Danielle Falknor 6:30 p.m., March 11
OCEANSIDE – For stretches against nationally ranked Anaheim Servite on Thursday night, Oceanside looked just as good as its opposition. The Pirates ultimately failed to find consistency and lost the season opener 20-0 to the eighth-ranked Friars.
“Playing this caliber of opponent is going to help us become a better football team,” said Oceanside head coach John Carroll.
Both defenses controlled play early, and Oceanside (0-1) trailed 3-0 after the first quarter. Midway through the second quarter, Servite (1-0) delivered the first big play of the game when running back Charlie Etiaki bounced an inside run to the sidelines for a 72-yard touchdown run that gave the Friars a 10-0 lead.
“Defensively, I thought we actually dominated early other than the missed tackle,” Carroll said. “That was a nice run by their kid.”
Servite added a Conner Beavans 22-yard field goal with 14 seconds left in the second quarter to take a 13-0 lead into halftime. In the first half, Oceanside moved the ball against a solid Friars defense, but couldn’t finish its drives.
“I felt confident in our offensive line and our receivers and we were moving the ball but just couldn’t punch it in,” said Oceanside quarterback Tofi Pao Pao.
After stopping Servite on the opening drive of the third quarter, Oceanside drove the ball down the field with senior quarterback Ryan Lamb under center. But facing third down on the Servite 12-yard line, Lamb threw an interception and the Pirates came away with no points.
“We stalled and I don’t know why,” Carroll said. “We were able to do it between the 20s, but when we got closer to the end zone we did not play well.”
Servite put the game away with methodical a 78-yard touchdown drive that began at the end of the third quarter. Friars running back Andrew Moore capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown run that made it 20-0 with 7:11 remaining in the game.
“In the second half they structurally were beating us on one particular formation and we had to make adjustments, and we didn’t make them well on the fly,” Carroll said.
In the game’s final minutes, Oceanside started a drive in Servite territory but once again failed to move the ball. The Pirates were shut out for the first time since losing 28-0 to Carlsbad on Nov. 4, 2005, ending a 70-game streak.
“It wasn’t their defense, it was our offense – the quarterbacks just misreading, the receivers slipping,” Pao Pao said. “It was ourselves, that’s what beat us today.”
In its second straight season opener against Servite, Oceanside once again failed to get off to a winning start. Carroll said the young Pirates were just as physical as the Friars, but were beaten in the mental aspects of the game.
“I have a lot of hope,” Carroll said. “There were a lot of good things to take away from this game.”
Pictured: Oceanside running back Ryshaud Keegan (4) and quarterback Tofi Pao Pao (6) lead the Pirates onto the field
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