Oceanside CA— The Oceanside Pirates advanced to the CIF State Division I title game after a 37-22 win over Edison High School in a rain-soaked semi-final match-up in Oceanside.
Oceanside (14-0) will take the Northern Division winner, Folsom (15-0) who beat Grant High School to advance 52-21. The state title game will be played in Carson next Friday at the StubHub Center.
The Edison Tiger team and fans made the 310 mile trip from Fresno in 8 and a half hours. A trip that usually takes 4 and a half hours was made longer by extensive flooding on Highway 99 near Delano. One of the buses broke down near the Grapevine and things didn’t get much better for them once they got to Oceanside.
The Pirates took the opening kick-off and drove 75 yards in eight plays ending with a 1 yard run for the score by Josh Bernard. The touchdown was set up by a third and long pass from Romero to Paopao who was tackled just short of the end-zone, 7-0 Pirates with 9:14 left in the first quarter. “We were prepared for Oceanside to strike quickly and they did” said Edison standout Tyler Horton after the game. Horton has several Division I scholarship offers.
Making matters worse for the Tigers, the team lost their defensive standout player A.J. Greeley early in the drive with a separated shoulder.
Horton would play a key role in the next series of events. Oceanside was forced to punt on their second possession with Horton deep to receive at the four yard-line. Tyler chose to return the punt but was hit immediately by Malavai Taylor pinning the Tigers deep in their own territory. The Pirates held and on fourth down, blocked the punt which went out of the back of the end-zone for a safety. 9-0. Oceanside.
Oceanside had a short field to work with, after the free kick, and on third and 19 from the Tigers 24 yard line, Romero hit John Grumbling in the left corner of the end-zone. Quickly, it was 16-0 Pirates with 38 seconds left in the first quarter.
Edison got on the board in the second quarter when Tiger QB Hunter Swearingen hit a wide open Kamron Lewis who went 39 yards untouched for the touchdown. The Tigers two point conversion failed, 16-6 Oceanside.
Bernard scored again on the Pirates next possession diving in from one yard out on fourth and inches, 23-6 Oceanside with 8:08 left in the first half.
The Edison Tigers made the mistake, again, of giving Oceanside a short field to work with. On fourth and long from their own 18, the Tigers went with a fake punt and Hortons pass fell incomplete. Oceanside standout Tommy Woo re-injured his shoulder and would miss the rest of the game.
Oceanside took over at the 18 and it was Bernard again from two yards out giving the Pirates 30-6 lead at the half.
Sporadic rain showers in the first half turned into a steady flow of rain for much of the second half. A touchdown reception by John Grumbling made it 37-6 with 48 seconds left in the third quarter.
Edison scored twice on runs by Khai Williams and two point conversion passes by Swearingen leaving the final score of 37-22.
After the win, Coach John Carroll, who just had the stadium named for him on Monday, told his team that he wasn’t happy with the penalties. “That’s not Oceanside football.” said Carroll. Oceanside was called for several personal fouls during the game. A few Edison players were taking out their frustrations and as what usually happens in those circumstances, the player who retaliated is the one the referee sees.
After the admonishment, Carroll told the team they were one of four elite teams in California.”You played a great first half of football and you did what we needed to in the second.”
Everyone contributed to the Oceanside win with outstanding play by Johnny Arzola, Josh Bernard, Matt Romero, John Grumbling, Malavai Taylor, Amadeo West to name a few. They will need the same effort, if not more next Friday when they take on the number 5 ranked team in the nation, the Folsom Bulldogs.
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Photos: Steve Marcotte/OsideNews
MaxPreps Video of the Folsom win on Friday