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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA | GOLDEN
WEST LEAGUE

Seahawks Suffer Losses On and Off the Field

November 14, 1998|MARK SPINN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In a game overshadowed by Thursday's sudden death of an Ocean View assistant coach, Saddleback clinched a Division VI playoff berth with a 22-19 victory over the Seahawks in a Golden West League game Friday night at Westminster High.

Ocean View receivers coach Bill Houston died Thursday evening of an apparent heart attack after driving one of his sons to a youth football practice. Houston, said to be in his 40s by Ocean View coaches and administrators, was in his fourth year as a walk-on coach at the school.

Seahawk coaches and supporters were stunned and saddened by Houston's death.

"Coach Houston was a tremendous asset to this program," Ocean View Coach Harold Eggers said. "The whole team and the coaches are taking [Houston's death] very hard.

"It was a difficult game to play."

Houston's son, Deshai, is the Seahawks' starting quarterback and elected to play Friday night. The junior passed for 120 yards and a touchdown and performed exceptionally well given the tragic circumstances.

"I think it was easier for Deshai to go and play than dwell on things," Eggers said. "We were all pleased to see him out there."

Saddleback (4-5-1, 3-2) rushed for 188 yards, including scoring runs of 18 and 10 yards by wide receiver Jesse Romero on reverses. Romero also caught a key two-point conversion pass after Joel Gonzalez's eight-yard touchdown run gave the Roadrunners the lead with 5:37 left in the game.

After Gonzalez's touchdown, Romero intercepted Houston's long fourth-down pass with 2:44 left to stop an Ocean View drive. Gonzalez finished with 78 yards in 21 carries. Matt Trice had 172 yards in 14 carries for Ocean View, including an 85-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

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