Jersey Mike’s City GOTW: University City Centurions 26, Mission Bay Buccaneers 25
In a game that had everything from breath taking offensive plays to smash mouth defense, an extra point and a punt ended up being the most crucial parts of the entire night.
The Mission Bay Buccaneers took the field ready to go, capping off their first drive of the night with a 46 yard connection from quarterback Jaiden Correia to receiver Charles Hicks. It was looking like this game would be a repeat of last year when Mission Bay’s very next drive resulted in Correia’s second touchdown of the night, this one a 16 yarder to Marcus Nickerson. University City would quickly dispel the thoughts of another blowout when quarterback Kees Van Daelen kept the ball for himself from a yard out, cutting the score to 13-7 Bucs heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was a very long one due to the unfortunate injury to senior Centurion receiver Steven Weiss, who had to be carted off the field after taking a big helmet to helmet hit. Once play was continued Van Daelen would connect with Casey Granfors for a 30 yard touchdown pass, giving the Centurions their first lead of the night. Mission Bay answered that drive by marching down the field and scoring from 24 yards out thanks to the legs of running back Kenyon Sims. Mission Bay would then try to take a one touchdown lead but couldn’t find the end zone on the 2 point conversion, making it 19-14 in Mission Bays favor. It was starting to look like a game of Madden when University City met Mission Bays response with their own score, making it back to back to back touchdowns between the squads with Gavin Rasmussen’s first catch of the season being a 16 yard score along with Correia’s third TD throw of the game. That pass would give Centurion the lead back and they would keep it at 21-19 going to halftime.
With as exciting a first half that was, the next 24 minutes would be a complete heart stopper, starting with a muffed punt by Mission Bay bouncing into their own end zone. The safety would give University City two more points, add a field goal a couple possessions later and the Centurions have their biggest lead of the night at 26-19. The lead wouldn’t last long at all when Sims would reach pay dirt for the second time, or would it? Centurion running back Jayden Wickware would burst through the Buccaneer blockers, blocking the most important extra point so far this season and preserving the University City lead at 26-25.
The crowd thought they had seen everything after Wickware’s clutch moment, but things weren’t done just yet. University City lined up to punt the ball to the Bucs, giving Mission Bay one last shot to move down the field with two minutes remaining. Things were made much easier for them when Centurion punter Thomas Reasoner had to reach down for a low snap. The ref saw his knee touch the ground, and suddenly Mission Bay was five yards away from taking the lead for the first time since the second quarter. Jaiden Correia would put his superhero cape back on and save the day for the Centurions, batting away a fourth down pass to preserve University City’s exhausting but memorable one point victory.
Now at 2-0, the Centurions look to stay perfect with a week three matchup against the Scripps Ranch Falcons. Mission Bay goes back to the drawing board hoping to take what they learned from tonight and turn it into a victory against the West Hills Wolfpack. One thing that these two teams can definitely take away from this game is we’ll be talking about it for a long time.
PREVIEW – The 2016 Mission Bay Buccaneers have big shoes to fill, following in the steps of a 2015 team that started the year 9-0 and ended it in the CIF Division III Championship game. They’re on the right track to matching that start after quarterback Trevor Scully led the team to a back and forth 31-28 win over the Escondido Cougars to kick off this year.
Their match up this Friday is against the University City Centurions, a team that looked very formidable in last week’s 43-27 shootout victory over the Sweetwater Red Devils. Senior quarterback Kees Van Daelen put the Centurions on his back, lighting the Sweetwater defense up with 388 passing yards and four touchdowns while running in two more. Star receiver Gavin Rasmussen makes his debut this week, a scary thought for opposing defenses after seeing what Van Daelen did to the Red Devils without him.
This should be an early season game University City has circled on its calendar after last season’s blowout loss. The visiting Mission Bay Buccaneers picked off then-senior quarterback Drake Aguon three times en route to a 43-13 beat down. University City hopes to show everyone this year’s squad is an improved one while Mission Bay will be looking to prove they’re just simply the better team. Both sides come into this match up perfect but only one can leave intact, tune into Prep Pigskin Report this Friday at 10:30 PM to find out who does!