40 left in the game.  The Huskies hope of a fourth quarter comeback was nixed swiftly when on 2nd down SRV’s Michael Tagliaferri intercepted a pass to take control of the ball.  Although, Kline would waste no time with a touchdown pass to Sean Miller for 31 yards on the next play to give the Wolves a 31-20 lead that they would keep to end the game.

What many thought was going to be a blow out turned into a great battle.  Washington was not intimidated by San Ramon’s size or reputation and they traded punches with them all along never backing down.  In the end, I believe the Wolves’ depth of talent was just too much for the Huskies.  Both teams go into league play next week with Washington taking on Irvington Friday night at TAK and San Ramon Valley facing Amador Valley that same night.

So you want to know how you can help H.S. football…

Well, it’s simple.  Go see a game.  Take your friends.  Take your kids.  Tell everyone you know to go see a game.  Often times, people forget how pure the game of football is at the high school level and how exciting it is to watch from the stands.  The thrill in the air is almost tangible.  If you are a parent bringing your kids along to a game it can easily be awe-inspiring for them.  They are the future of the sport and those high school athletes are the pros in their eyes.  It is events like these that can become the beginning of a child’s athletic dreams.  Even for those that are not parents, just attending a game in your town can help build that sense of community that can lead to having pride in your community.  The members of those high school teams are also at a point in their lives where they may be on the brink of becoming an outstanding player that winds up on your television on a Saturday playing in some major collegiate battle, or eventually in a televised Sunday game playing in the NFL.  They are the future of professional football.  From a coach’s perspective, I have had so many friends come to support the team, then report to me afterwards how much enjoyment they received just from being there.  It brings on a sense of nostalgia and a form of excitement within them that they had forgotten they could experience, just by simply attending a high school football game.

Moral of this story:  Go see a game.  Choose a night and choose a team and just go.

September 22, 2011 - 11:56 pm Jenn - I agree! It seems like there aren't enough opportunities for wholesome family activities without spending an arm and a leg. Supporting your local football team (GOOO TITANS) is an awesome way to spend a family night out! Thanks for the post!

Washington vs San Ramon Valley Preview

So this week I have decided to check out the Washington High vs San Ramon Valley game Friday night at TAK. I have seen SRV already versus Folsom but this will be my first opportunity to see Washington, my alma mater. It will be interesting to see how coach Ken Wittmer and his boys stack up against the EBAL powerhouse. San Ramon goes into the game with a 2-1 record with the loss coming to Folsom in their first game of the season which was a great match-up. The Huskies come in looking for redemption following their game last week versus another strong EBAL team in Amador Valley bringing their record to 0-3. The Washington defense will be in for a challenge trying to contain SRV quarterback Zach Kline and the potent Wolves offense. I hope to see you all at the game and good luck to both teams.

Pittsburg vs. Monte Vista

Friday night lived up to the bill of being another great non-league match-up between the Pittsburg High Pirates and the Monte Vista Mustangs.  The strong ground game of Pittsburg and the flashy air attack of Monte Vista would be another head-to-head battle until late in the fourth quarter.

Pitt would start the game quickly with Fe’Ao Vunipola carrying the ball three times going 80 yards for the games first score.  Vunipola’s first carry was a 70 yard scamper to the 10-yard line.  M.V. wasted no time either going on a 70-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 4th down and goal from a 2-yard line screen pass to W.R. #18, Mason Melin.

