"The seniors just kind of took over in the locker room," Keasey said of halftime. "We said that this was the last 24 minutes that we'll play on this field for the rest of our lives. We just kind of promised each other we'd go as hard as we could the entire second half.
"The leadership on our team goes well beyond the captains. A lot of the football guys, after winning their CIF championship, have really taken it upon themselves to come out and be leaders through their actions ... Each and every one of the seniors has taken it upon themselves to work as hard as they can and set an example. It's the most hard-working, unselfish group of seniors that we've ever had."
Corona del Mar (21-0) will play defending champion Foothill, the No. 4 seed, in the semifinals Saturday at 5 p.m. at Aliso Niguel High. The Knights outlasted Newport Harbor, 6-4, in another quarterfinal. The Sea Kings and Knights have not played this season.
Few games are easy at this point. The visiting Oilers (9-8) proved they could hang with CdM in the first half. They took a 5-4 lead into halftime after David Mastro executed a sweet spin move, dishing the ball to Taylor Refice for a goal with 3:56 left in the second quarter. Mastro already had a goal and three assists at the break.
Huntington Beach, which had lost to CdM, 12-4, at home earlier in the season, was doing more than just making it a game.
"We felt like the first half wasn't us," Mix said. "We talked about that at halftime, that they weren't really beating us because that wasn't us. We needed to do what we do. I think we did a very good job coming out in the second half and playing far more in character than we did in the first half. And [Huntington Beach] played well. They're a nice team, and they played hard.