For the second straight week, the Huntington Beach Jr. Clinic Oilers have taken down an undefeated team.
Saturday at the Cerritos Sports Complex, Huntington handed the Cerritos Steelers their first defeat, winning the crucial Jr. All-American Football game, 19-12. The victory allowed the Jr. Clinic Oilers to keep their perfect record intact.
Huntington took the opening kickoff and went in for the game's first score on a touchdown run by Adien Eckenwiler. The Jr. Clinic Oilers took a 7-6 lead at halftime and took that narrow lead into the fourth quarter.
Nathan Skorhiem scored on quarterback sneak to up the score to 13-6, but the Steelers retaliated by returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. A stop by Huntington's Troy Fletcher on Cerritos' conversion run allowed the Jr. Clinic Oilers to hold on to a 13-12 advantage. Dominic Peseti scored on a short run late in the quarter to up the lead to 19-12.
Huntington closes out its regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday when they host the Woodcrest Generals at Huntington Beach High.
In other Jr. All-American action, Huntington Beach fell, 7-6, against Corona in a Pee Wee Division game.
Pop Warner Football
For the second year in a row, the Huntington Beach Pee Wee Green Chargers reached the semifinals of the Orange Empire Conference playoffs. The Green Chargers advanced by taking down the Saddleback Valley Wolverines, 17-6.
Sherman Thomas put Huntington on the scoreboard with an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown. A 50-yard scoring pass from quarterback Griffin O'Connor to Nick Warren, upped the lead to 14-0. The strong rushing attack of running of Dylan Alcantara, Karson Ayres, Cameron Gonzales and Dacorian Turner set up Huntington's final score, a 25-yard field goal by Chase Ault.
Led by the play of Shaun Colamonico and Aaron Jones, the Green Chargers defense shut down the Wolverines' strong passing game.
Huntington plays the undefeated Santa Margarita Red Titans in a conference semifinal game at 3 p.m. Saturday at La Mirada High.
Mighty Mite Division
Tustin 26, Huntington Beach 20: The Mighty Mite Green Chargers played their best game of the season Saturday against the highly- regarded Tustin Black Cobras. Unfortunately for the Chargers, the game was three seconds too long.
The host Cobras scored on a fourth-and goal from the five-yard-line with just three seconds left to pull out a dramatic 26-20 victory at Foothill High.
The Chargers had rallied from a 19-6 fourth-quarter deficit to go up, 20-19, on a 44-yard touchdown run midway through the quarter by Christopher Soto. His third touchdown of the game was set up by a fumble recovery by Shane Dzwilewski.
After the kickoff, the Cobras still had 3:44 remaining to move the ball 54 yards. They faced fourth-and-three from the Chargers' 47-yard-line and gained seven yards on a run for a first down. The Cobras faced another fourth-down situation from the Chargers' 37 with 1:29 left in the game. They threw a pass that appeared to have been intercepted by the Chargers' Ryan Karns at the 25-yard-line. Karns ripped the ball from the grasp of the Cobras receiver and the referees gave possession to the Chargers. But after the Chargers' offense ran onto the field, the referees conferred and ruled that there was simultaneous possession between Karns and the Cobras' receiver. The interception was overturned and the Cobras had new life at the Huntington 25-yard line.
With no timeouts remaining, Tustin completed a pass over the top of the Chargers' defense, but Mateo Lopez made a touchdown-saving tackle at the seven with 28 seconds left. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, the Cobras ran for two yards to get to the five, then spiked the ball again to stop the clock with 10 seconds left. On their final fourth-down play of the drive, they scored on a five-yard run to get the victory.
"It was our best game of the season, by far," Chargers Coach Dareld Karns said. "And it all came down to the last minute. It should have been a 'W' if not for the bad call. I'm proud of the kids. It was a hard-fought game. I feel bad for the boys to not get the win."
Soto gave the Chargers a 6-0 lead in the first quarter with a 51-yard touchdown run and went on to rush for 145 yards on 15 carries.
— Joe Haakenson
San Clemente 14, Huntington Beach 7: The Mighty Mite Gold Chargers put up a determined fight Saturday but dropped their regular-season finale to the Titans.
Huntington players wore pink during the game in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Stacy Davis, a representative for the Susan G. Komen Foundation was on hand for the game. Davis told the Huntington players that "wearing pink is not a girlie thing — it's a very manly thing."
For the last month, the Gold Chargers have been raising money for the foundation by selling pink mouth guards to the likes of the Marina High School freshman team, and other Huntington Beach Pop Warner Football teams. Their efforts resulted in their presentation of a check for more than $900 to Davis following Saturday's game. Davis said that every $125 raised funds a full mammogram. She thanked the team for its efforts.
Huntington Coach Paul Chalabian had a very personal reason for organizing this fundraising effort.
"My aunt fought and won against breast cancer, and I want to do whatever I can to help fight this disease," he said.
— Kristen Valenta