Goleta, Calif. - The long wait is over!
San Marcos High School is celebrating its first CIF-Southern Section boys water polo championship since 1994.
The Royals beat friendly rival Dos Pueblos 9-6 to capture the Division 2 crown in front of an estimated 1,000 fans at the Elings Aquatics Center.
San Marcos was the #1 seed in the division and they used a dominant second half to beat the underdog Chargers.
San Marcos built up a 4-2 lead early in the second quarter but DP scored 3 straight goals.
Aden Bishop, Eli Carnaghe and Ben Fuhrer all scored in that flurry as the Chargers led 5-4 at halftime.
The Royals defense clamped down from there as they allowed just 1 second half goal.
"We had a few mistakes in the second quarter and we knew we had to flip it around and end on a strong note," said San Marcos goalie Sam Rich.
He made several saves in the second half and the Royals used a double-team to limit DP senior star Jaden Moore to two first half goals.
"We had to force the other guys to shoot," said Royals head coach Peera Sukavivatanachai who was coaching in his first CIF final. "We just didn't want Jaden to score."
After Jacob Magid tied the game at 5, sophomore Will Stuart scored back-to-back goals to give the Royals a 7-5 lead.
"It's crazy, I am at a lost for words to describe this feeling," said the powerful Stuart who finished with a game-high 3 goals.
Senior Nic Prentice had two goals in the game and he put San Marcos up 8-5 late in the third quarter.
"My sophomore year we got to the quarterfinals," began Prentice. "Then we made it to semifinals and this year to finish it off with such an amazing team its the best feeling of my life."
DP freshman Grant Nelson scored with just 1 second left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 8-6.
But the Royals defense did not allow another goal and senior Luke Burns tallied the lone goal of the fourth quarter.
"Our two goals was to win Channel League and CIF and we did both of those things," said a proud Luke Burns.
As time ran out the Royals players and celebrated with a giant pool party for a job well done.