Hamburgers and hot dogs sizzled on snack bar grills, there was plenty of seating in Pete Ross Stadium for visiting fans from Madison High School and the Pointers went out of their way to make their guests feel at home.
The Pointers even gave the War-hawks a couple of gift-wrapped touchdowns.
At stake was a share of the Western League championship, as a Pointer victory would have left them tied with the Warhawks and Mission Bay with identical 3-1 records.
But this wasn’t the Pointers day, as the ’Hawks, who happen to be defending state champions, spoiled the party with a 28-7 victory that left them alone atop the league standings at 4-0 (10-1 overall).
The Pointers ended the regular season 2-2 in league, 5-5 overall.
CIF playoff pairings: The Pointers were seeded No. 9 in Div. I and will play at
No. 8 seed El Camino in Oceanside on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. The Wildcats finished 4-6 overall, 0-4 in the Avocado-West League. The winner will play at No. 1 seed San Pasqual in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., followed by semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at
7 p.m. and finals on Monday, Dec. 2 in Qualcomm Stadium at 2 p.m.
But the spirit of Pointer players was intact during a post-game session in the team’s locker room.
“We talked after the game,” said Pointer head coach Mike Hastings, “and a lot of seniors really spoke from their hearts and said how much the team means to them and how much they are looking forward to continuing on. Anytime you have leaders like that you want to keep the season going as long as you can.”
On the field, the Warhawks set the tone early, needing only 1:11 to score their first touchdown.
Starting on the 20-yard line following Jaime Medina’s touchback kickoff, the visitors covered the 80 yards in several plays with quarterback Kareem Coles sprinting the final 26 yards.
On their first drive, beginning on their 8-yard line, the Pointers mounted a nice drive that featured senior Dirk Lacy’s running and a fine one-handed pass reception. The drive ended 77 yards later with Madison intercepting a Gavin Grady pass at the Warhawks’ 15-yard line.
Grady figured prominently in the lone Pointer touchdown later when he sprinted downfield on a high punt from Medina to yell and distract a ’Hawk player signaling a fair catch at his own
10-yard line. When the rattled returner dropped the ball, Pointer Jonathan Cook recovered the ball at the 4.
From here, Jalen Griffin swept to the right for the score that tied the game
7-7 on the final play of the first quarter.
The next Warhawk drive took them deep into Pointer territory before a host of Pointers appeared to stop them on a fourth-down play at the 10-yard line. But a chop-block penalty was called on the Dogs and Madison jumped back in front 14-7 on a two-yard run with 8:54 left before the break.
Those were the last points the Pointer defense would give up as two miscues by the Dogs’ offense in the final minutes of the half broke a close game open.
Miscue #1: On the next Dogs drive the ’Hawks snared another pass interception that became a 60-yard “pick-six” to increase the lead to 21-7.
Miscue #2: On the final play of the first half, the ball was punched from a scrambling Grady’s grip and it flew directly into the arms of surprised Madison defender Dotun Ogundeji. With the ruled fumble, the 6-1, 252-pound senior rumbled to the end zone for a 28-7 lead that ended scoring.
“We knew we couldn’t make errors against a very good team like Madison, a top-10 rated team,” Hastings said. “Unfortunately, we gave them 14 points, but I thought our kids battled hard and was proud of their effort. Offensively, we moved the ball pretty well, but you’ve got to put it in the end zone and score more points against a team like that.”
Mission Bay 26, Point Loma 22
Two weeks ago, the Pointers dropped their first Western League decision when visiting Mission Bay scored a touchdown with four seconds remaining in the game to escape with the win in a classic battle that saw the lead change hands several times in the fourth quarter alone.
The Bucs had scored with 7:55 left in the game and, after Pointer Sean Gardocki blocked the extra point attempt, the Pointers clung to a 14-13 lead.
The Bucs scored again with two minutes left to take a 19-14 lead.
But the Pointers battled back, Grady connecting with running back Jalen Griffin on a 67-yard touchdown pass that sent the home crowd into a frenzy when a two-point conversion pass to Jake Wambaugh gave their team a 22-19 lead with 1:28 left to play.
Unfortunately, the Bucs drove the length of the field in 84 seconds for the win.
• The San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation selected the Pointer-Warhawk game as its Game of the Week. Each team named a Most Valuable Player, who will be a guest of the organization at a future Chargers game and invited to attend the chapter’s annual banquet March 29 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Mission Valley. Recipients must have earned all-league honors, a 3.0 or better GPA and display outstanding citizenship on and off campus. Senior Wambaugh was named to represent the Pointers.
• While walking to the Voltaire Street stadium entrance for the Homecoming game, a Pointer football parent, who happens to be a local college official, spotted a woman at the corner of Voltaire and Clove streets with a notepad and camera, videotaping students approaching the stadium. When asked if there was a problem, the woman replied that she was attempting to collect “evidence” of disruptive behavior by teens on behalf of the Save Our Neighborhood organization.