Tesoro High football coach Matt Poston returned to his alma mater of Huntington Beach High on Friday night.
Poston played lineman at the school before graduating in 1993. He said he has been back to the campus three times to coach, once against the Oilers and now twice against Edison.
Before his Titans played the Chargers in both teams’ season opener, he made sure to tell his players some of the history of the school.
“It’s always cool to come back here,” Poston said. “Tesoro started in 2001, and [Huntington Beach High] has been here since 1906. I thought it would be cool for our kids to hear that. This is obviously a special place for me, personally, but that takes the back door to how excited I am for these guys.”
Poston’s players played inspired football, making sure their coach didn’t leave his alma mater a loser. Tesoro shut out Edison’s offense, earning a 17-6 victory.
The Titans built a 17-0 lead before Edison got on the scoreboard, albeit in spectacular fashion on Kaleo Helekahi’s 95-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter. But the Chargers could not get closer.
They were driving late in the fourth quarter. Faced with a fourth and six at the Tesoro 22, Edison coach Jeff Grady called timeout with 2:49 left in the game.
Senior quarterback Patrick Angelovic’s pass into the middle of the field was deflected and intercepted by Tesoro senior linebacker Payton Churchward, essentially ending Edison’s chances.
“Our defense really showed up tonight, there’s no doubt about that,” said Poston, who couldn’t really say the same last year when Edison rallied for a 48-47 win over Tesoro to open the season. “Getting a win against a great program like Edison to start the year, it’s an outstanding way for us to start. Our defense was really playing tonight. They were kind of flying around and all over it.”
Angelovic completed 11 of 26 passes for 141 yards. His favorite target was junior receiver Cole Koffer, who had five catches for 79 yards.
These are new names for Edison, but Tesoro, ranked No. 9 in CIF Southern Section Division 2, also had a new name at quarterback who impressed. Senior Kyle Looft had 240 yards passing and two touchdowns, one to receiver Ryan Romero and one to tight end Garrett Clapper.
Poston said Looft missed the entire season last year due to an ankle injury suffered in a car accident. He said he planned to rotate Looft and junior Sean Lindgren at quarterback on Friday night, but that never materialized.
“Sometimes as coaches, you’ve got to just not mess it up when things are going well, right?” Poston said. “We rode [Looft] and he did a good job.”
Senior Kobe Lopez served as Edison’s primary running back, with nine carries for 31 yards. Senior Isaiah Palmer provided the Chargers’ biggest play of the night, a 48-yard kickoff return that happened just after Tesoro had taken its 17-0 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
But the Chargers were unable to get a first down. Palmer’s fake punt went for seven yards when Edison needed 14, and the hosts turned it over on downs.
Edison’s best chance to score on offense came in the second quarter, when the Chargers had a first-and-goal situation at the Tesoro five-yard line.
An incomplete pass and a one-yard run brought up third down, when Angelovic kept the ball and was sacked at the six. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Tesoro after the play moved Edison closer, but a 20-yard field goal attempt was pushed wide right.
Edison returns to action Aug. 24, when the Chargers play at Westlake Village Oaks Christian (1-0), the No. 5-ranked team in the state by MaxPreps.com.
“We’ve just got to grind, honestly,” Edison senior linebacker Cameron Eden said. “We’ve just got to get in the weight room, get bigger, stronger. Especially me, I need to get more conditioned. I was gassed. But I think we’re ready to move on.”
Tesoro 17, Edison 6
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tesoro 7 – 3 – 7 – 0 — 17
Edison 0 – 0 – 6 – 0 — 6
T – Romero 6 pass from Looft (Rizkallah kick), 2:20.
T – Rizkallah 36 FG, :00.
T – Clapper 3 pass from Looft (Rizkallah kick), 7:15.
E – Helekahi 95 INT return (kick blocked), 2:26.
T – Gonzalez, 10-48.
E – Lopez, 9-31.
T – Looft, 23-40-1, 240, 2 TDs.
E – Angelovic, 11-26-1, 141.
T – Schafer, 8-111.