Presented by ATHLETETRAX, several of this week’s best are from unbeaten teams, including Crescenta Valley’s Brian Gadsby, Piedmont’s Gabe Watson and Lemoore’s Cort Groathouse. We also tip our hat to new Cal-Hi Sports career receptions and receiving yards record holder Trent Irwin.
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Thanks to Paul Muyskens, Harold Abend, Ronnie Flores and CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett for contributing items this week. This honor roll is for games played from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.
Anthony Gordon (Terra Nova, Pacifica)
The state’s regular season passing leader completed 25 of his 37 pass attempts for 434 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers defeated top-seed Kings Academy of Sunnyvale 42-28 in the CCS Division IV playoffs. Gordon also went over 4,000 yards for the season.
Marcus Howard (Wood, Vacaville)
Forced to throw the football in order to try and keep up with Elk Grove, he completed 25 of his 39 pass attempts for 432 yards and five touchdowns but the Wildcats had their season come to an end with a 59-34 loss in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II quarterfinals.
Adam Vance (Redwood, Visalia)
Despite passing for a season-high 405 yards and three touchdowns, the Rangers’ season came to an end with a 59-41 loss to unbeaten Lemoore in the CIF Central Section Division II quartefinals.
Michael Austin (Helix, La Mesa)
Austin and his teammates had it going in a 58-35 triumph over Ramona in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division. The junior QB hit on 19 of 21 passes for 382 yards and five touchdowns. He also scored on a short run. Two of the TDs went to DeShawn Kieirsey, who also scored on a 65-yard punt return.
Davis Pinkston (Simi Valley)
There was a few passing performances that caught our attention for weird reasons and Pinkston had one of them. He completed 30 of his 42 pass attempts for 379 yards but didn’t have a touchdown pass during a 29-21 win over previously unbeaten El Segundo. The Pioneers (8-4) play 11-1 Ventura next in the CIFSS Western Division semifinals.
Kyle Spalding (McKinleyville)
If not for four incomplete passes, Spalding might have had a state and national record that would stand forever. He completed 37 of his 41 pass attempts for 370 yards and two touchdowns during a 55-43 loss to unbeaten Piedmont in the NCS D4 playoffs. He also rushed for TDs of 5 and 23 yards, but the defense couldn’t top the Highlanders. Spalding’s 37 completions do go into the record book. To see his name now in the on-line book, get your Gold Club membership today to access the Cal-Hi Sports state records.
Will Smith (Analy, Sebastopol)
He didn’t save the world from aliens but Smith did save the Tigers from having their season come to an end as he completed 27 of his 34 pass attempts for 362 yards and four touchdowns during a 49-41 win over Acalanes of Lafayette in the CIF North Coast Section Division III playoffs.
Jake Browning (Folsom)
Browning’s season total for TD passes reached 70 after he went 20 of 30 for 354 yards and six scores during the Bulldogs’ 56-13 win over Franklin of Elk Grove in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. He should get at least five this week against Monterey Trail in the section semifinals which would tie the Cal-Hi Sports state record he set last season.
Devon Modster (Tesoro, Las Flores)
The highly regarded junior QB completed 22 of 42 passes for 343 yards and two TDs although it came in a 28-27 loss to Vista Murrieta in the CIFSS West Valley Division playoffs. Modster also rushed 14 times for 79 yards and one TD in helping the Titans build a 24-0 lead.
Jack Stephens (Campolindo, Moraga)
The youngest of three brothers who have starred at Campo, Jack hit on nine of 14 passes for 327 yards and four TDs in a 56-14 win over Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa in the NCS D3 playoffs. His TD passes were from 44, 70, 58 and 64 yards out.
Brian Gadsby (Crescenta Valley, La Crescenta)
In a 35-14 victory by the unbeaten Falcons (now 12-0) over Paramount in the CIFSS Southeast Division playoffs, Gadsby passed for 303 yards and two TDs on 18 completions in 27 attempts. He also scored twice on a pair of 2-yard runs. Teammate Connor Van Ginkel also shined with nine catches for 195 yards.
Sam Darnold (San Clemente)
Nominated earlier in the week as a U.S. Army All-American Player of the Year candidate, the USC-bound Darnold passed for 286 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 93 yards and a score during a 56-6 win over Tustin in the CIFSS Southwest Division second round. Since San Clemente also is one of the few Orange County schools still going in a D1 or D2 playoff division, Darnold also seems more like a front-runner to be the Orange County Player of the Year.
Donovan Brown (Grant, Sacramento)
While his defense was putting on yet another impressive sacking the quarterback performance, Brown had a nice night as well in Grant’s 63-21 win over Downey of Modesto in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. He completed 10 of his 15 passs attempts for 285 yards and five touchdowns. Ariyon Huff was on the receiving end for three of those touchdowns.
