Huntington Beach and Ocean View had their postseason runs come to an end Friday in the quarterfinal round of the CIF Southern Section football playoffs.
The best season turned in by a Huntington Beach team in nearly two decades came to a close before at full house at Cap Sheue Field. The Oilers traded punches with second-ranked Mission Viejo in their Pac-5 Division game, but it was the visiting Diablos who were left standing after scoring a wild 41-31 victory. Huntington trailed, 31-10, after three quarters but scored 14 straight points early in the fourth quarter to pull within 34-24 with 8:11 left to play. The Oilers could get no closer.
Huntington, the No. 2 team from the Sunset League, finished 9-3 for its best showing since 1993. Mission Viejo (10-2) takes on Santa Margarita in the semifinals Friday.
Oilers Coach Eric Lo said two days before the big game that Mission Viejo would be the toughest opponent his team would face this year. After four quarters last Friday, nothing changed his mind.
"They're a very good, sound football team and the best we faced this year," he said. "But I was proud of our guys. We were right there with them.
"We competed very hard and never gave up. We fell behind but kept fighting and our guys gave it everything they possibly could. They left it all on the field and that's all we could ask for. We just never gave up."
The Oilers didn't. They could have after the Diablos took their biggest lead, 34-10, on a three-yard touchdown run by Buzzy Yokoyama with 13 seconds left in the third quarter. It was the third touchdown run of the night for the transfer from Newport Harbor.
"It's tough to come back from that much down but our guys just kept fighting," Lo said. "The game could have been over at that point but our guys have a lot of pride and I was proud of how they charged back. We got the momentum on our side in the fourth quarter and it could have been even closer."
Huntington drew to within 34-17 when sophomore Kai Ross took in a 13-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Michael Chislock with 8:11 remaining. The Oilers got the ball right back when senior strong safety John Bridges recovered an onside kick at midfield. Three plays later, Chislock found Chris Ogilvie in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. Thomas Harer's conversion made it 34-24 with 7:35 to go.
Huntington appeared to have the chance to do even more damage and take more momentum when senior cornerback Jacob Lainson intercepted Mission Viejo's first play from scrimmage after the Chislock-to-Ross score, but the Oilers were called for roughing the passer and the Diablos retained possession. Huntington did get the ball back with 5:16 left, but on fourth and 10 from his own 37, a Chislock scramble fell six yards shy of first down and the Diablos took over on downs. Seven plays later, Yokoyama scored his fourth touchdown on a 15-yard, tackle-breaking run.
Mission Viejo had a 41-24 lead with 1:47 left but Huntington scored a minute later when Ross caught his second scoring pass from Chislock. The Oilers failed on an ensuing onside kick and the Diablos were able to the clock out.
"We had a very good season and this was a great group of kids who worked hard every day," Lo said. "It was an honor to coach this team."
Ocean View, which last week recorded the program's first CIF victory, was upended by top-ranked Beckman, 62-24, in the Southern Division quarterfinals. Senior running back Travis Sparks-Jackson rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and senior quarterback/linebacker Timmy Robinson threw a 22-yard scoring pass to senior Deandre Stevens and also had a fumble recovery on defense. Christian Negrete kicked a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter.
"I was very proud of this year's team," Ocean View offensive coordinator Eli Atol said. "We had a lot of exciting games and it was fun to be a part of. The team accomplished many of the goals we set for ourselves this year."
Robinson set school single-season records for rushing yards 1,678), touchdowns (25), points (158), solo tackles (104) and total tackles (147). Atol said Robinson holds career marks in rushing yards (3,810), points (346), touchdowns (50), solo tackles (198) and total tackles (432).
Sparks-Jackson has the program's second-highest mark for rushing yards (1,447) in a single-season.
The Seahawks end their season at 6-6. Beckman (10-2) advanced to face Estancia in the division semifinals Friday.