Sam Crizer couldn’t remember such a feeling.
Just like his Morro Bay High football teammates, he has grown up competing with San Luis Obispo in just about everything. After all, the two San Luis Coastal Unified School District programs are only about 15 minutes away from each other. But wins have been hard to come by for the Pirates against their larger neighbor.
“All my life, I’ve played San Luis in every sport imaginable,” Crizer said. “And I can honestly say I can’t remember beating them too many times.”
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Morro Bay (3-0) stayed unbeaten by trouncing the host Tigers 34-10 at Holt Field on Friday night.
“It’s kind of bragging rights,” said Crizer, who was 2-of-4 passing for 26 yards, and rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. “I’m not going to be afraid to wear my letterman’s jacket downtown. I’m not ashamed to say who I am (as a Morro Bay player).
“It feels good for our community.”
Morro Bay lost to San Luis Obispo 28-14 last year, but prior to that, the two teams hadn’t played from 2002 through 2007.
“It’s really good for our community because we haven’t beaten them in a while,” Morro Bay coach John Andree said.
San Luis Obispo (1-2) didn’t do itself any favors. On a key third-and-6 at the Morro Bay 10-yard line, with his team already down 21-3, junior quarterback Anthony Maez lost his second fumble of the night with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
“You’ve got to take care of the ball,” Tigers coach David Kelley said, “and we lost it at crucial times.”
During an ensuing 90-yard scoring march, Crizer had runs of 25 and 28 yards, recognizing cutback lanes and weaving in and out of would-be tacklers at will.
“Our blocking was great downfield,” Crizer said. “I had bigger holes than I’ve seen all year.”
The Pirates’ Hylan Lockshaw scored on a 2-yard run with a minute left in the quarter to establish a 27-3 advantage. San Luis Obispo got its first touchdown 17 seconds later, when running back Nate Nunno burst up the middle for a 72-yard run to make matters 27-10.
But it was almost the only bright spot for the Tigers, who gave up a 26-yard touchdown run to Lockshaw with 4:34 left in regulation that provided the final margin.
Lockshaw finished with 119 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, and Bronson Gonzalez rushed for 51 yards and another score on eight attempts. Morro Bay held Maez to just 3-of-7 passing for 17 yards. Nunno finished with 12 carries for 140 yards, although more than half of them came on the one dash.
“We executed one play,” Kelley said of Nunno’s touchdown run. “The offensive line right now is not executing properly.”
Just 2:12 into the game, Maez muffed a handoff to Nunno, and Morro Bay recovered the fumble at San Luis Obispo’s 29-yard line.
“That really set the tone for the game,” Andree said. “It all started up front. We pressured them all game long.”
With 7:15 remaining in the opening quarter, Gonzalez capped a Morro Bay drive by running into the end zone from 5 yards out to put the Pirates up 7-0.
Lockshaw had a 4-yard plunge up the middle to put Morro Bay ahead 14-0 with 10:58 remaining in the second quarter.
After the Pirates defense forced a punt, Crizer took a keeper 13 yards around right end to paydirt to increase the lead to 21-0 with 5:59 left in the half.
San Luis Obispo found some hope 4:37 before intermission, as the Pirates couldn’t handle a punt from the Tigers’ 36-yard line and lost a fumble at their own 24. Thomas Lee then connected on a 22-yard field goal with 3:23 left to close the gap to 21-3.