The Pirates (13-0) host Edison of Fresno (12-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to the CIF Division I state bowl championship in Carson. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable throughout Southern California. For more on Fresno Edison, CLICK HERE.
Local writer offers profile on legendary Oceanside head coach, CLICK HERE.
By Devin Ugland
Special to CalHiSports.com
Head coach: John Carroll (26th season, 246-73-6 overall)
Section: The Pirates won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship, 20-13, over Helix. It was Oceanside’s first SD Section Open Division champion-ship – lost the 2013 Open title game to Mission Hills, 36-14. The Pirates have won 15 San Diego Section titles with the most recent before this year coming in 2012. Thirteen of those 15 came under Carroll.
League: Won Avocado League West (4-0)
Cal-Hi Sports Top 25 overall state ranking: No. 5
Cal-Hi Sports bowl game ranking: No. 3 (Division I South)
CIF Bowl History: Oceanside won the 2009 Division I championship over Bellarmine Prep of San Jose. The Pirates also won the Division II title over Novato in 2007.
Best Win: The Pirates come in to the regional bowl game unscathed and seemingly getting better with each game. Oceanside’s best win to date came in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship game, 20-13, over a tough Helix team. The Pirates also defeated CIF Southern Section West Valley Division champion Mission Viejo in their second game of the season.
Key Players: QB Matthew Romero (6-2, 180, Sr.), RB Josh Bernard (5-11, 205, Sr.), WR Johnny Arzola (5-11, 170, Sr.), WR Isaia PaoPao (6-0, 185, Jr.), WR John Grumbling (6-1, 172, Sr.), WR/DB Jordan Miller (6-1, 170 Sr., Verbal to Washington), DE Amadeo West (6-2, 225, Sr.), DE Tommy Woo (6-2, 225, Sr., Verbal to Hawaii), OL Christian Cronk (6-4, 288, Sr., Verbal to Hawaii), OL Cedric Bigge-Duren (6-6, 307, Verbal to Washington State).
General Offense: Oceanside deploys a well-balanced attack between quarterback Matthew Romero and running back Josh Bernard. Romero has completed 156 of his 255 (61.2 percent) of his passing attempts for 2,672 yards – a 205.5 per game average. The senior has thrown 24 touchdown passes to just seven interceptions. Bernard has 216 carries on the season in which he has gained 1,436 yards and found the end zone 25 times on the ground. The senior is rushing for 110.5 yards per game on average and has run for over 100 yards seven times on the year. Johnny Arzola, a senior wide out, leads Oceanside in both receptions and yards at that position. Arzola has caught 50 passes for 756 yards and seven TDs. Isaiah PaoPao leads the team in touchdown receptions with eight. He has caught 36 passes for 578 yards on the year.
General Defense: In its 13 games this season, Oceanside is allowing opponents to score just over 13 points per game. The Pirates have two shutouts on the season (vs. Carlsbad and vs. Chaparral) and have held opponents to 10 points or less on four other occasions. Oceanside runs a 4-4 defense and the defensive line is anchored by Amadeo West, who has recorded 18.5 sacks on the year, and Tommy Woo, who is verbally committed to Hawaii. The one defensive back who is willing to take chances is Washington verbal-commit Jordan Miller. The senior has two interceptions on the season.
Key Injuries: Oceanside is without talented middle linebacker Marcus Lau Young who was lost with a season ending injury.
The Skinny: Oceanside coach John Carroll said that the Pirates need to neutralize the size difference on the offensive and defensive lines by winning any one-on-one matchups they might have up-front. Another key for Oceanside will be for its sec-ondary to not give up any big plays to Edison’s athletic playmakers on offense.
Devin Ugland covers USC men’s basketball and football for TrojanSports.com. He has previously written for the Orange County Register, Long Beach Press-Telegram and Daily Pilot. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @Devin_Ugland.