To remain No. 1, one occasionally needs to overcome a perennial No. 1.
The county’s top-ranked football team remained unbeaten Friday night when Mission Hills subdued Oceanside 41-3 in a key Avocado League clash at the Grizzlies’ den.
Senior quarterback Jack Tuttle scored on a 17-yard run following a deceptive play fake into the line on the Grizzlies’ first possession, and Tuttle later launched three touchdown passes to Chris Olave covering 60, 16 and 95 yards.
Mission Hills (5-0) mounted a 20-3 lead at halftime, and the hosts scored twice in the opening 2:08 of the second half as Tuttle found Olave for the 16-yard TD pass and Damon Wigand burst 51 yards for a score on a draw play.
Placekicker Ezekeal Mata added first-half field goals of 22 and 26 yards, and senior linebacker Samuel Dixon had a busy night leading the Grizzlies’ defensive charge in addition to being named Homecoming king at halftime.
“We have a lot of history with Oceanside, and we’re trying to close the gap on them,” said Dixon.
Nathan Barraza had two of four interceptions by Mission Hills.
The Pirates possess 16 section championships with the most recent coming in 2015, when David Rodriguez made his debut as Oceanside’s head coach. But Oceanside was limited to 161 total yards of offense Friday night.
“I know the Grizzlies have already had some glory years, but this team looks to be a pretty special bunch,” said Rodriguez. “I think they know it, and the rest of us coaches know it.”
Olave finished with nine receptions for 266 yards and three TDs, while Tuttle completed 18 of 29 passes for 371 yards and no interceptions. Mission Hills has now won three straight games against Oceanside, outscoring the Pirates 128-28 along the way.
Friday’s loss to the Grizzlies marked the first time Oceanside has lost to both San Marcos schools in the same season. The Pirates fell to San Marcos last week for the first time since 1991.
Hoff is a freelance writer.