HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA- On a brisk evening in Huntington Beach, CA, the CIF Southern Section Quarterfinal clash unfolded with the hometown Oilers hosting the Ontario Christian Knights in a breathtaking display of high school football.
The Knights seized an early lead with a swift drive, led by Senior Quarterback Hayden Slegers culminating in a Zander Lewis rushing touchdown. Despite the Knights’ efforts, their lead remained slim after a failed 2-point conversion, holding them at 6-0.
Responding to the challenge, Huntington Beach rallied as Tyler Young surged through for a pivotal Oilers touchdown, nudging them ahead 7-6.
A seesaw battle ensued as Slegers orchestrated another scoring drive for Ontario Christian, regaining the lead 13-7.
The Oilers refused to yield. With tenacity, they turned the tables once more, with Young bulldozing his way to another crucial touchdown, propelling Huntington Beach to a 14-13 advantage.
Ontario Christian countered, expanding their lead with a Slegers rushing touchdown, entering halftime at 19-14, missing the 2-point conversion.
The break revitalized the Oilers. They exploded into the third quarter, igniting the scoreboard with a spectacular 65-yard connection between Brady Edmunds and Hunter Gray, lifting the Oilers to a 20-19 lead and etching Gray into the record books.
The Knights fought back, but Huntington Beach refused to relent. Young, displaying exceptional prowess, secured his third rushing touchdown, thrusting the Oilers ahead 28-25 after a successful 2-point conversion.
The game intensified as Slegers and Lewis combined once more, giving Ontario Christian a slim lead at 33-28 heading into the final quarter.
In a nail-biting climax, the Oilers faced a monumental 4th and 20. Edmunds found Troy Foster for a pivotal first down, paving the way for Young’s fourth touchdown, edging the Oilers to a 34-33 lead.
In a decisive play, Edmunds connected with Gray for a 2-point conversion, propelling the Oilers to a 36-33 lead.
With the game hanging in the balance, the Oilers’ defense stepped up. With just over three minutes left, Noah Jover intercepted Slegers, sealing the thrilling victory for Huntington Beach.
The resilient Oilers now advance to the CIF Southern Section Division 6 Semifinals, marking a road trip up north to face Simi Valley next Friday at 7 pm.