Susan Luzzaro 9:45 p.m., June 18
POINT LOMA – Point Loma didn’t earn any style points against Mission Bay on Friday afternoon – and that suited them just fine. The Pointers relied on a methodical offensive attack and stifling defense to grind out a 13-0 win over the Buccaneers.
“It was a win,” said Point Loma head coach Mike Hastings. “It doesn’t have to be pretty, but a win is a win.”
In a defensive first half, Point Loma (6-2, 3-0 Western) broke a scoreless tie with 4:45 left in the first quarter on a Branden Martin one-yard quarterback keeper. The Pointers took a 10-0 lead just before halftime with a 30-yard Felipe Soares field goal.
“Any time you match up with Mission Bay you know it’s going to be a hard-hitting affair,” Hastings said. “Our kids came to play today.”
Point Loma’s 10-point lead at the break seemed nearly insurmountable as Mission Bay (3-4-1, 1-2) struggled offensively in the opening two quarters. In the first half, the Buccaneers had no first downs, didn’t complete a pass, and rushed for -4 yards.
“Our defensive gameplan was excellent,” Hastings said. “Our coaches really schemed them well and I give a lot of credit to coach Dave Aros. Every week he gets these guys ready to play and today really showed our defensive prowess.”
On the opening drive of the second half, Point Loma kept the ball on the ground with backs Jaivon Griffin and Eric Bueno and chewed up almost six minutes. Ruben Diaz capped the drive with a 32-yard field goal to put Point Loma ahead 13-0.
“Our boys just slugged it out today,” Hastings said. “Our offensive line rolled their sleeves up and when they needed to made the blocks to get the first down.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Mission Bay recovered a Point Loma fumble and had the ball at the Pointers’ 33-yard line, but the Buccaneers took a shot at the end zone on the next play and quarterback Nate Long was intercepted by Point Loma defensive back Dirk Lacy. The Pointers had the ball for 10 of the final 12 minutes in the fourth quarter to keep Mission Bay at a distance.
“We just wanted to get the win and keep our league record perfect at 3-0,” Hastings said.
For Point Loma, the shutout victory sets up a showdown at Madison (8-0, 3-0) next Friday with first place in the Western League on the line. The Pointers haven’t won a league title since 2007.
“They’re a good football team, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to play them. It should be a good game,” Hastings said.
Pictured: Point Loma running back Morris Mathews tries to shake the tackle attempt of Mission Bay defensive end Aaron Cobbler