While the elder Paul Rosa will continue on as Head Coach of the Chargers, Wilcox star tailback Paul M. Rosa, affectionately known as “Bro” to those who know him, has seen his Chargers career come to an end. Rosa would score both of Wilcox’s touchdowns in a 27-14 loss in the CCS semifinal round against the No. 1 seed Serra Padres on Saturday. The senior running back was visibly emotional after the game.
“It’s just weird,” remarked Rosa on being done with high school football. “Just weird because I’ve been here so long. But it went so fast at the same time. This is the tightest group I’ve ever played with.”
This group of Chargers came out of the gate flying on both sides of the ball. Wilcox opened the game on defense and immediately forced a three-and-out drive. Rosa then took the first offensive play 55 yards on a run around the left side. That set up his first touchdown, a six-yard run up the middle.
Wilcox followed that up by stopping the Padres offense on their next two possessions, including an interception in the endzone. Junior Jesse Teo broke up the pass, tipping it up in the air for fellow junior Bryan Escorza to swoop in and grab the interception.
Turnovers would prove costly in this game, though. On the other side of the ball, the Wilcox offense fumbled four times and in back-breaking spots. With the score tied at 7, the Chargers marched down the field on the opening drive of the second half, but fumbled at the Padres 30-yard line.
“That was a pivotal one,” admitted coach Rosa on the early third-quarter turnover. “We were moving the ball pretty easily, we threw the ball a little bit more with the bubble screen.”
The Chargers defense would actually stop the Padres on the very next drive, but eventually Serra’s offense started moving the ball more effectively, slowly wearing down the Chargers defense. Thanks in part to some fortunate rulings by the officials, the Padres would end up taking a 27-7 lead. Despite the officiating though, it was still clear that the better team that day won.
“I felt good about our start, but the one thing about the private schools is they have tons of depth,” noted coach Rosa. “They run guys in and out, they rest guys, so as the game goes, depth really gives you an advantage because people are more fresh. We have guys that go down, we don’t have the same depth. Our first 11 can probably play with anyone for a quarter. Those schools have a big advantage in the pure numbers that they have.”
In addition to Rosa, a number of key seniors saw their high school careers come to an end in Saturday’s loss. Quarterback Geremy McCollough, defensive-ends Isaiah Flores and Tyler Rowland, cornerback Aaron Ah Sing, linebackers Roan Poulivaati and Sebastian Davila, defensive tackle Samuela Lolo and offensive tackles Osiris Niko and Scott Smith are all set to graduate, leaving coach Rosa with a large number of holes to fill next season.