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11.25.11 by Thomas Conroy

Execution is a key component for any team that wants to advance in the playoffs, and the Oceanside Pirates executed all the right plays Friday night in a thrilling 31-28 come-from-behind victory over the Valhalla Norsemen.

Remarkably, they had squandered a 17-point lead, as the Norseman scored 21-straight points to take their first lead at 28-24 late in the fourth quarter. Then, it was Oceanside’s turn to answer the challenge, as Pirates junior QB Tofi Paopao led his team to a game-winning drive that culminated with a 3-yard run by junior RB William Gulley, who had scored all four O-Side touchdowns (3-run and 1-pass).

Gulley was a driving force on both sides of the ball; often he occupied space in the Norsemen backfield all evening long from the middle linebacker position, while being the main ball-carrier in the Pirate rushing attack. Missed scoring opportunities will haunt Valhalla during the off-season, as they converted only 3 of 13 drives inside the Pirates thirty-yard line for points, and Gulley was a big reason for their lack of success.

For his efforts, Oceanside Pirates RB/MLB William Gulley was named the KBCsports.com Player of the Game.

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