As the fire alarm lights continued to flicker above, Estancia Coach Mike Bargas finally noticed them. He could care less. The other team lit his up.
Bargas has dropped each of his three season openers as Estancia’s coach.
“We have some messes to clean up,” Bargas said. “I expected us to do better.”
The first quarter began even and stayed that way until the second.
Early in the second, Trabuco Hills struck first. It took some time before the scoreboard had the Mustangs ahead.
The scoreboard operator was annoyed, not that the home team fell behind, but because of the fire alarm lights.
The lights bothered the scoreboard operator in the booth so much that someone called a maintenance person. He ran up to cover one of the lights.
Duct tape eased the brightness with a minute left in the first half.
The Eagles needed the tape for the field. There wasn’t enough tape to tie up Trabuco Hills’ players at halftime.
Estancia entered its locker room battered, trailing 28-0, showing only four yards of total offense, and failing to record a first down.
It took 24 minutes, 47 seconds for the Eagles to move the chains. By that time in the third quarter, the game was over.
The Mustangs showed why they’ve advanced to the semifinals of the Southwest Division playoffs the past three years. A strong defense and heavy dose of running put Estancia away.
The Eagles gave up six rushing touchdowns, two on 49-yard runs. The Mustangs outgained the Eagles, 322-104, on the ground.
The disparity might have been worse if it weren’t for Estancia running back Alex Abalos. He gained 83 of his 92 yards on two runs during garbage time. The senior scored on his last carry, a 31-yard run with 2:01 left, ruining Trabuco Hills’ shutout.
“It’s always disappointing [losing a shutout],” said Trabuco Hills linebacker Griffin Balmer, who sacked quarterback Alek Kirshner twice.