Don Bauder 8:42 p.m., May 23
PACIFIC BEACH – A battle of city unbeatens on Friday afternoon ended up being a one-sided affair. Mission Bay made big plays on offense, defense and special teams to rout visiting Clairemont 49-6 and continue its fast start to the season.
“It’s a crazy good feeling,” said Mission Bay senior defensive end Aaron Cobbler. “That’s the first time they’ve been 2-0 in a long time, so we knew they were going to come out hyped and ready to go. We just had to come out, match them and do better.”
Late in the second quarter, Mission Bay (3-0) broke open a one-point game with a pair of touchdowns 22 seconds apart. With 45.1 seconds left in the half junior quarterback Nick Plum connected with junior receiver Andre Petties-Wilson for a 26-yard touchdown. On the next play from scrimmage, Darrell “Terell” Whitaker interception set up a Devante Kinder one-yard scoring run that made it 21-6 just before halftime.
“We’ve been a second half team this season, so it felt pretty good to go into halftime ahead,” Cobbler said.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, junior James Phillips extended Mission Bay’s lead with a 75-yard touchdown return. Phillips scooped up the line drive kick and outran Clairemont’s kick coverage for the Buccaneers’ second return score in as many weeks.
“I just ran and saw nobody in front of me,” Phillips said.
Mission Bay scored three more touchdowns in the third quarter to further bury Clairemont (2-1). In addition to scoring runs of two and 12 yards by Kinder, Cobbler scored on a 70-yard interception return after dropping into coverage from his position on the line.
“We work on that play every week and that’s the first time we ran it where it actually made a difference,” Cobbler said. “I bobbled the ball and as soon as I had it, I saw nothing in front in me and I put everything I had behind it.”
After three quarters Mission Bay had a 43-point advantage, leading to a running clock to close out the game. With the victory, the Buccaneers are 3-0 for the first time since an undefeated campaign in 2009.
“It’s fantastic,” Phillips said. “We haven’t been 3-0 since [Dillon] Baxter left, and everybody says Mission Bay isn’t good – I guess they can’t say that anymore.”
Pictured: A trio of Mission Bay defenders wrap up Clairemont running back Nick Espinoza