POWAY It was a game that would have had legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi spinning in his grave.
Penalties (dozens of them), fumbles (10 of them), a pitch out that hit the running back in the face mask, running backs falling down, fumbled punts (five of them), interceptions (four of them) and bad snaps on punts for both teams made for some wretched football.
Still, it’s better to win ugly than lose pretty and No. 9-ranked Poway will gladly take a very ugly 17-10 victory over Olympian.
It was the the 102nd win in the 16-plus year career of Poway coach Damian Gonzalez, 82 of those wins coming at Poway.
It is the first time the Titans have started a season 3-0 since their San Diego Section Division I championships season of 2011.
Tied at 7 in the third quarter Friday, the game turned on a Donovan Bercasio interception. The junior linebacker weaved his way through the defense for a 22-yard score.
After forcing a punt, the Titans got 39-yard field goal from Shane Gurule.
That 17-7 lead should have been enough, but Olympian refused to give in. The Eagles (2-1) recovered a fumbled punt and converted it into a 26-yard field goal by Ralphie Gomez with 3:24 to play.
Olympian caught Poway napping, when Trey Currey recovered an onside kick at the Poway 28. The Eagles got to the 18 before a series of penalties set them back to the 28.
On fourth-and-13 at the 28 with 1:44 to play, Matt Blackburn intercepted Nico Mendoza’s pass in the end zone and would have scored if not for a Mendoza tackle 63 yards down field.
Jared Adelman, one of the top backs in the county, didn’t have a carry for Poway until the second quarter. He finished with 87 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Tristan Hughes threw for 109 yards.
Olympian rushed 37 times but for only 80 yards. The Eagles had just 44 yards passing.
Jason Miller and Rock Gonzalez played well on defense for Olympian.
Olympian scored the only points of the first half on the opening series, using nine plays to go 83 yards with a wide-open Mikael Tyler hauling in a 28-yard scoring pass from Mendoza.
The rest of the half was a study in futility for both sides as Poway lost two fumbles and both quarterbacks threw interceptions.
While Poway couldn’t move the ball, Olympian couldn’t capitalize on two great opportunities.
The Eagles recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, drove to the Poway 29, but turned the ball over on downs.
Late in the second quarter, a Gonzalez sack of Hughes pinned Poway at its 28. A bad snap on the punt gave Olympian the ball at the Poway 9, but a Saimon Georgari interception on the first play gave the
ball right back to Poway.