Oceanside Pirates 27, Otay Ranch Mustangs 15
In Oceanside Friday night, senior quarterback Kyrin Beachem and sophomore running back Kavika Tua performed just about as expected in the Pirates’ 27-15 win over the visiting Otay Ranch Mustangs. Beachem passed — and ran. Tua ran, and caught — and scored, twice. So what made this first-round San Diego Section Division I playoff game anything but ordinary?
As the seconds ticked down late in the fourth quarter — 1:33; 1:31; 1:30 — the Mustangs drew closer to switching up the score on Oceanside in a drive that began with a successful onside kick placing the Mustangs in Oceanside territory to start what would be the team’s final drive. The score at the time favored the Pirates 20-15, after the Mustangs had just scored on quarterback Jonte “Puka” Stewart’s 41-yard keeper to cut the team’s deficit in half. The rare onside kick success actually made this game winnable for the slight underdog Mustangs, but senior Oceanside defensive back Goodson wouldn’t, and didn’t, let that happen.
Just as quickly as Stewart had sprinted downfield for his final high school touchdown moments before, Goodson made Stewart question his decision to go left as the Mustangs were 4 yards from a score and Stewart had eyes on the end zone. Stewart made his choice. He went left. And from the 1-yard-line, Goodson snagged the ball, intercepting it and taking it 99 yards downfield to take any chance of victory away from the Mustangs’ dreams. Goodson’s touchdown, and the ensuing point after, brought the score to 27-15 in favor of Oceanside and locked up the win for the Pirates, which had only trailed once for a brief time early in the first quarter before Tua’s first touchdown evened things up.
As the Mustangs call it a season, the Pirates call it a march forward.
After the game, Goodson remarked that no mater how favored the Eastlake Titans are in his team’s match-up next week in the second round of these playoffs, “we’ll win the whole thing.”
Find out if he’s right next Friday night on the PPR on KUSI!
Anyone thinking back to a year ago who follows the Oceanside Pirates or Otay Ranch Mustangs football has a common thought in mind: Finals.
Both the Pirates and Mustangs advanced a year ago within their respective San Diego Section playoff brackets — Oceanside in Division I and Otay Ranch in Division II — to the semifinals but came up short of making appearances in their bracket championships.
Oceanside is slightly favored in this Division I match-up, with a No. 7 seed, and that makes sense. Otay Ranch, seeded No. 10, is new to Division I. But the Mustangs haven’t lost a first-round playoff games since 2014 (having appeared each year in the Division II bracket). Oceanside’s streak is shorter — the Pirates lost to Rancho Bernardo in the opening round of the 2016 San Diego Section Open Division playoffs — but the team has a long history of competing at the level of Division 1 or higher.
Oceanside is also riding the momentum of one of its most-important-to-win games of the season — its crosstown rivalry game against the El Camino Wildcats; the Pirates defeated the Wildcats 46-30. Pit that against Otay’s thirst for victory after its shutout loss against Eastlake last week and you have a battle of one team completely in its element versus another looking to prove its value in this bracket.
Look for Otay to turn to its senior quarterback, Jonte “Puka” Stewart, who last week eclipsed 1,000 passing yards on the season, and for Oceanside to continue to push forward on the ground and in the air with senior quarterback Kyrin Beachem and sophomore running back Kavika Tua, who combined have rushed for more than 1,700 yards this season, in addition to Beachem’s 1,877 passing yards.