Los Angeles Preps: Cody Tuttle

Deayon dominates all-star game

January, 30, 2012

CARSON -- Donte Deayon entered Sunday's Prepstar California Classic All-Star Game at Home Depot Center as one of the many marquee names in attendance. The senior from Fontana Summit played well, of course, and proved much of the pregame hype was worthy.

The 5-foot-9, 160-plus pound defensive back gave opposing quarterbacks fits throughout. Deayon finished with a pair of timely interceptions -- the second pick was returned for a 78-yard touchdown -- to guide the South to a 38-20 victory over the North in a showdown pitting some of greater Los Angeles' premier players from the Southern Section against each other.

“This was my last high school football game, my goal to make some big plays and prove that I belong out there on the field with some of the best players right here in California,'' said Deayon, who earned most valuable player honors.

“I was feeling good because I worked hard during practice earlier in the week. Sometimes, you know when things are meant to be. For me, I knew it was on when I was warming up. I was confident. No one was going to stop me from handling my business.''

Trailing 17-0 in the second half, the North rallied behind Cody Tuttle. The 6-3, 225-pound senior receiver from Westlake, who is committed to Nevada, scored a pair of touchdowns, a 4-yarder and 14-yarder, to cut into what appeared to be an insurmountable lead for the South.

Any hopes of completing the improbable comeback, however, were ruined by Deayon late in the fourth quarter. The Boise State-bound playmaker stepped in front of a pass from Moorpark's Grant Rohach and took off down the sideline, nearly the length of the field, for the victory-securing score. Deayon's teammates, accordingly, mobbed him in the end zone afterward.

Jamal Williams, also from Summit, gained a game-high 55 yards on five carries for the South, which included a 3-yard touchdown run. His backfield counterpart, Hepseria Oak Hills' Marshaun Coprich, scored on a pair of short-yardage runs, a 2-yarder and a 3-yarder.

“They threw in my direction once, everyone saw how that turned out, and when they came at me the second time, I wanted to make them pay,'' Deayon said. “I jumped the route, snatched the ball and had open field in front of me. It was time to turn it up, take the ball to the house. I wasn't going to get caught from behind. My focus was on scoring a touchdown.''

With Deayon essentially occupying one whole side of the field, Rohach was forced to focus his efforts elsewhere. The strategy worked out well as the Iowa State commit completed 16-of-29 passes for 258 yards. Newhall Hart's Timothy White scored on an 80-yard touchdown catch.

For the North team, the highlights were few and far between otherwise. Deayon lived up to his advanced billing. And then some.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Open Div.: Westlake vs. De La Salle

December, 15, 2011
The Westlake football team will be a man down for the CIF State Open Division bowl game against Concord De La Salle at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

Kicker Alex Ball, who has 19 field goals and produces touchbacks on 93 percent of his kickoffs, has a torn ACL in his left leg and won’t be able to play. He broke the state record with 36 field goals in his career and is tied for second in the Southern Section record book with Kai Forbath of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame with 19 field goals in a single season.

Ball injured his leg in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship game against Oaks Christian on Friday night. The torn ACL is in his non-kicking leg, but he can’t plant his left foot to kick.

It takes away a dangerous weapon for Westlake (14-0) against one of the best teams in the country. De La Salle (12-1) is ranked No. 11 in the ESPNHS national poll.

Sophomore Jonathan Weilbacher took over the kicking duties for Ball in the Northern Division championship game and made five extra-points attempts. Ball was injured in the second quarter of the game covering a punt.

Weilbacher was a playoff call-up from the junior varsity team. While he filled in admirably for Ball on the extra-point attempts, Weilbacher does not have the leg to produce touchbacks or long field goals on a consistent basis.

“Hold on to your hats,” Westlake coach Jim Benkert said. “He’s a youngster. He’s going to learn and try to make it happen. He can do some of the things we need.”

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Northern: No. 1 Westlake 62, Thousand Oaks 0

December, 2, 2011

WESTLAKE VILLAGE -- This one was over before things started.

Justin Moore made sure of it. He left no doubt about the outcome.

The junior quarterback from Westlake did all of his damage in the first half of Friday's 62-0 victory over visiting Thousand Oaks in a Southern Section semifinal playoff game. Moore completed 7-of-10 of his passes for 98 yards and pair of touchdowns to go along with 53 yards rushing on five carries to help the Warriors advance to the Northern Division title game.

“This was a statement game for us. We're for real,'' Moore said.

