Football Blasts From The Past

The late Sal Aunese (left) is still an inspiration where he played in college and at Vista High where he was starring for the Panthers 35 years ago. At right is Tulare’s Dominique Dorsey playing in the mid-2000s in the Canadian Football League. 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 have a player who just scored his first career TD in the NFL and five years ago caught 18 passes for 365 yards and five TDs. Plus, we have details on a player from 10 years ago who carried the ball 71 times in one game and we have the amazing night in 2000 when Tulare’s Dominique Dorsey set both the state career touchdown record and the state career rushing record on the same play.


We hope you enjoy this free post on All of our annual preseason all-section, all-county and all-region football teams are being delayed in getting done until late November/mid-December at the earliest. Once done, all of those posts will be for Gold Club members only as well, but we’ll still have plenty of free content to check out. Not to mention, we’ve just put all of our football state records onto the site for Gold Club members. You can now join for one-month rate of just $3.99. For subscription info, CLICK HERE.

Michael Pittman Jr. is shown at the Honor Bowl in 2015 in Oceanside. Photo: Mark Tennis.

5 YEARS AGO (2015)
*Just this last weekend in the NFL, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. of the Baltimore Colts caught his first career touchdown pass. It came nearly five years to the day after he one of the most impressive pass-catching nights in California high school history. It came in crazy 61-40 loss to Bishop Amat of La Puente in te CIF Southern Section playoffs. Pittman Jr. had 18 catches for 356 yards and five touchdowns with one of the TDs from sophomore QB Matt Corral going for state-record tying 99 yards. Corral, now at Ole Miss in the SEC, finished 24 of 42 passing for 435 yards and four TDs. Bishop Amat’s victorious effort was led by running back Torreahno Sweet, who piled up 370 yards on 33 carries and reached the end zone three times.
*Folsom was still throwing the ball all over the place even though it was one year after Jake Browning had set all those records. The Bulldogs won on this weekend five years ago 49-21 over Franklin of Elk Grove in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs behind quarterback Jake Jeffrey, who passed for 435 yards and five touchdowns and did something the not many quarterbacks do — he caught a touchdown pass.
*In another SJS playoff game in which both teams ran up and down the field, Placer of Auburn stayed unbeaten with a 65-52 triumph over Patterson in the Division III bracket. Both teams entered the night at 11-0. Owen Scott paced the Hillmen as he rushed for 265 yards with three touchdowns and he returned a kickoff for a score. Patterson kept almost even, thanks to a huge night from quarterback Kevin Todd. He completed 29 of his 44 passing attempts for 440 yards and two TDs. Todd also rushed for a pair of scores.

10 YEARS AGO (2010)
*This season was in the playoffs in some sections for this week of 2010 while in others it marked the end of the regular season. One major headline came from senior running back Luis Soto from Saddleback of Santa Ana. He crushed a state record and nearly set a national record with 71 carries in his team’s 49-39 loss to Laguna Beach. Soto used those carries to rack up 484 yards and five touchdowns. Saddleback head coach Jim O’Connell told reporters that it was game in which Laguna Beach scored quickly while Saddleback marched with almost every play being a handoff to Soto.
*In that same Laguna Beach-Saddleback contest, the winning team had receiver Chris Paul. The namesake of the NBA superstar set an Orange County career record for receiving TDs with 42. He finished with nine catches for 204 yards and five TDs. QB Austin Paxson was 18 of 25 for 373 yards and six scores.
*Future NFL receiver Brandin Cooks from Lincoln of Stockton flashed his track speed by hauling in eight catches for 170 yards and three TDs as the Trojans got past Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills 37-35 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs. The last of Cooks’ catches brought Lincoln to the 1-yard line in the final seconds that was converted into a 1-yard TD with 14.2 seconds left. The game actually took two days to complete since it started on Friday but after the first half there was a power failure at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in Stockton. The game had to be resumed the next afternoon.
*Versatile senior Bryce McGovern from Monte Vista of Danville latched onto 13 catches for 241 yards receiving and three TDs in a 38-31 win by the Mustangs over their arch-rivals from San Ramon Valley. McGovern also had 35 yards rushing with another TD and he had two sacks playing defense. As a junior in 2009, Bryce led the nation with 2,063 receiving yards on 106 catches.

