Photos: Steve Marcotte / OsideNews
Oceanside CA– El Camino ended a three gaming losing streak in a nail biter,14-13, over Point Loma in the first round of CIF Division I playoffs. The win sets up a rematch of last years 2nd round playoff game against San Paqual. The Golden Eagles knocked the Wildcats out of the playoffs with a 20-16 win in 2012.
Point Loma entered the playoffs with a 5-5 record,averaging 205 yard rushing and 70 yards passing per game. The Wildcats were coming off a season where they did not win a single division game and a 4-6 record overall. Wildcat Head Coach Pulu Poumele decided it was time for a change and started Senior, Adam Baker over the younger Sergio Lopez at quarterback for the opening round. Baker, a star at linebacker for the Wildcats, saw some time at QB early in the season but Lopez took the bulk of the snaps from center most of the year. Poumele said he made the change because ” I didn’t like direction the offense was going and Baker, a Senior, is a proven leader.” Adam Baker did not let his coach down.
The Wildcats gave up a field-goal early and trailing 3-0, Baker hit Dreshawn Epps for a 62 yard touchdown, early in the second quarter giving El Camino a 7-3 lead. ” That play was the key to our win” said Baker, after the game, “We knew we could score.”
The lead was short lived as Dirk Lacy, who averages 9 points a game for the Pointers, returned the ensuing kick-off for a touchdown and Point Loma took a 10-7 lead into the half-time break.
The second half was a defensive battle with Adam Baker coming up big on both sides of the ball. With 4:21 remaining in the third quarter Baker hit Anthony Taele in the left corner of the end-zone giving the Wildcats a 14-10 lead. The ensuing squib kick was recovered by El Camino at the 43 yard-line but the offense was unable to take advantage. Pointer place-kicker Jaime Medina hit from 46 yards out to pull Point Loma within one early in the fourth quarter and threatened several more times. Baker forced a fumble to end one threat and the Wildcats made big first downs on offense to eat up the clock. However, the Pointers were not done. Pass interference was called Kameron Malauulu for his coverage of Aj Smith keeping alive a Pointer drive with time running out. The El Camino defense held on forcing Point Loma into a fourth down field-goal attempt from 50 plus that fell short with 31 seconds left on the clock and preserving the win.
“This was our defense’s night” said Coach Pulu Poumele, “Our defense was stellar tonight. Our offense did just enough to get us by but our defense did it for us.” Poumele told his team after the game that they made him “a very happy man tonight.” Poumele also told the team that they can do better, that they must do better next week. “I’m glad we have San Pasqual next week, said Adam Baker, “it’s revenge time”
El Camino Travels to San Pasqual next Friday night, kickoff at 7:00PM( Correction-the game is Thursday 11/21)