VISTA – Great Oak High football coach Robbie Robinson's homecoming on Friday night turned out to be much more enjoyable for him than it was for his former team.
The former Vista offensive and defensive coordinator directed the Wolfpack to a 31-7 victory at Dick Haines Stadium that kept the Panthers winless one year after they won a CIF San Diego Section title.
"What you saw was what we wanted to do," said Robinson, whose team might have won by more had two touchdowns not been nullified by penalties. "We were able to run and throw, mix it up. And our defense really played well.
"We'd had a couple tough games against two of the top-ranked teams in Riverside County ... and our defensive coordinator, Herschel Ramirez, did a fantastic job of getting our kids ready."
Quarterback Carson Luna threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns for Great Oak (2-2), which also got 101 yards rushing and a touchdown from Jacob Certeza.
Vista defeated Great Oak on its way to a 12-1 record in 2010, but the Panthers are 0-3 this fall after incurring some extreme graduation losses. The Panthers drew only limited consolation from a big rushing night by 6-foot-1, 200-pound running back Devin Hickey (12 carries, 119 yards).
Hickey scored Vista's lone touchdown, a 58-yard run with 3 minutes, 56 seconds left in the first half, tying the game 7-7.
But the Panthers were unable to overcome the bigger, more physical Wolf Pack.
"We talked about that going in," Vista coach Danny Williams said of Great Oak's size advantage. "We're not a real good team right now. We'll get better, and Devin Hickey will get better. He ran the ball well, but he'll get better. He's still learning the game."
Luna completed 10 of his 19 passes, including two scoring throws to Kyle Ruhe and one to Bryan Jones.
Certeza amassed his yardage on 24 carries behind an offensive line anchored by tackles Paul Kelsey and Nick Ponzio.
"We beat a program and coaches I really respect tonight," Robinson said. "I think the world of Danny Williams and his staff. I love those guys."