15 YEARS AGO (2005)
*Senior QB Abraham Muheize from El Cajon Valley broke his own CIF San Diego Section record for total offense yards in one game in his team’s 56-32 victory against Castle Park of Chula Vista in the CIF SD Section D2 quarterfinals. Muheize ended with 607 yards by himself on the night. He completed 18 o 25 passes for 436 yards and seven touchdowns in the air. On the ground, Abraham rushed 18 times for 171 yards. Earlier in the season, Muheize had 533 total yards against West Hills of Santee.
*There was a reason why college recruiters were so high on sophomore D.J. Shoemate from Servite of Anaheim. They all probably saw Shoemate’s outing when the Friars topped Long Beach Poly 28-20 in the CIF Southern Section D1 quarterfinals. Going against Poly’s secondary, Shoemate caught scoring passes of 81, 59 and 15 yards. But he was just a impressive on defense. Playing as a rush end, Shoemate rang up three sacks. The last one was a strip-sack fumble that Servite recovered late in the fourth quarter to ice the win.
*Junior QB Chris Forcier from St. Augustine of San Diego joined Abraham Muheize as one of the state’s top stat stars. Forcier connected on 27 of 40 passes for 433 yards and five TDs in a 48-47 win over Valhalla of El Cajon in the SD Section D3 quarterfinals. The Saints were down 47-40 with the clock running down, but Forcier came through with a touchdown pass to Ron Christenson with no time left and then he hit on a game-winning two-point conversion pass to receiver Menelik Holt.

20 YEARS AGO (2000)
*We’ve had state career records fall for touchdowns and rushing yards before or since the 2000 season, but never have both been broken on the same play. That happened in a CIF Central Section Yosemite Division small schools playoff game in this season when Dominique Dorsey of Tulare scored on a 95-yard run to put the finishing touches on a 49-20 win over Foothill of Bakersfield. Dorsey ran for 299 yards on 27 carries in the game with two other TDs. He pushed his career TD total on the 95-yarder to 108, which broke the previous state record of 107 set in 1994 by Steve Wofford of Bakersfield. The career rushing total, meanwhile, went to 7,317 yards, and that also was broken on that same 95-yard play. The old mark of 7,257 had been set in 1991 by David Dotson from Valley View of Moreno Valley. “I knew I would get the record, but I didn’t expect that,” Dorsey told the Fresno Bee. “I thought it would come on a regular play or something. I guess if you’re going to break a record, this was the best way to do it, with a bang.”
*In one of the craziest CIF Southern Section playoff games in the last 20 years, Bosco Tech of Rosemead was able to get past Camp Kilpatrick of Malibu 57-54 in a Division XII contest from this season. Kilpatrick’s Jeremy Harstfield rushed for a single-season state best 470 yards and accounted for more than 600 yards of total offense. Bosco Tech had more of a three-headed monster with Giuseppi Consolida, Mike Sencion and Alfred Duran combining for 420 yards. The game came down to the foot of top-rated kicker Michael Garciaparra, the younger brother of Boston Red Sox star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. Michael booted a 47-yard field goal with just eight seconds left. Camp Kilpatrick is the juvenile detention school that had a football team in the 1990s to 2012 when the program was ended. Camp Kilpatrick’s team from 1990 was the loose basis for the 1993 movie Gridiron Gang starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

