Escondido Cycle Center North County Game of the Week: Oceanside - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Escondido Cycle Center North County Game of the Week: Oceanside Pirates 0, Rancho Bernardo Broncos 24

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The Escondido Cycle Center North County Game of the week, was all about streaks.  Rancho Bernardo extended their section best winning streak to 20, while ending Oceanside’s streak of 22 straight seasons appearing in the CIF Semi-finals, as the Broncos beat the Pirates 24-0.

2016 Silver Pigskin Finalist Milan Grice showed people why he deserves to be on the podium, with a 177 yard, two touchdown rushing performance, with 120 of those yards coming in the second half. 

The Pirates opened up the game with Azizi Hearn returning the opening kick off 99 yards for a touchdown, only to have it wiped out by a holding call.  They also had another chance to get on the board, when Max Shuffer found a wide receiver over the top of the defense only to watch a for sure touchdown bounce off his receiver’s hands.

The Broncos running game was bottled up early by the Pirates defense as Grice was held to just 57 yards rushing in the 1st half, with the only score coming from a short touchdown pass from Fresno State bound Mark Salazar to tight end D.J. Williams.

The Escondido Cycle Center North County Game of the week, was all about streaks.  Rancho Bernardo extended their section best winning streak to 20, while ending Oceanside’s streak of 22 straight seasons appearing in the CIF Semi-finals, as the Broncos beat the Pirates 24-0.

2016 Silver Pigskin Finalist Milan Grice showed people why he deserves to be on the podium, with a 177 yard, two touchdown rushing performance, with 120 of those yards coming in the second half. 

The Pirates opened up the game with Azizi Hearn returning the opening kick off 99 yards for a touchdown, only to have it wiped out by a holding call.  They also had another chance to get on the board, when Max Shuffer found a wide receiver over the top of the defense only to watch a for sure touchdown bounce off his receiver’s hands.

The Broncos running game was bottled up early by the Pirates defense as Grice was held to just 57 yards rushing in the 1st half, with the only score coming from a short touchdown pass from Fresno State bound Mark Salazar to tight end D.J. Williams.

And then the big blow came late in the 1st quarter when Shuffer had a player blocked into his knee while running out of bounds, which ended his night.  The Pirates offense could not get anything going after that behind Junior quarterback Alex Miller, as Rancho Bernardo went into the half up 10-0.

The game was just a 10 point game into the 4th quarter and that’s when broncos head coach Tristan McCoy let Grice lose, leading a drive that ended with a one yard touchdown run.  Grice and his blockers then capped off the game with two minutes to go on a 20-yard touchdown run.

The 3rd seeded Broncos with travel to the #2 seed Helix Scotties next Friday in an open division semi-final, while Oceanside ends the season at 8-3.

And then the big blow came late in the 1st quarter when Shuffer had a player blocked into his knee while running out of bounds, which ended his night.  The Pirates offense could not get anything going after that behind Junior quarterback Alex Miller, as Rancho Bernardo went into the half up 10-0.

The game was just a 10 point game into the 4th quarter and that’s when broncos head coach Tristan McCoy let Grice lose, leading a drive that ended with a one yard touchdown run.  Grice and his blockers then capped off the game with two minutes to go on a 20-yard touchdown run.

The 3rd seeded Broncos with travel to the #2 seed Helix Scotties next Friday in an open division semi-final, while Oceanside ends the season at 8-3.

Preview

The Escondido Cycle Center North County Game of the week matches up the CIF Section Division 1 and 2 winners from 2015 when the Oceanside Pirates (8-2, 4-2) visit the Rancho Bernardo Broncos (10-0, 6-0) in the quarterfinals of the CIF Open Division playoffs.  In fact this will be the 1st time these two football programs have ever played.

The Broncos come into the game with the longest current winning streak in the San Diego Section with 19. That is one behind the great Helix teams of 2000 and 2001, lead by 2001 Silver Pigskin Winner Reggie Bush. Also included in the win streak is the 2015 CIF Championship along with the 2015 CIF Division 3A State Championship.

Oceanside closed out the season with three straight, two of those coming in the “New Avocado League” that features the best programs along the I-78 corridor. The Pirates only two losses this season came at home to Mission Hills and Torrey Pines, both of which are playing in the “Open Division Playoffs.”

Rancho Bernardo is lead by Fresno State commit, quarterback Mark Salazar, 2016 Silver Pigskin Finalist Milan Grice, and “Do it All” athlete Kaelan Pestano.  They get the headlines, but it’s the Broncos stingy defense that is the reason why they have made the jump 2 divisions and are playing with the “Big Boys”.  The RB defensive line would be considered by some as undersized, but they are relentless, starting with defensive end Matt Roehrig who has 12.5 sacks this season, and linebackers Ramon Colon and Jackson Murdock, who between them average 20 tackles a game.

Offensively, Salazar, Grice and Pestano are one of the best tandems in San Diego.  Grice averages 178 yards, and two touchdowns a game.  While Salazar who missed time earlier in the year commands the huddle like a quarterback who has not lost as a starter.  And Pestano is the guy who does anything and everything asked of him on offense, he also plays defense, and has blocked two field goals this season.

Oceanside is, well Oceanside.  They are loaded with division one talent.  It all starts with quarterback Max Shuffer, who has a “Live Arm”. Shuffer has had a hand in 33 of the 46 touchdowns scored by the Pirates this season.  Shuffer has a more than a handful of athletes around him who can break the big one.  Starting with tight end Jake Gerardi (32 rec., 689 Yds., 6 TD’s), Receiver Jordan Hicks (22 Rec., 589 Yds., 7 TD’s) and in the past few weeks slot back Puka Kaleopa-Tuisee (28 Rec., 434 Yds., 7 TD’s).

The amazing thing about Oceanside is all of these guys play defense.  And the defense is as fast as any in San Diego County.  Linebacker Jesus Gonzales has recorded 10 sacks, and free safety Armand Fesili averages 10.5 tackles a game.

This game is worth the price of admission.  If you can not make then make sure to watch all of the highlights and postgame reaction from this one, and 22 others Friday night at 10:30 PM on the Prep Pigskin Report.

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