HUNTINGTON BEACH — The Huntington Beach Oilers blitzed visiting Westminster for three touchdowns in a five-minute span of the second quarter and rode a dominating first-half performance to an eventual, 31-7 victory in nonleague prep football action at Sheue Field.
Huntington led the entire way, turning a 3-0 first-quarter lead into a 24-0 halftime advantage thanks to the three quick scores.
The win was the third straight for the Oilers who improved to 3-1.Oiler students, alumni and fans left happy following the homecoming game triumph.
The Oilers' performance also pleased head coach Eric Lo.
"I thought we played well and made plays when we needed to," he said. "We had some big plays, like that slip screen and another fade that set up that touchdown run. On top of that, our defense played really well. We knew we'd be in a fight tonight and our guys responded well."
Max Talbert started the night's scoring by hitting a 48-yard field goal on the first offensive series of the game. Late in the first quarter, the Oilers defense set up the offense when cornerback Chris Ogilvie intercepted a Dominic Pendergrass pass at the Huntington 25. They then covered 75 yards to move out to a 10-0 lead, the big plays being Nolan Biegel's 26-yard run on an inside hand off on third-and-five to get down to the Westminster 32, two outstanding, one-handed grabs by Cameron Trentini of a pair of Michael Chislock passes, the last of which put the ball at the seven before Biegel capped the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run.
Huntington used a total of six plays on its next two drives to score twice more.
On its next series after Biegel's TD, the OIlers faced third-and-13 from the Westminster 49 when Chislock laid out a perfectly placed pass down the Huntington sideline to a wide-open Ramon Vargas at the 30. The speedy junior receiver, a Sea View League hurdles champion last year, took off for the end zone and outraced Lions' defensive back Tarik Rayford, shaking off a tackle attempt by Rayford at the 10, then sprinted the rest of the way. Talbert's conversion extended the lead to 17-0.
Huntington's defense stifled Westminster (0-4) on fourth down late in the half, and the Oilers took over on downs at their own 45 with 3:15 left until intermission. Chislock and Vargas hooked up on a 26-yard pass play on first down, junior running back Fisher Chavira darted and weaved his way for 23 yards to get to the six and then scored on the next play. Talbert's fourth kick of the half made it 24-0 at the break.
The second half was a matter of formality. The Oilers were never seriously challenged although Westminster did take the second half kickoff and reach the Huntington four-yard line. The drive fizzled when the Lions, once again, failed on fourth down, Pendergrass' pass falling incomplete in the end zone. The Oilers proceeded to methodically march 96 yards to score their final touchdown and Biegel, a junior running back, got his second score of the game on a tackle-breaking 35-yard run with 3:11 left in the third quarter.
Westminster scored its only touchdown on a 58-yard pass from Pendergrass to Carlos Torres with 9:05 remaining in the game.
Fisher and Biegel rushed for 91 and 77 yards, respectively and Chislock threw for 136 yards with a touchdown and interception.
In the past three games, the Huntington defense has given up just one touchdown.
"I think we are heading in the right direction," Lo said. "We are competing hard and were playing with some fire in our eyes. That's great to see."
The Oilers will be on the road the next three weeks, beginning next Friday when they close out their nonleague schedule against undefeated San Juan Hills at Tesoro High. After that, they open Sunset League play Oct. 15 at Newport Harbor, then face defending Sunset champ Edison on Oct. 22.
Marina 21, Aliso Niguel 13
Ocean View 44, Saddleback 6
Mater Dei 27, Edison 7
Brethren Christian 54, St. Anthony 31