Woodland Hills, CA – The Birmingham Patriot’s (8-5) swarming defense propelled them over the San Pedro Pirates (10-2) to take home the City Section Open Division Championship title with a 24-14 victory at Pierce College on Saturday night.
Birmingham head coach Jim Rose commented on being named back-to-back champions.
“It feels great. The last time we were back-to-back champs was 06’-07’ with those great teams and these kids are trying to make their own mark. We get the opportunity to go to State, and hopefully we can pull that off.”
Birmingham struck first in the first quarter with a 25-yard touchdown reception by a wide-open Peyton Waters at the 3:12 mark to lead 7-0.
Senior quarterback David Jordan-Oliveros threw a perfectly thrown pass right up the middle to senior Arlis Boardingham for a 41-yard catch to the house.
Birmingham held San Pedro scoreless in the first half 14-0.
Coach Rose discussed his team’s defensive intensity.
“We had a great run in the Open Division playoffs. We held two shutouts prior to this, so we went ten straight quarters without giving up a point in the open division and that’s huge right there. Monty Barnes and Carlos, they led us on defense tonight.”
Boardingham was unstoppable. He scored a 10-yard catch to stretch the lead to 21-0 with 6:57 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Boardingham reflected on winning the championship and being doubted throughout the season.
“I believe it’s great. We were doubted coming in. We were doubted the whole season. They didn’t believe in us. I feel like this is just a great story to show how to formulate a team, going down 0-5 the first five games and coming back to win a championship. It means a lot.”
San Pedro’s Chris Nixon put the Pirates on the board at the end of the third quarter.
Nixon leaped in the air for a 3-yard touchdown reception to trail 21-7 going into the final period.
San Pedro’s crowd was chanting “defense” at the top of the fourth quarter to hype their team up for the final twelve minutes of the game, but Birmingham was able to close it out for the win.
On the final play of the game, San Pedro rushed the line as Birmingham took a knee resulting in an injured Birmingham quarterback Jordan-Oliveros.
“It was a(n) [expletive] play. You don’t do something like that at the end of a game,” said Coach Rose.
Jordan-Oliveros highlighted how his coaches prepared their team for a game of this magnitude.
“They honestly prepared us the only way they could. The Patriot way. It’s one of my favorite sayings. It’s a great day to be a Patriot. I’m always going to live by it. Honestly, we’re just a big family and we just attack like Patriots when we need to.”
Boardingham shared his thoughts on the team’s run for a State title.
“It’s spectacular. I couldn’t have asked for a better season right now. The only thing left I need is State. I love these guys so much and they played their heart out for me and for everybody else.”