WESTMINSTER — For all the critical mistakes, the missed opportunities, the Ocean View High Seahawks somehow managed to find a way to still be in Thursday night's crucial Golden West League football game against Segerstrom.
It's been the Seahawks' M.O. several times this season.
Trailing, 29-8, with 5:44 remaining at Westminster High's Boswell Field, Ocean View scored two quick touchdowns, recovered two onside kicks and had the ball with a chance to score again in the closing seconds, but only succumbed when a fourth-down pass was batted down inside the Segerstrom 10-yard line on the game's final play.
The visiting Jaguars withstood a furious and frantic final five minutes to hold on for a 29-22 victory to remain undefeated in league play.
Ocean View missed a chance to move into a share of the league lead with Segerstrom which now has a two-game lead on the Seahawks with one game left in the regular season.
Segerstrom's win earned the Jaguars (8-1 overall, 4-0 in league) no worse than a share of the Golden West championship.
The loss dropped Ocean View to 2-2 in league and 6-3 overall.
"Our kids have a habit of hanging in there and fighting back when we've been down," Ocean View Coach Harold Eggers said. "We've done that several times this year. The kids fought to the very end and you can't ask for more than that. It was turnovers, though, that really hurt us tonight."
The teams traded punches in the first half although Segerstrom had the upper hand at halftime with a 15-8 lead. The Jaguars went deep into Ocean View territory on their first two possessions of the second half only to see the Seahawks rise to the occasion and come up with two huge defensive stops. The first came on a goal-line stand when a host of Seahawks stuffed Segerstrom quarterback Max Padilla for no gain on a fourth-and-goal run from the one. The second came two minutes later when junior lineman Tyren Hudson intercepted a second-down pass by Padilla after the Jaguars had started their next drive at the Ocean View 22-yard line midway through the third quarter.
The Seahawks then mounted an 11-play drive that took them from their 22 down to the Segerstrom 11. But on second down from the seven, quarterback Nolan Tippy, who appeared to keep the ball after faking an inside hand off to junior running back Timmy Robinson, fumbled. Segerstrom's Ruben Martinez pounced on the loose ball at the nine to end the scoring threat.
Two plays later, running back Gary Ferman took an inside handoff and broke free at the line of scrimmage and motored 87 yards along the Ocean View sideline all the way to the end zone. Jose Arevalo's kick increased Segerstrom's lead to 22-8 with 1:03 left in the quarter.
Ferman, who entered the game with 1,055 yards and was Segerstrom's leading rusher, only had 27 yards on 11 carries before his touchdown burst.
Early in the fourth quarter, Ocean View was at the Segerstrom 40 when a Tippy pass intended for Connor McKenna was picked off by David Perkins at the 10-yard line. On the Seahawks' next possession, Tippy's second-down pass from the Segerstrom 44 was intercepted by Aaron Morales and returned to midfield. Eric Ramirez burned Ocean View on the very next play, finding himself wide open and taking in a Padilla pass at the 20 before strolling into the end zone. The 50-yard touchdown play and Arevalo's conversion made it 29-8 with 5:44 to play.
Tippy, who did throw for 328 yards, also was intercepted late in the first half when Ocean View was primed to tie the score heading into the half. He guided the Seahawks down to the Segerstrom 10 with 40 seconds left but linebacker Gabriel Roa stepped in front of a pass intended for Colton Johnson, and the Jaguars dodged their first bullet to ensure a 15-8 halftime lead.
"You just can't make mistakes like that against a team like Segerstrom," Eggers said. "You can't do that against that good a team. If we eliminate those mistakes in the red zone, then it could've been a different outcome."
Segerstrom seemingly had the game in hand ahead, 29-8, midway through the fourth quarter before Ocean View made its mad dash.
The Seahawks pulled to within 29-15 when Robinson scored on a one-yard run and Brian Hernandez's kick, with 1:21 to play. They then recovered Hernandez's onside kick to get the ball back and scored with 30 seconds left on a five-yard pass from Tippy to Robinson. Now down, 29-22, a second onside kick was recovered at the Segerstrom 42 by Dakota Baca. Tippy hit Hernandez in the flat and 13 yards later, the Seahawks were at the 29 with 20 seconds left. After an incomplete pass, the snap from center on second down was low and skipped past Tippy who managed to chase the loose ball down to make the recovery. The play resulted in a 25-yard loss back to the Ocean View 46.
On fourth down from the Segerstrom 47, Tippy's Hail Mary pass toward the end zone was batted down just inside the 10-yard line by Morales on the game's final play.
Segerstrom also had a turnover that cost the Jaguars a scoring opportunity on their first drive of the game. Ferman fumbled at the Ocean View 11 and Travis Sparks Jackson made the recovery for the Seahawks.
After Hernandez was wide left on a 45-yard field goal attempt, the Jaguars marched downfield on their second possession to score. Padilla did the honors on a one-yard quarterback sneak on the first play of the second quarter.
Late in the first half, Ocean View mounted a 76-yard scoring drive that was kept alive by two key third-down completions by Tippy. The first was a 16-yard completion to Johnson that put the ball at the Segerstrom 37. The second came three plays later when Tippy found Josh Clay wide open at the five and Clay, who had slipped past the Perkins, made the grab as he went into the end zone. The 35-yard scoring play, and Tippy's two-point pass to Hernandez, gave Ocean View its only lead of the game, 8-7, with 1:52 left in the half.
But the lead was short lived. Perkins made up for his defensive lapse on Clay's touchdown catch when he returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards on a tackle-breaking, tackle-shedding touchdown run in front of a delirious Segerstrom bench. The Jaguars also went for two and converted on a run by Robert Sevilla to take a 15-8 lead.
Ocean View ends league play and its regular season next Thursday against Santa Ana at Santa Ana Stadium. The Seahawks need a victory to stay in contetion for a CIF playoff berth.
Other Thursday games:
Newport Harbor 41, Marina 0