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Pirates, Wildcats finish strong

07/21/2014, 1:09pm PDT
By John Maffei

Oceanside wins Battle by the Beach; El Camino second in North County Tournament

Oceanside quarterback Matt Romero has grown two inches and added 15 pounds since last season. Hayne Palmour IV photo

The teams in the city of Oceanside finished the summer 7-on-7 high school passing tournaments on a high note Saturday.

Oceanside, hosting the 16-team Battle by the Beach, beat Cathedral Catholic 32-6 in the title game.

The Pirates allowed just 38 points in six games.

Across town, El Camino made it to the finals of the 27th annual North County Tournament, losing to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon 34-25, taking the game down to the last minute.

At Oceanside, the Pirates, San Marcos, La Costa Canyon, Scripps Ranch, El Capitan, West Hills, Ramona and Cathedral made it to the afternoon winners bracket.

Oceanside beat San Marcos in the quarterfinals while Scripps beat La Costa Canyon, El Cap beat West Hills and Cathedral edged Ramona.

In the title game, Oceanside senior quarterback Matt Romero, who has grown two inches and added 15 pounds from last season, was sharp.

"Things are a lot easier for me this time around," said Romero, who completed 134-of-230 passes for 2,299 yards with 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season. "The game has slowed down.

"I've matured and grown, and velocity comes with maturity."

Oceanside coach John Carroll singled out receivers Johnny Arzola and Isaia Paopao on offense as well as defensive backs Jordan Miller and Malavai Taylor.

  • Former El Camino coach Pulu Poumele is back at Oceanside and working as the defensive coordinator.
  • The Oceanside event also included a lineman challenge for each team that was won by Corona Santiago.
  • The best player at Oceanside was Santiago quarterback Blake Barnett, who has committed to Alabama. Asked to describe Barnett, former Chargers All-Pro defensive back Willie Buchanon said "Wow!"
  • At El Camino, new Wildcats coach John Roberts, who came over from St. Augustine, has brought enthusiasm to the program. El Camino beat Lancaster Eastside 32-8 in the semifinals, avenging a 21-20 loss in Friday's pool play. El Camino needed a defensive stand in the last minute of the title game, but came up short.
  • Quarterback Sergio Lopez and receivers Eric Wilson and Michael Chapman stood out for the Wildcats. Defensively, CJ Simmons and Michael Larwood had interceptions. "We're running a pro-style offense ... way different from last season," Lopez said. "There are more routes, more reads, but it's more simple ... if that makes sense. We're going to go, go go. It should be a lot of fun."
  • St. Augustine lost a hard-fought 21-18 decision to Sierra Canyon in the semifinals. The St. Augustine B team lost 25-24 to Cibola of Arizona in the consolation finals, missing a PAT on the game's last play that would have sent the contest into overtime.
  • San Diego teams are now in a two-week dead period where coaches and players may not have contact. Practices start Aug. 4, scrimmages are set for Aug. 22 with the first games Aug. 29.

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