Mission Hills quarterback Connor Wynn will try to guide the Grizzlies to their first win over Oceanside.
Mission Hills High football coach Chris Hauser offered a bit of advice for fans thinking about attending tonight’s game between his No. 2-ranked Grizzlies and No. 1 Oceanside.
“I’d get here early,” Hauser said. “This game is going to be a special event and people will want to be here, be a part of it. I know our fans will fill up the home side. I have no doubt Oceanside will pack the visitor’s stands.
“Honestly, these are the nights that make football special.”
Oceanside and Mission Hills have played six times with Oceanside holding a 5-0-1 advantage.
Twice the teams have met in Qualcomm Stadium with San Diego Section titles on the line. Three times, the teams played at Oceanside.
“The one time we played at Mission Hills, we tied 10-10,” Hauser said. “I felt playing at home helped us because our fans are great.
“Playing at Oceanside is like playing at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Nobody wins there because they have so much tradition — and the Pirates are really good.”
Oceanside enters the game 3-1, losing 50-39 to Gardena Serra, which is ranked No 7 in the nation by USA Today.
Since that loss, the Pirates have won two straight, outscoring Temecula Chaparral and Poway by a combined 96-17. Oceanside has scored at least 35 points in all four of its games.
Junior Matt Romero has settled in at quarterback for Oceanside, running an offense that features Thai Cottrell, Mikah Holder, Jace Williams, T.K. Dodds and Josh Bernard.
“Romero has stepped in nicely for us,” said Oceanside coach John Carroll. “There are things he can do better, but he has been pretty darn good.
“This is a big game, but we’re preparing as we always do. We’re everybody’s big game.
“Mission Hills is very good, very talented, but we’ll go toe-to-toe with ’em. We won’t be deer in the headlights.”
The Pirates can’t afford to be.
Mission Hills (4-0) has pitched shutouts against Phoenix Desert Vista and Valley Center.
Grizzlies linebackers Fred Warner and Ricky Liuchan are as good as any pair of linebackers in the state.
And the offense, with quarterback Connor Wynn and receivers Brad Sochowski and Scott Higgins, can light up the scoreboard.
“This kind of game is what we dreamt about when our school opened 10 years ago,” Hauser said.
“Oceanside has a special program. They have it rockin’ and rollin’ there. Oceanside is the flagship of San Diego football.”