Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Jan. 27
POINT LOMA – A new playing surface covers the field at Bennie Edens Stadium this season, and Point Loma is determined to protect its home turf. The Pointers raced past visiting Morse 38-6 on Friday afternoon to remain undefeated at home and snap a two-game losing streak.
“We’re undefeated on this field so far, and it was really important for us to get the win and get the train back on the track,” said Point Loma senior tight end/defensive end Jake Wambaugh.
Point Loma (2-2) opened the scoring less than four minutes into the game with a special teams touchdown. Pointers senior linebacker Greg Verdugo blocked a Morse punt, and Wambaugh scooped up the ball and ran 25 yards for a score that put Point Loma ahead 7-0.
“I picked the ball up and it was kind of a blur – it goes by pretty quickly,” said Wambaugh, who returned to action after missing two games with a knee injury. “I just picked it up and I had to find the maroon end zone. I wasn’t going down.”
In the second quarter, Morse (1-3) struck on a 58-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jamal Anderson to senior receiver Alfonso Wilson to make it a one-point game. Point Loma answered with a pair of touchdowns – a two-yard run by senior quarterback Branden Martin and a 58-yard pass from Martin to senior Jamal Agnew – and had a 21-6 lead at halftime.
“The offensive line really stepped up this week,” said Point Loma junior running back D.J. Lacy. “We’ve been struggling a lot on the offensive side of the ball, and we just stepped up and started putting points on the board.”
After Morse fumbled on the opening possession of the second half, Point Loma added to its lead with a 32-yard field goal by senior Miguel Alcantar. Late in the third quarter, Lacy scored on a two-yard run to give the Pointers a commanding 31-6 lead.
“It was really important to go out there and make a statement, and show that our team is one of the top contenders,” Lacy said. “I’m just happy that we came out and shined together as one unit.”
Point Loma added a touchdown in the fourth quarter – a five-yard run by senior running back Johnny Maes – to punctuate its victory. The Pointers kept Morse from scoring in the second half, slowing the Tigers’ misdirection attack that came in averaging more than 30 points per game.
“They have good athletes, and we just had to break down, slow their feet down, and get all 11 hats to the ball,” Wambaugh said. “We concentrated on running our base plays and doing what we do. We ramped it up in practice and we just had a lot more energy.”
With the victory, Point Loma evened its record and bounced back from consecutive losses. Wambaugh said he expects the Pointers to continue success behind a simplified approach.
“We have a great coaching staff that believes in us and if we stick to the fundamentals, our system and our team will win games – I think we’re going to do that the rest of the season,” Wambaugh said.
Pictured: Point Loma junior running back D.J. Lacy fights through the tackle attempt of Morse senior lineman Bradley Ballucanang (63) while Tigers senior defensive back Branden Salgado closes in
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