HUNTINGTON BEACH — What a difference a week has made for the Estancia High football team.
In its Aug. 31 season opener against Loara, the Eagles were in a scoreless game at the half with the Saxons. Friday at Ocean View, they had already put the game away by that time.
Estancia was clicking on all cylinders against the Seahawks, had touchdowns set up in nearly every way, and coasted to a 45-0 nonleague victory. It was the second straight shutout for Estancia.
After the Eagles scored for the final time early in the second half, the game went to a running clock with 8:06 left in the third quarter. By then, the damage had been done. The Eagles had the opportunity to play their backups the rest of the way.
Estancia Coach Mike Bargas chalked up the one game turnaround, to a great week of practice put in by his players. He also put aside an opponent he had yet to defeat.
"First of all, I got a monkey off my back," said Bargas who is in his sixth year as head coach. "This is the third time I've had a team play Ocean View, but it's the first time we've won this game.
"I'm very proud of our kids. We didn't play the way we had hoped to against Loara, but the kids came out to practice this week and worked hard. They were really focused. I thought we played great across the board, on defense, special teams, and on offense. It was a real good win."
There was no such slow start this week for Estancia, as the third-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division looked sharp from the outset. The Eagles (2-0) scored on all five of their offensive series in the first half to take complete control. For good measure, they scored on their first possession of the second half, to put the game away.
It started with a short, 39-yard yard drive on their first series, set up after the defense forced Ocean View to three-and-out on its first series, and by a 13-yard punt return by Ben Beck. A 14-yard run by Robert Murtha was followed by a 24-yard sprint by the senior running back who tip-toed along the sideline before going out a yard short of the goal line. On the next play, quarterback Brad Wilson scored on a keeper. Dan Cabrera tacked on the first of his six conversion kicks, and the Eagles had a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
Estancia started its second possession again in Ocean View territory, this time, at the 44-yard line. Murtha kept a nine-play drive alive by gaining eight yards on third-and-five, to give the Eagles first-and-goal at the eight. Two plays later, he waltzed to the end zone standing up. It was 14-0 with 1:51 left in the opening quarter.
Wilson hooked up with senior wide receiver Matt Jarmacz on a 19-yard pass play early in the second quarter to set up the Eagles at the Ocean View 22. It was the only catch of the night for Jarmacz who made the grab in the left flat at the 34, then raced down the Ocean View sideline before being pulled down. Murtha ran nine yards on the next play, then took a handoff from Wilson, went around left end, broke free of two would-be tacklers at the six, and went on to score on a 13-yard run.
The Estancia defense set up the next score when junior linebacker Jackson Letterman recovered a fumble. Ocean View quarterback Dallas Broge hit senior wide receiver Reo Washington in the flat for a four-yard gain. Washington was hit at his own 37 and dropped the ball. Letterman scooped up the loose ball and started for the goal line. He was dragged down at the Ocean View 23 after a 14-yard return.
Two plays later, Murtha turned a screen pass from Wilson into a 13-yard scoring play, making it 28-0 with 7:29 to go in the half.
The Eagles weren't through, though. On their next series, Wilson teamed with Henry Vasquez on a 36-yard pass play that put the Eagles at the Ocean View 25. The drive stalled at the 23, but Cabrera came on to connect on a 40-yard field goal that took the lead to 31-0.
Ocean View reached Estancia territory for the first time with under a minute remaining in the half, but senior defensive back Levi Stillman thwarted the late drive by intercepting Broge at the Estancia 34 with 14 seconds left.
By intermission, the Eagles held a decisive advantage over the Seahawks (0-2). They owned a 235-77 edge in total yardage, and in first downs (8-3). Murtha had 117 yards on just 12 carries to go over 100 yards for a second-straight week (he had 166 in the 17-0 win against Loara). Wilson was eight for 11 for 106 passing yards by the half.
"Everything seems to be clicking tonight, and we were very fortunate," Bargas said. "Coach (Luis) Nunez is a class act and doing a good job in his first year there (Ocean View).
"A lot of our guys made plays and it's always nice when everyone gets involved. It was the little things we did tonight, that made a big difference. We definitely cleaned it up out there from a week ago."
Murtha had only one touch in the second half, and it was a doozy. He fielded the second half kickoff at his own 10, streaked up the middle, then broke free from the last Seahawk at the Ocean View 45 and went untouched on a 90-yard scoring return.
Murtha said it was the longest kickoff return of his career.
"I saw Matt Jarmacz seal a guy, and I saw an opening, and just took it from there," he said.
On the first play on their first offensive series of the second half, Estancia hit paydirt again. Wilson threw in the flat to DeionTe Haywood who made the catch at the Estancia 43, then outraced a host of Seahawks to complete a 65-yard scoring play.
Estancia 45, Ocean View 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Estancia 14 – 17 – 14 – 0 — 45
Ocean View 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
EST – Wilson 1 run (Cabrera kick), 8:28
EST – Murtha 3 run (Cabrera kick), 1:51(
EST – Murtha 13 run (Cabrera kick), 9:22
EST – Murtha 13 pass from Wilson (Cabrera kick), 7:29
EST – Cabrera 40 field goal, 2:24
EST – Murtha 90 kickoff return (Cabrera kick), 11:47
EST – Haywood 65 pass from Wilson (Cabrera kick), 8:35
EST – Murtha, 12-117, 2 TDs.
OV – Kwon, 11-61.
EST – Wilson, 9-12-0, 171, 2 TDs.
OV – Broge, 5-13-3, 58.
EST – Haywood, 1-65, TD.
OV – Washington, 2-36.