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Improved Woodbridge Ties Pacifica


IRVINE — Woodbridge Coach Rick Gibson had no problem defending his program, which has gone 26 games without a victory, to reporters Thursday.

"Everyone gets into that past crap, the streak," Gibson said. "This is a new team."

And so Woodbridge is. The Warriors opened the season with a 10-10 tie against Pacifica, the defending Southern Section Division VIII runner-up, at Irvine High.

"We're upset we didn't take advantage of some things we felt we could have," Gibson said, "but we're also looking at efforts."

And Gibson liked the effort. The Warriors came back from a 7-0 halftime deficit in the third quarter and a 10-7 deficit in the fourth.

Pacifica, with two returning starters on offense and seven on defense, got a 40-yard scoring run from Frankie Morieda in the second quarter to complete an 89-yard drive that began with Jason Simpson's interception of a halfback pass.

But Oren Masserman caught passes for 12 and 15 yards to provide most of the damage in Woodbridge's first drive of the second half. Junior quarterback Scott Barlow (13 of 20, 121 yards) passed two yards to Shane Harris for the score.

Pacifica receiver Eric Ruegger, ignored by his offense in the first half, caught five passes for 109 yards in the second half, including 33 and 30 yards to set up Jon Guenther's 21-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. First-year varsity quarterback Brent Kirkland completed 11 of 22 passes for 143 yards for Pacifica.

Woodbridge answered with a field goal on the ensuing drive, which included the last of Pacifica's five major penalties. Helped along by Barlow's 14-yard completion to Masserman (five catches for 44 yards) and 27-yarder to Anthony Valanos, Steve Terwiske kicked the tying field goal from 31 yards with 4 minutes 45 seconds left.

Terwiske missed a 34-yard field goal on Woodbridge's first drive of the game; it came after a delay penalty pushed the ball back five yards.

"I think [Terwiske] was just a little too pumped up on the first one," said Gibson, whose program is 0-24-2 during its current skid. "He's a linebacker in a kicker's body."

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