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JeyaRajah-Traylor connection too much for Santiago

High School Football

Quarterback JeyaRajah throws for four TDs, completing nine of 10 passes; Traylor catches three TD passes.

August 30, 2012|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — There is a long line of trash-talking wide receivers in professional football.

Costa Mesa High senior quarterback Noah JeyaRajah prodded senior receiver Markiece Traylor a little bit after Thursday night's 45-14 nonleague victory over Garden Grove Santiago, telling Traylor it was all right to talk himself up a little bit.

Traylor just smiled. The Mustangs said what they had to say on the field, where Coach Wally Grant's squad earned its first victory of the year at Jim Scott Stadium.

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Traylor and JeyaRajah were big offensive weapons for Costa Mesa (1-1). JeyaRajah completed nine of 10 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns. Traylor had 184 yards receiving and touchdown catches of 61, 54 and 36 yards.

But JeyaRajah knew why he had so much time to throw, thanks to the blocking of tackles Sam Bunker and Marco Zalpa, guards Joseph Quiroz and Alan Obregon, center Jonathan Elias and tight end Anthony McCormick.

"Things really clicked for us," JeyaRajah said. "Our line really worked hard this week in practice, our line was kicking butt, and it showed tonight. We had wide-open holes. I had a lot of time to throw to [Traylor]."

That was not the case last week, when Costa Mesa finished with just 82 total yards in a 10-0 loss to Western. But the offense flowed much smoother against Santiago (0-1). Senior running back Justin Smith had 167 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Grant also credited the offensive line's improved play, saying it was fun to watch the "bigguns" do work. But Grant has skill players who can do that, too.

"When teams are going to pack the box like that and put eight, nine guys in there, I've got some receivers that are pretty fast," Grant said. "You see what happens. All we have to do is give them a couple of seconds, and they're down the field. If we can play catch, we'll have a good year again. If we can play catch and the 'bigguns' do what they're supposed to do up front, we'll win more games than we lose. But if we don't do that, then it's going to look like Western."

The Mustangs struck quickly against Santiago, after forcing the Cavaliers to a three-and-out on their first possession. The punt went just 22 yards, giving the Mustangs excellent field position on the Santiago 36-yard line.

Smith took advantage of it on Mesa's first play from scrimmage, starting right before cutting back left. Soon he was in the end zone and the Mustangs were ahead.

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