Trent Irwin (Hart, Newhall)
It was a bittersweet ending to the phenomenal career of Irwin, who caught 15 passes for 161 yards in Hart’s 52-21 loss to Upland in the CIFSS West Valley Division playoffs. With those totals, Irwin finished with 285 catches for 5,268 yards in four years. He broke the previous Cal-Hi Sports state record of 281 receptions for 5,147 yards set two years ago by Drew Wolitarsky from nearby Canyon of Canyon Country. We remember seeing Irwin running routes at a Nike event as a freshman and are not surprised by what he’s done.
Tayvian Cunningham (Wood, Vacaville)
While it wasn’t enough to defeat Elk Grove and fellow state stat star Eltoro Allen, Cunningham did catch 11 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns during the 59-34 loss to the Thundering Herd in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
Travis Nickols (McKinleyville)
Coming up one catch shy of earning a spot in our Cal-Hi Sports state record book, Nickols caught 17 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown during a 55-43 loss to Piedmont.
Josiah Deguara (Folsom)
No stranger to being listed here, Deguara caught nine passes for 203 yards and one score as the Bulldogs continued their roll through the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section with a 56-13 win over Franklin of Elk Grove. Deguara is on track to get to 100 catches for the second straight season.
Colin Kentros (El Toro, Lake Forest)
Teammate Trey Tinsley looked for this junior early and often as he caught 10 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown during the Chargers’ season-ending 27-24 loss to Great Oak of Temecula.
Eric Wilson (El Camino, Oceanside)
Helped from a 76-yard TD pass from Beau Gallegos, Wilson ended up with five catches for 200 yards in the Wildcats’ 33-31 victory over Steele Canyon of Spring Valley in the San Diego Section D1 playoffs. The win for El Camino came two days after senior D.J. Ingram was diagnosed with leukemia.
Dillon Fugate (Corcoran)
According to CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett, Fugate set a school record with 13 receptions for 171 yards and one TD in a 26-14 win over Farmersville in the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs. Senior QB Nico Portillo also went 23 of 28 for 263 yards and two touchdowns, plus 24 yards rushing & another score.
Sam Philippi (JSerra, San Juan Capistrano)
A season to remember for the Lions came to an end last week with a 24-17 loss to Bishop Amat of La Puente but it wasn’t for any lack of effort by Philippi. He caught 11 passes for 175 yards and one touchdown.
Trey Nahhas (Montery Trail, Elk Grove)
Easily selected as our NorCal Offensive Player of the Week, Trey rushed for 398 yards and five touchdowns on 39 carries as the Mustangs’ continued their upset ride through the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs with a 51-45 over Merced.
Sheldon Arnold (Santee, Los Angeles)
Doing all he could to not have his senior season come to an end, he rushed for 357 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries but the Falcons ended up on the wrong side of a 46-36 final score against Monroe of North Hills in the L.A. City Section Division III playoffs. Arnold still finished his senior year with 2,602 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns and should be in line for numerous honors, including All-L.A. City.
Sheldon Croney (Ridgeview, Bakersfield)
A performance that several on twitter made sure we saw, Croney rushed for 339 yards and five touchdowns on 18 carries while also catching a touchdown pass as the Wolf Pack defeated Tulare Union of Tulare 55-27 in the CIF Central Section Division II playoffs.
Chris Rom-Toribio (La Quinta)
Probably on his way to leading the state this season in rushing and scoring, Rom-Toribio carried the ball 32 times for 325 yards and four touchdowns during a 49-13 win over Vista del Lago of Moreno Valley.
Zion Echols (Charter Oak, Covina)
Handed the ball 25 times during a 49-31 win over San Marino, he rushed for 321 yards and five touchdowns as the Chargers advanced to the semifinals of the CIF-SS Central Division playoffs.
Tyler Nevens (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights)
While Thanksgiving is today, this sophomore was fed a ton of pigskin last week as he rushed for 309 yards and five touchdowns on 40 carries during a 45-35 win over Monrovia in the CIFSS Central Division quarterfinals.
Gabe Watson (Piedmont)
He’s already in the Cal-Hi Sports state record book with a 99-yard TD run from this season and had another strong outing in a 55-43 win against McKinleyville in the CIF North Coast Section Division IV playoffs. In leading Piedmont to its 12th win against no losses, Watson had 20 carries for 300 yards and scored six TDs. His scores came from 5, 22, 14, 15, 54 and 44 yards.
Humberto Maciel (Westminster)
It was a heartbreaking way to end the season for the Lions as they saw a potential game-winning score negated because of a penalty when they lost 34-29 to Rancho Alamitos of Garden Grove in the CIFSS Southern Division playoffs. Maciel, a senior, rushed for 250 yards and four touchdowns and also kicked a 34-yard field goal.
Demetric Felton (Great Oak, Temecula)
Scoring on runs of 50 and 74 yards, he finished the night with 244 rushing yards on 22 carries as the Wolfpack defeated El Toro of Lake Forest 27-24 in the CIFSS West Valley Division.
Tamarick Pierce (St. Mary’s, Berkeley)
He’s one of the top junior RBs in the East Bay and stood out with 16 carries for 227 yards and two TDs in a 61-21 victory over Moreau of Hayward.
