Coming home for the first time after a long trip to Morro Bay seven days ago, the San Pedro High football team appeared primed and ready to deliver an early crushing blow to visiting Locke of Los Angeles, a team that the Pirates have defeated in eight consecutive nonleague meetings.
However, on the second play of the game, Locke senior running back Rasool Gilmore broke free for a 78-yard touchdown run, and then San Pedro sophomore quarterback Jacob Miller had a pass bobbled by his intended receiver junior Albert Martinez, and fall into the hands of Locke junior WR/DB Frederick French.
Suddenly, the Pirates were thrust into a state of shock.
Despite that rocky beginning, the defense quickly restored order, and the offense would feed off the intensity of the defense, and things were back to normal as San Pedro would methodically defeat Locke, 46-12 in a nonleague game at Pirate Stadium.
Miller, who didn't complete a pass in four attempts during the Pirates' 21-0 victory at Morro Bay in their season opener a week ago, would find his touch against the Saints (1-1), completing 9-of-14 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown to awaken the once non-existent passing attack to compliment their bewildering rushing attack, which accounted for six of San Pedro's seven touchdowns.
Senior RB/LB Pete Palacios had another well-balanced effort on both sides for San Pedro (2-0), as he ran for 68 yards and two touchdowns, catching five passes for 65 yards, and coming up with six tackles, including a rattling hit on Gilmore for a three-yard loss on a fourth-and-1 play midway through the second quarter where the Pirates were protecting a 20-12 lead.
Once Gilmore's long run gave Locke a 6-0 lead with 10:58 left in the first quarter followed by French's interception, it appeared that the Pirates were rattled, yet the offense would score on their next four possessions to squelch any doubts if there were any, regarding how they could respond from early adversity.
The Pirates would take a 27-12 lead into the locker room on Palacios' two touchdown runs of one and three yards in the second quarter, a three-yard touchdown run by junior running back Chris Alvidrez, and a nine-yard touchdown run by senior WR/DB Cean Tukes Jr. Locke would cut San Pedro's lead to 14-12 with 8:18 left in the first half on senior quarterback Fabian Villegas' 27-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Chad Washington, but the Pirates defense stoned Gilmore on the two-point conversion attempt.
From there, the Saints would never march into the end zone again.
In the third quarter, senior wideout Arron Scognamillo would take a sweep hand-off and run for an eight-yard touchdown on the first possession of the third quarter for San Pedro, and then the biggest moment of the day, and redemption for two Pirates in particular, came near the end of the quarter.
Miller would draw Locke's defense in with a great fake and would hit Martinez with a perfect pass over the middle for a 30-yard touchdown pass, which Martinez briefly juggled before hauling it in once he reached the end zone, for a 40-12 San Pedro advantage with seven seconds remaining.
Junior WR/DB Anthony Bolden's 28-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter, in which the starters rested for the entire 12 minutes, provided the final scoring tally for San Pedro.
The Pirates will host University of Los Angeles next Friday.