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Football Championship: Centennial 26, Vista Murrieta 12

Vista Murrieta's high-powered offense gets shut down, unable to overcome two scoring runs by Tre Watson and two TD passes by Robert Webber.

Coley Candaele tries to get the most out of his Vista Murrieta players. Photo/Donal Pearce
Coley Candaele tries to get the most out of his Vista Murrieta players. Photo/Donal Pearce


The game of the night in the Southern Section playoffs featured two teams that have played each other for the championship the past four seasons and expected to engage in a shootout. Corona Centennial averages 58.8 points a game, Vista Murrieta 47.2. But the offensive fireworks that seemed imminent was undone by cold weather and stiff defense.

Second-seeded Centennial, for the second year in a row, won the Inland Division championship over top-seeded Vista Murrieta in a game that featured actual defense.

Who would have figured?

Score: Corona Centennial 26, Vista Murrieta 12

Key Stats: Tre Watson rushed 48 times for 304 yards and two touchdowns for Centennial. The Huskies defense shut down a Vista Murrieta team that had scored 57, 52 and 56 points in three playoff games, holding them to 247 yards of offense.

Pivotal Moment: Centennial had just taken a 14-3 lead late in the first quarter on Watson’s 11-yard scoring run, but Vista Murrieta answered with Kwesi Mashack’s 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. One problem. It was negated by a penalty. The Broncos eventually punted, and Centennial responded with a 98-yard drive to go up 20-3. Had Mashack's touchdown stood, it would have quieted Centennial's home crowd and taken back momentum. Instead, it was another setback in a night of setbacks.

Quotable: “We have come so far, it has been unbelievable,” said Centennial coach Matt Logan. “Each team has their battles and we certainly had ours, especially the way the defense responded after last week … and tonight they were absolutely phenomenal.”

Records: Centennial (12-2), Vista Murrieta (12-2)

