Photos: Steve Marcotte / OsideNews
Oceanside CA- Oceanside High School claimed the city championship with a 37-13 win over cross-town rivals the El Camino Wildcats.
El Camino’s defense kept the game close, most of the night, but in the end the Pirates overwhelmed the Wildcats with their speed and talent. Oceanside struck first after a hard hit by Oceanside LB Josh Bernard caused Dreshon Epps to cough up the ball on their own 43 and the Pirates recovered. Oceanside drove down to the 2 yard line where Thai Cottrell punched it in, 7-0 Pirates with 5:49 left in the first quarter. It was three and out for the Wildcats, on their next possession, a long punt return by Jace Whittaker set up the Pirates for a 4 yard scamper by Thai Cottrell, 14-0. The Wildcats threatened late and drove deep into Oceanside territory thanks to a well-timed and executed fake punt for a first down. A big QB sack by Oceanside’s Isaac Dixon on Sergio Lopez and poor clock management by the Wildcats ended the threat, the score remained 14-0 at the half.
The Wildcats were able to get on the board early in the third quarter when Wildcat LB Michael Larwood intercepted Matt Romero and returned it to the Oceanside 2 yard line. Sergio Lopez scored from the 1 and it was a close game 14-7 with 7:47 left in the third quarter. The Pirates came right back with a 21 yard TD pass, Romero to Mikah Holder 21-7 and the Pirates never looked back.
El Camino did make it interesting when the Wildcats, Anthony Taele blocked a field goal attempt and returned it to the Pirates two yard line where Matt Romero, who was holding for the attempt, chased him down and made a touchdown saving tackle. Kory Reid, who was a workhorse for the Wildcats all night, ran it in from the two and pulled El Camino within 15 as the PAT was missed.
Thai Cottrell ran 24 times for 146 yards ran for three TD’s and one touchdown receiving. Matt Romero threw for two TD’s on the night. The Pirates enter the playoffs on a roll winning their last five games. El Camino scored the most points against the Oceanside defense since the Pirates loss at Mission Hills.