Los Angeles Preps: Jon Ellinghouse

Westlake QB Moore earns All-CIF award

January, 18, 2012
The Westlake football team nearly pulled off a clean sweep of All-CIF Southern Section Northern Division selections.

Quarterback Justin Moore was the offensive player of the year and Jim Benkert was the coach of the year.

Defensive end Justin Solis shared the defensive player of the year award with Valencia linebacker Ryan Gorman.

Moore passed for 2,483 yards and 27 touchdowns in his junior season at Westlake. He also rushed for 1,099 and scored 13 touchdowns on the ground.

Solis led Westlake with 102 tackles and had seven sacks in his senior season. The Colorado-bound defensive lineman also had an interception.

Benkert led his team to the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship and played in the CIF Open Division state bowl game against Concord De La Salle at the Home Depot Center.

Gorman led Valencia in tackles with 96 and had three pass deflections and an interception in his senior season.

The Sierra Canyon football team had the East Valley Division offensive player, defensive player and coach of the year.

Quarterback Tyler Stewart was the offensive player of the year. Brian Tucker was the defensive player of the year. Jon Ellinghouse was the coach of the year.

Sierra Canyon won the East Valley Division championship and the CIF Division IV state bowl game over Le Grand.

Tyler Stewart chooses S.J. State

December, 21, 2011
Sierra Canyon quarterback Tyler Stewart, who led his team to a CIF State Division IV bowl game win over Le Grand, has committed to San Jose State.

Stewart threw for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns in his senior season at Sierra Canyon. He only had two interceptions in 222 pass attempts.

“He’s been thinking about it for some time,” Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse said. “It felt right for him. The program is going in the right direction.”

Stewart also rushed for 443 yards, an average of 6.9 yards per carry, and scored five rushing touchdowns.

San Jose State was 5-7 and 3-4 in the Western Athletic Conference in 2011. The Spartans ended the season with a 27-24 win over Fresno State. Ellinghouse said the San Jose State program will be a good fit Stewart.

“They’ll treat him well,” Ellinghouse said. He’ll fit in well.”

L.A. North: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
Westlake and Sierra Canyon reached the CIF State Bowl Games. The Trailblazers from Chatsworth rallied to beat Le Grand in the Division IV bowl game and capped an undefeated season.

The Warriors from Westlake lost to perennial powerhouse Concord De La Salle in the Open Division bowl game.

Despite the loss, Westlake remains the No. 1 team in the L.A. North top 10 rankings.

Here’s a look at the top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (14-1) – Concord De La Salle shut out Westlake, 35-0, in the Open Division bowl game. It was the only loss of the season for Westlake. The Warriors lose Colorado-bound defensive ends Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart and most of the offensive line to graduation, but the team will be in good hands. Quarterback Justin Moore and Dashon Hunt, who’s already committed to UCLA, are juniors.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (11-3) – Oaks Christian reached the Southern Section Northern Division championship for the second year in a row. That’s 2-for-2 since moving up to the Northern Division last year. Oaks Christian’s only three losses came against Bellevue from Washington in the first week and twice to Westlake. Record-breaking quarterback Brandon Dawkins is only a sophomore.
  3. (3) St. Bonaventure (10-3) – What a crazy season for St. Bonaventure. The Seraphs opened the season with a two-point win over Corona Centennial. They lost to Oaks Christian in a game in which the lights went out in at the stadium in the fourth quarter. They lost to Oaks Christian again in the semifinals of the Northern Division playoffs. Because of injuries, St. Bonaventure was able to show off a little freshman gem in Marcus Chambers at the end of the season. The running back rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown in two playoff games.
  4. (4) Sierra Canyon (15-0) – The Trailblazers grew up fast. They won their first CIF state bowl game in their short football history. Sierra Canyon only started playing 11-man football three years ago. The seniors on this team remember when Sierra Canyon was an eight-man team. Coach Jon Ellinghouse said after his team won the Division IV bowl game that he wanted to make Sierra Canyon a yearly bowl contender. He’s on the right track.
  5. (5) Chaminade (10-3) – The Eagles stumbled at the end of the season after posting some impressive wins early in the year. They lost to Gardena Serra and consequently loss the Mission League championship. They had two tough road games in the Western Division playoffs and ultimately lost to eventual champion Arroyo Grande. The good news is running back Terrell Newby is only a junior. He, his 2,117 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns are expected back for his senior season.

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Div. IV Bowl: Sierra Cyn vs. Le Grand

December, 14, 2011

Sierra Canyon hasn’t been playing 11-man football for very long. The Trailblazers haven’t been playing any kind of football for very long.

Three years ago, in 2009, Sierra Canyon started its first season in 11-man fooball. Thirty-four wins and a Southern Section East Valley Division championship later, Sierra Canyon is playing for a state championship against Le Grand in the CIF Division IV bowl game at the Home Depot Center on Friday.

Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse started the football program at Sierra Canyon with an eight-man team. He said he invited the challenge of building a program from scratch, but he did admit that making the jump from eight-man football to 11-man was more difficult than he anticipated.

“It’s very different,” Ellinghouse said. “I knew we were going to be 11-man. We were a good eight-man team. It all happened real quick.”

Sierra Canyon has become a good 11-man team in a short amount of time. The Trailblazers (14-0) completed an undefeated season and will have a chance to establish a reputation as one of the best small-school teams in the state.

Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart has thrown for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns and is completing 59 percent of his passes. He has only thrown two interceptions. His passing stats have been a little low the past two games. He only threw for 111 yards against Rim of the World on a freezing night in the semifinals. He threw for 131 yards and a touchdown in the East Valley Division championship game against Paraclete at Antelope Valley College.

Running backs Xavier Menifield and Danny Jordan have gone over the 1,000-yard mark this season. Menifield leads the team in rushing with 1,382 yards and 25 touchdowns. Jordan has 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. The two combined for 314 yards rushing and six touchdowns against Paraclete last week.

Preston White has become one of Sierra Canyon’s top receivers after Julian Brooks went down midseason with a foot injury. White has 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns.

Sierra Canyon and Le Grand (12-0) are very similar teams offensively. They both have strong-armed quarterbacks, a bruising running game and talented receivers who produce a ton of points.

Sierra Canyon is averaging 46.1 points per games and more than seven touchdowns per game. The Trailblazers didn’t cool off when the playoffs started either, averaging 45.7 points per game in the East Valley Division playoffs.

Le Grand is scoring at a 58.5-points-per-game clip this season. The Bulldogs should be well-rested for the game against Sierra Canyon, too. The won the CIF San-Joaquin Valley Division V championship three weeks ago.

Le Grand coach Rick Martinez said his players have spent the past three weeks fine-tuning their play on the offensive and defensive lines.

Receiver Zachary Moreno leads the team with 1,387 yards and has scored 21 touchdowns. He is being recruited by UCLA, Sacramento State, Fresno State and San Jose State, Martinez said. Moreno is also a basketball player, tall and fast, and a protypical receiver.

“He loves the weight room,” Martinez said. “A great receiver.”

Senior quarterback Alex Bucio has thrown for 2,344 yards and 40 touchdowns. Martinez said Bucio is a very coachable player and doesn’t know how good he can be. Bucio is a converted baseball player, a pitcher and shortstop, who is only in his third year of playing football.

Running back Daniel Guizar is a dominating player on both sides of the ball. He leads the team with 1,906 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns. He also plays outside linebacker and leads the team with eight sacks. On top of all that, he has returned three kicks for touchdowns.

“He epitomizes being a bulldog for us,” Martinez said.

Expect a lot of points and some big plays on offense in this game.

East Valley: Sierra Canyon 47, Paraclete 14

December, 10, 2011

LANCASTER -- Sierra Canyon rode the legs of Xavier Menifield to the Southern Section East Valley Division championship, an undefeated season and perhaps a berth in a CIF state bowl game.

Menifield scored five touchdowns and rushed for 161 yards in his team’s 47-14 win over Paraclete at Antelope Valley College on Saturday night.

He scored one of three touchdowns for Sierra Canyon in the third quarter and helped turn a tight, seven-point game into a 33-point blowout in the rematch of last year’s East Valley Division championship game.

“It was a combination of things,” Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse said about his team's scoring surge in the third quarter. “It took us a little while to adjust. We had a couple of fumbles and I think we only ran six plays in the first quarter.”

Sierra Canyon (14-0) scored on big plays from its opening possession to its final touchdown. Menifield scored on a 61-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Tyler Stewart on the first play from scrimmage for Sierra Canyon.

Menifield scored the last touchdown for Sierra Canyon on a 44-yard run in the fourth quarter.

In between, Menifield scored on runs of 57 and 35 yards. He added a little five-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

A stunned Paraclete defense did little to stop the Sierra Canyon running attack. Menifield and teammate Danny Jordan combined for 273 yards on the ground. Jordan had 162 yards and scored a touchdown on an 84-yard run in the third quarter.

Menifield made the most of his chances. He was not much of a factor the last time Sierra Canyon played Paraclete (11-3) in November. He was knocked out of the game in the first quarter and was taken to a hospital because of concussion-like symptoms. He had onlytwo carries for three yards. Sierra Canyon won the game, 36-26, but had to rally in the second half to take the lead and pull away.

The East Valley Division championship game was a much different story. Menifield made his presence felt on his team’s first play of the game. He continually pounded through the Paraclete defense, breaking off big runs. His only catch of the game went for a 61-yard touchdown.

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Preview: Sierra Canyon vs. Paraclete

December, 8, 2011
Sierra Canyon football coach Jon Ellinghouse expects a physical game against Paraclete in the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division championship at Antelope Valley College on Saturday night.

Why shouldn’t he?

The last time Sierra Canyon and Paraclete played, one of Ellinghouse’s best offensive players ended up in the hospital with a concussion and Paraclete’s starting quarterback sat out most of the second half with a sprained ankle.

“I’m expecting them to come out with their best game ever,” Paraclete coach Norm Dahlia said. “We’re expecting them to hit us in the mouth.”

Sierra Canyon (13-0) hasn’t lost a game since last year’s East Valley Division championship to Paraclete, a loss that weighs heavily on Ellinghouse and quarterback Tyler Stewart.

Paraclete (11-2) won the East Valley Division title last year and haven’t lost since Nov. 5 to Sierra Canyon, 36-26.

Sierra Canyon running back Xavier Menifield, who leads the team with 1,229 yards and 26 touchdowns, was knocked out of the first game against Paraclete in the first quarter. He only had two carries for three yards and had to be taken to a hospital for having concussion-like symptoms.

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