After the two early scores, it seemed the defenses from each team started to settle down and began to make some big stops.  The Pitt defense was fired up with a big tackle for a loss by #59 Motekial Maile and a big sack by #32 Marco Russell.  The Monte Vista defense was led by a trio of hard hitting linebackers in #30 Nick Shirreffs, #53 Carson Milner, and #42 Danny Briz.  After a couple of shut down series by each defense, the Pirates were able to drive 67 yards to set up a 30-yard field goal to take the lead.  That lead lasted about 12 seconds, when Troy Johnson turned on the burners during the following kickoff and made a 98-yard touchdown as M.V. retook the lead 14 to 10.  With that M.V. score it looked as though they were going to take over with complete momentum. M.V.’s Mason Melin intercepted a Malik Watson pass on the next series to gain control of the ball.  The Mustang offense took the ball down to the 25-yard line in three plays and on 3rd down and 4, what looked to be a quarterback draw turned into a jump pass which was caught and then fumbled at the 10-yard line.  The large gain turned into a turnover with Pittsburg taking control of the ball.  Malik Watson would take the Pirate offense 90 yards and cap the drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to regain the lead 17 to 14 with 1:31 left in the half.  Monte Vista quarterback, Jeff Lockie, worked the clock by connecting with Dan Scritchfield on four straight passes taking the ball to the 12-yard line where Lockie rolled out and ran for a Mustang score with :52 left in the half.  The Mustangs took the 21 to 17 lead into halftime.

The second half began with a fired up Pitt D!  Linebacker Antonio Huey set the tone with a big hit on a tackle for a loss on the Mustangs first play from scrimmage.  The M.V. offense was a quick 3 and out.  Pitt stuck with their powerful ground game on the next possession with more hard running from Vunipola who on second down had one of the best runs of the night breaking four tackles as he ran through defenders for a 14-yard gain.  Vunipola would end up running for a huge 216 yards for the night.  Penalties would eventually stall the Pirate offense and force a punt.  M.V.’s Marco Zamora made a nice catch on a 13-yard gain but the offense couldn’t do much else after being forced into a punt.  Mister Cotton would take the ball 10 yards on a hard run for the Pirates during their following scoring drive.  Mister Cotton would also have an impressive night with 195 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns.  Pitt would hold the 24 to 21 lead throughout the third quarter.

Monte Vista’s next couple of possessions were shut down by some hard hits by Pitt’s Korey Alexander and a huge sack by D’Hari Curtis-Webster.  The fourth quarter would be more of the same with Pitt’s ground game dominating a 7-play drive that Vunipola would top off with a 4-yard touchdown run extending the lead to 31 to 21.

With 8:33 left in the game the Mustangs went into a hurry up offense completing passes as they began to march down the field.  With 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the game came to a dead stop when Shane Ertz ran a crossing route and encountered a big hit, which was a little early, by a Pittsburg defender.  There was an absolute silence that came over the stadium as Ertz lay motionless on the field.  As Ertz was secured on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance, I could see that he was moving his legs, and I found out later, that he had feeling and was able to move all of his appendages.  After a 30 minute delay, the game resumed with the Mustangs seeming rattled with a few incompletions, when they eventually turned the ball over on downs to Pitt.

So the Pirate rushing offense took over once again, this time led by Mister Cotton who would eventually break for a 40-yard touchdown run.  The Pirate lead held for the last few minutes of the game with the final score of Pittsburg 38, Monte Vista 21.  The win moves Pittsburg to a great 4-0 start while Monte Vista falls to 1-2.

This game was another great battle that I am glad I had the opportunity to witness first hand.  I wish Pittsburg and Monte Vista both, luck throughout the rest of the season, and I am sure that I haven’t seen the last of either team.

Coach Jesse “Bubba” Trumbull Interview

Coach Jesse “Bubba” Trumbull is in his fifth season as the head coach at Santa Cruz High School, looking to compete for an S.C.C.A. league title.  Going to week #3 versus Pajaro, Coach Bubba was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for Left Coast Football.

I met Coach Trumbull three years ago working a youth football camp for the San Francisco Forty-Niners and have been fortunate enough to be able to work the camp with him every year since.

LCF– How long have you been coaching high school football?  Also how long have you been the head coach at Santa Cruz H.S.?

CT– I have been coaching high school since my first summer out of college in 1995. I checked in with my old coach when I got home from Fresno State and within a couple of days I was out there working freshman defensive line. I have been the head coach now since 2007.

LCF– What is the SCCAL looking like this season?

