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Seahawks' Mistakes Ruin Shot at Upset

Golden West League: Servite hangs on to win, 20-14, as fourth-quarter fumbles stop Ocean View.

October 23, 1998|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

With 9 1/2 minutes left to play Thursday night, Ocean View had Servite fit to be tied.

After rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit to tie the score, the Seahawks had just recovered a Friar fumble at the Servite 16-yard line.

But on the next play, Seahawk running back Jason Rhoads fumbled and Servite turned the mistake into an 11-play scoring drive and a 20-14 Golden West League victory.

It was a disappointing outcome for the Seahawks (3-4, 0-2), who are still looking for their first four-win season since 1990.

Late in the game they had a shot at redemption. After Servite tailback Tyrone Gribben got the go-ahead score with 4:47 left in the game, Ocean View put together a 50-yard drive. But Rhoads fumbled again after a picking up seven yards from and Servite (3-4, 2-0) recovered at its 13 with 2:53 left.

"It's always tough when you play this good and with that much discipline and you come up short," first-year Ocean View Coach Harold Eggers said. "The kids have a lot of heart."

The teams suffered several injuries to key players that impacted the way the game was played.

Ocean View lost starting quarterback Scott McMahan, a senior, just before halftime with an injury to his throwing hand. Late in the game, the Seahawks also lost right tackle Eli Atol, who injured his knee. After scoring 14 points, Servite was stymied by a number of things. First, the Friars lost tackle Jon Salcedo to a bruised knee.

Later, Coach Larry Toner replaced starting quarterback Steve Ayers, No. 3 on the depth chart, with No. 1 quarterback Dan Petropulos, who is recovering from a neck injury. The two combined to complete just four passes and Petropulos was intercepted twice. His second interception led to Ocean View's game-tying score, a 10-yard pass from backup quarterback Deshai Houston to Matt Seward with 3:25 left in the third quarter.

"We had key mistakes. I think we were a little lax and weren't mentally prepared," said Servite offensive tackle Stephen Montesdeoca.

Toner gave Houston, who hooked up with Tauris Smith on a 93-yard scoring pass early in the third quarter, a lot of credit.

"I don't think we were looking past them," Toner said. "They did things to us and we didn't respond. That backup quarterback came in and played remarkably."

To free up Houston, a pocket passer who finished with 178 yards passing, Eggers switched the offensive line, beaten decisively by the Friar defense much of the first half, to two-point stances. The tactic worked. McMahan was sacked seven times for 43 yards in losses, but Houston was dropped behind the line just twice.

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