SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Mission Viejo's Austin Osborne, one of this week's SoCal/NorCal POW honorees, has been a top receiver since he was a sophomore last year. Photo: Craig Takata/

Mission Viejo’s Austin Osborne, one of this week’s SoCal/NorCal POW honorees, has been a top receiver since he was a sophomore last year. Photo: Craig Takata/

Two of our six honorees this week also are going into the state record book: Jeshua Gutierrez of Firebaugh (with four interceptions) and Austin Osborne of Mission Viejo (five touchdown catches). Others selected are from Sierra Canyon, Pacifica of Oxnard, Whitney of Rocklin and St. Francis of Mountain View.

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Note: Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens also wrote several of these player bios. For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To find out how your business could benefit by sponsoring these honors each week or to nominate your own favorite player, email

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Austin Osborne
(Mission Viejo) Jr.

Showing why he is such a highly recruited wide receiver, this junior nearly had all of his catches result in touchdowns during a 55-14 win by the state No. 4 Diablos over El Toro of Lake Forest.

Entering the night with nine catches for 254 yards and four touchdowns, Osborne more than doubled his touchdown total with six receptions for 222 yards and five touchdowns in one night.

His five touchdown receptions in a game is tied for the second-most in Orange County history, according to the Cal-Hi Sports state record book. The OC record (and also No. 2 on the state list) is seven TD catches by Steve Ward of Anaheim Servite (1996). Others from Orange County with five (which is the total that gets a player into the state record book) are Rick Parma from La Palma Kennedy (1975), Anthony Vernaglia of Orange Lutheran (2002), Colin Mease of Irvine University (2005) and Chris Paul of Laguna Beach (2010). Osborne now obviously goes into the state record book as well.
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Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Chris Cannon
(Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) Jr.

Looking like he was being shot out of a cannon, Chris had a big night introducing himself in a not so friendly manner to the Paso Robles quarterback during a 50-36 win for the Trailblazers.

Sacking Steven Schouten four times, this junior defensive lineman also finished with 13 total tackles.

Cannon now has 12.5 sacks on the year and is averaging nearly nine tackles per game. He has helped Sierra Canyon to a 7-0 record, which is looking even better due to having a win over Grace Brethren of Simi Valley. Last weekend, Grace Brethren knocked off perennial power Westlake of Westlake Village.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Isaac Gomez
(Pacifica, Oxnard) Sr.

He had a perfect night kicking the football during the Tritons’ 47-27 win over Santa Barbara.

The senior standout finished with 14 points. Going a perfect 5 for 5 on extra point attempts, Gomez also made all three of his field goal attempts, including a season-long of 41 yards. He also had a touchback and recovered a fumble.

On the season, Gomez has now kicked 25 extra points and is a perfect 8 for 8 on field goals.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Jake Cruz
(Whitney, Rocklin) Jr.

With the Wildcats cruising to a 47-28 win over Del Campo of Fair Oaks, their junior quarterback had his biggest night of the year.

Before finding a spot on the sidelines with the Wildcats in control, Cruz completed 20 of his 28 pass attempts for 414 yards and six touchdowns. Whitney built a 33-7 lead at halftime and led 40-7 entering the fourth quarter.

It was the second straight week in which Cruz has passed for a career-high after he had 331 yards and four touchdowns during a win over Bella Vista of Fair Oaks.

Whitney improved to 4-1 with its only loss by one point to Rocklin and with additional wins over Davis (33-0) and Granite Bay (41-21).

Firebaugh's Jeshua Gutierrez also plays baseball. Photo:

Firebaugh’s Jeshua Gutierrez also plays baseball. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Jeshua Gutierrez
(Firebaugh) Soph.

Talk about having a memorable night.

In a 70-6 romp past Parlier, Gutierrez came up four of his team’s six interceptions. Initially, this was reported as six interceptions just for Jeshua himself but it was called in as a correction by the school. The Central Section record of six was
set in 1998 by Weston Borba of Chowchilla and also is the Cal-Hi Sports single-game state record.

According to the NFHS national record book, Borba’s state record total of six was tied in 2012 by Andrew Vignolo of Santa Barbara Laguna Blanca, but that was done in an eight-man game, which is separated from 11-man in the Cal-Hi Sports lists.

Gutierrez didn’t just shine on defense, either. He also scored a career high of five touchdowns, which came on a 40-yard run, a TD catch, a punt return TD and on two interception returns.

Kicker Tito Campa also made all 10 extra point attempts in the same game while senior Adrian Gutierrez, Jeshua’s brother, also returned an interception for a score. The three interception return TDs also tied the section record, according to Barnett.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Garrett McCarthy
(St. Francis, Mountain View) Sr.

As Garrett was breaking into the clear on what would be a second straight punt return touchdown in the Lancers’ matchup last Friday against Bellarmine of San Jose, the first thought was “check for flags.”

When no yellow markers were on the field, the second thought was, “Good, now we don’t have to search for a NorCal Special Teams Player of the Week.”

McCarthy’s two returns, both in the first quarter, came on lengths of 54 and 61 yards and sparked state No. 12 St. Francis (5-0) to a 21-12 win that broke the school’s 11-game losing streak to the Bells.

After the game, McCarthy said the two TDs were the first two he’d ever scored on the varsity level. We have a feeling there will be more.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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