Ocean View High football coach Luis Nuñez broke into a sprint as he led his team into the halftime locker room.
The Seahawks could hardly believe what had transpired, as they rattled off 24 unanswered points in the second quarter. It amounted to an insurmountable lead that even one of the top offenses in Orange County could not overcome.
Noah Hickman had three passing touchdowns and two rushing scores, as the visiting Seahawks defeated Western 45-7 to claim a share of the Pac 4 League title, the school’s first since 1989, on Thursday night.
“First time in  years,” Nuñez said excitedly. “It’s just awesome. There are just so many emotions going through my head. When I took this job seven years ago, there were a lot of people that told me I would never win here. ‘You will never win at Ocean View.’
“I hope the city is taking notice that we play football in Huntington Beach, too.”
Ocean View (9-1, 2-1 in league) will share the league title with Western (8-2, 2-1) and Laguna Beach (8-2, 2-1). The Breakers defeated Godinez 45-7 in their league finale.
For the Pioneers, it is their first league championship since 2008.
Ocean View drew the short end of the stick when it came to the coin flips, which determined that the Seahawks would receive the third seed out of the Pac 4 League. Western got the No. 1 seed and Laguna Beach the No. 2 seed.
The Seahawks did everything that they could to strengthen their case for an at-large selection into the CIF Southern Section Division 11 playoffs, blowing out the top-ranked Pioneers on the road.
The Seahawks, who are ranked fifth in Division 11, shut out Western in the first half, which was perhaps the game’s biggest surprise. Western senior quarterback Anthony Munoz came in having thrown 45 touchdowns through nine games.
“We kind of switched it up with our grizzly [strong safety],” Seahawks safety Kermel Anwell said. “We wanted to add a faster grizzly, which was Raelen Bruce. He really helped us out with that because he was shutting down all of those outside plays and everything.
“I was playing deep the whole time. Coach was telling me to stay deep. ‘Do not look at the quarterback.’ Naeco Logan, too, helping out on defense, making sure they don’t get any yards on us.”
Uncharacteristic drops from Munoz’s receivers, as well as good ball pursuit by the Seahawks’ secondary, helped Ocean View keep the Pioneers off the board. Defensive backs Will Earthman, Hunter Arce, Bruce and Logan stood out for the Seahawks.
Ocean View opened the scoring on its second drive. Hickman converted a third-and-15 with a deep pass to Brandon Alcaraz that went for 53 yards. Two plays later, Hickman took the ball up the middle on a designed run for a 20-yard touchdown.
From there, the Seahawks played keep away, thanks to four turnovers by the Pioneers in the second quarter. Ocean View led 14-0 when Earthman ran under a deep pass from Hickman for a 48-yard touchdown.
Then Jobe Belles recovered the first of back-to-back fumbles on pooch kicks. The Seahawks turned the first into a 26-yard field goal by AJ Stead.
Bruce recovered the second fumble, which led to an 11-yard rushing touchdown by Hickman to give Ocean View a 24-0 lead with 2:16 left in the second quarter.
Western finally fair caught a kickoff, but the possession lasted just one play, as Jake Kurucz intercepted Munoz off a deflection. Ocean View’s suddenly big-play offense struck again, as Anwell brought in a 30-yard score to go up 31-0.
“In big games, coaches always say, ‘You’ve got to win the turnover battle,’ ” said Nuñez, whose team also stopped Western on four of its five fourth-down plays. “It’s part of the games. We caught breaks, and we took advantage.
“That’s all football is about. We took advantage of their turnovers, and our kids did a great job. They were hungry.”
Ocean View had 185 rushing yards, led by Rodrigo Adame’s 94 yards on 10 carries. Hickman felt that the Seahawks ran the ball enough to make the Pioneers respect the run, allowing them to have success with passes down the field.
“They had to pick,” Hickman said. “They had to watch our run. Our running game was unstoppable really. Then they had to watch over the top.”
In the second half, Hickman added a 55-yard touchdown to Alcaraz on a third-and-19 play. Jonathan Gonzalez scored a short-yardage rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
When asked if he was more impressed with his team’s offense or defense, Nuñez had trouble making a decision.
“How do I pick?” said Nuñez, who saw Dillon Grunbaum, Jesus Ramirez, Josh Roberts, Erik Soriano and Arce record sacks for the Seahawks. “Our defense gave up seven points to a team that has been scoring 50 points a game.”
Pac 4 League
Ocean View 45, Western 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Ocean View 7 – 24 – 7 – 7 — 45
Western 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 — 7
OV – Hickman 20 run (Stead kick), 5:16.
OV – Earthman 48 pass Hickman (Stead kick), 9:30.
OV – Stead 26 FG, 5:52.
OV – Hickman 11 run (Stead kick), 2:16.
OV – Anwell 30 pass Hickman (Stead kick), 1:20.
OV – Alcaraz 55 pass Hickman (Stead kick), 7:07.
W – Mendoza 6 pass Munoz (Palacios), 5:03.
OV – Gonzalez 1 run (Stead kick), 5:11.
OV – Adame, 10-94.
W – Munoz, 8-34.
OV – Hickman, 8-11-0, 207, 3 TDs.
W – Munoz, 18-39-2, 162, 1 TD.
OV – Alcaraz, 3-116, 1 TD.