Mission Hills, Valley Center, Escondido football teams are studies in contrast

Mission Hills High School Grizzlies, currently ranked first in San Diego County high school football.

It’s been a tale of the good, the bad, and the .500 for three local high school football teams this season. We’re talking Mission Hills, Valley Center and Escondido high schools this week.

Mission Hills serving winning football on a roll

Everybody's on the same Mission Hills page this year.

Everybody’s on the same Mission Hills page this year.

Starting with the good, the Mission Hills Grizzlies are on a roll. The team that plays on the former site of Hollandia Dairy off Mission Road at San Marcos has been looking like top steers in the field.

The team is ranked by MaxPreps as #35 in the state and #256 in the nation. Maybe that’s not the top spot among the state and nation’s tens of thousands of teams, but it certainly doesn’t take long to call the roll. The grizzled ones have sprinted to a 6-0 (2-0 league) start.

They dismantled another North County power, the Torrey Pines Falcons 23-0 earlier this season and look to go 7-0 against Rancho Buena Vista on the road. Not that any team can be overlooked on any given game day, the Rancho Buena Vista Longhorns looked to be gored.

Rancho Buena Vista is the mirror image, Superman Bizarro World Division, not-so-spitting image of Mission Hills. That’s a big fat 0-6 to date.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies haven’t just been winning. They’ve been leaving no prisoners behind. On Oct. 9, they dismantled Oceanside High School at home 45-0. That followed a Sept. 25 humiliation of Escondido High School by the score of 42-3.

The Grizzlies beat Poway 27-2 on Sept. 18 and Millikan of Long Beach 48-7 on the road on Sept. 11. Domination, thy name is a Mission Hills 223-43 point differential over opponents this year. Following Rancho Buena Vista in the team’s first Avocado–East conference matchup, they look to run the league table against Del Norte on Oct. 23, Vista Oct. 30 and crosstown rival San Marcos on Nov. 6.

Valley Center even-steven heading into equally even Fallbrook

Valley Center sits at 3-3 this season.

Valley Center sits at 3-3 this season.

It’s been win a few, lose a few, for a talented Valley Center Jaguars squad now sitting at 3-3 (0-1, league). San Pasqual beat them 16-10 at San Pasqual on Oct. 9.

Prior to that the Jaguars took care of West Hills of Santee 35-12 and Imperial 37-21 following a squeaky loss 28-27 to Ramona.

The Jaguars travel to Fallbrook for a Valley League contest on Friday. The Warriors come in at pretty much the same scenario sporting an equally non-committal 3-3 (1-0) record following a 28-14 victory over beleaguered Escondido High and losses by the score of 13-6 to El Camino in Youth Football & Cheer Appreciation Night and 42-0 at home against San Marcos.

Meanwhile, Orange Glen 4-2 (0-0) squares off in another Valley League tilt against San Pasqual 2-4 (0-1). If Orange Glen and Valley Center each win, three of the five league teams will be tied atop the leader board with one league victory each.

Back to Valley Center and Fallbrook, it’s a reprise of last year’s visit, which the Warriors won 21-7, pushing them to their first winning season in 10 years and first league title since 2002.

The Jaguars simply haven’t been able to sustain a streak. Two of their losses have been of the blown game variety.

“The team still is learning to win,” Coach Rob Gilster, the only coach in school history, said last week. “The players have to understand they’ve got to work hard for everything they get. Part of that is learning how to finish.”

Escondido High waits till next year one year early

Aerial shot of Escondido High School football field.

Aerial shot of Escondido High School football field.

Oh well, all good things must come to an end, but the Escondido Cougars haven’t been good and aren’t quite at the end either. It’s been anything but a walk on the beach for the toast of North Broadway this season.

Can you say 0-6 (0-1)? And the hits keep coming although unfortunately they’re Cougars mostly being hit. Next up is non-conference powerhouse Rancho Bernardo 4-2 (0-1) ranked #10 in San Diego County. The Broncos record, winning though it is, also is deceptive.

They went into last week’s match against Westview, 6-0 (1-0) tied 17-17 heading into the fourth quarter before succumbing on a last minute, game-winning 30-yard field goal. And now this for the Broncs, the Cougs.

Oh vey. The fact is the schedule-maker didn’t do Escondido’s pride any good with an exceedingly tough schedule. Mission Hills, San Marcos and Mt. Carmel are all powerhouses this season. They’ve each humbled Escondido 42-3, 43-7 and 42-17 respectively.

Now, this way the Rancho Bernardo Broncos come. Not good.

Following that encounter, Escondido goes mano-a-uh-oh against Orange Glen, Valley Center and San Pasqual. No rest for the weary and very possibly a 0-10 record.

Unfortunately this is high school and not the NFL because going winless won’t mean anything like a first puck in the player draft, just a re-boot for 2016.