We were able to collect the pregame notes for the Time Warner broadcast of Saturday’s Honor Bowl showdown in Oceanside between Oaks Christian of Westlake Village and Cathedral Catholic of San Diego. These notes were all written and compiled by Devin Ugland. The game starts at 4 p.m. and Cal-Hi Sports will be represented by managing editor Ronnie Flores.
Coach: Jim Benkert (1st season, 1-0 overall)
2015-16 Record: 1-0
2014-15 Record, Results: 5-5 overall, missed playoffs
Cal-Hi Sports State Ranking: Not in Top 25.
How They Got Here: The first thought that pops into the head of anybody familiar with Southern California high school football when they hear “Oaks Christian” is: Powerhouse. Last season was a down year by the Lions’ standards, however, finishing with a .500 record and missing the playoffs. Jim Benkert is in his first season at the helm for Oaks after leaving Westlake to take over for the legendary Bill Redell and Benkert is hoping to return Oaks Christian to title form. A statement win early in the season would go a long way for the confidence of the Lions’ team.
Key Players: QB Matt Corral (6-3, 190, Soph., early recruiting interest from UCLA), RB Gil’Scott Jackson II (5-11, 200, Sr.), WR/LB Michael Pittman (6-4, 205, Sr., four-star recruit verbally committed to USC), TE/ DE Colby Parkinson (6-7, 225, Jr., four-star prospect with offers from Tennessee, Washington, Washington State, interest from USC and UCLA), WR/DB Mycah Pittman (6-0, 175, Fr.), DB Cortez Espinoza, Jr. (5-10, 155, Sr.), DB Lee Pitts (5-11, 175, Sr.), S Hayden Galvin (6-2, 180, Sr.), LB Brandon LaBrie (5-10, 200, Jr.), OLB Brandon Coll (5-11, 205, Sr.), DT Reese Silofau (6-2, 275, Fr.), DT Jaylen Larry (6-4, 275, Sr.), DE Seth Johnson (6-2, 200, Sr.), OL Ryan Goodman (6-2, 265, Jr.), NG Cameron Townsend (6-2, 280, Sr.), RG Nicolo Difronzo (6-3, 275, Jr.), OL Richard Cabrera (6-6, 315, Sr.)
General Notes (Offense): The Oaks Christian staff put the football and ￼its confidence in the hands of quarterback Matt Corral in week three of last season, and well, they never looked back. Corral took some lumps during his freshman campaign, but made amazing strides which made him one of the top quarterbacks to watch out west moving forward. Corral’s biggest target in Benkert’s pro-style system is a pro-style receiver in senior USC-commit Michael Pittman. Corral is a threat to keep the ball himself, rushing 16 times for 71 yards and two TDs in the Lions’ week zero win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, but Oaks’ main running back is senior Gil’Scott Jackson II. Junior tight end Colby Parkinson is another key threat in the passing game for the Lions. He’s another Power 5 conference-bound recruit.
General Notes (Defense): Oaks likes to do the same thing as all other defenses like to do and that’s stay disciplined, wrap up when tackling and swarm the ball carrier. The heavy-hitting is led by outside linebacker Brandon Coll and carries over into the secondary with safety Hayden Galvin and Cortez Espinoza, Jr. Keep a close eye on freshman defensive tackle Reese Silofau, who recorded eight tackles, including two for a loss in his first varsity football game.
Key Injuries: None
The Skinny: Oaks Christian comes into this season with a couple of things to prove. First, the Lions are looking to make amends for a 5-5 finish to the 2014 season. And secondly, new coach Jim Benkert is hoping to get the storied program back to the glory days it experienced under the departed Bill Redell. A win in the Honor Bowl would be a good solid early-season statement.
CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC OVERVIEW
Coach: Sean Doyle (20th season, 155-80 overall)
2015-16 Record: 0-1
2014-15 Record, Results: 10-2, Lost to Helix in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division semifinals
Cal-Hi Sports State Ranking: Not ranked IN State Top 25.
￼How They Got Here: Much like Oceanside, Cathedral Catholic is a constant presence in the CIF San Diego Section state title race no matter which division it has been in. Coach Sean Doyle is in his 20th year as the Don of the Dons and his teams are always prepared for big game situations.
Key Players: QB Tate Haynes (6-1, 180, Jr.), RB Hogan Irwin (5-10, 180, Sr., committed to Columbia), WR/SS Antoine Lee (6-4, 200, Jr.), RB/WR Adam Eastwood (6-0, 205, Jr.), Slot Jack Thompson (6-2, 180, Jr.), MLB Tyson Maeva (6-0, 230, LB, three-star recruit committed to Boise State), OLB Kameron Camp (6-1, 205, Jr.), OLB Patrick McLoughlin (6-0, 205, Sr.), CB Hunter Allen (5-11, 175, Sr., son of former NFL DB Eric Allen), DB Aidan Navarro (5-8, 165, Jr.), CB Nicholas Doyle (5-10, 185, Jr.), DE Jack Cavellier (6-2, 225, Jr.), DE Liam Brady (5-11, 210, Sr.), NG Jacob Isen (6-3, 247, Jr.), OG Lars Tvedt (6-3, 200, Sr.)
General Notes (Offense): Cathedral Catholic runs the classic wing-T offense with quarterback Tate Haynes, son of NFL Hall of Famer Mike Haynes, and running back Hogan Irwin. Irwin, the Columbia commit, will see the majority of the carries for the Dons. Adam Eastwood is another Cathedral Catholic skill player who will see carries and can also catch passes out of the backfield and from the slot receiver position. The biggest threat for Haynes in the passing game is Antoine Lee, but his status for Saturday’s game is uncertain after he left the week zero loss to Santa Margarita with a concussion.
General Notes (Defense): Boise State linebacker commit Tyson Maeva and outside linebacker Patrick McLoughlin anchor the Cathedral Catholic 3-4 defensive unit. Liam Brady, Jack Cavellier and Jacob Isen will be providing the push up-front, while cornerbacks Hunter Allen and Nick Doyle serve as the last line of defense for the Dons.
Key Injuries: Wide receiver Antoine Lee left last week’s game with a concussion.
The Skinny: Cathedral Catholic is looking to bounce-back after a week zero loss to Santa Margarita and Stanford-bound quarterback KJ Costello. Unfortunately for the Dons, Oaks Christian is another tough opponent with a good arm under center.