25 YEARS AGO (1995)
*Bouyed by the strength of a state record-tying 99-yard touchdown run, Damen Wheeler from Valley of Sacramento rushed for 278 yards on 30 carries and scored four times to lead the Vikings past Grant of Sacramento 30-16 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs. Valley also improved to 11-0 and was moved up to No. 7 in the state rankings.
*Anderson won the CIF Northern Section AAA crown with a 40-6 romp over Oroville on this week of 1995. The Cubs, who wrapped up a 12-0 season, were led by Ray Potillor’s 182 yards rushing on 13 carries. Head coach Bob Reid also pushed his career win total to 201 one week after becoming the 21st reported coach in state history to reach the 200 milestone.
*The CIF Northern Section AAAA finals also were held on this week and saw Enterprise of Redding end Chico Pleasant Valley’s three-year run of section titles with a 46-23 victory. Jeff Dennis had a memorable night for the Hornets as he rushed for 200 yards and four TDs on 15 carries and he added a fifth score on a 92-yard kickoff return.
*Junior quarterback Chris Czernek of Newbury Park also continued to put up big numbers. He hit on 22 of 39 passes for 385 yards and three TDs for the unbeaten Panthers in a 43-10 win over St. Francis of La Canada. Czernek had 3,591 yards through his first 11 games.

30 YEARS AGO (1990)
*Two of three players who landed in state record single-game lists for 1990 did it in losing efforts. One was running back John Harris from Centennial of Corona (which was just getting started as a school). He had 54 carries for 279 yards and two TDs in a 14-12 loss to Garey of Pomona. The other was quarterback Jeremy Jordan of Los Altos in the CIF Central Coast Section. Jordan passed for 482 yards in a 55-34 loss to Cupertino. One player who got into the book for a single-game total in a win was receiver Greg Siwek from Monta Vista of Cupertino. He caught five TD passes for the Matadors in a 48-7 rout of Santa Rosa Montgomery.

35 YEARS AGO (1985)
*Two future University of Colorado option-style quarterbacks led their high school teams to impressive wins. First, there was the late Sal Aunese of Vista. He accounted for 331 all-purpose yards in the Panthers’ 28-7 victory over Fallbrook. Aunese, who died in 1989 from inoperable stomach cancer, had 185 yards rushing on 10 carries, added 114 yards on three punt returns and had 29 yards passing. Second, there was Darian Hagan from Locke of Los Angeles. Just a sophomore in 1985, Hagan bolted for 260 yards on 17 carries and hit paydirt three times as the Saints trounced Franklin of Los Angeles 42-10. After Aunese got sick 1988, Hagan stepped into the starting role for the Buffaloes and in 1990 he led them to a national title.
*J.W. North of Riverside standout Robbie Washington had the most impressive single-game outing of the week in leading the Huskies past Moreno Valley 50-28. Washington rushed for 342 yards on 35 carries with three touchdowns, passed for 107 yards and one TD, added a 38-yard field goal, and he booted five PATs. He accounted for 478 of his team’s total offense of 524 yards.

40 YEARS AGO (1980)
*In a 31-7 victory by San Pasqual of Escondido over San Marcos, Mac McKeever of the Eagles tied a state record that still stands by blocking four punts. He returned one of them 18 yards for a touchdown. Incredibly in the same game, Mac recovered three fumbles. He is the son of former USC offensive lineman Mike McKeever, who was in a tragic car crash in his senior year of college that eventually took his life at age 27.
*Ponderosa of Shingle Springs had its longest win streak in the state stopped at 33 when the Bruins lost in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section 2A championship game 35-8 to Placer of Auburn. Placer instead was the team that ended with an 11-0 record. Cordova of Rancho Cordova extended its win streak to 33 games to take over in that department for the state lead. The Lancers won in the SJS 3A divisional playoffs 24-14 over Rio Americano of Sacramento. Junior RB Kevin Willhite ran for an 86-yard TD on his first carry to continue a streak of three straight games in which he scored on his first carry. He had TDs of 70 and 64 yards on his first carry in the two previous games.
*Senior QB Jeff Walsh from Oak Grove of San Jose threw for five TDs to give him 29 for year (one off the NorCal record at the time) as the Eagles rolled past Gilroy 50-7 in the CIF Central Coast Section playoffs. Walsh also went 20 of 28 for 269 yards. Terry White was Walsh’s top target with three TD catches and put his season total at 15 (which was tied for the state lead).

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

Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


    Latest News

    Insider Blog