Los Angeles Times

High School Football: HB holds on to Victory Trophy

The Victory Trophy is staying put at Huntington Beach High, the place where it has resided the past four years.

Huntington made it five straight victories against Marina in this cross-city rivalry game Friday by rolling past the visiting Vikings, 50-12, in a Sunset League game at Cap Sheue Field. The Oilers rode a big second quarter, where they scored four quick touchdowns, to open up a commanding, 43-12 halftime lead.

After Huntington scored its seventh touchdown of the game less than two minutes into the second half, the game went to a running clock.

The Victory Trophy, sitting table side along the Huntington sideline throughout the game, was not going across field, or cross-town.

Marina last took home the trophy in 2008.

The Oilers and Vikings have played each other since 1965.

"It was all about big plays for us tonight," Huntington Coach Eric Lo said. "It was important that we come out and execute, and to show that we are an explosive team. We made some really nice plays on offense and defense, which was real nice to see.

"I thought our defense played really well with the exception of that first drive. We held them to two field goals after that."

The Oilers, who put their overall record at 4-4 and won their first Sunset League game to improve to 1-2, did display their explosiveness. Their scoring was fast and furious, and their quick bursts overwhelmed the Vikings (1-7, 0-3).

"We got off to a good start but as it's been throughout the season, we didn't finish strong," Marina Coach George Pascoe said. "We had some chances to get back in the game, but we couldn't."

In taking its 43-12 halftime lead, Huntington had five first-half scoring drives that took 1 minute 18 seconds, or less, with three taking less than 51 seconds, one of which was a 12-second strike.

The Oilers also took the second-half kickoff in for a quick score, a four-play, 1:17 drive that took the score to 50-12. With 10:43 still left in the third quarter, Pascoe and Lo agreed to a running clock for the remainder of the game.

Huntington receivers Maurice Barber and Nolan Thompson both made big plays on pass receptions, with Barber scoring twice and Thompson reaching the end zone once, in the opening half. Senior quarterback Kai Ross was on target throughout the night. Time and again, Ross found receivers over the middle for big gains and scores.

Barber, a senior, took in the first big scoring play for the Oilers. It came one play after Marina had taken a 6-0 lead.

The Vikings, who have lost six straight, took the opening kickoff and, starting from their own 19-yard line, needed only four plays to score. Senior quarterback Daylan Harmeyer started the drive with a nice, 24-yard gain on a keeper. Harmeyer would hit senior receiver Scott Phillips in the flat for a 25-yard gain down to the Huntington 25, and on the next play, he hit junior tight end Josh Gordon with a pass at the 15, and Gordon did the rest to complete a 25-yard scoring play.

Huntington blocked Landon Marshall's extra-point attempt, but Marina had a 6-0 lead only 1:21 into the game.

Then, Barber struck.

On Huntington's first play from scrimmage from, Ross, starting from his own 12, laid out a pass toward a streaking Barber who raced up the Huntington sideline. Barber ran under the ball to make the catch at the 45 and sprinted untouched to the end zone. Ross then ran in a two-point conversion and the Oilers had the lead for good at 8-6.

The Oilers used a trick play late in the first quarter to extend their lead to 15-6. On fourth-and-11 from the Marina 41, the Oilers went into punt formation. Chad James, the starting quarterback on Huntington's junior varsity team, took a short snap and threw to Barber who caught the ball at the 12 and went on to score his second touchdown of the quarter. The 41-yard scoring pass came with 54 seconds left in the quarter.

Marina narrowed its deficit to 15-9 with 51 seconds gone in the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Marshall. Again, Huntington responded immediately, this time, going 80 yards in three plays to score. All three plays went to sophomore running back Hunter Simmons who started the drive with a 20-yard gain straight up the middle, and finished it with a 59-yard touchdown run. Simmons eluded the grasp of defensive back Cooper Davies at the Marina 22, to go in for the score.

A high snap on a punt on Marina's next possession was recovered by Marshall, but Huntington was in prime scoring position at the Marina 30 with 7:31 left in the half. Three plays later, Ross lofted a pass to the end zone which was caught by senior receiver Levi Ison to take the score to 29-9.

Marshall's second field goal of the game, this one from 44 yards out and which turned out to be the final points for Marina, made it 29-12 with 3:47 to go until halftime. That was enough time for Huntington to strike twice more.

First, junior running back Travis Heer scored standing up on a two-yard run. Heer began the scoring march, which began at the Huntington 20, with a 30-yard run on first down. A 40-yard pass play from Ross to senior tight end Connor Kotchnik took the ball to the Marina 14, and then Ross hit Thompson on a 12-yard slant pass to place the ball at the two.

The Oilers got the ball back with just under two minutes to go, and needed only 12 seconds to get on the scoreboard again. Ross threw to Thompson at the Huntington 45, and then Thompson did the rest. The junior went high to make the reception and then got between two defenders and took off toward the end zone to complete a 70-yard scoring play to make it 43-12.

Huntington nearly scored again in the waning seconds of the half after Marina failed to get the necessary one yard needed on a fourth-down run from its own 18. The Oilers reached the three but time expired in the half.

"It was exciting to see what Maurice [Barber] and Nolan [Thompson] can do when they get the ball," Lo said. "They made some great plays in the first half. Kai [Ross] threw the ball well tonight and made some good decisions where to throw the football."

Huntington took the second-half kickoff in for the game's final score. Ross ran 30 yards on the right side to put the ball at midfield, then Simmons zig-zagged his way on a 38-yard run to the Marina eight. On first-and-goal, Ross avoided a heavy rush, scrambled to his left, set, and threw to the back of the end zone where Kotchnik went high to make the grab for the score.

The Oilers travel next Friday to Long Beach to take on fifth-ranked Los Alamitos (7-1, 2-1) at Veterans Stadium. The Griffins on Thursday upended Edison (5-3, 2-1), 16-10, at Cap Sheue Field.

Marina plays host to Newport Harbor at Cap Sheue Field next Friday. The Sailors (4-4, 2-1) handed Fountain Valley (6-2, 2-1) their first Sunset League loss, 42-25, Friday.

Four teams are currently tied for first place.

"This win tonight keeps us alive in the hunt for a [CIF] playoff berth," Lo said. "We have two, big league games left to play."

The Oilers close out their regular season Nov. 8 at home against Newport Harbor.

Huntington Beach (4-4, 1-2)

32...Bakersfield Christian...10

49…at Magnolia…14

31...at JSerra…49

17…Trabuco Hills…27



14…*Fountain Valley…19


Nov. 1: at *Los Alamitos (Veterans Stadium), 7 p.m.

Nov. 8: vs. *Newport Harbor, 7 p.m.

(*denotes Sunset League game)

Marina (1-7, 0-3)

19...El Rancho 49

33...Ocean View...14


7…San Juan Hills…51

7…Capistrano Valley…42

14…*Fountain Valley…40

7…Los Alamitos…54

12...*Huntington Beach...50

Nov. 1: *Newport Harbor (Huntington Beach High), 7 p.m.

Nov. 8: *Edison (Westminster High), 7 p.m.

(*denotes Sunset League game)

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