appropriate disdain, refusing to shake the hand of any Costa Mesa
coach, and later correctly questioning the Mustangs' lack of
Shahrestani's protest was triggered when the Mustangs passed on
three of their final five offensive plays, including a 3-yard
touchdown pass, on two separate possessions that began with 6:44
remaining and Mesa leading, 49-21.
The two possessions included very few, if any, Costa Mesa
substitutes and the starting quarterback threw each of the passes,
including the final TD with 3:21 left that pushed the lead to 35.
Mesa finally began substituting liberally at that point, but the
damage to the Costa Mesa program's integrity, the responsibility for
which rests squarely with Coach Dave Perkins, had already been done.
This is the same Dave Perkins who, obviously miffed by some
outrageous comments made by Estancia Coach Jay Noonan prior to last
season's Battle for the Bell, generated questions about his
sportsmanship with his team's actions in a 41-0 victory.
Perkins either ordered or allowed onside kicks on the first three
Costa Mesa kickoffs that night and attempted two-point conversions
after each of the touchdowns that resulted from the Mustangs' five
This is the same Dave Perkins who ranted and raved during the
aftermath of a 31-6 loss to Northwood in 2001. After shaking Northwood head coach Rick Curtis' hand, Perkins shouted insults at
Northwood assistant coaches while protesting a touchdown pass with
2:31 left in the game. He wrongly accused Northwood of bringing a
receiver off the sideline on the play and later apologized to Curtis
and told his Costa Mesa players his postgame behavior was wrong.
Perkins' postgame behavior Friday was, arguably, more contemptible
than his inability to tone down his offense late in an obviously
He reacted with surprise -- open palms turned upward, mouth agape
-- and appeared to ask an assistant `Why?' upon learning of
Shahrestani's refusal to shake hands.
Perkins then dismissed Shahrestani's criticism of the ill-timed
late passes to reporters with a wave and a "Whatever."
Then, with two days of perspective on the event, he rationalized
his team's unnecessary aerials by explaining Santiago had 10
defensive players in the box. Even this questionable cover, however,
breaks down as it relates to the touchdown pass, since it came from
the Cavaliers' 3-yard line. From that spot on the field, anything but
10 players in the box is foolish, if not impossible, to avoid.
Perkins' athletic director might have advised him to call off the
dogs sooner Friday, except that Perkins is the Mustangs' boys
Perkins admonished his players for their five fumbles in Friday's
game, when, in fact, it was he who dropped the ball when it mattered