Junior wide receiver Jacob Sloan caught three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Clash Orsborn as Mission Bay defeated Calexico High 41-7 in a CIV Division V semifinal matchup last Friday. After falling behind 7-0 and then tying the game at 7-7, Calexico watched Mission Bay (10-2) reel off the next 34 unanswered points to put the game away.
With the victory, second-seeded Mission Bay moves into the championship on Friday, Nov. 26 at Grossmont High versus top-seeded Palo Verde Valley High (Blythe). Both teams sport 10-2 records. The Yellow Jackets escaped last weekend with a 29-28 semifinal win over Fallbrook High.
Sloan, who also handles kicking duties for the Bucs, finished his stellar night catching 12 passes for 166 yards. To top things off, he also recorded an interception.
“I was very pleased with the way that my team and I performed,” Sloan commented. “My offensive line held blocks well, which gave Clash (Orsborn) enough time to complete passes. On defense, we flew around and made tackles holding Calexico to only seven points.”
Bucs have played as a team all season long. With 10 wins in their pocket heading into the title game, success has been on display for much of the season at Mission Bay High.
“A key to our team’s success this year has been playing as a unit,” Sloan said. “We don’t play as individuals and we all do our jobs. Another key to our team’s success has been our energy at practice. Throughout the year, especially these last few weeks, we have been focused and locked in every single day.”
Not resting on their laurels, the Bucs know they have a good test ahead of them this Friday in the form of the Yellow Jackets.
“This Friday we will have to stop the run and play physical, disciplined football,” Sloan noted. “Our offense needs to play simple football and do our job, while our defense keeps them off the field. This game means a lot to our whole team, but we just have to play like any other Friday.”
For Mission Bay Head Football Coach Greg Tate, this fantastic season continues on, especially when it comes to how hard his team competes.
“I felt like we competed well, we knew they (Calexico) wanted to play keep-away with the ball and we need to force them into a couple three and outs, score, and put them in an uncomfortable situation,” Tate remarked. “I felt like as a team we just needed to settle down at halftime. We came back out in the second half and executed the game plan.”
While Mission Bay lit up the scoreboard for 30-plus points in the second straight CIF playoff game (Beat El Cajon Valley 35-7 a week earlier), the Bucs defense was stalwart once again.
“Really just the entire defense, including the subs, they all just did their jobs really well,” Tate noted. “We talk about playing ‘team ball’ and that's what they did.”
Heading into the matchup this Friday versus Palo Verde Valley, Tate is expecting quite the physical game.
“I think they'll play us a lot like Calexico in that they'll try to keep our offense off the field,” Tate offered. “They have a great running back and solid offensive line so it'll be tough to slow them down. In order to win, we just have to treat it like we've treated the other 12 games this season; practice hard and execute on Friday. Don't let the moment be too big.”
For Mission Bay High, keeping it all in perspective will go a long way as championship Friday unfolds.