SPHS Football Shakes Off Slow Start, Wins 2014 Opener

It was only 364 days ago when the San Pedro High football team traveled 220 miles in four hours and 33 minutes to Morro Bay for their 2013 opener, a game which the defense carried them to a 21-0 victory.

This time, Morro Bay made the long trek to the Harbor Area to kickoff 2014 and were eager to put last year's opening loss behind them. They would take an early lead in the first quarter and forced two turnovers, but after that, San Pedro would hold their ground defensively, and notch a 35-7 victory over Morro Bay at Pirate Stadium.

Things looked bleak early on for the Pirates, junior quarterback Jacob Miller calmly drove the ball down field on their first possession of the season, only to get intercepted on his first pass. On the next possession late in the first quarter, Miller was sacked and lost a fumble. From the second quarter on, Miller and his offensive line would dominate the rest of the way as he threw three touchdown passes, one more than he had all of last season, to pace San Pedro.

Senior running back Chris Alvidrez would run for a one-yard score with 4:52 remaining in the second quarter to tie the score a 7-7, and after forcing a Morro Bay punt, Miller would toss a dart on fourth-and-seven to the right corner for junior wide receiver Christian Michaels for a 29-yard touchdown with seven seconds remaining in the first half, putting San Pedro ahead to stay.

In the third quarter, San Pedro backup quarterback, sophomore Nick Zabatta would run for an eight-yard touchdown with 4:07 left in the third quarter to increase their lead to 21-7, capping off a drive that had two key plays, which were a 27-yard run by senior RB/DB Anthony Bolden, and a 14-yard pass from Miller to senior wide receiver Anton Srsen.

The fourth quarter would be Miller's time.

Morro Bay would drive down to the red zone, but Michaels stepped in and intercepted a pass near the end zone to put that drive to a halt. The Pirates would then drive 97 yards on eight plays, capped off by Miller's 49-yard pass to junior running back Donte Huddleston, who broke two tackles over the middle of the field to turn it into an electrifying touchdown, and a 28-7 San Pedro advantage on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Miller was far from done, as he then threw a perfect strike down the left sideline to Srsen for a 46-yard touchdown to finish off the scoring with 5:50 remaining in the game.

Overall, Miller completed 9-of-15 passes for 174 yards for San Pedro, who debuted in brand-new jerseys courtesy of Under Armour. Alvidrez added 120 yards rushing on 11 carries, and Zabatta ran for 71 yards on six carries, all in the second half. Defensively, junior linebacker Vincent Wood registered a pair of sacks, while sophomore linebacker Sohl Gafa and senior linebacker Chris Lauro were the top tacklers.

San Pedro continues the season next Friday at home against Locke of Los Angeles.

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