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CIF STATE DIVISION II FOOTBALL

Oceanside does enough, 28-14

December 16, 2007|Martin Henderson | Times Sports Writer

If Oceanside was looking to make a statement in the state Division II bowl championship game Saturday afternoon, the Pirates weren't exactly vocal about it. If they were hoping to open doors for future San Diego Section teams into the postseason extravaganza, they weren't exactly using the jaws of life.

The Pirates, ranked No. 9 in the state by CalHiSports.com and looking to turn their game against Novato into a showcase event for them and their section, fizzled despite a 28-14 victory at the Home Depot Center

"We wanted to make a statement," said John Carroll, who has guided Oceanside for 19 seasons and to four consecutive section titles. "Being the first [in a state bowl game] we wanted to make sure there's a second. It would take a good performance to get a second."

Carroll said it would be for others to decide whether Oceanside (12-1) accomplished its mission against Novato (13-1), the North Coast Section 2A champion.

Neither team was considered the best team in its division in its half of the state, but each made the final because only section champions are eligible for berths.

That's not to say the teams didn't put on a good show.

Oceanside came from behind with a strong second-half defensive performance sparked by Tyrone Lockett's 75-yard interception return that set up Armani Turner's three-yard run to tie the score, 14-14, with 4 minutes 7 seconds left in the third quarter.

Lockett's interception was the first of three for the Pirates. JJ Whitaker's 30-yard interception return set up Jordan Wynn's 11-yard scoring pass to Frank Zimmerman for a 21-14 lead with 10:19 to go.

After Taylor's four-yard scoring run made it 28-14 with 1:25 left, Zimmerman's interception sealed the victory with 57 seconds left.

But none might have happened if not for Jake Fely's sack of Novato's Jeff Stephans with 2:30 left in the first half.

Stephans injured his ankle on the play, and after running for one touchdown and completing eight of 12 passes for 83 yards and another score, he was never the same. He finished 15 of 27 for 140 yards.

Wynn was 13 for 26 for 182 yards, including scoring passes of 22 and 11 yards to Zimmerman. Taylor had 64 yards in 17 carries.

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martin.henderson@latimes.com

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