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Whittaker, Oceanside keep focus

11/15/2013, 11:43pm PST
By John Maffei

Senior scores three touchdowns in Pirates' quarterfinal win.

— Oceanside High head coach John Carroll’s participation was limited by a medical problem, and defensive coordinator Thomas Coleman was trying not to let the imminent birth of his first child throw him off his game.


Jace Whittaker made sure they weren’t a problem.

The Arizona-bound senior scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter, on a 60-yard fumble return later in the quarter and on a 57-yard punt return just before halftime as third-seeded Oceanside beat Torrey Pines 35-0 in the first round of the Open Division playoffs.

Oceanside (9-2) advanced to the semifinals of the playoffs for the 20th consecutive season. The Pirates on Friday will play at No. 2-seeded Eastlake, which beat Poway 41-7.

“Give Torrey Pines credit; that’s not an easy team to defense,” Whittaker said. “They’re very hard to prepare for.”

Torrey Pines (6-5) rushed 47 times for 163 yards and completed 5-of-7 passes for 41 yards. But quarterback Pete Mitchell was sacked 10 times, including twice each by Rafael Sangines, Tommy Woo, Alex Moran and Isaac Dixon.

Oceanside rushed 29 times for 134 yards and passed for 64 yards.

Sangines joined the team in time for the sixth game after transferring from Carlsbad, and has been a force on the defensive line.

“He has helped us so much,” Woo said. “We’ve improved so much with him on the field. He gives us a great rush up the middle and he gives guys like me more freedom to make plays.”

Thai Cottrell opened the second half with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The Pirates scored again late in the third quarter when quarterback Matt Romero capped a 60-yard drive with a 13-yard scoring pass to Mikah Holder.

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