Behind the running of Kavika Tua and a punishing defense, the Oceanside High School football team came away with a convincing 43-35 win over San Marcos in the Avocado League opener for both schools.
Tua rushed for 190 yards on 21 carries, scoring on a nifty 80-yard run near the end of the first half and on a 32-yard screen pass from quarterback Jakob Harris to break the game open for the Pirates (2-1 overall, 1-0 in league play).
Trailing 7-0 midway through the first quarter, Kiki Laie and Jalen Ramsey combined to deflect a Knights’ punt that Kam Beachem returned 35 yards for a touchdown. The Pirates took the lead for good on their next drive when Harris hit Trejan Apodaca for a 21-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone. Late in the second quarter, Tua took a handoff on a sweep and appeared trapped on the Pirates’ sideline, but the junior made a sharp cutback and tap-danced along the sidelines all the way to the end zone.
In the second half, Isaiah Hernandez (12 yards) and Rich Jaime (8 yards) had touchdown runs for OHS. Laie’s reception for a two-point conversion and Cerdric Marton’s five PATs without a missing account for all the scoring.
Defensively, Laie, Ramsey and Eric Russell dominated the line of scrimmage, limiting the Knights to 21 yards rushing. In addition, they kept pressure on the San Marcos’ quarterbacks all night long. Defensive backs Jaylin Moncrief, Tyrell Bellmon, and Apodaca blanketed the talented Knights’ receiving corps. Apodaca ended San Marcos’ final drive with an interception at the goal line that he returned 60 yards to seal the game for Oceanside.
The Pirates have a bye this week and resume Avocado League play at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 when they host La Costa Canyon.