Mighty, mighty Mesa

High School Football

Mustangs clinch playoff spot and stay perfect in Orange Coast League with convincing win over Calvary Chapel Friday.

October 28, 2011|By Matt Szabo
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — Costa Mesa High football Coach Wally Grant has stressed much of the season that the Mustangs can do more than just run the ball.

Teams that think otherwise would be wise to study senior quarterback Nathan Alvis' performance Friday night.

Alvis completed all eight of his passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns as the Mustangs rolled over Calvary Chapel, 49-14, in the Orange Coast League game at Jim Scott Stadium.

In the process, the Mustangs (7-1, 3-0 in league) clinched a CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoff berth after missing the playoffs last year.

"We're starting to play really well in all facets of the game," Grant said. "In the last couple of games we've gotten to show that we are not a one-dimensional team. Tonight, we got to throw the ball. They were doing a lot to try to take away what we do with [senior running back] Mario [Smith], and that opened up a lot with [receivers] Jordan [Walden] and Trace [Curet] and Nate. We can throw the ball. People need to understand that we can run and throw with great effect. And it's going to take that to beat Laguna Beach next week."


The Mustangs, ranked No. 10 in the Southern Division, earned their third straight blowout to open league play and seventh straight win overall. Mesa, seeking its first league title since 2008, expects the next two games at No. 6 Laguna Beach (currently 2-1 in league) and against No. 4 Estancia (3-0, tied for first with the Mustangs) to be considerably tougher.

"We've got Laguna and Estancia, and they're going to determine if we win league or not," Alvis said. "It just gets tougher each week. We've got to really step it up in practice and make no mistakes in the game."

Estancia football players sat atop the bleachers Friday night watching the game. They did see Smith have another standout performance, with 206 yards rushing on just 12 carries and three touchdowns. Smith has run for more than 200 yards in each of the Mustangs' three league contests.

His first touchdown Friday was set up by the defense, as senior noseguard Charles Mankin stripped the ball from a Calvary Chapel running back and returned it to the Calvary 15-yard line. Three plays later, Smith scored from two yards out.

After a Calvary three-and-out, Oronde Crenshaw added his own two-yard rushing touchdown. On the next Mesa possession, Alvis hit Walden on a precise 60-yard touchdown pass over the middle, laying the ball just over two Eagles defensive backs.

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