SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in California ahead of the 2022 season. Here’s an inside look at the Vista Murrieta Broncos of the CIF Southern Section, the No. 41 team in our countdown.
VISTA MURRIETA TEAM PAGE | 2022 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
VISTA MURRIETA HEAD COACH
Eric Peterson, 5th season (30-10)
2021 AT A GLANCE
- League record: 4-1 tied for second in Southwestern League
- Beat Cajon 40-27 in the first round of the Division 2 Southern Section playoffs
- Lost to Sierra Canyon 48-23 in the second round of the Division 2 playoffs
All games are at 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise
*Vista Murrieta is now in the Big West – Upper League*
- Aug. 19 vs. Great Oak
- Aug. 26 @ Murrieta Mesa
- Sep. 2 vs. Tesoro
- Sep. 15 vs. Heritage (Menifee)
- Sep. 23 @ Rancho Cucamonga
- Sep. 29 @ Norco
- Oct. 7 vs. Chaparral
- Oct. 14 vs. Centennial
- Oct. 21 vs. Roosevelt
- Oct. 27 @ Murrieta Valley – 7:30pm
ALL-SOUTHWESTERN LEAGUE PLAYERS DEPARTED
- RB Gavin Galzote (Black Hills State)
- OL Jack D’Ambra (USD)
- LB AJ Poyer
- K Luke Matthews
- QB Brady Jones
- TE Jack Pedersen (UCLA)
- OL Josh Stovall (Cal)
- OL Suipi Faa’agi
- TE Ezekiel Festal
- LB Steven Arteaga
- DB Emilio Gutierrez
- DL Andrew Poyer
PLAYERS TO WATCH
WR Grant Wayne – Sr. – 6-2, 180 (Air Force commit)
2021 stats: 28 catches, 527 yards, 10 touchdowns
WR Ethan Echan – Sr. – 5-8, 160
2021 stats: 22 catches, 364 yards, 1 touchdown
WR Brody Guinn – Jr. – 6-2, 180
OL/DL Siupeli Tava – Jr. – 6-5, 320
LB Deshawn Brooks – Sr. – 6-0, 195
2021 stats: 77 tackles, 1 forced fumble
DL Caleb Poyer – Sr. – 6-3, 230
2021 stats: 57 tackles, 1 sack
DL Andrew Poyer – Jr. – 6-1, 260
2021 stats: 56 tackles, 1 sack
LB Stephen Acosta – Sr.
2021 stats: 48 tackles, 2 forced fumbles
DB Jarell Joiner – Sr. – 5-6, 130
2021 stats: 29 tackles, 2 interceptions
DL Darius Holmes – Sr.
2021 stats: 9 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble
REGULAR SEASON GAME OF THE YEAR
Vista Murrieta will finish up the regular season with a trip to nearby Murrieta Valley. The Nighthawks prevailed in last season’s contest with Vista Murrieta, winning 49-48, in a game that was tied after each of the first three quarters. Murrieta Valley went on to win the league title, finishing 5-0.
This season the leagues have realigned, but both Vista Murrieta and Murrieta Valley have remained paired together as they’ll both head into the Big West – Upper League. The Broncos are sure to have revenge on their mind as they try to get back on the winning side of the rivalry.
“Playing against buddies that you grew up with, there’s definitely a chip on your shoulder for bragging rights afterwards,” senior wide receiver Grant Wayne said.
The Broncos will need to take advantage of the early part of their schedule. They’ll play three of the first four games at home, taking on former league opponents Great Oak and Murrieta Mesa in the first two weeks of the season.
Vista Murrieta will need to be ready to go by their fifth game of the season that will send them to Rancho Cucamonga before visiting Norco in their league opener six days later.
MOST REALISTIC SCENARIO
It’s tough to envision the Broncos being able to claim the top spot in the Big West – Upper League this season with Corona Centennial in the league. If they can get their offense up to speed in the first half of the schedule, it would go a long way towards helping Vista Murrieta compete for a spot behind the Huskies, likely with Norco and Murrieta Valley.
“We also went out to Centennial and played Chino Hills, Bishop Amat and Centennial in a passing league. That was really good for us because the talent that those teams have is unreal. We always want to play the best and it really helped us preparing for this new league that we’re in.”
“Our team is really young this year so the older guys on the team are gonna have to show the way for them to continue on.”
— Senior wide receiver Grant Wayne