CT– The SCCAL is a crap shoot this year. I think 5 out of 7 teams could pull off a league title. Aptos looks tough running the wing-t, SLV always puts out a quality team, Scotts Valley returns a big offensive line, Soquel has a really talented junior class and I think at SC we have the best player in the league in Jonah Hodges.  Staying healthy and getting some breaks could decide it all.

LCF– Who are a couple of your players, both sides of the ball, that you expect to have a big impact on your team this season?

 CT– Our go-to player is Jonah Hodges. He runs the ball for us and is big in the pass game. He has 340 total yards in our first 2 games, a complete difference maker. He also has 2 picks on defense and we play him sparingly. Both of our TE’s are big, strong kids and getting better every day. Jamie St. John and Ben Albrecht are both over 6 foot and 200 pounds so we need to find ways to get them the ball. Defensively, we don’t necessarily have any standout guys. We believe in everyone doing their part and flying to the football. I would say the play of sophomore defensive tackle Doug Leonard has been impressive. He has a great motor and is turning into a vocal leader at a young age.

 LCF– As a coach who has been around the game for a while now, how have you seen the game change over the years?

 CT– In our area the biggest change I have seen is a sad one for the game. It seems harder and harder to get players out for football and especially hard to get a good summer workout program rolling. Being in Santa Cruz, there are a lot of other draws for our guys. It is hard to fill the weight room when the waves are big or the beach is packed. We really count on the core guys who are die hard football players and hope for the best with the fringe guys.

LCF– How is the support for your program from your community and the student body?

CT– Our school is over 100 years old so our community is very vested in what we do. We get good support from our alumni and the businesses in the area. The student body will support a winner so we better give them that.

LCF– If there was one game on your schedule you would say is, “the game to watch”, what would it be, and why?

CT– I always tell our guys not to look too far ahead on the schedule. Focus on this week and all the other great cliches. Our biggest game is probably the “Stump” game versus Soquel. We play for a big chunk of wood with each year’s winners engraved on it. Every year you can throw the records out and count on a battle. The last 5 have all been decided in the last 2 minutes.

LCF– Any key points or comments you would like to add to this interview?

CT– Let’s all continue to work to get those kids to put down the video controllers, get outside, and play the greatest game in the world. Every young man deserves to be on the gridiron.


October 3, 2011 - 8:45 pm Coach Z - Been following you guys this season and looks like a good one so far! I'll give you guys a call once we shut down for the year so we can try to get a preseason game going. We'll call it the Muela Bowl. Good luck the rest of the way! Zach, IHS

Irvington vs. Arroyo and Lightning

So the game I decided to cover this week, like many around the Bay Area, was delayed, and eventually cancelled due to lightning.  I was sitting next to a Bay Area high school football coaching legend, my former high school coach, Jim Ingram.  I asked Coach I if he had ever seen anything like this before and he told me he had been around high school football since 1948 and had never seen anything like this.  I guess this was just our lucky night.  The game was stopped three minutes into the first quarter and never restarted.

I was disappointed, like many, that the game was cancelled but thankful that I had the opportunity to see Coach I and spend a couple of hours catching up with him during the second half of the J.V. game and throughout the start of the Varsity and its’ lightning delay.  After all these years, Coach is still able to give me updates on a bunch of the guys I had played with and what they are doing now.  Even though it has been 17 years, he is still able to recall not just games from when I played, but scores of games and how we game planned, and what we ran on offense and defense versus different teams.  Unreal.  The way Coach I studied and prepared for games was never to be outdone.  This habit was also one of many that he instilled in his players.  A lot of my personality is a result of lessons learned from Coach Ingram.  Responsibility, teamwork, accountability, work ethic, and respect are all terms coaches talk about when describing the characteristics that are important to teach young men.  I am just one of probably thousands of men who was lucky enough to learn these qualities from Coach I.  I have thanked him numerous times over the years for all that he has taught me as a player, as a coach, and as a man.  I do not think he will ever know how grateful I am to him for being such a positive role model and influence in my life.

Thank you Coach Ingram, for everything.