The offensive woes for the Huntington Beach High football team continued on Friday night in a rematch with reigning CIF Southern Section Division 11 champion Western.
Huntington Beach turned the ball over five times in a 14-0 loss at home to the Pioneers in nonleague play.
Senior tight end Christian Moore, a Kansas State commit, missed a second consecutive game to begin the season with an ankle injury. Oilers coach Brett Brown said he is considered day-to-day.
Huntington Beach beat Western 48-38 in the first leg of the home-and-home set last season, but the sequel carried a dramatically different tune.
The Oilers (0-2) committed three fumbles, including one on a kickoff that was recovered by Anthony Barbosa, who also had one of two interceptions secured by the Western defense in the second half.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” Brown said. “We’ve got to find a way to get out of it now if we plan on extending our season.
“We’re not good enough right now to beat ourselves and another team.”
Senior quarterback Brady Gardner completed just five of 11 passes for 38 yards, and he did not have a passing attempt in the first quarter.
Western (1-1), by contrast, played the role of the gambler, converting four times on fourth down in the game.
“We just have to do it together more,” Pioneers coach Dan Davidson said. “[We are] taking a few more chances, doing some stuff and trying to keep the ball away.”
Western continued to air it out to Caine Savage and Cassius Savage, bound for Arizona State and San Diego State, respectively.
The Oilers secondary held the Pioneers in check in the first half. Cassius Savage was targeted seven times in the first quarter alone, and the Oilers sent a double team his way when Isiah Del Toro targeted him in the end zone. Chase Quinn knocked the ball away with Brandon Ferrin also back in coverage.
Caine Savage got the Pioneers on the board in the second quarter. He made three catches for 33 yards in Huntington Beach territory on the drive, capping it with a four-yard grab near the right pylon to give Western a 6-0 lead.
After their third fourth-down conversion of the evening, the Pioneers were in position to add to the lead, but Quinn intercepted the ball in the end zone with 22 seconds left before halftime.
Nose guard Michael McCormick stood out for the Oilers defensive line. His sack to end the first quarter put the Pioneers in a third-and-16 hole that eventually resulted in a turnover on downs.
He also forced a fumble on Western’s opening drive that was recovered by Hideo Ray.
In the third quarter, Luke Adelman pinned the Pioneers deep with a punt that came to a stop at the Western three.
Undeterred, Del Toro led the Pioneers down the field. He picked up 48 yards on a scramble down the left sideline. Later, he connected with Caine Savage on a bubble screen for a 10-yard touchdown. Cassius Savage caught the two-point conversion, and Western extended its lead to 14-0.
Caine Savage said that Del Toro has stepped up to fill the “big shoes” of former Western quarterback Anthony Muñoz, the Offensive Player of the Year in Division 11 last season.
“We didn’t score on offense last week [against Pasadena Muir], and some people didn’t think that Isiah was going to be the guy to stay with,” Davidson said. “I believe in Isiah Del Toro. He’s not Anthony Muñoz, but he’s Isiah Del Toro. I just want Isiah Del Toro.”
With the Oilers trailing by two scores with five minutes to go, Huntington Beach had to go for a fourth down just across midfield. Gardner’s pass was tipped up in the air, and junior offensive lineman Kaden Kaminski made the catch. He earned a new set of downs with a 12-yard gain, the longest passing play of the night for the Oilers.
“Grab it and run,” Kaminski said of his thoughts when he caught the ball. “That’s all I can do. It was fourth down, and we needed a touchdown if we were going to stay in the game. That was just as good as one for me.
“That was probably the highlight of my high school career.”
Western 14, Huntington Beach 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Western 0 – 6 – 8 – 0 — 14
Huntington Beach 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
W – Cai. Savage 4 pass from Del Toro (Del Toro pass failed), 7:38.
W – Cai. Savage 10 pass from Del Toro (Cas. Savage from Del Toro), 4:49.
W – Del Toro, 18-81.
HB – Gardner, 11-47.
W – Del Toro, 22-36-1, 240, 2 TDs.
HB – Gardner, 5-11-2, 38.
W – Cai. Savage, 12-116, 2 TDs.
HB – Kaminski, 1-12.
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