Nearly a year had passed since one of the most surprising results of the 2018 football season.
Last season, Ocean View High shocked Western on the road with a 38-point victory in the Pac 4 League finale, securing a share of the program’s first league title since 1989.
It was a memorable game for the Seahawks, and it was one that the Pioneers could not erase from their memory. Even after winning the CIF Southern Section Division 11 championship last season, many of the Pioneers’ returners had their minds race ahead to the rematch with Ocean View.
Western extended its winning streak to seven games, as the Pioneers shut out the host Seahawks 31-0 on Friday night in a Pac 4 League opener.
Isiah Del Toro threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns for Western, which is ranked No. 8 in Division 10. Caine Savage made seven catches for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Western, which is 7-1 overall, had won five consecutive games in shutout fashion before a 34-23 victory versus Lakewood Artesia last week. Pioneers coach Dan Davison said that his team may have been looking ahead to facing the Seahawks after Western committed seven turnovers in that game.
Even in the course of a long winning streak, the Pioneers recognized when they were not executing this time around.
“Last game, we knew we had a bad a game,” Savage, an Arizona State-bound wide receiver said. “We knew we had to come in as a unit and do what we got to do. Everyone does their job, and that’s the score up there, 31-0.”
Known for his speed, Savage displayed it on both sides of the ball. He sprinted off the left edge to block a 37-yard field goal attempt by Ethan Hilario on the Seahawks’ opening drive.
Western scored points on all four possessions that it had in the first half. After a delay of game penalty to start the Pioneers’ third drive, Savage took a bubble screen 85 yards to establish a 17-0 lead for Western at the 8:41 mark of the second quarter.
Twin brother Cassius Savage, a San Diego State commit, replicated the scoring play in the third quarter, as he made a catch behind the line of scrimmage and outran the defense for an 82-yard touchdown.
Asked what he remembered of last year’s blowout loss to Ocean View, Cassius Savage felt it was a humbling experience for his team.
“We got too big-headed,” he said. “We got out-coached and [out]-worked last year. We came in there, we were on a seven-game win streak, and we were pretty big-headed like, ‘We’re going to come in here and whoop them,’ and they punched us in the mouth and gave us what we needed.”
The addition of Robbie Sauvao, a transfer from Hawaii, has added another dimension for the Pioneers. The senior running back had nine carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Sauvao also had two sacks, while Adrian Montalvo and Danny Walters each had one. Bryce Jackson had 2½ tackles for a loss.
“It feels good to be back out here playing with this 11-man unit,” Jackson said. “We’re all a good team. We move as an umbrella. I love the way that we move and flow together. Every tackle that we make, we’re all trying to get to the ball.”
Having seen his team shut out the opposition in six of the past seven games, Davidson said he is impressed by the cohesiveness of his defensive unit.
“The most impressive thing is their attention to detail of wanting to become better, wanting to buy in, and wanting to believe in each other,” Davidson said. “I don’t think a good defensive team happens unless you have 11 guys that buy in and work together.”
Braden Crabtree threw for 112 yards for Ocean View, which fell to 5-3 overall. Brandon Alcaraz made seven catches for 56 yards, and Anthony Ramirez finished with 35 rushing yards.
The Seahawks got sacks on defense from Josh Roberts and Lucio Silva.
Seahawks coach Luis Nuñez told his team that it still controls its own destiny towards securing a playoff berth.
Ocean View will go on the road to face Godinez (1-7, 0-1 in league) on Oct. 25 at Santa Ana Valley High. The Seahawks then return home for the league finale against Laguna Beach on Nov. 1.
“Our kids played tough,” Nuñez said. “I can’t be mad at them. I just told them, ‘Short-term memory,’ and the last two games are going to be competitive. We’ll be in both games. Hopefully, we’ll win our last two and get in the playoffs at 7-3.”
Pac 4 League
Western 31, Ocean View 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Western 7 – 17 – 7 – 0 — 31
Ocean View 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
W – Sauvao 16 run (Ibanez kick), 7:41.
W – Ibanez 22 FG, 11:00.
W – Cai. Savage 85 pass from Del Toro (Ibanez kick), 8:41.
W – Sauvao 4 run (Ibanez kick), 1:40.
W – Cas. Savage 82 pass from Del Toro (Ibanez kick), 7:00.
W – Del Toro, 6-96.
OV – Ramirez, 12-35.
W – Del Toro, 11-16-0, 311, 2 TDs.
OV – B. Crabtree, 18-29-0, 112.
W – Cai. Savage, 7-173, 1 TD.
OV – Alcaraz, 7-56.
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