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Chris Brown sprints for the first El Camino touchdown of the night.

El Camino Homecoming Spoiled by Mission Hills, 35-20

Oceanside CA— For the second week in a row, the El Camino Wildcats found themselves in a hole early after fumbling the ball on their first possession and having it returned for a touchdown. It is one thing to do it against Fallbrook, who is having a down year and quite another to do it against the North County powerhouse, Mission Hills Grizzlies.

Mission Hills QB, Jack Tuttle gets past Sean Ward

Mission Hills QB, Jack Tuttle gets past Sean Ward. (click on image to enlarge photo)

After Adam Barraza picked up the loose ball and ran it back 22 yards for the score and just 29 seconds gone in the game, the two teams traded punts for the majority of the first quarter. El Camino was winning the field position battle pinning the Grizzlies back at their own 7. Mission Hills then proceeded to go 93 yards in 15 plays capped by a Jack Tuttle to Ian Fryday 12 yard TD reception giving the Grizzlies a 14-0 lead with 9:26 left in the first half.

El Camino finally got the ball moving late in the half but their drive stalled as time was running out and settled for a 27-yard field goal with 1.1 seconds left in the half, 14-3.

Christian Esqueda fielded the ensuing kickoff at the 3-yard line and ran, untouched, straight up the middle for 97 yards and a 21-3 lead to end the half.

Chris Brown would get the first Wildcat touchdown of the night on a 42-yard dash up the middle to pull within 11, 9:21 left in the third quarter. The Wildcats would add another three late in the third quarter to pull within 8 but that is as close as they would get. Samuel Dixon would seal the deal, for the Grizzlies, with a 45-yard touchdown run.

With the loss, El Camino falls to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in league. The Wildcats will travel to Carlsbad (1-7, 0-5) and take on a Lancer team that fell to Torrey Pines (6-2, 3-1), on the road 14-21. Luke Duerr’s 2 touchdowns including the game winner with 2:54 left in the game paced the Falcons in the win over the Lancers.— (David Willauer- contributing writer)

Mission Hills improves to 6-2, 4-0 in league and hosts Torrey Pines next Friday in San Marcos.

In other North County Games:

Oceanside (6-2, 2-2) was a winner at San Pasqual (4-4, 1-1) 39-12

La Costa Canyon (5-3, 3-1) defeated San Marcos 38-21. Backup QB Tanner Clark’s 26-yard touchdown pass to receiver Brett Pueschel and scored on a 13-yard run which helped  pace the Mavericks to a 38-21 win over the Knights. The Mavericks travel to Oceanside next Friday night to face the Pirates.— (David Willauer- contributing writer)

Vista (3-5, 2-3) fell at home to undefeated Poway (8-0, 4-0), 21-7.

RBV fell to 2-6, 1-1, after a loss in Ramona (4-4, 2-2), 49-7

Fallbrook (1-8, 0-3) was shutout by Valley Center (7-1, 1-0) 41-0