Oceanside CA— The Oceanside High School Pirates and the El Camino Wildcats both advance to the Semi-Final rounds of their CIF San Diego Section Playoff brackets. Oceanside in the Open Division, with a convincing score of 38-0 over Carlsbad and El Camino, an 8 seed, in Division I with a gritty win on the road over the 2nd seed, Steele Canyon, 33-31.
It took three and a half quarters for Oceanside offense to shake off the rust from their bye week and mount a sustained scoring drive in the game against the eight seeded Carlsbad team.
The Pirates, the number 1 seed in the Open Bracket, were able to score early after getting excellent field position by recovering Carlsbad’s Brennan Doherty’s muffed punt at the Lancers 24 yard line. It took Oceanside 3 plays to score when Pirate senior, Josh Bernard took it in from 9 yards out with 9:29 left to play in the first quarter.
Oceanside scored again as time ran out in the half. Caleb Ramirez lined up for a 53 yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining in the half. The kick fell short but Carlsbad was called for “illegal participation”, having twelve men on the field and penalized 15 yards. Ramirez second attempt was good, this time from 32 yards out and Oceanside took a 10-0 lead into the locker room.
The Pirate defense helped setup the second Oceanside touchdown of the night when Malavai Taylor forced a fumble and Isaia Paopao recovered the ball, returning it 19 yards to the Carlsbad 12 yard line. From there, it was Paopao again on the receiving end of a Romero strike, PAT good 17-0 Oceanside with 1:58 left in the 3rd quarter.
Oceanside’s defense was tough all night, twice stopping the Lancers with goal-line stands and giving the offense opportunities by creating turnovers. Oceanside did mount a scoring drive in the middle of the fourth quarter going 80 yards in 10 plays capped with a four yard run up the middle by Johnny Arzola, 24-0, 5:28 left in the game.
Oceanside scored two more times in the final three minutes of the game including a big play by Pirate stand-out, Amadeo West when he stripped the ball from Carlsbad QB Jackson Whitteker. PJ Poumele recovered the loose ball and scrambled 34 yards for the score.
The Pirates will take on Mission Hills in a re-match of last years CIF Championship game which Oceanside lost 36-14. The Pirates beat Mission Hills earlier this year 42-16. Since that loss, Mission Hills has won 5 straight outscoring their opponents 245-57 including wins over previously unbeaten San Marcos, 55-13 and their playoff win over Eastlake 38-27 to advance to next weeks semi final game. Time TBA. Helix takes on Cathedral Catholic in the other Open Division semi final game.
El Camino continues on
El Camino advanced to the semi-final round of the Division I bracket playing inspired football on the road and upsetting the 2nd seed, Steele Canyon. The Wildcats dedicated the game to teammate D.J. Ingram who had been diagnosed with a rare form leukemia, earlier in the week. Ingram was hospitalized prior to El Camino’s playoff win over Valhalla, the week before, suffering from weakness and severe weight loss.
The Wildcats will take on the 6-5 Saints of St. Augustine High School. St. Augustine advanced with a 24-12 win over Vista last night.
Other local playoff action
La Costa Canyon continues to the semi-final round of the Division I CIF Football playoffs defeating Grossmont 47-28. They will play Madison next week with the winner taking on the winner of El Camino/St Augustine match-up.
San Marcos (10-1) advances with a win over Lincoln (6-6) 28-12 and will meet Rancho Bernardo (9-2) in the Division II semi-finals. Rancho Bernardo defeated Scripps Ranch 48-23 to advance.
Fallbrook fell to Granite Hills 38-7 in Division III playoff action, ending their season at 7-4.