Defense helps Huntington Beach top Long Beach Wilson
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Before Friday’s game against unbeaten Long Beach Wilson, Huntington Beach Brett Brown insisted that record aside, he liked the way his defense had been playing.
If he liked them then, he must love them now.
The Oilers held the potent Bruins’ offense – albeit one that was missing its starting quarterback and a handful of other starters –scoreless in the fourth quarter to secure a 29-18 nonleague victory at Huntington Beach High.
On a first-and-10 with 4 minutes left in the game, Wilson had the ball on the Oilers’ 12-yard line after marching 80 yards in eight plays. Huntington Beach was clinging to a nine-point lead.
The Oilers defense came up big, as it had all night, forcing the Bruins to turn the ball over on downs four plays later. Huntington Beach ran out the clock from there and handed the third-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 6 its first loss.
“We told our guys all week that (Jacobi Hardy) and (Semaj Parker) were special players and had real good speed and we had to stop it before it got started,” Brown said. “We missed a few assignments and they had a couple big plays but they battled all game.”
The Oilers (2-2) limited the damage on the scoreboard despite the big numbers that duo amassed for Wilson (3-1). Hardy finished with 171 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Parker had 112 receiving yards, including a 43-yard touchdown.
“It was a wake-up call for us,” Wilson coach Mark Ziegenhagen said. “We had our opportunities, a brand new quarterback, he’s got to get his feet wet too.”
The Oilers were led by quarterback Nick Welch, who completed 8 of 17 passes for a touchdown and 82 yards. He rushed for 84 yards, including a 22-yard score at the end of the second quarter that gave the Oilers a 22-12 halftime lead.
Derek Thomas had a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 122 yards on 12 carries. His second was an 11-yard carry at the end of the third quarter that ended up being the difference-maker, giving Huntington Beach the 29-18 lead it would hold onto in the final quarter.
MATTHEW HANLON, Contributing writer