Calhoun Countdown: Tustin-Foothill our favorite rivalry


This week the Calhoun Countdown spotlight is on …. Tustin vs. Foothill.

There are several good rivalries across the county, but for the staff here in the Calhoun Countdown office (myself), my favorite is Tustin vs. Foothill.

According to MapQuest (and you can always trust MapQuest), the schools are separated by approximately 3 miles.

The teams share the same stadium, Tustin High.

The players know each other.

The coaches know each other.

“Foothill is our rival,” Tustin coach Winter Welz said. “Our kids get up for it, and their kids get up for it. There isn’t a whole lot you have to say this week. Both teams understand what’s going on.”

Welz is a former player in this rivalry; he attended Tustin.

His two appearances in the series, which Foothill leads 27-23-2, entering this season, ended in two defeats. He graduated in 2003.

“When I played, I don’t think we cared as much about the game,” he said. “Back then, the first couple of weeks of the season, we were just getting into form. In those days, we only ran and lifted weights in the summer. We had our minds on the end prize and thinking about a CIF championship.

“Now, you’re doing seven-on-seven in January, and since you start earlier now, this game has almost taken on championship-game mentality to start the season.”

The teams play for the Gauntlet Trophy.

Foothill beat Tustin, 34-9, in 2013, but the Tillers won last season, 21-9.

Tustin cruised in its season opener, defeating Dana Hills, 74-14. The Tillers scored 33 points in the first quarter and the starters were pulled in the second.

Things are expected to be much tougher this week.

“Foothill is always a tough test,” Welz said. “We know (Doug) Case always plays good run defense. It is going to be a great game.”

Keep an eye out for:

Tyler Noble, Tustin: Noble scored five touchdowns last week against Dana Hills.

Chris Yaghi, Foothill: Yaghi was the Crestview League MVP n 2014 and will be trying to disrupt everything the Tillers do Friday.

Here is the rest of the Calhoun Countdown:

My vote in this week’s O.C. Top 10

Here is how I voted this week in the OCVarsity Top 10 poll: 1. Mater Dei; 2. Mission Viejo; 3. Santa Margarita; 4. Tesoro; 5. Orange Lutheran; 6. Los Alamitos; 7. La Habra; 8. JSerra; 9. San Juan Hills; 10. Servite

Mulipola is ready to roll

Buena Park senior linebacker Andrew Mulipola (6-0, 211) was a last-second addition to my top 10 linebackers to watch this season. (Yes, you can blame me if you didn’t like the rankings).

Mulipola looks to be a good addition.

He had 16 tackles and forced one fumble in last week’s season-opening victory over Orange.

Levon!!! Get the tables …

I mean yards. Brethren Christian junior running back Levon Lester touched the ball twice last week in the season opener against Riverside Prep. Both times he ended up in the end zone.

So that’s two carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

His yard per carry average is a ridiculous 53.5. Impressive.

The Real American Hero (for Week 0)

Patrick O’Brien, San Juan Hills. O’Brien completed 30 of 37 passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-20 upset victory over San Clemente.

The Countdown Showdown of the Week

Edison vs. Buena Park, Friday. This is a fun matchup. Can the Chargers contain the explosive Coyotes’ offense? Buena Park put up 75 on the scoreboard last week!

Edison allowed 35 points to Tesoro.

The player to watch this week

Curtis Jackson, Irvine. Not just because he has the same name as our favorite rapper 50 Cent (OK, maybe a little), but Jackson is expected to be all over the field this season for the Vaqueros. Irvine opens the season Thursday against Esperanza.

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