Indeed the Warriors (13-0) are for real. And then some. They moved up to the top spot, No.1 overall in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 25 rankings this week and looked every bit the part. The Lancers (8-5) were over-matched from the opening kickoff until the final whistle.

“Are we surprised we won? No, I don't think so,'' Warriors coach Jim Benkert said. “Our kids came into the game focused. We knew what we had to do out on the field.''

The same could not be said about Thousand Oaks, which trailed 45-0 at the half. Things got so bad in the second half, the officials decided to use a running clock. The Warriors, in fact, pulled their starters in the third quarter and let them watch on the bench in the second half.

“This is our house, we weren't going to let Thousand Oaks come in here and think things were going to be easy,'' said the Warriors Dashon Hunt, also a junior and UCLA commit.

Apparently, a two-touchdown lead after the opening 12 minutes, was not enough. The Warriors rattled off four more scores and a field goal before halftime.

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Football: No. 14 Westlake

August, 24, 2011
With several standout players from last season off playing college football nowadays, Westlake hopes it can successfully reload, rather than rebuild. And initially, it appears as if the Warriors have some of the pieces of the puzzle in place to get the job done quickly.

Westlake figures to go as far as Justin Moore takes it this season. In the past, the junior quarterback was an attentive understudy to Nick Isham, a three-year starter before signing with Louisiana Tech. Moore's job won't be any easier following the departure of Nelson Spruce and Tavior Mowry, both of whom graduated after being integral parts in the program in the past.

Nevertheless, optimism remains high on campus. Westlake, after all, is used to dealing with a high turnover. Coach Jim Benkert and his boys have been down this road before.

Here is a closer look at the Warriors:

Team: Westlake

Coach: Jim Benkert, 23rd year.

2010 Record: 12-2, lost in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship game.

Returning starters: 12 total. Seven on offense. Five on defense.

Key players on offense: QB Justin Moore, WR Cody Tuttle.

Key players on defense: DL Justin Solis (Colorado commit), DB Dashon Hunt (UCLA commit), DL John Stuart, DL Shayne Henley, LB David Ortiz.

Difference maker: Moore, who takes over underneath center. It will be interesting to see how much information has been retained thus far and how he applies the things he has learned. One thing is certain: The 6-foot, 175-pounder is a playmaker. If Moore does not get things done with his arm, rest assured, the multifaceted underclassman will get things done with his feet.

Newcomers: WR Jake Rothschiller, LB Kyle Rothschiller.

Not to be missed: vs. Oaks Christian, Thursday Oct. 6. The Warriors will be revenge-minded in this Marmonte League showdown, especially after narrowly losing, 29-28, to the Lions in the Northern Division title game a season ago. When it comes to bulletin-board material, none is needed between these two crosstown rivals. Both know how much is at stake every time they meet.

Coach’s comment: “Here we go again, football time. We like the group we have here too, they all seem to know what is expected of them. These kids understand we don't have many easy games on our schedule. When we step out there on the field, we expect to be challenged most times. Our guys are not going to back down from anyone. We're ready to get things started.''

Final analysis: If the Warriors plan on duplicating their success from last year, plenty will depend on the play of Moore. Good thing for him is, the whole offensive line returns, more than likely a year stronger and wiser. On the defensive side of the ball, the unit also remains largely intact. That said, Westlake appears poised to make some noise again this season, from start to finish.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Northern Division: Westlake 37, St. Bonaventure 27

December, 3, 2010
WESTLAKE VILLAGE -- Revenge is sweet. And no one understands this better than the members of the Westlake High football team.

All signs pointed to the Warriors finishing up regular-season play with an undefeated record. Ventura St. Bonaventure, however, had other ideas and the Seraphs ended up playing the role of spoiler earlier this year with an unexpected victory over Westlake.

On Friday night, at long last, the Warriors earned a bit of redemption with a 37-27 victory over visiting St. Bonaventure in a Southern Section Northern Division semifinal playoff game.

"Oh yeah, we remember when they beat us, that was a tough loss, you don't get over something like that, it sticks with you for a while,'' Westlake senior Nick Isham said about the Seraphs' 32-31 double overtime victory over the host Warriors in a Marmonte League back in early November.

"We came into this game confident, there was no way we were going to let St. Bonaventure get the best of us again, at our place. We wanted this win and nothing was going to stop us from getting it. We got our revenge.''

With the victory over the Seraphs (11-2), the Warriors (12-1) advance to next week's title game against Westlake Village Oaks Christian, a 42-33 winner over Valencia in the other Northern Division semifinal.

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