Dancing in the streets of San Marcos
The fans at Mission Hills of San Marcos had been waiting ever since the school opened 10 years ago. Its boys had come close to beating neighboring Oceanside, tying their rivals 10-10 two years ago at home. Still, the Grizzlies record was 0-5-1 against the Pirates and their storied winning tradition.
That all changed on Friday night in San Marcos when Mission Hills put a 30-6 licking on state No. 14 Oceanside. With the win, the current No. 22 Grizzlies will certainly move up in this week’s rankings, and also take over as the top team in the CIF San Diego Section.
“It was number one versus number two (in San Diego Section), so in that regard it’s not a big upset, but in reality it’s huge,” said longtime San Diego-area prep writer Steve Brand, who covered another Friday night upset in San Diego, No. 7 Vista Murrieta falling 35-28 to San Diego Cathedral Catholic.
“You were right on about that,” said Mission Hills head coach Chris Hauser when told the Cal-Hi Sports rankings last week said the people would be dancing in the streets if the Grizzlies won. “The game atmosphere was off the charts, but after the game the people didn’t want to leave. It was a special night last night.”
Oceanside had former star Willie Buchanon on its sidelines, but San Marcos had junior 6-foot-2, 195-pound safety Dechaun Holiday on the field. None of the four interceptions Buchanon had with the Green Bay Packers against the San Diego Chargers could help his former team in this game, but the three interceptions Holiday recorded, including one he took 64 yards to the house, helped the Grizzlies bury the Pirates.
The hosts could only muster six points in the first half. Those came by virtue of two field goals made by senior Esteban Senteno. His 47- and 50-yard bombs tied the score at 6-6 at the half, however from there it was all Mission Hills.
A short touchdown run by 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior running back Ricky Liuchan, a 21-yard TD pass by senior quarterback Connor Wynn (who transferred to Mission Hills from Oceanside as a freshman), Holiday’s TD return, Senteno’s third field field goal from 27 yards, and the defense did the rest.
“We’re not crowning ourselves as champions, but it was a matter of breaking through that barrier,” Hauser told Cal-Hi Sports.”We have some history in our favor now.”