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Oilers strike for first CIF-SS title

HB pulls away from Newport Harbor in fourth quarter led by Kai Ross.

December 11, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(KEVIN CHANG / HB…)

ANAHEIM — They have been playing football at Huntington Beach High for nearly a century.

From here on out, the 2013 Oilers will go down in school history as the first to win a major CIF Southern Section football championship.

Huntington completed its Phoenix-like rise Saturday in the Southwest Division title game at Angel Stadium by scoring three touchdowns in a span of less than one minute late in the second half, to stun Newport Harbor, 42-28, in an all-Sunset League final.

The scoring spree, which included a long touchdown pass followed by two interception returns for touchdowns by senior Kai Ross, broke a 21-all tie and sent the Oilers on to Southwest supremacy.

The Oilers had trailed, 21-14, with 2:31 to play in the third quarter.

"I thought the long touchdown pass, and then the two long touchdowns by Kai [Ross], were unbelievable," said Huntington's Eric Lo, who won his first section football title as a head coach.

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"We started off a little slow," he said. "Maybe it was the stage here (pointing to the field at Angel Stadium), but I thought we didn't find our groove right away. Newport played a tough, physical game but we took over in the fourth quarter. Hats off to them and Coach [Jeff] Brinkley. They played a great game."

The Oilers, once a 4-5 team late in the season, won their final five games to claim the title. It wasn't easy against a Newport Harbor team that came in riding a three-game win streak and was seeking its fourth section title under Brinkley.

The Sailors (8-6) held a 21-14 lead after junior quarterback Cole Norris found a wide open Keaton Cablay in the back of the end zone on a nine-yard touchdown pass with 2:31 left in the third quarter. The lead didn't last long, as Huntington responded with an 81-yard scoring drive that took only five plays and just over two minutes.

Senior receiver Maurice Barber took in a short screen play from Ross at the Huntington 21-yard line and sped up the middle of the field for a huge, 64-yard gain before being dragged down by strong safety Skyler Pavloff at the Newport 17. Three plays later from the 12, sophomore running back Hunter Simmons took a screen from Ross on the right side and fought his way to the end zone. Junior Maliek Miller's conversion with 11 seconds to go in the quarter knotted the score.

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