Notes: This is Centennial’s fifth Inland Division title since 2007. … Watson scored on runs of 5 and 8 yards in the first quarter. … Robert Webber passed for two touchdowns, of 20 yards to Eric Locklin in the second quarter for a 20-3 lead, and 85 yards to Greyson Bankhead in the fourth for the game’s final margin. … Webber completed 13 of 23 for 207 yards. … Vista Murrieta’s scoring came on two field goals and a double pass against a defense that surrendered 56 points a week ago. … The field goals by Aaron Ruth were 30 and 45 yards. The first made it 7-3, the second 20-6. … Vista Murrieta scored at the end of the first half when Coltin Gerhart passed a lateral to Randy Beggs, who passed downfield to Darryl Denby for a 21-yard score. The PAT was blocked but Vista Murrieta pulled to within 20-12. … The Vista Murrieta offense, which had averaged 406 yards per game, couldn’t find the end zone in the second half. The Broncos gained only 247 yards in the game. … Gerhart finished 10 of 19 for 79 yards. He rushed 15 times for 28. … How improbable was it that this game would have only 38 points scored? Consider this: Centennial had gained a national record 946 yards in an 86-56-victory over Upland in the semifinals. Before that, the Huskies beat Etiwanda, 56-23, and Chaparral, 49-14. Vista Murrieta had beaten Los Osos, 57-14, Charter Oak, 52-7, and Norco, 56-19. The over/under could have been 100 points and no one would have flinched. … One or both of these two teams has been in the finals the past seven seasons. This was Vista Murrieta’s fifth consecutive appearance in the Inland Division title game, but the Broncos have only one victory. … The victory Friday was Centennial coach Matt Logan’s 185th (against 41 losses) in 17 seasons. ... Centennial is likely to be chosen to participate in next week's State Regional Game, either in Open or Division I.
joe scalero December 07, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Vista Murrieta only played two teams that had anything close to the talent they had. They went 0-2......Half of Vista's starters transferred in from other schools....a pop warner staff could of gone 12-2 with the talent they had, what a disappointment.....Let's stop the recruiting and let the loyal local kids play.
MurrietaMom4 December 07, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Half of vista's starters did not transfer into Vista. I think you are exaggerating a bit, and how many transfers does centennial have, being the powerhouse they are? Centennial has all the titles, yet vista still gets all the attention for some reason? Had that punt return for TD not been taken away due to a very bad call, I think the game would have went the other way and it would have been a momentum shift and a win for Vista. But I agree that we should not recruit players at any schools, and limit the amount of transfers somehow and let our local kids play. Because I am confident that it is not our transfer kids who are great football players it is Coach Candaele's excellent program that makes them great beginning as freshman through varsity. I wish we could prove that because all this transfer talk gets old. Why do you think people want to transfer in the first place? We also have the most supportive, spirited fans in the kids and parents that I've ever seen. We easily fill away games bleachers over the home team crowd. It is an awesome school to be a part of, I could understand why people would move here just to attend it. Not just for football, but for great teachers, a great sense of school spirit on campus, excellent classes and boundless opportunities available.. The parent involvement at this school is phenomenal as well. I could not be prouder to be a part of the Bronco Family!
joe scalero December 07, 2013 at 01:32 PM
There are 22 starters generally on a football team. Approximately half of the starters of Vista Murrieta's football team did not begin their freshman year at Vista. I do not want to list the young player's names, but it is easy to verify if you google the name and see where they began playing in high school. I also acknowledge that many of the top teams have several transfers as well, but Vista and Upland clearly have the most. I agree that it is tempting for athletes to want to come to a successful program such as Vista. However, I strongly believe that schools that have such a large number of transfers should be put in their own league with the likes of Mater Dei. That might encourage the coaching staff to not accept or to encourage so many transfers, and let the local kids represent their school and city.
MurrietaMom4 December 07, 2013 at 02:25 PM
I don't see that information anywhere after a search on several sites. I did however discover that the stars of the team Baker, Beggs, Denby the first three I looked up, all played as freshman at Vista. Of course we know about the new arrivals in Qb and others, but i would like to know to find out the actual number transferred in, to all schools. Ill look into it further. But I agree with less transfers as we have 100 kids on most teams starting 22! We should have 3 teams! :)
joe scalero December 07, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Jamal, please tell me you are not representative of the students that attend Vista Murrieta....
Jamal December 07, 2013 at 07:59 PM
No I'm not, I'm just an outsider, and think its wrong what your saying on how they recruit....kids want to go there...I wish we had a high school I could be proud of around me
Murrieta Mom December 07, 2013 at 09:12 PM
@MurrietaMom4 - " ...Baker, Beggs, Denby the first three I looked up, all played as freshman at Vista." Face it MM4, the key players are transfers. I'll give you Denby, he's from Murrieta and took second seat the last two years to transfers. However, Baker and Beggs are Temecula residents and have been since their freshman year. Gerhart (UofA), Meshack (UofA), Colton (Oklahoma), Cook, Howard, Williams, Basurto, Gempler, Walsh, Fisher, Davis, Hoyd, Johnson, Kahlil, Bambarger, and Vasquez, are ALL TRANSFERS. Makes me sick to see the school turn the either cheek to CIF rules that are self governing.
