San Pedro Hands Palisades First Loss of Season to Advance to Open Division Final

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San Pedro, CA – The San Pedro Pirates (10-1) handed the Palisades Dolphins (11-1) their first loss of the season on Friday night 33-17 to advance to the City Section Open Division Championship against Birmingham, the 2019 defending champions.

Photo by Brianne Ingram / fi360 News

San Pedro Head Coach Corey Miller shared his experience competing in the semi-finals and moving on to the Championship next week.

“In my experience, the semis have always been the toughest. To get to a final is just an awesome feeling. But like I just told the boys, we have unfinished work to do. We can’t be satisfied with this. They gotta give us six more days of grind and find a way to get it done.”

The Pirates forced five turnovers and were able to capitalize from their defensive pressure.

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San Pedro senior Elijah Thorp scored a pick six at the opening drive of the second quarter to lead 13-0.

“They got a good quarterback and a good group of receivers over there, so we practiced all week-long pass defense wise. We had to generate a pass rush at times, and I think our defense played well overall,” said Coach Miller.

Lightning bolt Chris Nixon juked his way down the field for a 35-yard touchdown carry to extend the lead to 20-10 at the half.

Senior quarterback Aidan Jackson zipped it to the fearless Robert Sarmiento for a 25-yard touchdown pass to go up 27-17 in the third quarter.

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Palisades was still in striking distance, but not for long.

Senior Kejuan Bullard leaped in the air for an interception with 8:59 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

In the very next play, Chris Nixon caught a touchdown in the endzone for the final score of the game 33-17.

As the clock struck zero, San Pedro celebrated their victory.

Coach Miller commented on playing Birmingham in the final.

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“It’s just great to be there whoever we get to play. Birmingham is really the defending City Champs. They knocked us out in the playoffs back in 2019, so I think that’s going to be some motivation for us. At least I hope so. They got a quality ball club over there so we’re going to really have to bring our A-game.”

The battle for the City Section Open Division Championship title between the San Pedro Pirates and the Birmingham Patriots is scheduled for next Saturday, November 27th at 7 p.m. at Pierce College.

Photo by Brianne Ingram / fi360 News