Football Blasts From The Past

The late Don Markham (left) was inducted into the Colton Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. At right are players from San Clemente charging onto the field. The school had one of its best nights 25 years ago with an upset of Mater Dei. Photos: &

Here’s another look back in time to approximately the same week 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 games that ended by the outlandish scores of 108-20, 70-64 in overtime and 66-65 in three overtimes. We also have long field goals, a game-winning field goal that knocked off a state-ranked team by someone who’d never tried one before and one of the most magical nights ever at San Clemente.


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Colin Schooler was a warrior on both sides of the ball for Mission Viejo all during the 2015 postseason. Photo: Paul Muyskens.

5 YEARS AGO (2015)
*Senior QB Zach Taylor of Buena Park had a combined 501 yards of offense during a 42-19 win over Troy of Fullerton. Completing 21 of his 27 pass attempts for a season-high 378 yards and three touchdowns, Taylor added 125 rushing yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. His highest rushing total in a game for that season was back in August when he rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns on five carries during a 75-20 win over Orange. Taylor also had a 517-yard passing game as a junior.
*Unbeaten Mission Viejo moved up from No. 8 to No. 6 in the state after a 39-20 win over El Toro of Lake Forest. The Diablos also were aided with previous No. 6 Mater Dei of Santa Ana losing to JSerra Catholic. Colin Schooler, who had a blocked punt return for a score in the first half, caught a 66-yard touchdown pass in the second half. His brother, Brenden, capped the win with an 80-yard pick six. Brock Johnson also passed for 234 yards and three touchdowns.
*Facing an Alemany of Mission Hills team that was playing for its postseason lives, state No. 5 Serra of Gardena survived an upset bid with a 41-34 victory. The back-and-forth affair eventually proved to be too much Khalil Tate for the Warriors. Tate, the phenom QB for Serra who later would star at Arizona, had another off-the-charts outing. He completed 15 of 25 passes for 301 yards and five TDs and he ran it 21 times for 199 yards and two other scores. Two of the TD passes went to sophomore wideout Kobe Smith, who is currently starring at San Diego State. DE Oluwale Betiku, later named the state defensive player of the year, also had another huge game with five sacks.

10 YEARS AGO (2010)
*State No. 15 Oaks Christian of Westlake Village scored four times on defense in a 65-0 rout of Simi Valley. Three of the TDs came on interception returns by Brian Fifita, Cole Brownell and Mitchell Shelby. Another of the defensive scores by the Lions came on a fumble return by Austin Buccieri.
*Time was running out in the first half when Seamus McMorrow from St. Augustine of San Diego trotted out to try a 58-yard field goal in a game against Scripps Ranch. With the ball closer to the 49-yard line, the junior boomed a low line drive that barely cleared the defensive linemen but went through the uprights. McMorrow tied the San Diego Section record and at the time it was tied for sixth longest in state history. The Saints went on to post a 48-27 victory. Also on the same weekend, kicker Sam Falkenhagen from Menlo-Atherton of Atherton connected on a 57-yard field goal, but that one cme in a 28-24 loss to crosstown Sacred Heart Prep.
*In one of the top passing games in the nation in that particular week, Andrew Elfers from Maranatha of Sierra Madre completed 34 of 51 passes for 587 yards and six touchdowns, but it still wasn’t enough in a 70-64 overtime loss to Valley Christian of Cerritos. It’s still one of the highest totals in state history for most points scored by a losing team. Teammate Josh Jones also had a big night for Maranatha with 10 catches for 184 yards and one TD.

15 YEARS AGO (2005)
*What a few weeks it was for late, great football coach Don Markham. He was at Bloomington in 2005 and his stretch of experiences began with a one-game suspension for reportedly getting into an altercation with a player. Markham returned only to suffer a broken leg on a sideline collision. Two weeks after that and the Bruins were in the headlines again for posting a 108-20 victory over Jurupa Valley of Mira Loma. Bloomington scoring the most points for a team during a game since Coronado hung up 108 points on Sweetwater of National City in 1929 in a 108-0 win. Thomas Byrd returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for the Bruins to get the scoring going. Two TDs off of turnovers in the second quarter helped Bloomington get to 72 points. Markham told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that he asked Jurupa Valley at halftime about using a running clock (which wasn’t a rule at the time) but that “their kids wanted to play.”
*In only his second game as a starting tailback, Chris Huerta from Notre Dame of Riverside set a new state record at the time with 57 carries and finished 437 yards in a wild-and-wacky 66-65 win in three overtimes against Yucca Valley. Huerta also scored seven touchdowns on the night and punched through for a game-clinching two-point conversion to end the third overtime. “After it was over, he just got on the bus and fell asleep,” said Notre Dame assistant coach Pete Garza. “He gave every ounce of himself.”
*Senior defensive back Phillip Hoy of San Ysidro tied a CIF San Diego Section record with five interceptions in San Ysidro’s 33-0 victory over Mar Vista of Imperial Beach. Hoy, who returned three of his picks inside the 20-yard to set up scores, tied the section record of five set in 1923 by Ed Caballero of San Diego High during a game with Santa Ana.