Murrieta Mom December 07, 2013 at 09:13 PM
TRANSFERS for victory = CLASS-LESS
joe scalero December 07, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Where did Cravens, last year's All American come from? Oh...Temecula Valley after his freshman year.. Murrieta Mom, you missed a couple, but listed most of them. I guess we can't count the transfer who is in prison for the rape charges.
Martin Henderson (Editor) December 07, 2013 at 09:33 PM
I shouldn't have to do this, but here's Jamal's comments without the words that violate Patch's terms of service. Don't use cuss words.: Hello (friends), so lets start by saying ,its not recruiting when kids come into the area and don't want to lose if they go to the other scrub schools....the other schools are a joke, they aren't on the same level as vista and won't ever be, so kids that play football are generally interested and have heard of vista.....vista is gonna play the kid that can play the best in that position, and the kid that can help win, vista isn't gonna play some scrub kid just because he is local, and the first loss to cathedral was hard, three starting offensive linemen went down in the first half of the previous game.....people had to learn a completely new position in 4 days of practice....pleez know what you're talking about before you talk...and pull your heads out of (the sand).
Kevin Uhl December 07, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Now that's funny....
joe scalero December 07, 2013 at 09:53 PM
Thank you for the PG version.
Murrieta Mom December 07, 2013 at 10:48 PM
An there's Ray Moore, Vista Athletic Director, making a pre-emptive strike, in the Press Enterprise, against parents who lie an say they live in the school district. Please! after traveling to areas outside Murrieta for team dinners you'd think one of the staff would shave the moral compass to cry foul?!?! Nope, Ray Moore places blame on the lying parents, but doesn't want to be held accountable to the self governing CIF rules.
Bobby December 08, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Stop your crying Vista Murietta wouldn't be nothing with out these guys. Murietta has nothing now they have football and you want to complain. You all don' think about how hard parents work to travel their kids to that school so you can talk about how good your team is. Coach Candaele tells everyone the same thing The best player plays period! It doesn't matter where your from.
joe scalero December 08, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Steve, I understand you are bored and I see your postings all over the Patch. But please actually read my posts. If a high school, any high school, has a large number of transfers, CIF should simply put them in a league against other schools with a similar number of transfers. I assume you are OK with fairness and equal competition.
MurrietaMom4 December 09, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Of course you can't Imagine that any kids would transfer to this school due to anything other than football? Meaning....here is a school that was voted most spirited in the nation two years in a row, has an outstanding reputation with parents as well as teenagers and has good test scores. This isn't hard to believe. Our family lived in Menifee and we decided to move out of the area to send our kids to the best high school we could find. I researched all the schools in Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee and we chose Vista Murrieta...so we bought a house within the boundaries so our kids could attend there over the next ten years plus. It had nothing to do with football at all. We weren't even aware that they had a good team. So if we up and moved our entire family, It isn't so crazy that people will ask to transfer. You want to give your kids the best education..you either move or transfer, if sports are their future, then you do the same. Makes sense to me. I am GUESSING Centennial has quite a few transfers as well, and what about St. John Bosco. a private school they get to pay to attend, how is that possible to play in leagues with schools like that and not be allowed to have any kids transferred in at other schools?
Murrieta Mom December 09, 2013 at 09:20 AM
BS ALERT! "I researched all the schools…..We weren't even aware that they had a good team." Come on MM4, there's nothing wrong with what you did. My issue is with those who break the rules and the school employees who turn the other cheek. Parents know it, coaches know it, school administrators know it, but all deny any wrong doing. On the contrary, awards and preference is given to those from outside the area. All in the pursuit of victory - CLASS-LESS.
joe scalero December 09, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Steve...involved is healthy..4081 posts is a bit scary (click on his name to see the # of his posts).....I have two children, two nieces, and a nephew that attend our 3 Murrieta schools...the point is simple, Vista has way too many transfers to stay in the current league. It isn't safe, and it isn't competitive. If you have a large percentage of out of the district players, you should be in a separate league. Otherwise, it's essentially an all star team playing regular high schools...This is from a very knowledgeable, unbiased source............me.
joe scalero December 10, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Steve, you can have the last post after this and then you can move on to your next 4100 posts....here is my post from two days ago: joe scalero December 08, 2013 at 05:58 PM Steve, I understand you are bored and I see your postings all over the Patch. But please actually read my posts. If a high school, any high school, has a large number of transfers, CIF should simply put them in a league against other schools with a similar number of transfers. I assume you are OK with fairness and equal competition. Note, it says any high school....

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