Huntington Beach football beats Marina, retains Victory Trophy
Prominently displayed atop a stool bearing resemblance to an oil derrick, the Victory Trophy sat on the Huntington Beach sideline before Thursday night’s kickoff.
After the game, it remained in its upright position, the Oilers snapping pictures with it inside their locker room after a convincing victory over crosstown rival Marina.
Huntington Beach scored in a multitude of ways en route to a 45-20 win, the fourth consecutive for the program in the Oil vs. Water rivalry game.
“The kids play hard, and they have great attitude, great effort and just get after it,” Huntington Beach coach Brett Brown said. “This game means something to them. We always talk about rivalry games. You’re going to grow up in Huntington Beach, you’re going to see these guys around town, and just to know that you beat them is kind of something special.”
Tyler Young scored on a 5-yard run to conclude an 11-play, 65-yard opening drive for Huntington Beach (3-2), which had a 22-8 advantage in offensive snaps taken at the end of the first quarter. Key left-side blocks were delivered by Justin Tauanuu and Nathan Chow.
The Oilers were knocking on the door when the second quarter began, but they settled for a 33-yard field goal from Mattheo Zavala. It wasn’t long before the floodgates opened, as Huntington Beach went on to score 25 points in the period.
Zack James stepped in front of a pass intended for running back Anthony Fabian near the Marina sideline, running it back for a 50-yard interception return.
Following a critical conversion on fourth down that resulted in a short-yardage score for Fabian, the Oilers answered on the next play from scrimmage. Freshman quarterback Brady Edmunds hit Hunter Gray in stride over the middle for a 50-yard touchdown.
On the Oilers’ final drive of the half, Edmunds put some air under the ball, allowing Musashi Ray to catch up to it in the end zone for a 41-yard score.
“It felt good,” Ray said of the long touchdown grab. “I saw the ball. It was a great ball, it was a beautiful ball. I tracked it down and just caught it.”
The beneficiary of a crushing tackle by Nate Flecken, Brandon Soleau picked up a fumble and returned it 61 yards to build on the Oilers’ halftime advantage.
“It’s great,” Soleau said of his defensive score. “It’s my first time ever, and I don’t want it to be my last.”
Ray added an 88-yard kick return to cap the scoring for the hosts. Micah Riola had an interception, and Cayden Quiroz recovered a fumble forced by Jacob Totah late.
“Our defense played their butts off,” Brown said. “We gave up some plays, had too many penalties that we have to fix, but it was kind of a bend-but-don’t-break [performance]. Had some great turnovers. I think we scored twice on defense and once on a kickoff return, so it’s pretty awesome. Our effort was great.”
Huntington Beach, which heads into a bye week, will begin its Sunset League slate at Newport Harbor on Sept. 29.
Fabian finished with 108 rushing yards and three total touchdowns, including a 9-yard connection from Garrett Hunnicutt in the second half. Shane Cassidy and Payton Ekstedt each eclipsed 60 receiving yards for Marina (2-3).
“We just can’t hurt ourselves,” Marina coach Charlie TeGantvoort said. “Turnovers are a killer. We’re great when we want to be, but we can also look really bad if we want to be. We just have to get consistency going and take care of the football a lot better.”
Part of the Big 4 League, the Vikings will not begin league play until they host Garden Grove on Oct. 13. Marina will forge forward with a nonleague home game against Aliso Niguel on Sept. 21.
Huntington Beach 45, Marina 20
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Marina 0 - 6 - 7 - 7 — 20
Huntington Beach 7 - 25 - 13 - 0 — 45
HB — Young 5 run (Zavala kick), 7:44.
HB — Zavala 33 FG, 11:47.
HB — James 50 interception return (Zavala kick), 9:50.
M — Fabian 4 run (Scolfield kick failed), 4:52.
HB — Gray 50 pass from Edmunds (Brown run), 4:35.
HB — Ray 41 pass from Edmunds (Zavala kick), 1:10.
HB — Soleau 61 fumble return (Kurtz kick), 6:44.
M — Fabian 9 pass from Hunnicutt (Scolfield kick), 1:49.
HB — Ray 88 kick return (Kurtz kick failed), 1:36.
M — Fabian 14 run (Scolfield kick), 9:39.
M — Fabian, 19-108, 2 TDs; Hunnicutt, 7-29.
HB — Young, 11-69, 1 TD.
M — Hunnicutt, 11-27-2, 171, 1 TD.
HB — Edmunds, 8-15-0, 157, 2 TDs.
M — Cassidy, 3-62; Ekstedt, 2-60; Fabian, 3-29, 1 TD.
HB — Gray, 2-63, 1 TD; Ray, 2-57, 1 TD.
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