A glut of playmakers carried Oceanside to its second road win of the season, a 35-17 victory Friday night over Mater Dei Catholic.
Near the bottom in the Avocado League standings, the Pirates (2-3) played like a unit that had a sense of urgency, wasting no time getting on the board. Senior running back Mikah Linnan was a blur in the open field, jetting past defenders for 43-yard touchdown run on Oceanside’s first offensive play of the game.
Speedster Armand Fesili was a standout on both sides of the ball. The scant 5-foot-8 playmaker scored on a 34-yard run to put Oceanside ahead 14-0 in the first quarter. Fesili, who also plays strong safety, had two big sacks and a handful of hard-hitting tackles.
“The run game is something that defines us,” Oceanside coach David Rodriguez said. “We pride ourselves on it.”
The Crusaders’ offense didn’t look like a unit capable of winning the Metro Mesa League title. Mental errors and poor execution doomed Mater Dei Catholic (2-3), with the biggest miscue coming in the second quarter when the Crusaders receiver dropped a would-be 42-yard touchdown pass.
Mater Dei Catholic quarterback Cameron Smith threw for a pair of TDs: a 47-yarder to senior running back Nick Lopez and an 11-yard strike to junior wide receiver Rayshawn Holscher.
“There’s a reason why we scheduled them,” Rodriguez said. “We get better as a team by playing teams like this because every week is a playoff week, especially in our league. Playing against a Mater Dei team is no different because (Mater Dei Catholic) coach John Joyner and the young men here have a winning tradition.”
Terrones is a freelance writer.