Football Blasts From The Past

Spencer Havner (left) is shown playing for the Green Bay Packers. He was one of the state’s best players for Nevada Union of Grass Valley 20 years ago. At right is running back Alexander Colon-Aguilar running with ball for De La Salle during game in 2010 vs. Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Photos: &

For the next few weeks, we’ll go back in time to approximately the same weekend of the California high school football season from five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years ago. At the end of what would have normally been the end of each of those seasons, we may go back even further. For this look back, we highlight the first touchdown scored in state history by a girl plus the first touchdown pass thrown by a girl. We also have several big De La Salle games (a loss in 2005 and a win in 2010) plus a salute to a coach who won 200th game (1995).


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Mekhi Ware of Culver City picked off three passes in a game in back-to-back weeks early on in 2015 season. Photo: Bailey Holiver/Culver City HS.

5 YEARS AGO (2015)
*Despite only having played four games, Culver City’s Mehki Ware already had nine interceptions at this point of the 2015 season. In his third game the previous week, Ware had three interceptions in a 34-21 win over University of Los Angeles. In his fourth game, Ware had three more and ran one back for a score as the Centaurs topped Channel Islands of Oxnard 54-30. Ware, who also scored in the game on a 75-yard TD reception, also was first in the nation among schools that reported stats to MaxPreps. He would only add two more interceptions for the rest of the season so his total of 11 isn’t in the state record book. Mehki is currently playing at Indiana State.
*In a 51-48 loss by Weed to University Prep of Redding, Ss’ven Walker caught five passes and scored touchdowns on all five of them for a total of 300 yards. One of the TDs was on a 90-yarder. Walker’s 60.0 per catch average for one game is a state record with a five-catch minimum and it’s No. 2 on the list with a four-catch minimum.

10 YEARS AGO (2010)
*Junior running back Mark Jenkins powered Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove to a 5-0 start with a monster outing in a 55-35 victory at Roseville. Jenkins etched himself a spot into the Cal-Hi Sports state record book after rushing for eight touchdowns and 302 yards. He made the record book list for most rushing TDs in a game. He also upped his season total to 931 yards.
*In the second year of head coach Tony Sanchez at Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, the former head coach at California of San Ramon was looking for national prominence. He took his national No. 35 ranked team in week five 10 years ago to play De La Salle of Concord, which was No. 16 in the nation and was No. 2 in the state. DLS won 28-14, but trailed 14-7 at halftime. The Spartans didn’t get the lead until the fourth quarter on a 4-yard TD pass from Bart Houston to Anthony Williams and capped the win with 1:30 left on a 2-yard plunge by Houston. Gorman would be much better in 2011 with players like tackle Ronnie Stanley (currently starts for Baltimore Ravens) and Sanchez would later have a mythical national championship team.

15 YEARS AGO (2005)
*A 45-yard interception return in the third quarter by Marcus North and the powerful running of Chane Moline led state No. 1 Mission Viejo to a 36-26 win at home over state No. 5 De La Salle of Concord. Moline rushed for 176 yards on 31 carries. DLS suffered two interceptions and one fumble. The Diablos also had topped the Spartans in 2004, but the four-game series was tied at 2-2 after wins by the Spartans in 2006 and 2007.
*Sophomore Miranda McOsker made history for Bishop Montgomery of Torrance by becoming the first girl to throw a touchdown pass in a game. And Miranda actually threw three of them on throws of 65, 35 and 25 yards in a 55-14 victory by the Knights over Ribet Academy of La Canada.
*A player who was forced to move to California due to Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area led Ocean View of Huntington Beach past Magnolia of Anaheim, 31-24. Pascagoula (Miss.) native Brandon Price completed 12 of 19 passes for 188 yards and he rushed for 155 yards and two TDs.
*Getting his name into the state record book with four interceptions on defense was senior Chantz Staden from Westmont of Campbell. He did it in a 28-14 triumph vs. Evergreen Valley of San Jose. In the same game, Chantz also rushed for 142 yards and three TDs.

