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Ocean View escapes with win over Estancia
COSTA MESA - A tie would have been anti-climactic, especially considering how much more was at stake than just overall records.
With league play beginning next week, Estancia coach Mike Bargas wanted to put a halt to his team’s three-game skid, while Ocean View coach Luis Nunez needed to see his squad scrap its way to victory in a legit back-and-forth contest.
So after an Eagles touchdown put them within one point of tying the score with 43 seconds to play, Bargas rolled the dice, went for the win, and in a matter of seconds, transformed the energy of Thursday night’s nonleague affair into that of a postseason battle.
Already backed up following a false start penalty on the conversion, Seahawks linebacker Alejandro Valdez applied pressure on quarterback Connor Brown, forcing the senior to lob up a pass toward a pack of defenders that fell incomplete, sending the Ocean View sideline into a frenzy as the Seahawks preserved a 14-13 win at Estancia High.
“That’s what we needed going into league,” an exuberant Nunez said. “You always want that one tough game in the preseason where your kids know what it feels like to play for four quarters, and that’s what we did tonight.
“This is big for our program. Going into league winning three in a row, the kids are all excited. And they’re believing.”
Since opening the season with back-to-back losses, the Seahawks have reeled off three straight wins and take a 3-2 clip into their Golden West League opener against Westminster (4-0) next week.
Ocean View lost to the Lions last season and have not forgotten about the result.
“There’s no way we’re not ready for next week,” Nunez added. “(Westminster) is our rival. Beating them has been one of our team goals all year, and it’s here again. So a little redemption from last year, that’s what’s been driving us all summer.”
The Seahawks reclaimed a 14-7 lead with 5:46 to go in the fourth when quarterback Blake Meyer capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive with a 2-yard sneak for his second rushing score of the night.
Estancia (1-4) responded with its own 10-play drive that covered 72 yards. Like he did in the first half, Brown connected with his brother, Trevor, for the 12-yard touchdown strike.
“I wanted to go for the win,” Bargas said of his decision. “Take the gamble and see if we’re ready to rally.”
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