Kiyel Tyler (left) runs for yardage for Kaiser during the Cats’ game in the second round of the CIF playoffs on Nov. 12.  Donovan Price (right) accompanies him downfield.  (Contributed photo by Kevin N. Keith)

The 2021 fall football season ended on Nov. 12 for the teams from Kaiser and Summit, but the coaches can eagerly look forward to the likelihood of success next year.

That’s because both the Cats and the SkyHawks, who each made it to the second round of the CIF playoffs in their respective divisions, will have many talented players returning in 2022.

----- SUMMIT ended up with a 9-3 record after losing a 15-8 heartbreaker to Chino Hills in the Division 5 tournament.

The SkyHawks were trailing 7-0 late in the fourth quarter before quarterback Payton Clark completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tavita Tufaga. On the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, running back Sitani Mikaele surged into the end zone to give Summit an 8-7 lead.

However, Chino Hills cashed in a touchdown with 19 seconds left to escape with the win.

The good news for the SkyHawks is that Mikaele, who has been a standout on both offense and defense, is only a sophomore this year, as is Clark, who has thrown for more than 1,200 yards.

Among the many other underclassmen who contributed this season were receivers Jeremiah Beck and Tufaga (both juniors) and Aiden Hall (a sophomore).

Plus, several of the players who performed well for the defensive unit will also be coming back. The defense logged three shutouts during the season and held seven opponents under 10 points.

----- KAISER, meanwhile, struggled at times while having an extremely young team this year (particularly on defense), but the Cats showed steady improvement and they expect to make a lot more progress next year.

After starting the season with a 1-4 record, the Cats came back to claim victories in four of the next five contests. Then they suffered a 42-13 defeat at the hands of Northview in the second round of the Division 10 playoffs to finish with a 5-6 overall mark.

Kaiser was sparked by two sophomore running backs, Kiyel Tyler and Jonathan Marshall Jr., both of whom rushed for more than 900 yards.

The fierce rushing attack enabled the Cats to score at least 48 points on four occasions.

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