The San Diego Section, Division II quarterfinals and this week’s Carl’s Jr. Playoff Game of the Week features Morse (7-4) against Santa Fe Christian (6-4). Santa Fe Christian had a bye last week, and that’s just what the doctor ordered after back-to-back losses against Orange Glen and Bishops. Morse has won three of its last four games, including a dominating 24-7 first-round playoff victory last week against Mira Mesa. The winner likely faces No. 1 seed Bishop’s in the semifinals on Nov. 22.
Here’s a look inside the matchup that kicks off Friday, November 15th at 7pm PT/10pm ET at Torrey Pines and can be seen on YurView California (check local listings) and streaming on yurview.com.
It might sound simplistic to say this, but the team that stops the run will win this game. But that’s going to be the case for two teams that love to run, run and run some more. Morse has rushed for 3,294 yards this season, including 7.2 yards a rush. The Tigers have rushed for 38 touchdowns and have four players that have run for more than 315 yards.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have been almost as explosive on the ground, rushing for 2,760 yards and 33 touchdowns. They have four rushers with more than 271 yards on the ground and two 600-plus yard backs.
Santa Fe Christian’s defense gives up 18.8 points a game, but that number is a little off because of the blowout loss to Bishop’s. Morse gives up 24.9 points a game but has allowed only 20 points in the last two weeks. Something’s going to have to give in this matchup, and it’ll likely come down to a mistake with handling the ball or a big play on special teams.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
RB/S JAYCOB HICKS 5-11/185 JUNIOR – MORSE
Hicks has stepped up when it’s mattered in November. In the win over Mira Mesa, Hicks rushed for 173 yards and two scores. The week before, Hicks rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout win over University City. With star Michael Cunningham sidelined, Hicks has become the go-to-back and his production has continued to ramp up. He’s also one of the Tigers’ most important defenders.
I got the vision 🥶 pic.twitter.com/Y27KZk6Fvg
— Jaycob Hicks (@Morsetigers6) November 4, 2019
LB FRANCISCO MARTINEZ 5-8/180 SENIOR – MORSE
Martinez is a tackle machine for Morse. He’s the team’s leading tackler with 79 on the season. He’s also racked up seven tackles for a loss and recovered two fumbles. His aggressive blitzing ability and nose for the football will be key in the Tigers’ efforts of stopping Santa Fe Christian’s run game.
ATH KIAN HOGAN 5-11/170 SENIOR – SANTA FE CHRISTIAN
A multi-sport star, Hogan has helped carry the load for the Eagles on the offensive side of the ball this season. He’s rushed for 624 yards this season, averaged 6.2 yards and scored nine touchdowns. He’s also become more of the focal point of Santa Fe Christian’s offense down the stretch with double-digit carries in four of the final five games of the season. While he’s not had a game where he’s rushed for more than 120 yards, his consistency week in and week out make him an important weapon for the Eagles.
RB/LB CADE ELLIS 6-1/190 SENIOR – SANTA FE CHRISTIAN
Ellis is another do-it-all star for the Eagles. On the offensive side of the ball, Ellis has rushed for 271 yards and scored three touchdowns. On defense, he’s the team’s leading tackler with 92 tackles, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. His run-stopping ability will be key against the Tigers’ tough ground game.
Watch the Carl’s Jr. Playoff Game of the Week: Morse vs. Santa Fe Christian – Friday, November 15th at 7pm PT/10pm ET on YurView California (Check local listings) and streaming on yurview.com.