20 YEARS AGO (2000)
*This won’t be the only time we mention Ventura running back Tyler Ebell for his 2000 season. The first time he headlined our coverage for a week, though, came after he broke the school record for the second time in three weeks with 400 yards rushing on 44 carries as Ventura beat Arroyo Grande 41-28. Ebell, who also scored six touchdowns against the Eagles, had a school record 375 yards two weeks previously in a game against Moorpark. After four games, Ebell already had 1,413 yards rushing and 19 TDs and we were already writing about him joining a short list of those with 3,000 yards in the regular season.
*Future NFL linebacker Spencer Havner from Nevada Union of Grass Valley had an interception return for a TD for the second straight week and he had three interceptions in all in the Miners’ 65-37 win vs. Del Campo of Fair Oaks. NU had Jefferson Heidelberger tearing it up that season as well and in the game vs. Del Campo he had 248 yards rushing, 172 yards receiving and six total touchdowns.

25 YEARS AGO (1995)
*In a 34-14 victory by Jordan of Long Beach over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey, Lorenza Coronado made history for Jordan by catching a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ortege Jenkins. She became he first reported girl to score a touchdown in California and may have become the first nationally. Jenkins, who later played quarterback for the University of Arizona, connected with Coronado on a roll out to give the Panthers their final score. “I just ran the route and everything seemed to happen in slow motion,” Coronado later told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
*Norco remained unbeaten with a 42-14 win over La Sierra of Riverside with the bigger news being that head coach Gary Campbell won his 200th game. He improved to 200-77-2 after the game. Campbell’s son, Steve, quarterbacked the Cougars to a 14-0 season two years earlier. Current JSerra head coach and former NFL lineman Pat Harlow also played for Campbell at Norco.
*You might not believe it considering how Narbonne of Harbor City has become in the CIF L.A. City Section, but 25 years ago the Gauchos snapped a 40-year losing streak to Carson. Narbonne beat the Colts on this week in 1995 with a 14-0 triumph as Cameron Taylor rushed for 135 yards and one score.

30 YEARS AGO (1990)
*Leading offensive linemen in the state included junior Jeff Buckey of Bakersfield, who is currently enjoying watching his sons play at Garces & Liberty of Bakersfield. Buckey, who later starred at Stanford and in the NFL, was later joined on the all-state first team by seniors Donald Willis rom Cabrillo of Lompoc, Robert Loya of Fontana, Chris Finch from Ramona of Riverside and Brian Malcolm from Serra of Gardena. Another of the state’s leading linemen was Donovan Roy from Montclair Prep of Van Nuys.

35 YEARS AGO (1985)
*One of the state’s leading recruits for the season, Canyon of Canyon Country linebacker/tight end Randy Austin, had one of his best games to lead the Cowboys past Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks 21-14. Austin intercepted a pass in the last few minutes of the game, recorded 15 tackles, had a 58-yard punt and caught five passes on offense. Austin said after the game that his five top college favorites were UCLA, USC, Washington, BYU and Oklahoma.
*Small school QB Erik Geiger of Laytonville (CIF North Coast Section) set a state record with 39 pass completions in his team’s 58-0 rout of Anderson Valley. Geiger ended the game 39 of 50 for 428 yards and six touchdowns. He broke the previous record of 36 set in 1980 by Max Shubin from Mountain View of El Monte. Two other QBs that threw for more than 400 yards that week were Eric Rubalcava from Schurr of Montebello and Malcolm Glover from Lincoln of San Diego.

40 YEARS AGO (1980)
*With Banning of Wilmington trailing Long Beach Poly 13-0 at halftime, head coach Chris Ferragamo of the Pilots asked star player Michael Alo if he could rush the ball in addition to blocking and playing linebacker. He had to ask because just days earlier Alo had a cast taken off of his arm. The 1979 State Junior of the Year responded with 55 yards on eight carries and scored on a 5-yard run to help Banning to a 14-13 win. Alo had suffered the broken arm in a car accident in August.
*This was just the second season for head coach Bob Ladouceur at De La Salle of Concord and one might think he was running the veer even then. But the Spartans were throwing the ball in 1980 and in this week they had QB Jay Jordan pass for 293 yards and three TDs in a 43-16 victory over Ceres.

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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