It's Night of Awakening for Huntington Beach

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It could be a false alarm, but Huntington Beach football Coach George Pascoe doesn't think so.

"Wake up Orange County," Pascoe said after the Oilers' 20-14 victory over Long Beach Wilson Friday night. "Here we come."

After sleepwalking through its first two games, the Huntington Beach offense woke up against Wilson, scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns and winning its first game of the season.

Jon Wimbish completed 14 of 24 passes for 249 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez in the fourth quarter as the Oilers (1-2) rallied from a 7-0 halftime deficit.

Gonzalez caught eight passes for 163 yards, but served as a decoy on one of the biggest plays of the game.

With the score tied, 14-14, Huntington Beach faced a fourth-and-nine situation at the Wilson 29-yard line with 4 minutes 59 seconds remaining in the game.

Instead of going to Gonzalez, Wimbish rolled out to his left, away from the tight end, and threw under heavy pressure to wide receiver Ryan Arakaki for a 12-yard gain and a first down.

Five plays later, running back Justin Flagg scored his second touchdown of the game, diving over from one-yard out.

"Jon was under a lot of pressure and made a great throw and Ryan made a great catch," Pascoe said. "Wilson had been keying on Tony, so we tried rolling away from him.

"Tony had a hell of a night, and Jon did a hell of a job getting the ball to him."

Corey Austin missed the extra-point kick, but Huntington Beach had a 20-14 lead with 2:42 left.

The Oilers' defense did the rest. Tackle Nick Ziegler sacked Brady Dunn for an eight-yard loss, and Austin intercepted Dunn on the next play and the Oilers ran out the clock.

Huntington Beach fell behind, 7-0, when Dunn threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Richie Ashley with 4:38 left in the second quarter.

The Oilers tied it, 7-7, with a 16-play, 80-yard drive highlighted by a 30-yard pass from Wimbish to Gonzalez and a two-yard touchdown run by Flagg with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.

Huntington Beach took a 14-7 lead with 9:16 left in the game when Wimbish found Gonzalez on the right side for the 54-yard touchdown.

But Wilson answered back on the second play of the ensuing possession when Dunn threw to a wide-open Ashley for a 64-yard touchdown. Geoff Prince's extra-point kick tied it, 14-14, with 8:16 left.

"We were hoping not to give up anything there," Pascoe said. "But we had a couple (defensive) guys collide and he got open."

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