In an ironic twist, the Pointers, who finished 4-6, have a chance for a "do-over" tonight (Nov. 10) at Clairemont High where they open CIF Div. I playoffs against the same team that defeated them in the season opener.
The Pointers (No. 7 seed out of 12 teams) will face No. 10 seed El Camino, a 3-7 team that defeated them 21-8 Aug. 26 in Oceanside. As the higher-seeded team, the Pointers earned home-field advantage, but the game will be played at Clairemont because CIF requires all playoff games to be 7 p.m. kickoffs.
"I like this rematch," said Pointer head coach Mike Hastings. "We turned the ball over five times, twice in the red zone, in our first meeting. Our kids are excited to play them again and get the 'W.'"
And if they grab that 'W' tonight, the Pointers will face St. Augustine, the team that defeated them in the final regular game of the season last Friday afternoon.
Although Western League powers Cathedral, St. Augustine and Madison were all rated Top 10 teams, the Saints and Warhawks dropped from the elite Open Division to Div. I based on CIF's use of power rankings that reward teams for both wins and the strength of their opponents.
Madison (No. 1) and the Saints (No. 2), both 8-2, received the top two Div. I seeds and valuable first-round byes.
The Pointers clearly have their work cut out for them if they are to advance.
Last Friday, in their final daytime game before stadium lighting is completed this spring, the Pointers saw the Saints score 28 unanswered points in a third quarter blitz that led to a 45-15 thrashing.
"I thought we came out and played good football for the first quarter and most of the second," Hastings said after the game.
Following a Saints field goal to open scoring, the Pointers took the lead during the second quarter after a possession exchange in which Point Loma punter Oscar Borjon's kick was downed at the one-yard line. When the Saints couldn't move and punted, the Pointers took advantage of the resulting good field position with a drive to the end zone.
Quarterback Kyle Grady found tight end Pat Rutledge over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. And, in a surprise move, lineman Davey Folsom (6 foot 4 inch tall, 315 pounds) took a handoff and bulled his way into the end zone behind his line mates for the twopoint conversion and an 8-3 lead.
That lead lasted exactly 21 seconds.
The Saints broke a long scoring run on the first play after the kickoff to take a 10-8 lead.
By the time the Pointers scored again, they were behind 45-8. That score came with just over five minutes left to play and followed another 21-yard pass from Grady to Rutledge.
The Saints took the Pointer defense by surprise when, with just three seconds left before halftime, they executed a rarely seen "hook and ladder" play that saw a pass completed over the middle followed by two laterals before the final ball carrier scored. The play gave the visitors a 17-8 lead at intermission.
"That touchdown hurt a bit," Hastings said, as a two-point Saints lead quickly became nine points.
The Saints scored again on another long run early in the third quarter before a series of turnovers – four in just eight minutes – allowed the Saints to break the game wide open.
Three pass interceptions resulted in 14 points, one on a "pick six." A fumble led to another score as the Saints piled up 28 points in the third quarter alone.
"We were pressing a little bit and got out of our offense," said Hastings. "and that caused us to turn the ball over more than we usually do. They converted the turnovers into points and the score became lopsided."
Offensively, Rutledge caught three passes for 62 yards while Josh Ball added 64 yards on 15 carries.
Defensively, Mathew Faa'lele and Ball each were credited with four tackles. Faa'lele had two tackles for loss and a sack while Ball had one tackle for loss. Antonio Pelayo had 3.5 tackles, one for loss and one sack.
"I don't think our team has anything to be ashamed about," Hastings said. "We're in the Div. I playoffs, and look forward to this opportunity."
- The Pointer junior varsity ended its season with a 6-4 record (2-2 in Western League). Their biggest wins were over Madison and Christian. The freshman team finished 5-4 overall (1-3 in league). They played Madison strong, losing 40-33 and by just 29-28 to St. Augustine.
- The game had a 2:30 p.m. start because of earlier darkness. The crowd for both teams was smaller because many parents, relatives and friends, unable to leave work, had to miss the game.