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Ocean View football pulls off 21-point comeback at Laguna Beach

Ocean View's Jonathan Gonzalez (17) escapes a tackle by Laguna Beach's Steven Gallegos in a Pac 4 League game on Friday.
Ocean View’s Jonathan Gonzalez (17) escapes a tackle by Laguna Beach defender Steven Gallegos in a Pac 4 League game on Friday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Since the formation of the Pac 4 League three years ago, the Ocean View High School football team has found a way to come up with signature, if not improbable, wins.

Another one of those outcomes favored the Seahawks in the league opener, as Ocean View scored all its points in the second half to earn a 28-21 victory at Laguna Beach on Friday night.

Ocean View (2-2, 1-0 in league), which trailed 21-0 at halftime, used big plays in the fourth quarter to flip the script. The Seahawks scored three touchdowns in the final period, ultimately taking the lead with under a minute remaining on a 40-yard flea-flicker from Michael Da Rosa to Connor Marsh.

“I feel that Ocean View has always been like the underdog, as I see [it], and everyone is kind of tired of it at this point,” said Da Rosa, a backup quarterback filling in for Hunter Arce. “I think we’re here to show them that we can compete and that we can win championships.”

The first season of Pac 4 League play, Ocean View stunned Western 45-7, one of two losses the Pioneers would take that year before going on to win the CIF Southern Section Division 11 championship in 2018.

In the season that followed, Ocean View denied Laguna Beach a playoff berth with a defensive stand in the final seconds of the game.

Laguna Beach receiver Evan Louch (7) catches a ball for a touchdown in the back of the end zone.
Laguna Beach receiver Evan Louch (7) catches a ball for a touchdown in the back of the end zone as Ocean View defender Anthony Ramirez (3) tries to break up the pass.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

This time, however, Laguna Beach (1-2, 0-1) was in total control. The Breakers opened the scoring on a spectacular catch by Evan Louch, who tapped his toes down in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown from Will Bingham to start the second quarter.

The Breakers would add one-yard rushing scores – from Bingham and Jackson Golden – to open their biggest lead of the game.

Laguna Beach coach John Shanahan was perplexed by the turn of events after the break. He took the blame for the loss, saying, “They dramatically outplayed us and outcoached me in the second half.”

Shanahan added that the line of scrimmage decides games. The Breakers rushed for 54 yards on eight plays in the second half, but 38 of those yards were gained on a single play by Golden, who finished with 86 rushing yards.

Ocean View ran for 336 yards in the contest. Jonathan Gonzalez led the Seahawks’ backfield with 146 rushing yards on 21 carries.

After tallying a fumble and three punts for its possessions in the first half, the Ocean View defense breathed some life into the team. A sack by Arce on the opening drive of the second half turned a goal-to-goal situation into a turnover on downs for the Breakers.

Ocean View's Connor Marsh (28) is hit hard by Laguna Beach defenders Nick Joseph and David Dworakowski, from left, Friday.
Ocean View’s Connor Marsh (28) is hit hard by Laguna Beach defenders Nick Joseph and David Dworakowski, from left, on Friday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Seahawks drove 74 yards on the ensuing possession, capping it off with a one-yard touchdown by Gonzalez.

Ocean View still trailed 21-7 entering the fourth quarter, and with a run-heavy offense, it needed to hit a big play to leave time on the clock. That play came in the form of an 80-yard rushing touchdown by Marsh.

“I got a good handoff, the blocks were amazing, and then once I got through the first two guys and I broke through into the secondary, it was just easy from there,” Marsh said.

The offensive line of Connor Knobbe, Joseph Espinoza, Jeffrey Garcia, Alexis Torres and Jason Cervantes helped three Seahawks have big nights on the ground, with Anthony Ramirez also finishing with 85 rushing yards.

Eric Torres also had two sacks and two more tackles for a loss for the Seahawks.

A key factor in the game then became the Ocean View secondary, ironically so after the defensive group had allowed seven pass plays of at least 20 yards. The Seahawks picked off Bingham on four of his last five pass attempts.

Marsh had the first, which immediately preceded the game-tying score on another trick play that resulted in a 41-yard touchdown from Da Rosa to Cash Schnekenburger with 5:16 remaining.

Including the first half, Ocean View had not scored in 10 quarters after being shut out by Marina and Katella the previous two games.

“We ran two flea-flickers for touchdowns,” Ocean View coach Luis Nunez said. “We put them in this week. We’re like, ‘Hey, we need a spark,’ and I never thought we’d run it twice for scores, but it worked.”

With the Breakers in the red zone, Arce made an interception at the Ocean View 5 to keep the score level at 21-21. The Seahawks fumbled away the possession.

Da Rosa came up with two interceptions of deep passes in the final minute, returning the first back into Laguna Beach territory before taking a deep shot of his own for the go-ahead score. His second sealed the win.

“We really battled the whole game with them,” Nunez said. “We came out slow, and credit to these kids, they answered the bell. I challenged them at halftime, and they woke up, and they played.”

With Godinez opting out of the coronavirus-shortened season, Ocean View will have a chance to win the Pac 4 League title outright next week when it takes on Westminster (0-3).

Laguna Beach's Jackson Golden (2) breaks into the Ocean View secondary for a big gain in football action on Friday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Pac 4 League

Ocean View 28, Laguna Beach 21

SCORE BY QUARTERS

OV 0 – 0 – 7 – 21 – 28

LB 0 – 21 – 0 – 0 – 21

FIRST QUARTER

None

SECOND QUARTER

LB – Louch 20 pass from Bingham (Richards kick failed), 11:47.

LB – Bingham 1 run (Louch pass from Bingham), 5:47.

LB – Golden 1 run (Richards kick), 3:44.

THIRD QUARTER

OV – Gonzalez 1 run (Barreto kick), 3:16.

FOURTH QUARTER

OV – Marsh 80 run (Barreto kick), 8:46.

OV – Schnekenburger 41 pass from Da Rosa (Barreto kick), 5:16.

OV – Marsh 40 pass from Da Rosa (Barreto kick), 0:40.

INDIVIDUAL RUSHING

OV – Gonzalez, 21-146, 1 TD.

LB – Golden, 14-86, 1 TD.

INDIVIDUAL PASSING

OV – Da Rosa, 2-6-0, 81, 2 TDs.

LB – Bingham, 14-33-4, 233, 1 TD.

INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING

OV – Schnekenburger, 1-41, 1 TD.

LB – Louch, 6-93.

::

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