As the Oceanside High School football team trotted off to the locker room at halftime trailing 13-0 to top-seeded Steele Canyon, some fans and opposing players were waving good-bye to the Pirates, who had done little to impress during the first two quarters. Then, the Cougars scored on its second play of the third quarter pushing their lead to 19-0 and mounting the odds against OHS.
Then, the second half happened…and then overtime.
OHS rallied itself with its latest posteseason comeback, scoring 26 unanswered points to nab the 26-19 victory over Steele Canyon in the CIF Division I quarterfinals Friday night. With the win the Pirates advanced to the semifinals against No. 4 seed Madison, who defeated Grossmont, 40-28, in its quartefinal matchup. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Madison.
This thrilling comeback ranks among the best in the last decade or so for Oceanside. Not since the 14-10 win over La Costa Canyon in 2008 in a driving rain storm and last game played on natural grass/mud on Simcox Field or in 2013 when the Pirates trailed Eastlake 30-7 at halftime in the rain, only to have the skies clear, and the path to end zone open up as they rallied for a 33-30 win.
Kavika Tua’s 57-yard touchdown run, followed by a Cedric Marton 35-yard field goal, cut the lead to 19-10. Then with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Pirates defense recorded a safety. After the kickoff, Tua caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Jakob Harris and the score was tied 19-19 with 19 seconds to go in the third quarter.
The Pirates had a chance to win the game in regulation by Marton’s 45-yard field goal with just three tantalizing yards short.
Oceanside scored on its first played in overtime when Harris connected with Rich Jaime (5 catches, 64 yards) on a 25-yard strike. Marton added the PAT and the Pirates had to go defense up, 26-19.
Steele Canyon’s season came to an end when linebacker Jalen Ramsey (11 tackles, 8 solo) intercepted a pass and sent off a celebration that rivaled Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Tua finished with 293 total yards (197 rushing, 96 receiving) and two TDs. Harris completed 18-of-31 passes for 218 yards and a pair of TDs.
Defensively, Shawn Ramsey had 10 tackles (6 solo), while Jaylin Moncrief and Kiki Laie had six tackles apiece.