Isaiah Osborne (Madison, San Diego)
By rushing 21 times for 218 yards and three TDs, Osborne helped the Warhawks move on in the CIF San Diego Section Division I playoffs with a 49-28 triumph over Point Loma of San Diego.
Dominic Spadafore (Elliot Christian, Lodi)
While the Eagles may not be a big Division I school, Spadafore did have a big time performance during their 69-8 win over Brookside Christian of Stockton in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII playoffs. He rushed for 215 yards and six touchdowns on 28 carries and caught a touchdown pass for seven TDs in all.
Oscar Gomez (St. Margaret’s, San Juan Capistrano)
The Tartans moved to 12-0 with a 36-34 win over St. Genevieve of Panaroma City in the CIFSS East Valley Division playoffs behind Gomez. Their standout senior rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries.
Eltoro Allen (Elk Grove)
Thundering past Wood of Vacaville all night long, he rushed for 193 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries as the Thundering Herd advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals with a 59-34 win.
MULTI-PURPOSE, DEFENSE & MORE
Adam Gordon (Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo)
It almost might be shorter to mention what Gordon didn’t do during a 26-7 win over Valencia of Placentia in the CIFSS Southwest Division playoffs. He caught six passes for 49 yards and one touchdown, recorded his sixth interception of the season, kicked two field goals and two PATs and returned a punt for a touchdown.
Zak Burden (Rio Linda)
The senior QB and team leader did it all in the Knights’ 49-44 road upset win over Sierra of Manteca in the Sac-Joaquin Section D3 playoffs. Not only did he complete 15 of 25 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns but he also rushed 18 times for 116 yards and one score and even caught a touchdown pass.
Ryan Kelley (Marin Catholic, Kentfield)
Named as our NorCal Defensive Player of the Week, Kelley had 20 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble during a 48-9 win over Alhambra of Martinez in the CIF North Coast Section Division III quarterfinals.
Cort Groathouse (Lemoore)
The senior quarterback passed for a season high of five touchdowns on 15 of 21 for 233 yards and also rushed for a team high of 162 yards on 10 carries and one TD as unbeaten Lemoore beat Redwood of Visalia 59-41 in the Central Section Division II playoffs. Teammate Reggie Davis also had a nice game with three TD catches.
Chris Blanton (Downey)
Our SoCal Defensive Player of the Week had quite the performance during the CIFSS Southeast Division 21-18 win over Cathedral of Los Angeles. He recorded his season-high for sacks in a game with six and had 14 tackles. Blanton’s six sacks for one game also makes the all-time state list. To see his name now in the on-line state record book, get your Gold Club membership today to access the Cal-Hi Sports state records.
Curt Calomeni (Bellarmine, San Jose)
Not only did he have a team-high 12 tackles, but he also scored the game’s lone touchdown on a 10-yard touchdown catch in overtime that gave the Bells a 9-6 win over previously unbeaten Milpitas in the CCS Open Division playoffs.
Larry Hardy (Inderkum, Sacramento)
Going over the century mark for rushing and receiving during a 49-14 win over Benicia in the CIF SJS D3 playoffs, he rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries while catching three passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Andre Walker (Pomona)
With 12 tackles, including two sacks, plus 147 yards of rushing on offense, Walker was a primary reason why the Red Devils beat San Dimas 41-14 in the CIFSS Mid-Valley Division quarterfinals.
R.J. Henry (Silver Valley, Yermo)
Not content with just one kickoff returned for a score, Henry returned two kickoffs for touchdowns during a 38-35 loss to Saddleback Valley Christian in the CIFSS East Valley Division playoffs.
Justice Shelton-Mosley (Capital Christian, Sacramento)
Filling up the stat sheet during the Cougars’ 56-13 Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoff win over Ripon Christian of Ripon, he rushed for 191 yards and five touchdowns on 13 carries, caught a 27-yard touchdown pass and completed his lone pass attempt of the night for 42 yards.
Ben Burr-Kiven (Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton)
This multi-way threat rushed for 200 yards and had eight solo tackles during a 37-13 win over Oak Grove of San Jose that got the unbeaten and top-seeded Gators off to a hot start in the CCS Open Division playoffs.
Carl Granderson (Grant, Sacramento)
Leading the Pacers’ defense with four sacks, Granderson helped get the team to a total of 12 during a 63-21 win over Downey of Modesto in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II quarterfinals.
Dalton Geringer (Newbury Park)
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior WR/DB came up with two interceptions, recovered a fumble and had a sack plus one catch for 34 yards in the Panthers’ 42-26 victory against St. Joseph of Santa Maria in the CIFSS Northern Division playoffs.
Dalton Gallis (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella)
He ended his four-year career against a fine Fowler team in a 44-28 loss. Gallis passed for 233 yards and three TDs and had 89 yards rushing. For his career, Gallis also ended with 100 combined touchdowns – 71 passing and 29 rushing.
As has been customary for many years, we collect the state stat stars in support of the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac. The book has been published seven times (the most recent, though, was 2009) and is as official as a state record book can be since no other exists. To report a State Stat Star of the Week of your own, please email details to email@example.com.
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