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Mesa shows muscle

High School Football

Walden has four interceptions in first half as Mustangs cruise to win in league opener.

October 14, 2011|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — Costa Mesa High senior Jordan Walden caught seven passes in the first half of Friday night's Orange Coast League opener against Godinez.

Four of them were thrown by the Godinez quarterback.

"Their quarterback, I guess, wanted to pick on me," Walden said after his four-interception game, believed to tie a school record and one off the CIF Southern Section record.

No one was really bullying the Mustangs at Jim Scott Stadium. They did whatever they wanted against the Grizzlies.

Mesa had plenty to celebrate in its homecoming game after walloping Godinez, 59-7.

"It's all starting to come together," said first-year Costa Mesa Coach Wally Grant, whose team won its fifth straight game. "We're reaping what we sow. It's a lot of fun to come out here on Friday nights and watch these kids do what they've been coached to do. It's taken us a little longer than I wanted to get our defensive team rolling, and they're starting to roll. My assistant coaches are doing an unbelievable job, and my kids are working their [behinds] off in practice."

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The Mustangs continued to be able to run the ball. Senior Mario Smith did most of the damage, rushing for a season-high 226 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries.

Sophomore fullback Oronde Crenshaw had just two carries, but they went for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Nothing could stop Costa Mesa (5-1) after it went three-and-out its opening series. Smith found a hole up the middle to start the Mustangs' second series and he was gone, the 65-yard score giving Mesa the lead.

Three plays later, Walden got his first interception at about the Godinez 30-yard line. The ball was fumbled during the runback but it was fumbled forward to junior outside linebacker Noah JeyaRajah, who alertly picked it up at about the 15-yard line and ran it in.

Smith added a 60-yard touchdown run on Mesa's next possession and the Mustangs were cruising. Defensively, JeyaRajah also had a big first half with a pair of sacks, two of the Mustangs' five in the half.

"I'm really happy that we imposed our will early," said Walden, who remembers when Godinez beat Costa Mesa in triple overtime in last year's league opener. "We didn't make it so close."

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