If talking football, and it just feels right with a chill in the air, they’re plenty of directions to look.
The local prep teams are revved and causing havoc at nearly every turn. A peek at the San Diego County Top 10 high school squads reveals that the majority of the squads are from North County.
Palomar College is a hoot to watch, too. It recently held its own against Fullerton College, the two-time defending state champion that now has a 26-game winning streak.
The Comets fell short, but quarterbacks Connor Curry and Shea Morales played at a level, health-permitting, that they will need to duplicate on Saturday night.
Fresh from battling the state’s No. 1-ranked team, Palomar gets No. 8 Mt. SAC at Escondido High’s Wilson Stadium.
“It’s a team that is about as physical and explosive as Fullerton,” Comets coach Joe Early said.
The game that is also being chatted up is what San Diego State did to Boise State. Playing on the Broncos’ funky blue turf and entering as a two-touchdown underdog, the Aztecs shocked mostly everyone last week with a 19-13 triumph.
The Aztecs (4-1, 1-0) did in the old-fashion way by securing the football and playing stingy defense. Coach Rocky Long’s charges surrendered but 229 yards, the fewest the Broncos had gained at home since 1998.
“We went into the game with the right mindset,” Long told XTRA 360. “Our players understood how good they were and how big of a battle it was going to be from start to finish.”
Not many rivals arrive in the land of potatoes and peel out with a victory. Long is now 2-1 at Boise State since 2000; others are 6-108.
“It’s because our guys go in there with the right attitude,” Long stressed. “Everyone else is ‘On my gosh we are playing Boise State on the blue turf.’ Some teams go up there and the mystique gets to them. It doesn’t get to us because our coaches do such a great job of recruiting great guys.”
That sets up Friday’s date with the Air Force, which will match its triple-option running game against Long’s pro-set rushing attack. The ball won’t be in the air much, and that’s fine with these teams.
If the Aztecs decide to get the pigskin elevated kicker John Baron III will oblige. The Escondido native is being mentioned as among the nation’s top kickers and after his third straight game, he was selected the Mountain West special teams player of the week. Baron had two more field goals, lifting his season mark to 10-of-11 and he’s perfect on eight extra points, while continuing to excel on kickoffs.
Air Force (2-3, 0-2) just demolished Navy so after the Aztecs departed Idaho they got busy.
“We worked on the triple option on the fight home as coaches,” Long said. ”I think it is the best offense even invented. It is a hard one to stop.”
But only if Air Force has possession.
“It would really be nice if we can control the ball and keep them off the field,” Long said. “The trick is we got to be able to stop the triple option or at least slow it down.”
Although local football — minus the NFL’s Chargers — is going full-speed ahead.
Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @jparis_sports