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Huntington Beach shocks Edison

Oilers pull off upset, beating Chargers, 28-21, to advance to CIF Southern Section Southwest Division title game.

November 30, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

COSTA MESA — Eric Lo was at a loss for words late Friday. Not once, but twice.

"I don't know what to say," the Huntington Beach head coach finally managed to get out, repeating the phrase a few minutes apart, before walking over to join in the celebration with his ecstatic team and coaching staff near one end of the field at LeBard Stadium.

You can't blame Lo for not being able to find the right words to describe what had just transpired at Orange Coast College. His Oilers had just upset defending champion and Sunset League rival Edison, 28-21, to continue an amazing journey in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoffs.

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The triumph thrust Huntington, an at-large entry to the playoffs, into the Southwest Division championship game at 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at Angel Stadium. The Oilers (8-5) will face another Sunset League foe, Newport Harbor, in the title match.

The Sailors (9-4), who tied for second place in the Sunset, won Friday's other division semifina1, 28-17, over visiting Fullerton (Freeway League No. 2).

After slugging it out for four quarters with the Chargers, 48-6 became a distant memory for the Oilers.

That was the score Edison had ran up on Huntington when the teams met in a Sunset League opener Oct. 11.

Friday's victory also ended a couple of 20-year droughts. First, it marked Huntington's first win against Edison since 1993. It was at the end of that same season, that a Huntington team last reached a Southern Section championship game.

Again, numbers that faded to distant memory because this emotional night, belonged to Huntington.

"We just played well and made plays when he had to," Lo went on to say. "Our guys are tough and resilient.

"I'm kind of overwhelmed right now. At an earlier point of the season, it didn't look very good that we were going to make the playoffs. Now, we're in the finals."

Huntington's improbable run to the division final started with a 31-17 win at previously undefeated and No. 2-seeded Yorba Linda. Last week, the Oilers bounced a 10-1 San Juan Hills team from the postseason following a 42-12 win over the Stallions. In both wins, the Oilers jumped out to big leads early and never trailed.

Against Edison, they did the same with another jolting start. But, they did fall behind in the second half only to regroup, score the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter, and then kept the No. 3-seeded Chargers (9-4) from scoring the remainder of the way.

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