Put down the name of sophomore quarterback Mikey Zele of Simi Valley Grace Brethren on the players to watch list for next season and beyond.
On a team known for running the ball, it was Zele’s running and passing that propelled the Lancers to a 26-14 upset of top-seeded Corona del Mar on Saturday night in the Southern Section Division 4 championship game at Royal High.
Zele guided the Lancers (12-2) on a 95-yard, nine-minute scoring drive in the third quarter. Lontrelle Diggs’ one-yard TD run gave Grace Brethren a 19-14 lead. Zele had a third-down scramble that picked up a first down and a fourth-down run to gain another first down. Then he scored on 19-yard run with 5:51 left as Grace Brethren’s offensive line began to wear down the Sea Kings.
Josh Henderson had a big game at linebacker for the Lancers and also gained 103 yards rushing. Stanley Taufoou had a touchdown run and was excellent on defense. Zele rushed for 76 yards.
Corona del Mar quarterback Ethan Garbers went past 4,000 yards passing for the season. He was 24 of 38 passing for 295 yards. He had a one-yard touchdown plunge and threw his 55th touchdown pass of the season to Mark Redman.
But Nate Bennett and Troy Hothan came up with fourth-quarter interceptions for Grace Brethren and Jay Toia contributed two sacks.
Grace Brethren won its second consecutive title after winning Division 8 last season.
West Covina South Hills 23, Oxnard 14: The Huskies (14-0) won the Division 6 championship. Juaquin Elliott had a 69-yard touchdown run.
Rialto Eisenhower 35, Palmdale Highland 18: After going 2-8 last season, Eisenhower (14-0) won the Division 10 title, its first since 1993. Joel Ayala scored three touchdowns.
Culver City 61, San Jacinto 21: Sophomore quarterback Zevi Eckhaus and senior receiver Kevin McGuire led the Centaurs (11-2) to the Division 7 championship. Eckhaus had four touchdown passes. McGuire had more than 200 yards receiving.
Upland 24, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde 13: Julian Dedman rushed for 152 yards and Evan Rowe threw a key third-quarter touchdown pass as the Highlanders won the Division 2 title. Justin Flowe had a huge game tackling at the linebacker position.