20 YEARS AGO (2000)
*For the first time in a game since 1995, state and national No. 1 De La Salle of Concord trailed at halftime. Thanks to a nine-minute scoring drive, Ygnacio Valley of Concord (a school located practically next door to De La Salle) assumed a 7-6 lead. Current Clayton Valley of Concord head coach Tim Murphy was coaching the Warriors at the time. The Spartans rolled in the second half, however, behind the running of senior Kevin Simon and junior Nate Kenion, who combined for 131 yards. Junior QB Matt Gutierrez also completed six passs for 182 yards to senior Demetrius Williams. Both Gutierrez and Williams later played in the NFL. DLS won its 108th straight contest.
*Even though Nevada Union of Grass Valley kicker Grant Watkins had never attempted a field goal in his life, he made a 34-yarder in driving rain and poor field conditions to give the Miners a 9-8 win over previously unbeaten and state No. 4 Grant of Sacramento. Grant had been clinging to an 8-6 lead for much of the game. Watkins made his field goal with 29 seconds left. “This is one of the all-time classic,” said Nevada Union head coach Dave Humphers. “He (Watkins) makes every one in practice.” The Miners improved to 8-0 and were jumped to No. 6 in the state after the big win.
*Future State Boys Athlete of the Year Antwon Guidry from Leigh of San Jose raced for 312 yards rushing on 15 carries and scored five touchdowns in a 56-0 triumph over Leland of San Jose. Guidry also was a standout for the Longhorns in basketball and was one of the state’s leading track and field sprinters.

25 YEARS AGO (1995)
*Despite only going 4-6 the previous season, San Clemente came through with a 23-17 upset win over previous state No. 3 Mater Dei of Santa Ana. The Monarchs also entered the game with a 21-game winning streak. They were hurt by three turnovers inside the San Clemente 20-yard line. The Tritons, meanwhile, inspired by a huge home crowd, moved the ball against the Monarchs behind QB Chris Boden. He passed for 240 yards and one TD with two TDs on the ground.
*Current Antelope Valley of Lancaster head coach Jermaine Lewis had one of his top games in 1995 when he was an all-state running back for the Antelopes. In a 57-0 rout of Lancaster Highland, Lewis motored for 330 yards on 23 carries and hit the end zone five times.
*Senior two-way standout Mike Barrett from Burroughs of Burbank scored seven touchdowns in his team’s 63-35 victory against Valencia. Six of Barrett’s TDs came on runs while a seventh was on a 29-yard fumble return.
*Former longtime Loara of Anaheim head coach Herb Hill reached the 200-win milestone this week in 1995 when his team at the time from San Jacinto posted a victory over West Valley of Hemet. Hill became the 21st coach in state history to reach the 200-win mark.

30 YEARS AGO (1990)
*Some of the state’s leading small school players included the Menlo School of Atherton pass-catch combo of Jim Noriega (QB) and Brandon Stephens (WR). Also on the list would be juniors Rashaan Salaam (RB) and Eric Abrams (PK) of La Jolla Country Day. Salaam went on to win the Heisman Trophy at the University of Colorado, but unfortunately died by suicide at the age of 42 in 2016. Others included RB/LB Rex Prichard from Whittier Christian of La Habra, QB/DB Sergio Villasenor from Hamilton of Hamilton City, RB/LB Bonner Cunnings from Yosemite of Oakhurst, QB Pat Aument from Desert of Edwards AFB, RB Eric Young of Tehachapi, OL Donovan Roy from Montclair Prep of Van Nuys, LB Donnie Taylor of Calistoga and the Folsom duo of Greg Bondi (LB) and Robbie Pelzman (WR/P). Yes, in 1990, Folsom was indeed a small school (hard to believe if you’ve ever walked on that campus).

35 YEARS AGO (1985)
*The Trinity League didn’t exist in the 1980s, but the forbearer to that league, the Angelus League, was having one of its best seasons. The league (including state-ranked Bishop Amat, Servite and St. Paul) had gone 25-4 in non-league matchups. Two of the top teams in the league, Servite and St. Paul, hooked up in early November in 1985 and had the type of finish often seen in the Trinity League today. The Swordsmen were poised for an upset as they led the Friars 33-21 with less than four minutes left. Servite’s Tim Rosenkranz, however, then rallied the Friars. He first capped a drive with a short scoring run to cut St. Paul’s lead to 33-28. With 1:32 left, Servite needed to recover an onside kick and got the ball back. That set the stage for a miraculous 36-yard TD pass from Rosenkranz to Jeff Fieldhouse with just 33 seconds left that proved to be the game-winner in a 37-33 Servite triumph.
*In another thriller involving a state-ranked Orange County team that week, state Class 3A No. 4 Mission Viejo had a 29-29 tie with Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo. The Diablos took a 29-23 lead with just 42 seconds let on a six-yard run by Todd Yert. Capo Valley quarterback Scott Stark still had time left and he was able to answer with just seven seconds remaining on a 45-yard TD pass to Brent Parker. That tied the game so the Cougars still needed to kick the PAT for the win. Mission Viejo prevented that on a blocked PAT by Dennis Erk.
*State No. 1 Long Beach Poly routed Long Beach Wilson, 47-0, to mark the seventh straight game in which the Jackrabbits had yet to give up a touchdown while No. 2 Bishop Amat also kept on rolling. The Lancers blasted Pius X of Downey, 56-14, and at the time had only given up five yards rushing for the entire season.

40 YEARS AGO (1980)
*In a 40-13 win by Lincoln of San Diego over Serra of San Diego, QB Damon Allen led the Hornets by completing 14 of 21 passes for 246 yards and five TDs. Allen came along to Lincoln three years after his older brother Marcus Allen. In 1980, Allen was starring at USC but he had yet to win the Heisman Trophy.
*This was a time when the Vintage vs. Napa High Big Game in Napa was perhaps at its most exciting. The Crushers entered the 1980 game 7-0 and were No. 9 in the state. The Indians were looking for the upset, but head coach Burl Autry’s boys got a 35-18 triumph. Senior Pat Hodge had his biggest night of the year with 29 carries for 240 yards and scored three times. Hodge also went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.

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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