Oxnard Pacifica wins in dominating fashion to become CIF state bowl champion in Division 2-A

Oxnard Pacifica players celebrate winning the CIF state Division 2-A bowl game on Saturday at Cerritos College with a 34-6 win over Oakland McClymonds.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

The sign hanging on the railing at Cerritos College by the Oxnard Pacifica student section told the story of the Tritons’ football season. It read: “Mike Moon is best coach in the 805.”

Moon directed the Tritons (15-1) to a season never before experienced by a public school in Ventura County, capping it off with a 34-6 victory over Oakland McClymonds on Saturday in the CIF state championship Division 2-A bowl game.

“What a great experience,” Moon said.

This was domination from beginning to end. Quarterback RJ Maria passed for 185 yards and four touchdowns. Linebacker Caleb McCullough recorded three sacks and was in on 10 tackles. Linebacker Brad Bichard had three sacks and contributed on 14 tackles. Cornerback Kyrie Wilson had two of his team’s three interceptions. Kicker Scooter Carranza made field goals of 42 and 32 yards. The Tritons didn’t give up a point on defense (a fumbled snap in the fourth quarter led to McClymond’s only score).


McClymonds came in with an 11-0 record and had the longest winning streak in the state at 22 consecutive victories when including forfeits. But Pacifica had the quickness and size to match up with the Warriors, who could never find a way to run the ball against the Tritons. It was 17-0 at halftime. Wilson and Nohl Williams caught touchdown passes.

Moon, in his seventh season as coach, even got to celebrate a personal moment when his son, Isaiah, a senior receiver, caught a 44-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

Moon’s big success was convincing Oxnard players like the Arizona State-bound McCullough to attend their neighborhood school. Lots of the players grew up playing youth football together and ended up finishing their football days with a state championship they shared with a large contingent of supporters who made the 81-mile trip to Norwalk.

“It’s the best way to go out as a champion,” Isaiah Moon said.

His father said the key to this season was a loss to rival Oxnard.

“That set us on our way,” Moon said.

Added defensive end Devin Aupiu: “I think the loss really helped us push forward and humbled us.”

Pacifica won the Southern Section Division 6 championship, knocked off City Section Open Division champion Lake Balboa Birmingham in the regional playoffs, then routed McClymonds.