The wicked temptation is to assume the Chula Vista football team was the loser Saturday night.
Host Chula Vista stomped Mira Mesa, 35-6, in a 3-A quarterfinal playoff game to earn a date with top-ranked Morse next Friday in the semifinals.
"Well, I know we're going to be outmanned," Chula Vista Coach George Ohnesorgen said. "We'd have to play a perfect game to beat those guys. But if we have to go out, we'll go out against the No. 1 team."
The Spartans sent Mira Mesa (9-3) out with relative ease Saturday. Using a powerful running game sparked by running backs Steve Gomez and Neviett Richardson, Chula Vista (10-2) scored on three of its first four possessions to take control.
Gomez finished with 160 yards in 20 carries and four touchdowns. Richardson added 120 yards in 18 carries. Throughout the game, Gomez ran through wide gaps in the line and then trampled over anybody who got in his way. He made up his mind early on to avenge Chula Vista's 6-0 loss to Mira Mesa during the regular season.
"I knew at the beginning of the game they weren't going to bring me down," he said. "I was fired up."
And Mira Mesa's fire was extinguished in the first quarter when its top offensive threat, running back Wayne Pittman, left the game with an ankle sprain. Pittman was the county's third leading rusher during the regular season with 1,604 yards. He played three downs Saturday.
"Everybody kind of lost their spirit when I got hurt," he said. "I don't know why, because the game shouldn't revolve around one person."
Chula Vista took a 15-0 halftime lead on a 41-yard Gomez touchdown run, a 22-yard field goal by Rod Rodriguez and an eight-yard Gomez touchdown run after a 40-yard drive. Gomez had 107 of his game-high rushing totals by halftime.
Mira Mesa made a brief bid to get back into the game on their first possession of the third quarter, driving to Chula Vista's 32 before quarterback Mike Bovee's pass was intercepted at the 25 by linebacker Donnie Edwards and returned to the Mira Mesa 17. Gomez covered all 17 yards on a run up the middle for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead. From then on, the Spartans coasted.