Westminster senior Manuel Tapia was in the secondary last season when Ocean View scored on a last-minute touchdown pass to beat his team. This time Tapia turned the tables.
Tapia's 18-yard touchdown pass to Ralphie Flores with 50 seconds left gave Westminster a 19-14 victory over Ocean View Friday night at Huntington Beach High.
Last year's 7-6 loss came in a Golden West League finale; this time it was the opener, and Tapia said the victory felt like redemption.
"We just wanted to beat these guys really bad," he said. "And we did it."
Westminster (4-2, 1-0) did it the hard way, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after falling behind, 14-7.
Ocean View (2-4, 0-1) appeared to have a decent hold on what would have been its third victory in its last four league games when it led, 14-7, with 10 minutes 37 seconds remaining. Tight end Tim Wind got behind the Westminster secondary, caught a short pass from Jeff Taylor over the middle and scored on the 29-yard pass play.
However, Westminster scored quickly on the next possession. After Westminster moved from its 37 to the Ocean View 39, running back Sparky Kale took an inside handoff, cut outside in the secondary, broke a tackle at the five-yard line and scored.
Kale, who rushed for 177 yards in 21 carries, also scored Westminster's first touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.
Westminster's two-point conversion attempt was foiled when Rudy Rivera tackled Tapia in the backfield and Ocean View led, 14-13, with 8:33.
The teams exchanged punts, Westminster got the ball back at its 43-yard line with 3:19 left. Kale carried on four of the first six plays of the drive, gaining 36 yards as the Lions reached the 13 with 56 seconds left. A delay-of-game penalty moved the ball back to the 18. On third down and 12, Tapia found Flores open on a crossing pattern. Westminster's two-point attempt again failed.
Ocean View appeared to get the ball back deep in Westminster territory, but Jared DeLachica's 20-yard kickoff return was called back because of an illegal block. The Seahawks then fumbled and Westminster's Alfredo Rodriguez recovered.
Taylor scored the Seahawks' first touchdown on a 10-yard run in the first quarter.