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Costa Mesa defeats Estancia in Battle for the Bell

Behind a huge night from hobbled running back Oronde Crenshaw, Costa Mesa defeats archrival to gain city bragging rights.

October 11, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Costa Mesa High quarterback Oliver Ferris (10) and teammate Will Padilla, left, celebrate after defeating Estancia in a Battle for the Bell game at Jim Scott Stadium on Friday.
Costa Mesa High quarterback Oliver Ferris (10) and teammate… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

In the offseason, Oronde Crenshaw ran from his house near Costa Mesa High to a campus across town. The trip is one he made every other weekend.

The 3.1-mile run led him to Jim Scott Stadium, on the campus of rival Estancia. When he arrived, the site reminded him of the one football team he and Costa Mesa failed to beat in the last three years in Orange Coast League play.

Crenshaw returned to the stadium on Friday night to face that team one last time before he graduates. A bus brought Crenshaw, saving his legs for the contest.

With his nagging right foot injuries, Crenshaw needed the lift.

Once on the field, Crenshaw ran determined. The senior carried Costa Mesa past the Eagles, 31-18, as it claimed the Battle for the Bell game for the first time in four years.

Finally, Crenshaw earned the right to ring the trophy. He wasn't the only one to celebrate after the 47th edition of the crosstown rivalry game. His teammates rang it loudly after taking the league opener.

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Each ring played over the PA system for the whole town to hear. Costa Mesa is the city champion, just in case you didn't make it to the game.

"It's the best feeling in the world right now," said Crenshaw, who put on a hat that read, "Battle for the Bell" on top and "MESA City CHAMPS 2013" below.

"That's what we are, city champs," Crenshaw said, "and we're running to be league champs."

Crenshaw turned in a gutty performance, rushing 35 times for 214 yards and one touchdown. Without his effort, Wally Grant doesn't lead the Mustangs (3-3, 1-0 in league) to their first win against Estancia in his three years at the helm.

This triumph meant a lot to Grant, who when he attended to Costa Mesa, his school never defeated the Eagles. These current Mustangs made sure they didn't drop four in a row to Estancia as Grant did before he graduated in 1983.

"Look around," Grant said, looking at his players jumping and down. "It's all these kids."

The road to victory began wherever Crenshaw went, wherever his offensive line paved the way. It all started on the game's opening drive in which Crenshaw rushed nine times for 50 yards, moving the chains four times.

When the Mustangs reached the Eagles' four, they gave it to fullback Will Padilla. He plowed his way into the end zone for the first of his two touchdowns on the evening. The Mustangs grabbed a 6-0 lead, and unlike last year, they never relinquished it.

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