K. Mennem 7:17 p.m., June 17
EL CAJON – Every win in the competitive Coastal League is significant, but for Christian beating Francis Parker on Saturday night was even more important. At Granite Hills High, Christian started fast and rolled to a 42-23 victory – its first win over Francis Parker in four seasons.
“It was definitely one of the biggest games of the year,” said Christian quarterback Shane Dillon. “Our seniors have never beaten Parker and this week we wanted to focus on making this the start of our run and the end of theirs.”
Both teams traded touchdowns on the first two drives of the game, and Christian (4-2, 1-0 Coastal) took a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter on a Dillon 23-yard screen pass to back Zane Coffman. Francis Parker (2-3-1, 0-1) fumbled on the next drive, and Christian quickly extended its lead to 14 points with a Dillon 5-yard pass to Kyle Harris early in the second quarter.
“We take pride in coming out and setting the tone,” Dillon said. “We wanted to show Parker that this year we were the people that were going to be bossing around and that was really big to us.”
Francis Parker cut Christian’s lead to 21-10 with a 39-yard Max Lee field goal with 1:38 left in the second quarter. With time at a premium, the Patriots worked the hurry-up offense to perfection by driving 70 yards in just more than a minute and taking a 28-10 lead on a Dillon’s second touchdown pass to Harris – a 26-yard completion that came off an adjustment at the line of scrimmage.
“We went and watched film with Coach Beezer and that was one of the things we talked about – how their corners were taking away the sidelines and the fades,” Dillon said. “I told Kyle if you see him jump just stay inside and it should be six. It was a big play – it sort of sucked the wind out of them.”
Francis Parker scored on the opening drive of the third quarter on a Gabe Harrington 42-yard touchdown pass to Ayman Mayberry, but Christian answered with an Owens 6-yard touchdown run and the Lancers didn’t get closer than three scores for the rest of the game. Owens added a third touchdown early in the fourth to give Christian a commanding 42-17 lead.
“We had them first week last year and we didn’t come out like the way we did this year,” Dillon said. “We came out with a lot more energy and we really took it to them.”
After going winless in Coastal League play last season, Christian started league play on the right note on Saturday night. The Patriots simply had too much offensive firepower for Francis Parker to keep up.
“Throughout my high school career we have really built up the playbook and this year has gotten more spread out,” Dillon said. “It gives a lot of teams trouble, having to prepare for so much.”
Francis Parker lost its first league opener since 2007 despite solid efforts from Harrington (245 yards passing, three touchdowns) and running back Jesse Brookins (145 yards rushing). The Lancers have surrendered at least 37 points in each of their three losses this season.
Pictured: Christian running back Curtis Hampton runs the ball outside