The final weeks of the football season have played out like a "This Is Your Life" episode for Ventura College defensive coordinator Tim Hyde.
The defensive line coach at El Camino during the national championship run of 2006 and the unbeaten Mission League sweep of 2007, Hyde's defense forced three of El Camino's five turnovers in Ventura's 31-27 win at Murdoch Stadium Saturday night.
"That was huge (Saturday)," said Hyde. "That team we beat, they may go all the way."
The win earned the No. 7-ranked Pirates a berth in the Beach Bowl, sponsored by Joe Kapp Real Estate, Saturday night at the VC Sportsplex against No. 10 College of the Desert, which Hyde served as defensive coordinator from 2002-05.
"Watching Desert, that's a good football team," said Hyde. "They're big, strong, fast with a big-time quarterback and a huge offensive line.
"It's going to be a great game and for us to have it at our place is special."
Along the way to jumping out to a 17-0 lead at El Camino, Ventura stopped a fourth and 1 on its 20. Linebacker Masi Tuitama's 35-yard interception return pushed the lead to 24-7 late in the second quarter. Safety Scotty Wong's interception with 2:56 to play helped slow the Warriors' fourth-quarter comeback.
Neither Tuitama nor Wong practiced last week while nursing injuries.
Ventura finished the regular season ranked No. 5 in Southern California in scoring defense (22.9 points per game) and No. 3 against the run (86.1 yards per game). It was the second-best performance against the run in school history.
Hyde spent a half hour on the field after the game Saturday catching up with members of the El Camino coaching staff and still keeps in touch with friends on the Desert staff.
"I've known those guys 20-something years," said Hyde of the El Camino staff. "I left both places on good terms."